BOC approves new comment policy

Our Board of Commissioners recently approved a new public comment policy in order to stop personal attacks made against them during meetings.

According to Resolution 2011-28, “. . . it is the policy of the Board that it fully supports and encourages public participation, it does not support disrespectful behavior and therefore establishes the following policy with respect to receiving public comments at the regular meetings of the Board and that it is in the best interest of the citizen to establish this policy.”

It goes on to state that abusive language and personal attacks won’t be tolerated not only against BOC members, but also county employees and citizens. Additionally, all BOC meetings are audio taped “to ensure fairness and accuracy”, and speakers must identify themselves and the county they reside in before addressing the Board.

While Clayton residents who do speak out are very opinionated and passionate about various county issues, are personal attacks on anyone, elected official or not, really necessary? Will name calling help to solve any of our problems?

Public comments are still limited to two minutes per speaker at the end of regular business meetings and work sessions, before Executive Session. You must sign up with the Clerk (usually a sheet of paper on a table at the back of the room) prior to the start of meetings. BOC meetings are held on the first, second, and third Tuesday of each month at 112 Smith Street, Jonesboro.

Your thoughts on the BOC’s new public comment policy? Have you ever witnessed personal attacks on any commissioner during the BOC meetings?

This is not an invitation to launch personal attacks on the commissioners, either. Please keep your comments on topic, thanks.

65 comments Add your comment

Roach

March 14th, 2011
10:49 am

Seriouslu, will it pass Constitutional muster? Who decides what is a “personal attack?” If someone comments about someone being in trouble with the law, is that a personal attack? Being in trouble with the law used to be a matter of public information. Will the commissioners who approved this restraint on free speech pay the cost of the lawsuits themselves, or will that be another wasting of scarce tax revenues, like all of the lawsuits arising from the official acts of [deleted]?
The commissioners could have affected public discourse in a positive way by setting a good example and dealing with the public in a respectful fashion. Oops, was that a personal attack?

Brick House in FP

March 14th, 2011
11:45 am

This lame attempt to bring civil rest to an uncivil society in our county, is a reflection and a eye sore on every citizen is Clayton County.
The results of the 2004 elections has changed a lot in how I look upon our elected officials and how they look upon the citizens of our county.These elected officials are the worse that I have ever seen in our county.

I am sick and tired of being look down upon by these county elected officials and their county employees, every time I find it necessary to renew my Firearm License, it seems as though I’m treated like an inmate of the county with no lawful rights whatsoever.
..If any name calling is done, I’m sure that the shoe probably fits the foot.
…Some people probably has no other method to vent their frustrations and nobody twisted anyone’s arm to be elected into office in this county.

….If anyone needs more creative names for these self righteous elected officials, just make sure that the shoe fits and have the proof of what you say is the absolute truth.

Melvin Cox

March 14th, 2011
1:14 pm

If you are doing your job and have nothing to hide, you don’t need to worry about ‘personal attacks’. Howvever, if you are committing crimes, LOOK OUT, you will be reported and the long arm of the LAW will get you.

Josey

March 14th, 2011
2:43 pm

WOW . this policy came just in time. That right, Wole ? That right, Gail? That right, Sonna? That right, Wade? Everyone always calls for transparency in government. You four are about as transparent as they come. Besides “Sticks and stone may break your bones, but names will never hurt you”. But illegal activities and actions will get you in jail. just can’t wait. Bless your heart!

personal responsibility

March 14th, 2011
4:32 pm

Unfortunately, we now live in a non-polite society. However, that doesn’t justify limitation on free speech. This just seems so childish and immature, and reflects poorly on our community. Isn’t it said “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”. If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the proverbial kitchen. Don’t do things that would put yourself in a negative light, or don’t be in the public eye.

Nospin

March 14th, 2011
7:16 pm

The courts will throw this out pronto if someone challenges it.

say what?

March 14th, 2011
9:54 pm

Instead of the policy, how about the commissioners seek arrest warrants for those threatening them? For those who are calling them names, they can always seek a defamation libel. But oops these same “I have a right to call you any name I chose and threaten harm to you and your family because you are an elected official” group would then scream abuse of power. Folk it is really simple, stick with the issues, email, call, and write your elected officials- about issues, policies, and procedures affecting the county’s tax base and economic development. Because I disagree with someone, where is the “right” to embarrass them written in any constitution? If I write to the person’s public email account, have I not made my concerns known without the trauma drama show during public speaking?

