I attended the February 2, 2023 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.
Commissioners Skelton and Gohagan were present. The meeting was held in the conference room of the Commission Building. There were about a dozen people there besides the Camden County employees who normally attend.
The first agenda item was ULUC – Stacy Shore.
Commissioner Ike Skelton announced that the Commission would be forming a new committee to re-write the Camden County Master Plan and Unified Land Use Code (ULUC). Stacy Shore volunteered to head this board. The plan is to not hire some outside group to write the ULUC and Master Plan. Instead, the Commission will appoint a board that consists of local people from all walks of life and will solicit input from the public as their work progresses. This should save the county money and produce a final product that is more suitable to Camden County’s needs.
Here’s the old Master Plan. Enjoy following those conceptual red trails that would require you to walk across water to follow them:
Stacy Shore said that she did not feel that the current ULUC was approved with enough visibility and involvement with the public. She wants to head a committee that is transparent and listens to the residential, commercial and development needs of the community.
Commissioner Gohagan mentioned that the Commission had attempted to use a similar committee for the ULUC before its efforts were halted by COVID.
The Commission appointed Stacy Shore as the head of this ULUC Board unanimously.
The second agenda item was Shady Gators contract.
This is an agreement between Shady Gators and Camden County that provides uniformed deputies to deter crime in the area outside and around Shady Gators. Shady Gators would pay Camden County $65/hour for each deputy.
Commissioner Skelton stated that this contract has been amended to make it clear that the deputies would only be inside the establishment to perform requested assistance or in response to an emergency. He plans for the Commission to have more meetings to review and discuss the contract.
Commissioner Gohagan had a few issues with the contract. He didn’t like the liability exposure the county assumed by having deputies working there. He also has received calls from other business owners asking why uniformed deputies could work security details at Shady Gators but not at their businesses.
Members of the public brought up concerns about having uniformed deputies working on private property and being paid by private companies.
Commissioner Skelton also pointed out that these contracts pay for extra deputies who could respond to other emergencies nearby as needed.
This item was tabled unanimously by the Commission.
The third agenda item was the Juvenile Justice Center Bids.
Two bids were opened last meeting from All-Comm Digital ($8,003) and Johnson Controls ($29,476). The All-Comm Digital was obviously much lower. (This is why we want multiple bids, folks.) The local fire departments have used All-Comm Digital and they are a local company with a great reputation for customer service. The representative from the Juvenile Justice Center recommended the Commission accept the All-Comm Digital bid.
The Commission voted unanimously to accept the All-Comm Digital bid to replace the fire panel at the Juvenile Justice Center.
The fourth agenda item was Jordan Webb – P&Z Board appointment-Warren Township.
Jordan Webb’s appointment to the Planning and Zoning Commission was approved unanimously by the Commission.
The fifth agenda item was John Helms – Courthouse Landscaping.
John Helms contributes free labor to maintain the landscaping around the courthouse. While he does use those donated hours as a tax write-off, it’s still a great benefit to the county.
The Commission voted unanimously to sign off on the 143 hours of landscaping labor he gave to Camden County.
The sixth agenda item was CGI – video presentation of Camden County.
Commissioner Skelton said that this company has proposed to make a promotional video for Camden County at no cost to the county. The company would seek out local businesses to sponsor the cost of making the video. The sponsoring businesses would then be added to the opening of the county’s video with video links to their businesses.
One of the citizens attending the meeting asked if the Commission had approached Camdenton High School’s video production program to see if they might be interested in producing a promotional video for Camden County?
Commissioner Skelton seemed to think that would be a good idea too and he seemed receptive to using the high school to produce the video.
The Commission then went into closed session for legal matters.
And that was that.