Ayers Says County Retreat Went Well

Stephens County Commissioners start planning for the year ahead.

The county commission and staff gathered for a retreat Friday to talk a number of different items.

County Administrator Phyllis Ayers said it was a busy day as the commissioners talked about 17 different topics.

Ayers said the retreat gives the commissioners an opportunity to let staff know what their thoughts are.

“No formal votes were taken, but we hear individually how each commissioner feels about each subject matter and that lets staff know which direction to go on that subject matter,” said Ayers.

One of the major topics of discussion was land use.

Ayers said the commission took a look at the proposed land use ordinance that is on the table.

“The commissioners tweaked a few words and a few paragraphs at the retreat,” said Ayers, who called the changes “nothing significant.”

The Land Use Regulations Committee is expected to take one final look at that land use ordinance on Tuesday, with the ordinance going to the public for review in February and to the commission for a vote in March.

Meanwhile, county commissioners also discussed the upcoming fiscal year budget at the retreat.

Ayers said that it will be a difficult budget to put together and says commissioners have both budget cuts and a mill rate increase on the table.

“While the commission realizes that the millage rate does need to be increased, they are also requesting a 6 percent cost reduction from last year’s proposed budget as we stand today,” said Ayers.  “That is going to be very difficult for the government to do.”

Overall, Ayers said that the retreat went very well.

“Overall, it was a very good day,” said Ayers.  “They gave outstanding input and helped me as an administrator move in a direction.”

Ayers said a number of the issues will come back before the commission during the course of the year.