GROW UP
GROW UP.

claybar

March 14th, 2011
10:24 pm

This is nothing but cover for Wole, Gail, Sonna and Wade.

Roach

March 15th, 2011
9:08 am

Kimberly, I find it interesting that you asked for no personal attacks on the commissioners, but left it open season for personal attacks on anyone else. How is it that the commissioners are granted special protection here? And does that apply to all the commissioners, or just, say, three of them?
The Golden Rule works really, really well. And when people treat you with respect, you can’t help but return that respect. But when people try to step on you, they shouldn’t be surprised by what happens next.

kallen

March 15th, 2011
9:50 am

I don’t see where in any of the posts above anyone else has been attacked. And no I am not protecting any of the commissioners and any special “protection” or treatment they get does not come from me. Just trying to keep the blog on topic, don’t know why I bother to even try, it never works lol.

Brick House in FP

March 15th, 2011
1:34 pm

…Frankly, I don’t see any sense in trying to communicate with elected officials, that don’t bother to listen.
….Why bother ?

SynamonSays!

March 15th, 2011
1:44 pm

Kim, Please take solace in the fact that you do have some bloggers who get it! It is interesting to see how people think, keep it coming!!!

On another note these people must not have been here or choose to forget when Blacks were literally thrown out of the meetings for making comments about policy and asking questions about plans by the commission. These were not personal attacks. Bell himself is guilty of having Blacks thrown out of BOC Meetings. These are facts not baseless opinions! Oh yeah that was before Wole, Sonna And Gail were elected.

what!!!!!!

March 15th, 2011
1:56 pm

Well, as you see the commission is at it again. Don’t do this stop saying that. It sounds like a daycare.
(he is touching me she is talking to me) . I cannot stand for someone to get into a office position and think they should have elephant skin as a perk. Well if you cannot deal with the pressure of the public then you should not be a leader which is the mother or father of this community. If you want your childrent to act right then you as parents have to set the example. Well we have ghetto parents running our commission. don’t do as i do,do as i say. Wow. Unless you can handle the job which has name calling and threats Get out and stop crying. You put yourself there. Be careful what you ask for.
What do you think the governor and president go through. If this was the case for them everyone in the united states would be arrested. Get a life and understand you cannot control grown people with opionins about the way our money is spent. If i went into their homes and took their money and said i will pay your bills and then spent the money on myself and their bills never got paid don’t you think they would sue or put me in jail for stealing. Well the same is here. we want to know what is goin on though out the scenes not just the begginning and the end. So deal with it or get out of office. and if you don’t want people talking hateful to you or calling you names then you act as adults and handle yourself accordingly. Other wise wait until you hold no position to be a jailbird ect.

Brick House in FP

March 15th, 2011
3:11 pm

SynamonSays!: “Bell himself is guilty of having Blacks thrown out of BOC Meetings”

..Can we not have a intelligent discussion without bringing race into the fray ?

…We will never have a future in this county,as long as we have race instigators attempting to incite racial disharmony among our residents.

Brick House in FP

March 15th, 2011
4:11 pm

..Before anyone attempts to correct my post :

I stand to correct my post “an” intelligent discussion.

Clayton resident

March 15th, 2011
4:13 pm

these people must not have been here or choose to forget when Blacks were literally thrown out of the meetings for making comments about policy and asking questions about plans by the commission. These were not personal attacks. Bell himself is guilty of having Blacks thrown out of BOC Meetings. These are facts not baseless opinions! Oh yeah that was before Wole, Sonna And Gail were elected.

Okay so if it was before the big 3 were elected, WHY are they making new policies based on stuff that happened way before their time? Don’t they have any current problems to solve [HINT: yes, they do] or is that too easy? When was the last time ANYBODY was thrown outta a meeting based on race? Hardly anybody goes to those meetings anyway. More taxpayer dollars and time wasted by these clowns.

