The Board of Commissioners Appoints Randy Howard to the Board of Elections

Published 9:03 am Friday, December 22, 2023

After Latimore’s updated the Board of Commissioners on December 19th, the Board delt with several other pressing issues. Reid expressed appreciation for the dirt road contractor, mentioning positive citizen comments.
He then addressed issues with dilapidated properties in Deerfield Plantation.
“Now Commissioner Smith, I want to ask you this. What is the process for letting the Landbank take them over?”
Reid mentioned that one house had an alligator in the swimming pool. Code enforcement officer Heather Tyler commented.
“It’s a big one.”
Ried continued.
“Can your Landbank go in there, condemn these properties, and take them and do something with them? Those people, they are destroying the property values of everything around them.”
Commissioner Jessie Smith replied.
“We cannot go in there and take it over, we can accept the properties.”
Reid questioned options. Smith Replied.
“We can find out if the taxes are delinquent and start there.”
Reid responded.
“I don’t think the taxes are delinquent, they are just negligent property owners.”
Tyler stated there was black mold on one residence that had been broken into. She mentioned difficulty reaching the property owner.
“Sending letters isn’t working.”
Hooks commented.
“If we can’t serve them with their address that they have on file, we can run a notice in the paper.”
Commissioner Clay Jones mentioned pressing issues with Sunset Park.
Tyler responded.
“Some of those are heir properties.”
Jones commented.
“Heather is at the point she’s trying to work with them. I admire her for that, but don’t work with them.”
Tyler responded.
“Most of the owners on the property were deceased and that’s where it kind of put a halt on a lot of the properties over there.”
She mentioned one of the properties that had burned had a year to start the process.
Jones addressed the possibility of the work exceeding that time.
“You can’t be nice. Business is business.”
Waddell commented.
“Let’s get a list of all the properties both commissioners are talking about and get a status update so that we know what the actual dates [and] what the process that’s been going on at each location so that we have accurate information.”
The Board went into executive session to address board appointments, personal, and potential litigation. The Board reconvened after executive session.
Waddell entertained a motion to go with the Mercer Group as the organization to search for the next administrator. Smith made a motion, Jones made a second, passing unanimously.
Waddell addressed a vacancy on the Board of Elections.
“There are three applications that the republican party has submitted to the Board of Commissioners. Entertain a motion to approve one of those names that are submitted.”
Jones made a motion to approve Reda Rowell-Jones.
Smith seconded the motion, with Waddell, Smith, and Baldwin against, causing it to fail.
Reid made a motion to nominate Randy Howard to the Board of Elections, Baldwin seconded. Smith and Jessie voted against. Waddell broke the tie by voting in favor of Howard’s appointment, causing the motion to pass.