The Form of Government citizen panel presented its final report to the Board of Commissioners last week with the intention of clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the chairman, board and county manager.
“As to recommendations affecting the position of Chairman, Newton County was established with a strong Chairman form of government,” the report read. “The addition of a County Manager should complement the Chairman' s role and not be adversarial to it. However, the Chairman' s role must change to allow a professional manager to operate the County on a day to day basis.”
The panel was headed by City of Covington Human Resources Director Ronnie Cowan and included local citizens Buddy Morgan, Marcello Banes, Junior Hilliard, Gladstone Nicholson, and Wesley Dowdy.
It is now at the board’s discretion to accept or reject the panel’s proposals and likely direct the county attorney to amend the enabling legislation, if needed, for approval by the Georgia General Assembly.
The report includes several notable proposed changes:
—The transfer of all operational duties from the chairman to the county manager, including roads and bridges
— That the chairman be responsible for submitting qualified candidates to the Board for appointment and ratifying the board’s decision to terminate the county manager
—That the chairman have a veto power to be overruled by a supermajority vote of commissioners
—Revise financial policies so that they are consistent with best practices established by the Georgia Financial Officers Association
—Continue to publish financial reports on a “periodic” basis
See the full report attached above.