BB

March 15th, 2011
5:42 pm

It never ceases to amaze me how self-described ‘grown people’ can act so childlike when they do not get their way. I suspect that many of you bloggers are in this (just itching to change commssioners) so that you can personally profit somehow. IMHO, in most cases you do not even deserve to be acknowledged and addressed in a ‘grown-up’ fashion! Yes, I am one of the bloggers who ‘gets it’ and I urge other mature Clayton residents to share their views in a civil and intelligent manner.

SynamonSays!

March 15th, 2011
7:34 pm

I am not an American who is a “coward” when in comes to the issue of race. I can have an intelligent conversation my stating the truth. Do not attempt to marginalize the conversation with dumb down as a response to facts! Bell is Black himself, so what is your point?

SynamonSays!

March 15th, 2011
7:36 pm

As for racial harmony in America, what planet are you on. The most we can expect or hope for is just plain tolerance in our lifetime.

Roach

March 15th, 2011
8:38 pm

Corruption could be defined as using your own political power for your own benefit. If there were brawls in county commission meetings, or there were people who were unwilling to speak out for fear of verbal or physical assault, then the commissioners might take steps to protect citizens from each other and encourage the expression of minority viewpoints. But the commissioners want to be protected, apparently, from unpleasant statements which are otherwise protected free speech. Thus, enacting this policy was a corrupt act.

StraightNoChaser

March 15th, 2011
8:49 pm

Recommended reading for all !!!

Black Boss: Political Revolution in a Georgia County ……..Google it!!

This book is eerily prophetic as to what is happening here in Clayton county now and the complicit players in helping the madness continue.

@SynamonSays! it is my opinion that you have willingly become one of those players. It’s funny how you are pulling out the race card concerning Angela Jackson when its African Americans who blew the whistle on her. I guess you are going to says its the race card when she gets convicted by her peers (majority black jury)

The house of cards is falling!!!

Honestly

March 15th, 2011
9:29 pm

Anger, Opinion,Anger, Opinion,Anger,Opinion! Sometimes Americans feel as though it’s fashionable to be angry. What are we really angry about? Back on Sep 11th ‘01 we witnessed a horrific attack on our homeland and we came together. The fall of 2008 our nation’s economy was headed off the cliff, and members of both parties took unpopular steps to rescue it. Now anger rules. What is all the anger about? Congress behaves the way it has always behaved. There really isn’t anything new about the way Congress behaves. The media has to focus on something so they pour into our living rooms a parade of individuals rallying here and rallying there; disparate groups screaming “We want our country back!” Whom do they want it back from? These people are upper middle age to seniors. This group is grumpy by nature and fears change more than any other group. They are getting all of the attention right now because it’s a midterm election year, and generally young people, working people and minorities don’t pay much attention to midterm elections so insanity, anger and blind rage are front and center. These are the same people who have time on their hands to listen to talk radio day in and day out. Talk radio has always been wrapped in an anger package. I can’t believe SynamonSays or anyone will listen to and conversate ole grumpy yesteryear people.

Brick House in FP

March 15th, 2011
9:31 pm

BB :”self-described ‘grown people’ can act so childlike” and “you do not even deserve to be acknowledged and addressed in a ‘grown-up’ fashion”.

…I grew up in this county when some children would be punished or completely ignored for speaking unruly to others. It was also a time when we respected our elected officials and they, in turn, respected the citizens of our county and The State Constitution of Georgia.

…There was a time in Clayton County, Georgia, when the Adults in our was treated like Adults and they would not be threaten to be punished or ignored as though, they were children or nothing but tax paying pawns.

Things has changed so much over the years, in our county…….

.

UNJUST

March 15th, 2011
9:39 pm

Civilty in government is only an issue when you have black leadership. The so-called moral minority fell threaten. That the bottom line up front.

What!!!!!!!!

March 15th, 2011
10:01 pm

I think the ones who can see through the BS “gets it”. The fact that someone thinks just because someone expresses their views and it does not come out in the manner that everyone wants it to does not consitute someone wanting to gain something. Most of the citizens i now but don’t speak out want the communities to be flourshing, most are embarressed about the county but feel hopeless and usless. It seemed to never work in the past to ask, beg, scream or cry to get something done much less talk. Now we have to babysit and make sure they are doing their job and not taking money at the same time. Time comsuming so most people just go with the flow and b____h in there own homes to their own friends and they feel better for the moment. So then another day goes by and nothing gets done AGAIN!!!!!! Nothing gained here!!!!!!

