New Dougherty County Commissioner Clinton Johnson, second from left, joins commissioners Gloria Gaines and Lamar Hudgins at a swearing-in ceremony at the Government Center on Monday. Probate Judge Nancy Stephenson administered the oaths to the three, who are beginning four-year terms.
ALBANY, Ga. -- After the pomp and ceremony of swearing in a new commissioner and honoring an outgoing one, the Dougherty County Commission got down to the business at hand by conducting a work session and a called business meeting Monday morning.
After a report from County Attorney Spencer Lee during the work session, the board voted to approve a resolution that will allow the county's tax director to call for a judicial tax foreclosure sale as an alternate method of moving properties with tax delinquincies of more than one year off the tax rolls.
Lee said the state General Assembly had passed the law allowing such resolutions as a means of collecting delinquent taxes from particularly troublesome properties, such as those with title issues.
"There won't be many of them that qualify; I know of three in the county now," Lee told the commission. "The General Assembly passed this law to give the county an opportunity to collect delinquent taxes on properties that generally are difficult to collect.
"The process will be involved: The purchaser of these properties must pay taxes owed plus other costs, and a buyer must be established in advance. But if someone is willing to go through the process, it's a pretty good opportunity for the purchaser, and it brings delinquent taxes into the county."
In other action, the commission approved $31,823.10 in funding for the purchase of EMS uniforms. Assistant County Administrator Mike McCoy said the county had separated bids into three categories in an effort to save funds.
"By taking this approach, the county saved around $11,000," McCoy said.
Pro 1 Sportswear of Albany won one portion of the bid ($8,453.58), while other bids went to firms in North Carolina ($20,312.27) and Ohio ($3,057.25).
Following the business portion of the meeting, Commissioner Jack Stone asked for an update on his request to find out why a former city police officer (Capt. Darrin Abner, who resigned from his position with the Albany Police Department on Oct. 17 of last year) was allowed to drive a county-owned vehicle for unauthorized trips to Atlanta and Tallahassee, Fla., before he resigned while under investigation for unethical practices.
County Administrator Richard Crowdis said the district attorney did not plan to take further action in the case, and when Stone asked Crowdis to write a letter demanding more information, Lee said he did not recommend writing such a letter.
"So you're saying (the district attorney) determines who gets by with what in this county," Stone said. "If I, as an elected official, can't get anything done here, how in the hell is some poor guy standing on the street going to get justice?"
Stone said after the meeting he planned to pursue the matter further.
Before the commission meetings, the county's Finance Committee received a budget report from County Extension Coordinator James Morgan.