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In Attendance:

Rinda Wilson (Chairperson, R)

Herbert Spangler (R)

Mike Kaplan (I)

Cassandra Powell (D)

Ronnie Miley (D)


Charlene Maynard (Administrative Assistant)

Jeanetta Watson (Elections Supervisor)

Tommy Gillon (Elections Officer)

Larry Smith (Senior Polling Technician)

Reginald McClendon (Assistant County Attorney)

Charles Coney (Assistant County Manager)

Old Business

a. Update on main office relocation, presented by Manager Coney

Mr. Coney: Unable start construction during December because the owner wouldn’t allow it.

Conferenced in Rafat Shaikh, CEO and owner of Safeway Group, who owns the building for which the board signed a lease.

When they were finalizing the lease, Safeway and the City realized Home Depot is still on the lease (for the whole property, not the building) and paying rent. Safeway Group found a clause in the contract restricting the property for retail only. Hold up with Home Depot re: Shaikh terminating the lease. He’s also trying to negotiate an amendment to the clause allowing the government to lease the building. The board members don’t understand why Home Depot cares since they aren’t physically inhabiting the property. Manager Coney explains that having Home Depot’s name in front of the property affects whom they allow to rent the building. Shaikh continues to say that he is going to try his best to get the lease modification, but he doesn’t want to be in trouble. Manager Coney suggests writing a supporting letter for Safeway, but he didn’t want to do that before talking to the board. “We are not a ghost tenant. We are the government…responsible for the community.”

Member Miley: wants to continue to push for that space, because they have already lost time with this and he doesn’t want to start over. There isn’t enough time to go into another month with the same problem. The board agrees to wait and see what Shaikh finds out, but then also have an absolute deadline.

Manager Coney thinks that the Commission Committee meeting on Feb. 9th will be a good time to discuss with the board what is happening with the new location, because if the board were to have to find another location, the Commissioners would have to approve it. They already signed the lease and sent it to Safeway, so they need to get it back. Member Powell says to Manager Coney that he needs to play hardball.

b. Supplemental Budget approval for additional Satellite Office (Location Discussion)

The funding is in place for the satellite, says Manager Coney. Rosa Jackson location is under construction; it’s off the table. The building has to be government-owned.

Manager Coney says that the City could go attempt to negotiate at three spaces of the board’s choosing. The Terminal Station space is being occupied by the IT Department of the City for storage.

Manager Coney notes that they report to him.Member Miley wants them to list three places for Manager Coney to look into:

1. Coliseum, 2. Terminal Station. 3. Jeffersonville Sheriff Precinct Office (which Member Powell says has already been approved).

Meeting with Manager Coney on Feb. 4th to get ready for the Commission meeting and an update on the Satellite office.

New Business

a. Construction at Memorial Gym – Precinct GF2

Initially they were going to be able to make room for voters for 2016, but the construction is going to take longer. Can have voting there in March but then have to relocate. Ingram Pie School and Buck Milton Center are where they are looking. 1,300 voters will be affected by the move. Moore said that Ingram Pie has approved having the voting location there–now have to get it approved by the board of elections.

b. Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission Race Agreement

Sign a contract with them every four years. It’s a non-partisan race–not paid. They run by petition. No one seems to have ever heard about this position.

Other Business

a. Local Party Qualifying Training

Held at Prof License Building off of Coliseum Drive, and the Board Members need to register for it.

b. Items from Board Members

Member Kaplan asked about disqualified ballots, because there was a concern when nineteen ballots were disqualified during the last election. Absentee ballots that come back with signatures that do not match their voting card get disqualified. There was confusion on whether they could qualify as provisional and get the three extra days, but the only ballots that can be provisional are when photo IDs are involved. Signatures have to match–if not then the ballot is rejected. A rule has been implemented that the board has to send a letter to the affected citizen, notifying the citizen that their ballot was rejected. and if there is enough time, they may apply for and receive another ballot. Supervisor Watson says that they don’t get that many ballots that are rejected.

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