Jimbo Bailwell

March 16th, 2011
3:24 am

Can’t we all just get along? Why does Clayton County have to be the butt of all jokes? If Wade Starr is having influence, then so be it. If Alex Cohilas is mad, then so be it. I personally think that Chief Jeff Turner was done wrong. If Wade had anything to do with this, then bad karma may take place. I think that we Clayton Countians should forgive, not hold grudges. and love each other. And lay off Synamon because she is now in a position that she has to racially agitate. This is her job as Pres. of the NAACP, right? Perhaps I am wrong. Eldrn likes cutting those ribbons, and he is good at it. Let him do it. He can sing a powerful song on Sunday morning too. He has come a long way from Atlanta’s Fourth Ward.

All those who are attacking each other on this blog could meet at Butch’s Chicken House or at Lovell’s or Loraine’s or whatever that good restaurant is called on Tara in front of K-Mart and have a fellowhip meal. There’s nothing like eating together, breaking bread, consuming some good, greasy ribs together. I love Clayton County! Please…please…let’s just all get along…Synamon, Eldrin, Lee, Michael, Glenn, and Mr. Ware. Let’s just eat together! We need to help our children. We need to help our superintendent, Edmond Heatley. The school system is financially broke. Let’s pray that Pam Adamson can anoint her healing oil on the broken school system. She knows Mr. Mark Elgart personally.

Tara under the Stars…Events like this are the key to our togetherness. Jim Wood’s Tomato Sandwich Rallies…yes, these can bring us together. Let’s celebrate our heritage…Tara and Gone With the Wind…Perhaps we can change some highways like Old Dixie to New Ebony, and we can indeed hold hands and sing Kum Ba Ya…

I do indeed love Clayton County. Kimberly, bless your heart. You try to be an even-handed moderator. But, it is difficult sometimes because Clayton County sometimes operates like the Wild, Wild West. We need more people like Richard Reagan, Oscar Blalock, Wesley Greene, Charley Griswell, Jewell Scott, Jimmy Benefield, Eugene Lawson, Gene Hatfield, Newt Gingrich, Mike Barnes, Valencia Seay, Wade Brannan, Johnny White, Frank Bailey, Virginia Gray, Synamon Baldwin, Jeff Turner, Alieka Anderson, Tim Jones, Perry Walker, Wade Starr, Lee Sexton, and Clay Davis. These are outstanding Americans! They uphold the values that we hold true and dear. They care about their community and are good people.

Tara Under the Stars…ah, my eyes are misty. Play the Pipe Organ loud at Clayton State!

Victory1

March 16th, 2011
3:37 am

This will not even make Comstitutional muster, as it violates the First Amendment clearly and also in this new Policy they also ask in what County you live in. This is totally un-called for as if these so called Elected Clayton County Commissioners can not take on what a little poor citizens says about them in a open meeting then they all need to resign from their seats.

I can wait until someone will violate this so called policy and if the cops lays their greedy paws on the person then that is simple assault, because the cop can only ask the person to leave the meeting is all, so if anyone gets arrested I am sure this will go all the way up to the US Supreme Court.

I hope the citizens of this Clayton County will start doing a total recall on all the Commissioners that was for this policy period.

And by the News today by Channel 2 it appears the 3 that was infavor for this policy might an could be going to the Federal Pen on Charges from what I see on the news by the Clayton County DA talking about the grand jury on the cell phone records.

Nospin

March 16th, 2011
8:14 am

How did race get brought into this issue?

Nospin

March 16th, 2011
8:44 am

This is off topic but very important news on Commissioners Hambrick, Ralph and Singleton.
http://www.wsbtv.com/news/27210947/detail.html

Nospin

March 16th, 2011
8:45 am

JustTheFacts

March 16th, 2011
9:21 am

@ Nospin, I was just going to post that link. Over the past 3 weeks the Sherriff, finance director and 3 commissioiners have all been placed under investigation by the District Attorney and the Federal government. When are the citizens going to wake up? I strongly suggest that we be mindful of the fact that 2012 elections are coming up and if this pattern continues, It should happen sooner. http://www.wsbtv.com/news/27211626/detail.html

Roach

March 16th, 2011
9:34 am

Now that *definitely* sounds like a personal attack! Accusing the commissioners of committing felonies? Doesn’t get much more personal than that.

