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Rockdale WSA motion to censure and remove Haynes tabled

CONYERS --The Rockdale Water & Sewerage Authority considered a motion on Thursday to censure and remove board member Garvin Haynes.

Authority member William Murrain made the motion, saying, "Mr. Haynes has willfully set out to disrupt the work of Rockdale Water Resources and of the WSA. Consequently, I move that this body consider and pass a motion of Censure against Mr. Haynes ... and that the WSA further resolve and petition the Board of Commissioners to immediately rescind its appointment of Mr. Garvin Haynes as a member of the Rockdale Water & Sewerage Authority."

Murrain said Haynes "has embarked on a course of action which has brought the reputation, credibility and comity of this able body into public disrepute."

Murrain delineated a number of complaints against Haynes, including Haynes' "openly and grossly" treatment of RWR staff and him misrepresenting himself to vendors and others as acting on behalf of the Authority when those actions were not requested or given by the Authority.

Murrain said that Haynes has also "embarked on numerous quests for information to substantiate his allegations of misdeeds and wrongdoing by the RWR staff."

"If that be the case," Murrain said, "he should take his concerns and findings to the District Attorney and not continue to distract and unnecessarily burden this body whose charge is oversight of the Rockdale Water & Sewer system."

Haynes responded that the relationship among the WSA members was fine until December when the Authority started looking at the 2012 RWR budget and questions surfaced about the purchase of water meters in 2010 by RWR Director Dwight Wicks.

Haynes pointed out that the Authority has taken action as a result of information he has gathered through Open Records Requests.

Earlier this year, the Water Authority voted to recommend to the BOC that Wicks' contract not be renewed at the end of the year. While the Board voted 2-1 not to renew Wicks' contract, the Authority came back in July and softened its recommendation. During that meeting, the Authority agreed in a 4-1 vote -- with Haynes in opposition -- to remove the recommendation that the contract not be renewed but retain its recommendation that the director's contract be advertised at the end of the year.

Chairwoman Elaine Nash moved to table Murrain's motion so that Haynes would have the opportunity to present his defense in writing.

Authority member Darrell Thomas called the whole affair "sickening" and strongly opposed delaying any action.

"Everybody knows what is going on through this whole process," he said. "Enough is enough. ... I have sat here and watched you (Haynes) run roughshod over the staff ... and assault the credibility of a good man, a good man."

Earlier in the meeting, Authority members discussed changes to its bylaws that delineate the circumstances by which a member could be removed. David Strickland, who serves as attorney for the Authority, said he would work to craft language that mirrors the county's personnel and ethics policies.

The Authority voted 3-2 to table the motion until the next meeting in September, with Murrain and Thomas opposed. Authority members Tom Fox and Chip Hatcher were absent from the meeting.

Later in the meeting, Murrain asked the Authority to consider implementing a protocol that members are to submit information they wish to have taken up during meetings to the Authority chairman.

He said he wanted to eliminate "fishing expeditions" that are taking up the time of RWR staff.

Member Phyllis Turner said she supported implementing some more formal order to the Authority, but was concerned about imposing any policies that would prevent members from obtaining information from county staff.

Strickland suggested the Authority hold work sessions prior to public meetings where this information could be presented and discussed before action would be required.