The Rockdale County Board of Commissioners voted 2-1 to remove Garvin Haynes from the Water and Sewerage Authority, with Commissioner Oz Nesbitt voting against.
The resolution cited violations of Section 4.3 of the Authority’s recently adopted bylaws and Section 17 of the Authority’s Code of Ethics, which deals with personal and professional behavior.
The Water and Sewerage Authority Board had voted in a called meeting on Feb. 5 to censure Haynes and recommend that he be removed from the Authority. Haynes was not present for that called meeting nor for Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting.
Nesbitt later said that he voted against removing Haynes because he felt the proper procedures were not followed.
“It could have been handled differently,” said Nesbitt. He added the issue could have been handled between Human Resources, Rockdale Water Resources and the Chairman’s office.
Rockdale Water Resources employee Michelle Prescott had lodged a complaint in November 2011 regarding Haynes’ tone and comments in email correspondence. ‘
“His tone and comments about Mr. Wicks were rude and offensive along with his second email with comment directed to me,” Prescott wrote in her complaint. (to see documents of the complaint and emails, go to rockdalenews.com)
Complaints regarding Haynes' conduct had previously been submitted by RWR Deputy Director Terrell Gibbs last spring and summer. However, the Authority’s new bylaws and ethics code containing changes to address such behavior had not yet been adopted and no action was taken.
Haynes said Friday regarding the BOC’s vote, “I’m fine with it. I knew it was going to come. I’m the one that voted for the (Authority’s) ethics code.”
Haynes said “(Wicks) has used every tactic possible to get me off the board… Everything in those emails was factual and accurate. If it made anybody look bad, it was Mr. Wicks. That was another reason he was wanting me off the board… I was one of the few members that did the homework and follow up, and Mr. Wicks didn’t like anybody looking over his shoulder that closely.”
He added, regarding the Authority, “I wish them luck and I’ll still be keeping an eye on them.”
In other BOC discussions:
The commissioners continued discussions from two retreats held earlier this year by reviewing goals they had compiled.
At the beginning of this discussion, communication issues flared up again after Commissioner JaNice Van Ness and Chairman Richard Oden disagreed over reading the entire list of goals. Van Ness pointed out the audience would not want to hear the lengthy list aloud, to which Oden replied, "You are out of line, Commissioner." Van Ness walked out of the meeting but returned after a few minutes.
Some of the goals discussed included the possibility of building senior mulit-level housing at the location where the Clothes Closet used to be in Olde Town.
Other goals included opening the JP Carr gymnasium an additional evening during the week, streamlining and simplifying the contract bid process, incentives for public safety employees to live in the county, health and wellness program for first responders.