MONROE, Ga. — County commissioners agreed to fund three new positions in the government Tuesday night.
But the votes to do so weren’t unanimous.
The Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to add a civil engineer position, an assistant public defender and a network administrator for E911.
Chairman Kevin Little joined Commissioners Timmy Shelnutt, Lee Bradford and Kirklyn Dixon to approve the positions.
Commissioner Mark Banks voted against the job posts while Dr. Jeremy Adams and Bo Warren were absent.
Banks said he wasn’t against any of the positions, per se. His opposition was to midyear budget adjustments.
“My problem is we set a budget, we need to stick to it,” he said.
The civil engineer will help the Planning and Development Department manage a glut of construction plans coming through the county. Director Mike Martin said about half the staff was laid off during the Great Recession when building slowed to nearly zero.
Now, he and Assistant Director Charna Parker have attained state certification to approve engineering documents, in addition to their other duties.
“This is a critical position for us,” Martin said.
The position will add $78,515 to the budget including benefits.
Alcovy Circuit Public Defender Anthony Carter said the assistant public defender will help his office manage a soaring case load. He said state grants funded judges and prosecutors but not defendants for new accountability courts in recent years. The position will cost $76,910 a year plus benefits.
Wendra Williams, director of 911, said the network administrator will work with a records management system that also helps the Sheriff’s Office and other agencies. She said the work has been handled by herself and an employee of the Sheriff’s Office and has become too much to handle.
Williams said Sheriff Joe Chapman has said he is willing to fund the cost of the position for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends June 30. The position will cost the county $67,800 per year including benefits.
Commissioners kept the status quo for most of the annual appointments. Shelnutt, the District 3 commissioner, was returned as vice chairman. He is a Republican from Monroe.
Leta Talbird remains the county clerk and Rhonda Hawk will serve as assistant county clerk. The Monroe firm of Atkinson Ferguson remains as the county attorney.
The Planning Commission is unchanged. Appointees are Josh Ferguson of Bold Springs in District 1, Pete Myers of Loganville in District 2, John Pringle of Covington in District 3, J. Brad Bettis of Social Circle in District 4, Tim Hinton of Monroe in District 5, Timothy J. Kemp of Monroe in District 6 and Kim Crowe of Loganville as Little’s at-large appointment.
Steve Merka in District 4 was the only new appointment to the county Board of Appeals.
Josh Parker was appointed to the county Water and Sewerage Authority in District 5.
Mark Peavy and Glenn Barton were reappointed to the Board of Tax Assessors.
The board appointed Monroe Mayor John Howard, Loganville Mayor Rey Martinez and Social Circle Mayor-elect David Keener to the Development Authority of Walton County by virtue of their offices. Neal Jackson was reappointed, and Melinda Dally was appointed to a newly created position formerly held by the Walton County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors chairman.