BOARD OF REGISTRATIONS AND ELECTIONS, MACON-BIBB COUNTY: MAY 16TH, 2016 MEETING

In attendance: 

Herbert Spangler (R)

Mike Kaplan (I)

Cassandra Powell (Chairperson, D)

Rinda Wilson (R)

Ronnie Miley (D)

…..

Charlene Maynard (Administrative Assistant)

Jeanetta Watson (Elections Supervisor)

Judd Drake (Assistant County Attorney)

Old Business

Approval of the proposed change of GF2 Polling Place Relocation (Macedonia Church) 

Member Miley motions to approve.

Member Kaplan seconds.

Member Miley asks: whether we ever found out if, after the [May 24th] election and the [July] runoff, the Macedonia Church will be available [to host elections]?

Chairperson Powell: Macedonia thought it was a one-day thing at first [the board using their location to host the election on May 24th]. We then had to ask [them to use their location] for the July 27th runoff. They were reluctant to agree to that, since they were reluctant to allow us to use their space at all.

Member Kaplan [asking Chairperson Powell]: So, the Godfrey 2 move to Macedonia is not permanent? It will be moved back to Memorial Gym when it [the gym]’s available?

Chairperson Powell: We’ll be at Macedonia May 24th and for the July runoff. We will not be at Macedonia for the November election, because Macedonia doesn’t want us there. We don’t know where we’ll be—it might be Memorial Gym if it’s ready—we don’t know.

Attorney Drake [who had spoken to a county official about the readiness of the gym]: Memorial Gym will be ready for us to move back before the November election. Might not be completely done, but it will be done enough that the voters can go back.

Member Kaplan: so, to answer your question [gestures to me]: if Memorial Gym is ready in November [which it very likely will be], we’ll be using it.

Motion passes unanimously.

Approval of the proposed change VV1 (Macon Charter Academy) to Board of Education Welcome Center 

Member Miley motions that the precinct be moved (permanently) to the Board of Education Welcome Center (which is already a precinct location).

Supervisor Watson: So, we’re combining them because of the instability of the Macon Charter Academy (which may not be open in the near future—impliedly, the school might be shutting down).

Supervisor Watson: just wanted to [make the board aware] that all ads [about the precinct moves effective this May] were run.

Attorney Drake: just wanted to confirm that the charter move isn’t happening in advance of the May 24th election?

Supervisor Watson: no, it’s being moved in advance of the July election. It will not apply to the May 24th election.

Note: The Well (Methodist church) is closing, after the summer. It’s a precinct location. There will still be elections there in May and July (runoffs). After that point, the board will have to see if they need to move it. There’s a chance someone will buy the church and be willing to allow it to be used as a precinct location, still, but if not, the board is going to come up with a contingency plan.

Items from the County Attorney: Recommendation concerning challenge of qualifications of Mr. Jerome Collins (Candidate, Board of Elections District 5)

Attorney Drake: some staff here went and visited the address in question, run by Mr. Collins, and found the house to be well-kept and occupied. His son was at home. Neighbors said Mr. Collins did–in fact–live there.

Motion passed unanimously that the board accepts Attorney Drake’s recommendation to the board that Mr. Collins is qualified.

Budget Cuts

Supervisor Watson: some of our budget was cut. The cuts happened at many different line items. Every line item was affected. Office equipment, temporary workers, etc. etc.

Chairperson Powell: we’re the board of elections; that’s the stepping stone to democracy. How are you gonna’ [cut the budget]…

Chairperson Powell: Julie Moore [assistant to the County Manager, for budget and planning], when she came, noted that we were 100k-200k under budget. She said that “everything was cool.” Now we’re facing budget cuts.

Member Kaplan: we’ll get some money. We’ll sue them if they don’t [give it to us].

Attorney Drake: they’re gonna’ have to give you the money [if you need it].

Member Kaplan: They’re aware they owe us 30 grand. They’ve only given us 14 and they’re aware that they owe us the other 17. They’re good for it.

Comments from Citizens

Gwenette Westbrooks: I’m just here about the Macedonia Church move. I know you all are supposed to vote on it today.

Chairperson Powell: we already did.

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