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More county departments able to issue citations
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The Rockdale Board of Commissioner (BOC) heard an ordinance change that will update the county's record books with the current structure of its departments.

Rockdale County Chief of Staff Gerald Sanders told the board, minus Post 1 County Commissioner Oz Nesbitt who was absent, during its Tuesday work session that Rockdale County Attorney Qader Baig noticed the Rockdale County Fire and Rescue and Rockdale County Animal Control departments weren't titled correctly in the code.

Fire and Rescue was listed as the Department of Emergency Services and Rockdale County Animal Control was still listed as operating under the Emergency Services department when it now operates under the Rockdale County Recreation and Maintenance department.

The proposed ordinance change would correct the error in recordkeeping and properly label the departments with their current functions and proper names.

"When some of the restructuring was done years ago I'm not sure if that made it to the code where those textual amendments or changes needed to occur," said Sanders. "This is at least one attempt to correct some of that... (It) assigns the functions to fire services and to staffing and so forth to the appropriate departments as we understand the current structure to be today."

Sanders kept emphasizing the point to the board that no departments were being removed from the county's structure.
"I want to clarify that this ordinance does not abolish any department. I want to be clear on that," he said. "It doesn't, even if some people have assumed that it does."
Baig found these record discrepancies while reviewing county citation ordinances.

In other county business, Sanders also presented a resolution to the BOC that would give more county departments the authority to issue citations.

"We have a number of departments in the county that issue citations for various reasons as a routine part of their duties," said Sanders. "In the past we've had departments request an update of the positions that would issue citations."

The county departments that have positions that would now be able to give out citations include the Rockdale County Board of Assessors, Board of Health, Fire and Rescue, Planning and Development, Stormwater Division, Recreation and Maintenance, Rockdale County Sheriff's Office and Rockdale Water Resources.
"This resolution was the staff's attempt and we agreed that we would try to do one resolution which would update all of the positions in the county that would issue citations," said Sanders.

Rockdale County Community Compliance Supervisor Dawn Stewart oversees all the citations written in the county and assists the magistrate court with processing them. The board and even Rockdale County Clerk Jennifer Rutledge seemed surprised that she would handle all those citations.

When she's in court, theirs is only one other person working in the community compliance division, says Planning and Development Director Marshall Walker.

Rockdale County Chairman and CEO Richard Oden took the opportunity to advocate for a team of people to pick trash alongside the roadways since due to Stewarts' workload.
"That's the point I want to drive here because we picked up almost 100 deer last year. So if she's in court and our community compliance guy or person is picking up deer, who's picking up trash," asked Oden. "This has been a hot topic all last year.

"So I still have work to do folks on this regard because that is probably the number one issue we have in this community people dumping trash on our roadways. I'm going to continue to advocate for this team we need."