StraightNoChaser

March 16th, 2011
10:29 am

@Roach how is it a “PERSONAL” attack? The 3 Muskatells passed 2 resolutions that were not done in the open to impede a Grand Jury Investigation. They did it and now are gonna have the hammer come down on them.

How many want to make a wager that either Hambrick or Singelton will be the 1st to squeal and cop a deal?

Dean's Good & Delicious Barbeque

March 16th, 2011
11:10 am

Isn’t it rather amateurish what the Commission did? Passing these clumsy ordinances AFTER THE FACT? It just doesn’t pass the smell test. Boy, do I miss smelling that good BBQ smell wafting down South Highway 3 and shopping as a little boy at BAMA’s on Main Street!

Captain Midnight

March 16th, 2011
11:25 am

The look on their faces was priceless. “who let da white girl in?”
“Where Jewell?”

Brick House in FP

March 16th, 2011
12:34 pm

SynamonSays!:”As for racial harmony in America, what planet are you on.”

…I’m from Clayton County, Ga.; What part of our universe do you reside ?

…We Americans elected our first Black President in 2008; Do you know that The President is the highest elected post in our Nation ?

…Our Elected Officials in Clayton County needs to have a wake call, by being reminded as to how they achieved their current status as our Elected Officials. The Elections of 2012 is not far off.

Wade and Lee

March 16th, 2011
1:06 pm

I didn’t think anyone could out-Lee Scott Lee Scott. But, I must say…it looks like Wade Starr is out-Lee Scotting Lee Scott. The Magnificent Seven…now the Willin’ & Thrillin’ Three? No wonder they call him “The Godfather.” Wade & Wole’s Woeful Ways…There’s “Nospin” on this, right, Captain?

Roach

March 16th, 2011
1:08 pm

So, given the resolutions about commission meeting etiquette (on topic!), there should be an audio recording of all this, yes? Hope it hasn’t been destroyed to save [ahem] space, per these other commission resolutions.

Maddog

March 16th, 2011
3:26 pm

1. It is well known (within the CCPD) that a citizen of the county and employee of the county was sent home on Administrative Leave and investigated by internal affairs for e-mailing the BOC. A clear First Amendment violation. They don’t care about the constitution.
2. The BOC is sure doing a whole lot to cover Angela Jackson, which leads me to believe there is something in those phone records they don’t want exposed.
3. Why don’t we ask each of them if they actually live in the county, I have my doubts about one.

Captain Midnight

March 16th, 2011
4:41 pm

“No really, who da hell let da white girl in?” Jewell, you betta git back hea gurl’. “Hey mon, I aint got to be tryin’ no cases mon. I be delegatin dat mon’.

Brick House in FP

March 16th, 2011
4:49 pm

..Unlike many States in Our Nation, Our State Constitution of Georgia supports most of our Rights, which also supports our U.S. Constitution.

CONSTITUTION OF GEORGIA
(as amended through the November 1998 general election)
ARTICLE I.

BILL OF RIGHTS

SECTION I.

RIGHTS OF PERSONS

Paragraph V. “Freedom of speech and of the press guaranteed. No law shall be passed to curtail or restrain the freedom of speech or of the press. Every person may speak, write, and publish sentiments on all subjects but shall be responsible for the abuse of that liberty.”

Paragraph IX. “Right to assemble and petition. The people have the right to assemble peaceably for their common good and to apply by petition or remonstrance to those vested with the powers of government for redress of grievances.”

….Have a good day and enjoy Speaking About Your Grievances to these Elected Officials.

Josey

March 16th, 2011
5:56 pm

Jimbo Bailwell – dude , you really need to lay off whatever you are smoking, drinking or shooting up. What a distorted view of reality !!

Melvin Cox

March 16th, 2011
6:45 pm

Maddog, I have herad whisperings that over half the CCPD force (*a ‘la Hill) has either beeen transferred, demoted, quit/retired, fired or demoted.

Somebody needs to investigate the CCPD most definately!!!!

