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Board of Elections meeting place remains an issue
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The Rockdale County Board of Commissioners started Tuesday's work session on a positive note, declaring four proclamations.

However, the meeting eventually got overshadowed by more Board of Elections discussion.

The Board of Elections continues to be a hot-button issue in Rockdale County, as evident by the majority of time and discussion during Tuesday's work session spent on the B.O.E.'s problem with finding a location.

The task of providing a meeting place and video record of B.O.E. meetings looks like it will fall upon the B.O.C., which discussed a resolution on Tuesday.

Several public comments were made concerning the B.O.E., its meeting place and its in-fighting, by members of the community and B.O.E. chairman Garvin Haynes.

The B.O.C. brought up discussion on the resolution of finding a meeting, where all three members and Cynthia Welsh where questioned by the B.O.C.

Commissioner JaNice Van Ness said the B.O.C. will look into the cost of having the meeting at 901 Main Street.

"Would you be open to having the meetings aired if we were able to work that into our budget for public relations," Van Ness asked the B.O.E.

After response by the B.O.E. Commissioner Oz Nesbitt said the B.O.C. would prefer that they not be the ones to make the ultimate decision.

"The question at stake and why this is so sensitive to community right now is making certain that transparency is clear and that all the rumbling that you are experiencing on your board is aired and broadcast so the public will see and hear exactly what is going on," Nesbitt said. "As it relates to the board of commissioners and the enabling act, our authority is to decide where location of the meetings is held.

"We all hope along with citizens of this community that you will come to some level of common ground and work out your differences in a timely manner, long before it impacts and effects any election that we don't look like the folks down in the state of Florida or the city of Chicago. We hope you get those things worked out. In terms of our decision we're going to make decision at some point appropriate time where you have that meeting so that everyone in this community will hear what's going on."

Chairman Richard Oden then asked questions to the B.O.E. members, including at-large member Cary Bond, who as a convicted felon has had his legality on the board questioned.
In the public comment section former Rockdale County Democratic Chairman R.J. Hadley asked for Bond's resignation.
When questioned by Oden, Bond denied Hadley that request.

"When I first applied to the board, I attached copy of my pardon from state of Georgia," Bond said. "Ten years lapsed since I was issued that pardon, and according to law I am eminently qualified to be a member of the Board of Elections. I have been certified as a member Board of Elections by the Secretary of State and I do not intend to resign."

The B.O.C said it wants a decision from the B.O.E. soon before having to decide on a meeting location for them.

"We have to unify," Oden said. "This is truly an embarrassment. We have to get this fixed quickly, quick, quick, quick. The lady mentioned earlier (in public comment) people die to vote. This is not good."

While a union cannot thus far come about with the B.O.E. the B.O.C. celebrated other unions earlier in the meeting.
One of the four proclamations made by the commission was to Committed 2 You, declaring March 4 and 5 Black Marriage weekend. The board then named march 19, 2011 Master Gardner's Appreciation Day and April 25-June 9 Manufacturing Appreciation Week and named March National Purchasing Month.