The Rockdale Board of Ethics held its first meeting Wednesday evening to establish some basic board functions.
The first order of business for the newly created ethics board, which consists of Franklin Beauford, Russel Moore V and Darlene Hotchkiss, was to appoint a chairperson to head meetings. Hotchkiss nominated Moore, who was appointed the board by the Rockdale County Bar Association, because of his “legal background,” she said.
Hotchkiss represents the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce, on the ethics board, and Beauford was selected by the the Rockdale County Coalition of Homeowners Association (RCHA).
The chair has the authority to call a meeting when needed and is responsible for receiving citizen’s complaints for the county clerk’s office. If Moore is absent from a meeting, Beauford, who was appointed to be the board’s vice-chairperson, will head the meeting.
An operating budget for the rest of 2015, from June to December, was set at of $5,000, after a recommendation made by Rockdale County Finance Director Roselyn Miller. The money will be used to pay legal fees, a recording clerk for meetings and certified mail items. Under the ordinance, ethic board members are not to be compensated.
The board agreed to wait until later in the year to establish a budget for the full year of 2016.
A legal representative and recording clerk were not appointed during the meeting, however the board did discuss a few options that could become its legal counsel. Moore plans to ask the individuals if they want the job at a later date.
Marcie Howington, executive director for Phoenix Pass, was appointed to be the alternate member for board. Howington, who was nominated by Hotchkiss, will fill-in for board members during conflict of issue situation and if a board member is disqualified from the board. She will serve a one-year term.
For the next their next meeting , the board plans to appoint legal counsel and discuss the by-laws of the board. They will meet at 6 p.m. at the Assembly Hall, 901 Main Street, Conyers, on June 10.