Brick House in FP

March 16th, 2011
7:42 pm

..I have always came up empty handed when naming our current elected officials, that serves the best interest of people in Clayton County; However, Our District Attorney for our county is an exception to this and I’m happy to say that she stands out from all of the rest.

YAYA

March 16th, 2011
8:58 pm

IT looks like the three stooges and the puppet master are willing to do anything to keep some of those records from coming to light. Are these idiots so stupid and cheap as to not have their own cellphones with which they can make their questionable calls ? Ever hear of sunshine laws? Transparency in government – all talk till you are the ones in power – then its “transparency, what is that” – look ! Squirrel ! Someone outside of Clayton needs to take a look at this – GBI comes to mind.

Karma is hell – you 4 have built up a good bit of the bad kind. Good luck in your next jobs. Adios.

SynamonSays!

March 17th, 2011
10:23 am

Why do elected officials keep going before the Board of Commissioners and bringing embarrassment to Clayton County? They really need to take a course in civic literacy. There are processes and procedures for addressing any issue. Public comment is not where you handle your business.

This insatiable desire to conduct our county business in a public arena through public comment, local media and the courts is not the way to go. There is clearly something wrong with this picture.

say what?

March 17th, 2011
11:08 am

@Synamon Says!”Why do elected officials keep going before the Board of Commissioners and bringing embarrassment to Clayton County? They really need to take a course in civic literacy. There are processes and procedures for addressing any issue. Public comment is not where you handle your business.”

She probably tried and the three amigos refused her communications. What is embarrassing is that there is cover up and fear of some type of boogey man reprisal over some phone records. Best thing for her (Angela) to do is say, “yes we destroyed records, as I thought it was acceptable. Show me the policy, and we (my office and I) will be retrained.” Nuff said, no need for resolutions from the BOC. Tracy Lawton has just as much right to bring issues to the BOC as you and I, she does reside in the county. You may not like it, but that is law.

As far as restrictions on who can speak, DCSS just implemented a speakers policy that is done online (what about people who do not have internet access), you must be a resident of DeKalb (so no employee who lives outside of DeKalb can register online. The trend is that there are many ways to contact your elected officials, not just in a public meeting. We have email, phone calls, blogs, snail mail, and if you are friendly with your commissioner, you can stop by their home- PUBLIC SPEAKING is not THE only option. There is always a loop hole around whatever law/policy is enacted.

StraightNoChaser

March 17th, 2011
12:20 pm

@SynamonSays!

Yes there is something clearly wrong with this picture!! It’s called corruption. I’m glad the DA threw the 3 stooges under the bus. It’s been a long time coming but Karma is on its boomerang path.

You said “This insatiable desire to conduct our county business in a public arena through public comment, local media and the courts is not the way to go. There is clearly something wrong with this picture.”

Where were you with your pontification about bringing embarrassment to Clayton County when in the PUBLIC the witch hunt of Jeff Turner was going on? (Still NO Evidence to prove the allegations and no follow up report).

Where were you with your pontification about bringing embarrassment to Clayton County when the 3 Stooges went after the Tax Commissioner in the PUBLIC, had him arrested and took his vehicles (only to be returned later).

Hey its poly (meaning many) tics (meaning blood suckers) and you are beholden to those you have put you in board positions in the county. Play the game but remember there is always a looser and you can see the tide turning in the way of citizens who really LOVE this county and want to see it turn around.

SynamonSays!

March 17th, 2011
12:46 pm

Say What? Clearly you missed the point and used the opportunity to confuse the issue here. Do not muddy the waters with talk of rights, emails and telephone records! Stay focused please.

First of all for the record our DA is not the only one to use this less than professional method of communicating. Other elected officials have done the same in the past few months. The Chairman seems to be good at making sure all of our county disputes and differences get to channel 2, ajc and news daily, he is quoted and filmed constantly complaining. The problem is it always turns out to be fodder for the media. All things negative are broadcast across the nation about Clayton County.

Brick House in FP

March 17th, 2011
2:16 pm

SynamonSays!”All things negative are broadcast across the nation about Clayton County”

Our current D.A. in this county is one of the positive sides, that the press is reporting on; It shows that there is still an elected official in Clayton County that represents The U.S.Contition