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Amos remains at helm of BOC
Mills chosen as vice chair
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Forsyth County News

The Forsyth County commission will see a continuation of leadership for 2014.

Commissioners voted 4-0 on Thursday night to give Pete Amos a second term as chairman and reappoint Brian Tam as secretary during their first meeting of 2014.

Cindy Jones Mills, who is entering her second year in office, was tapped to serve as vice chairwoman of the five-member panel.

Commissioner Jim Boff, who held that post in 2013, was absent from the meeting due to a family medical situation.

The chairmanship, elected each year among the commissioners, puts one official at the helm to keep meetings in order.

The chairman also typically represents the commission on various boards or at functions.

Reached Friday, Amos said he was proud to again have the backing of his colleagues.

“Chairman is not any more than any other commissioner on there, we all have the same power, but I just help run the meetings and go to a few more meetings myself,” he said. “We are all equal on the board, but I do think it’s a real honor to do the job again.

“We have a good board in place and we look forward to the future.”

Mills said she was honored to have been chosen vice chairwoman.

“It was not a position that I was seeking to have,” she said. “I’m proud that [my fellow commissioners] have confidence in me to ask me to do that.”

Mills went on to say that she hopes to assist Amos “because I think a whole lot falls upon him.”

“One [other] thing I think is so important in this job is that I want to make sure that all of my fellow commissioners are in the loop and we’re all communicating,” she said.

Prior to Thursday’s vote, County Attorney Ken Jarrard suggested that commissioners change the procedure for electing the leadership roles.

He said based on the small size of the group, he felt it wasn’t necessary to take nominations for each position, but would be more efficient to instead just make a motion to appoint someone.

“The reality is, if a motion is made for an officer and there is a second and a there’s a vote, that individual garners sufficient votes,” Jarrard said. “… And if they don’t, then there will be on the table another nomination. But I don’t think a clunky nomination process makes any sense whatsoever.”

Besides the three officer posts, the commission also voted to make some changes to its operating policies for 2014.

Jarrard suggested a change that would allow paid county employees to address the commission during public comment segments at the start of meetings.

“[Current policy] says that the board of commissioners will allow public comment except for those who are currently an announced candidate for public office or a salaried member of county staff,” Jarrard said.

“I think one of the comments was that we have had salaried staff come before you for public comment and for whatever reason that wasn’t caught, and would the board have an interest in deleting that prohibition from this policy.”

Tam said he believed removing the stipulation was proper.

Amos added another change to the policy that will allow approval of intergovernmental agreements with a simple majority, rather than the previously required super majority of four of the five members.

“It’s just easier to work on a simple majority to get some things done,” Amos said Friday.

He noted that most, if not all, of the county’s intergovernmental agreements are with the city of Cumming.

“We’ve got the water [contract] and [sales tax] settled for the next five to 30 years, but we’ve got a few things we’re going to do with the city and it just makes it easier to work with,” he said.

Mills said she agreed with the decision to change the policy this year.

“I think I would have second-guessed myself more if there were big issues to take place, you know, like if [a sales tax split] was about to be decided,” she said.

“But all of those things have been taken care of for quite a few years and it’s a year-to-year thing, so it’s something that we can look at each year.”