Local News

4/6/2012

Utility pushes board appointment option

By MEGHAN PITTMAN

The Brunswick News

The Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission is taking a stand on House Bill 1271, which will ask voters how, or even if, they want to change the composition of the now five-member board.

During a regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, the utility board agreed unanimously to publicly support Option No. 2 of the law, which would allow a grand jury to appoint the five citizen members.

Option No. 1 would allow the grand jury to appoint three. Residents would decide the other two at the ballot box.

The bill expands membership from five to seven members, with a city commissioner and county commissioner taking the other two posts.

The bill was passed by the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate last month during their legislative session.

Tony Sammons, a member of the utility board, recommended the board support the second option.

"There are many qualified people that would volunteer their services, but they won't go through the hassle of having to run a campaign," Sammons said.

Glynn County Commissioner Bob Coleman, also a member of the utility board, said electing members to the board is unnecessary.

"I don't see people stepping forward to have to be elected for this," he said. "We're just like any other board with appointed members."

In other business, the utility board:

* Said it will ask local marketing and public relations firms to make presentations to the board as a step toward hiring its own public information officer.

* Estimated it saved $1.5 million by dropping United Water Services.

* Was told by utility director Keith Morgan the odor control apparatus is up and running at the Academy Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility on U.S. 341 just north of downtown Brunswick.

Ballot measure

The referendum July 31 to overhaul the Brunswick and Glynn County Joint Water-Sewer Commission will be a two-part vote:

Question 1 will ask the voters to approve the changes to the commission.

Question 2 will ask voters to chose between two options on how member will be chosen for a reconstituted commission. Option 1 will allow a Glynn County grand jury to appoint three of the citizen representatives and for voters to elect the other two citizen representatives. Option 2 will allow the grand jury to appoint all five citizen representatives.