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Hall board's closed meeting details to be released

2 candidates questioned legality of funding vote

POSTED: September 20, 2010 12:13 a.m.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners is prepared to release the details of a Sept. 8 executive session discussion about the Glades Reservoir at its work session today.

On Sept. 13, commission hopefuls Scott Gibbs and Craig Lutz challenged the legality of the commission’s move to authorize $3 million in sales tax money toward the reservoir project in a closed-door session.

Chairman Tom Oliver said if it is agreeable to the commission, they will discuss the move at this morning’s work session.

The county kept minutes of the executive session that will likely be available for public inspection.

“Some people want to know and I’m comfortable doing so,” Oliver said. “It’s just a way to clear the air.”

County Administrator Charley Nix said he has received a number of requests to talk about the issue.

“I need the commission to release them so I could discuss them publicly,” Nix said.

Gibbs and Lutz wrote a letter to Nix requesting the matter be taken up in an open meeting.

Following the Sept. 8 work session, the commissioners agreed in an executive session to pay for about $3 million in permitting costs for Glades Reservoir with a line of credit, until enough special purpose local option sales tax dollars are collected.

At the board meeting the following day, Oliver announced the commission had discussed the negotiations in executive session.

The county has always planned to reimburse the Glades Farm property owners for money they expended toward getting the federal permit for the planned reservoir.

According to the Georgia Open Meetings Act, governments may only go into a closed-door executive session to discuss three topics: potential litigation, personnel issues and land acquisition.

Hall County’s legal counsel advised the board members the discussion fell under the category of potential litigation. Lutz and Gibbs dispute that.

Gibbs is running unopposed in November for the District 3 seat currently held by Steve Gailey.

Lutz, a Republican, is facing Democrat Paul Wayne Godfrey to become the next District 1 commissioner, replacing Bobby Banks.


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