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Vote deferred on Oden SUV
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Being one commissioner short of a full board, the other two commissioners decided to defer the vote on the board chairman's request for a new SUV to a later meeting.

County Chairman and CEO Richard Oden was absent during the Tuesday morning meeting. Post 2 County Commissioner Doreen Williams took his place to chair the meeting.

In a unanimous 2-0 vote, Williams made the motion to defer the request for the new vehicle, with Post 1 County Commissioner Oz Nesbitt seconding.

After the meeting, Williams said she wanted to defer the item because she felt like Oden should be presented for the vote on the vehicle that he would be driving.

"I just thought it was important for the chairman to have a vote on this item," she said.

The vehicle in question is a 2015 Ford Expedition XLT. The large SUV costs $44,756 and was factored into the county's 2015 capital budget during last year's budget discussions.

The new vehicle would replace the 2005 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer edition currently driven by Oden. The 2005 Ford Expedition was purchased for $34,360 during former-County Chairman Roy Middlebrooks' tenure and has accumulated 111,864 miles on the engine.

During the board's Jan. 20 work session, Williams raised questions about the new vehicle. Her concern was whether the chairman needed the "expensive" vehicle that was requested.

Williams had some reservations about the optional equipment added, such as the XLT package, the towing package and the 4-wheel drive, which adds $17,393 to the cost of the standard vehicle.

The full board voted to defer the vote to a later meeting at the following regular meeting on Jan. 28.

Nesbitt, who stated he was in favor purchasing the new vehicle for Oden when Williams initially raised questioned about it, says he isn't sure what will happen with this vehicle situation.

"All I can say is to be continued. Stay tuned," he said.


In other BOC business:

The board approved amending two ordinances that would provide the beginning steps for developers to build electric vehicle charging stations and units in Rockdale County.

The commissioners voted to defer the vote on the contract for Tanesha Lanier, program coordinator for Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The contract is for $52,000 per year with an option to renew for two more years.

Nesbitt made the motion to defer the item until the chairman returned.