County Manager Alan Ours is out, effective immediately.
The Glynn County Commission voted Thursday night to amend his employment contract, paying him his salary through Aug. 27, the effective date of his resignation letter, but relieving him on his duties, a press release from the county stated.
Assistant County Manager Kathryn Downs was tapped to serve in the role while Mercer Group Associates conducts a candidate search for Ours’ replacement. The commission also voted Thursday to sign a contract with Mercer.
A timeline provided by the county puts the final selection of a new county manager in July or later.
“We appreciate all the work and dedication Alan has given to Glynn County over the past decade as a local government professional,” said Glynn County Commission Chairman Wayne Neal in a statement. “He is leaving behind a professional and capable staff who will continue to serve the citizens of Glynn County and provide support to the new county manager.”
In other business, Glynn County commissioners deferred a proposal to legalize alcohol delivery in unincorporated areas of the county.
Commissioner Cap Fendig said the request came from his district, in particular from several restaurants struggling to turn a profit due to the reduced seating capacity mandated by Gov. Brian Kemp during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“Further investigation and study showed this would be very hard to enforce and open the door to abuse and practices we would not want to see in this county,” Fendig said.
He felt the county should defer the issue until its first meeting in May to see if the governor lifts seating restrictions.
“I think we’re pretty close to that,” possibly within a month, he said. “Hopefully conditions will improve and we won’t have to entertain this.”
Commissioners voted 6-1 to defer the proposal.
Commissioner Allen Booker was the sole opposing vote, preferring instead to completely deny the option to deliver alcohol.
Allowing the service would practically guarantee abuse, Booker said, and can’t mean anything good for the youth in the community.
Also, a request to amend a road design contract with EMC Engineering so the company could produce new plans excluding a raised median in the blueprints for a four-lane expansion of Canal Road was deferred when commissioners balked at the $48,000 price tag attached to the proposal.
County engineer Paul Andrews said some residents along the road objected to a raised median. It would cost $48,000 to redo the plans, he explained, because the engineering work was almost completed under the raised median design.
It’s like a series of falling dominoes, Andrews said. Many downstream aspects would also need to be amended.
The commission voted to defer the request to ask EMC to reconsider the charge.
Commissioners also voted to award Glynn County Police Department Officer Colin Scogin the Officer of the Year and to give the Civilian of the Year award to GCPD programs analyst Cristee Kinstle.
Kinstle frequently goes beyond her official duties and is always willing to help, he said. The department considers her family and part of the command staff.
The award was a new one Evans created to make sure she got the credit she deserved.
Evans said he and Scogin go back quite a ways. Scogin worked for Brunswick Police Department at the same time Evans was working for the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office. They both made the move to GCPD at around the same time.
“He’s really stepped out of the box and helped the agency in this time of crisis what with all law enforcement agencies having a hard time recruiting,” Evans said.
Commissioners also voted to request proposals from developers for a new landscaped planter in the center of a roundabout at the intersection of East Beach Causeway and Ocean Boulevard on St. Simons Island.
Public Works Director Dave Austin said the planter could be made to work, but the center is bare to allow larger trucks to make left turns. Without being able to traverse the center, they likely won’t be able to make such turns.
Educating drivers as to the new obstruction will likely take some time and the county will probably have to repair the roundabout at some point, he said.
Commissioner Booker questioned the wisdom of the planter if it was pretty much guaranteed to get hit at some point.
“That just seems like a waste of money. I know the residents may want something pretty there, but it is what it is,” Booker said.
Fendig said he’d watched traffic at the roundabout many times and that large trucks successfully got through it. He had also been around it in trolleys owned by his company, Lighthouse Tours. The problem is what he called “lowboys,” long and low flat-bed trailers used to carry heavy equipment and materials.
Trucks could make right turns without worrying about the planter, said Commissioner David O’Quinn, and they could also go straight with little issue. The problem is taking a left turn.
Large pickups could also get around it if they’re careful with left turns, Fendig added.
Mark Mobley, who’s with EMC Engineering, designed a simple concept of the planter. He did not dispute their points but said not everyone is going to pay attention or be careful when driving through the roundabout.
“You’ll have to sign it, patrol it and work at it ... every now and then you’re going to have to repair it,” he said.
Commissioners voted 4-3 to request a quote from EMC for construction of the planter. Commissioners Bill Brunson, Booker and Sammy Tostensen voted against the motion.
Commissioners also voted to:
• Sign a new lease for the parking lot near the Village Creek boat ramp on St. Simons Island and pay Village Creek Landing LLC back-payments on 2019 and 2020.
• Approve a resolution in support of Portum System LLC, a company headquartered locally developing an app to help businesses and individuals track their exposure to COVID-19 via the collection of anonymous data from app users.
• Grant an alcohol license to Residence Inn at 116 Gateway Blvd.
• Grant an alcohol license to Dollar General at 461 Palisade Drive.
At the end of the meeting, the commission entered a closed session to discuss property acquisition, pending and potential litigation and personnel matters.