"Working Together to Make a Positive Difference in the Community"
 Quarterly Newsletter, Fall Edition
A Publication from the Office of the County Administrator
In This Issue
Probate Court's Associate Judge
Community Wide Needs Assessment
Public Surplus Items
Camden County is now a Certified Literate Community
EOC Ribbon Cutting Ceremony & Open House Held
Neighborhood Stabilization Program Applications Still Available
TIGER Grant for Road Improvements
"Showcase Camden County" Photo Contest
Quick Links
"Hay Days"
Camden County Government is excited to be participating in this years Hay Days during October 10-31, 2009 in downtown St. Marys. Be on the look out next time you are strolling down Osborne Street for Camden County's department-themed scarecrows to help celebrate the Fall season.
"Great Customer Service is the Cornerstone of Every Successful Organization!"
Your Opinion Counts
 Please click on the link below to complete Camden County's customer service survey.

Free Prescription Discount Cards Available to Camden County Residents

Free Prescription Discount Card

Click on the image above to view more information about this service.
Calling All Local Artists 
"Calling All Local Artists" is an effort to encourage local artists, here in Camden County, to submit their artwork to be displayed in the Government Services Complex located in Woodbine, Georgia.
Artists are welcome to display a price on the artwork or a display simply for recognition of their work. All artwork can be displayed for a period of one (1) full year. For more information and to submit an artwork entry form, please click on the link below or visit Camden County's website under News & Announcements, and click on the "Calling All Local Artists" additional information link.
Report A Concern 
Report A Concern
The Camden County Fix It Form will help us identify a problem in your area -- and fix it fast. Should a problem require urgent attention, please call us immediately. For a police emergency, dial 911. Otherwise, call (912) 576-5601.  
The Fix It Form can be found on Camden County's website, by clicking on the "Report A Concern" tab on the left side of the homepage.
Daylight Saving Time Ends on November 1
Fall Back
Don't forget to turn back those clocks one hour on November 1 when Daylight Saving Time ends. To make it easier to remember which way the clock goes, keep in mind one of these sayings: "spring forward, fall back" or "spring ahead, fall behind."
As a safety reminder, many fire departments encourage people to change the batteries in their smoke detectors when they change their clocks.
This time also provides a convenient reminder to reset your irrigation time to water no more than one day a week.
Important Dates to Remember
St. Marys 37th Annual Rock Shrimp Festival
October 3, 2009
Commissioners' Meeting
October 6, 2009, 6 PM
Woodbine Super Saturday
October 10, 2009
8 AM - 12 PM
County Business Offices are CLOSED
October 12, 2009 
Taste of Camden
at PSA/Leisure Services
October 15, 2009
Commissioners' Meeting
October 20, 2009, 6 PM
Commissioners' Meeting
November 3, 2009, 6 PM
County Business Offices are CLOSED
November 11, 2009
Commissioners' Meeting
November 17, 2009, 6 PM
County Business Offices are CLOSED
November 26-27, 2009
Commissioners' Meeting
December 1, 2009, 6 PM
Commissioners' Meeting
December 15, 2009, 6 PM
County Business Offices are CLOSED
December 23-25, 2009

"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success."

~ Henry Ford
Camden County's
Frequently Called Numbers
911 Non-Emergency
(912) 729-1442
Animal Control
(912) 576-7395
Board of County Commissioners
(912) 576-5601
Clerk of Superior Court
(912) 576-5631
Construction & Demolition (C&D) Landfill Site
(912) 576-9374
Curbside Collection
(912) 510-6881
Dept. of Family & Children Services
(912) 729-4583
District Attorney
(912) 576-3704
Emergency Management Agency (EMA)
(912) 729-5602
Environmental Health
(912) 729-6012
Extension Agency (4-H)
(912) 576-3219
Fire Rescue/EMS Non-Emergency
(912) 729-3911
(912) 576-5387
GA Dept. of Driver Services (DMV)
(912) 729-1362
Health Department
(912) 729-4554
Health Department
St. Marys
(912) 882-8515
Health Department
(912) 576-3040
Juvenile Court
(912) 576-3226
Magistrate Court
(912) 576-5658
Mosquito Control
(912) 729-4823
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfill
(912) 729-4099
Planning & Development
(912) 729-5603
Probate Court
(912) 576-3785
Public Defender
(912) 673-9488
Public Service Authority (PSA)
(912) 729-5600
Public Works
(912) 576-3028
(912) 576-3245
Sheriff's Office
(912) 510-5100
Tax Assessor
(912) 576-3241
Tax Commissioner
(912) 576-3248
Board of County Commissioners
Commissioner Chip Keene 
District 1
Katherine Nisi Zell, District 2
Vice Chair, District 2
Steve Berry, District 3
District 3
Charlene Sears, District 4
District 4
David Rainer, District 5
David Rainer
Chair, District 5
 Steve L. Howard, County AdministratorOne of my highest priorities is to continue guiding Camden County Government in becoming a High Performance Organization. I believe that the cornerstone of every successful organization is exceptional customer service. "Customer service is not something to you talk about - its something you demonstrate."
To demonstrate our commitment, Camden County Government will participate in National Customer Service Week for the second year in a row during October 5-9, 2009. National Customer Service Week is set aside to recognize the importance of service excellence and to honor those who demonstrate outstanding customer service and who consistently perform their duties with the highest level of professionalism. The employees of the Board of County Commissioners are dedicated to demonstrating our commitment to service. We understand the vital role customer service plays in providing a positive image for our organization.
We recognize there are two types of customers, both internal and external. To show our appreciation and dedication to our external customers, all Board of County Commissioners' employees are required to undergo customer service training during National Customer Service Week. All Constitutional and independent Board run offices are invited to attend this training as well.
I am also pleased to announce that Camden County Fire Rescue, partnering with our HOPE Charity Committee, participated in the Muscular Dystrophy Association's (MDA) "Fill the Boot" campaign again this year in the fight against neuromuscular diseases. Together they raised over $7,000 for MDA and "Jerry's Kids". All funds raised will assist MDA in providing medical services at local clinics, summer camps, research grants, support groups, and public education seminars at no cost to local children and families.
As the current economic environment continues to be extremely challenging, Camden County will continue to seek ways to reduce costs to handle all challenges and opportunities that come our way. Through proper planning, creativity and sensible decision-making, I am optimistic that Camden County remains on the right course as we continue to reach new milestones.
I hope you enjoy and find knowledge throughout the Fall Edition of the Community Outreach newsletter. On behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, we look forward to working in partnership with you as we continue to move Camden County forward.
Steve L. Howard, CPM, CPPO
County Administrator
An Update from the Board of Assessors

The Camden County Board of Tax Assessors is presently working to finalize the 2009 Ad Valorem Tax Digest. The Digest represents the sum total of all property values for taxation.

If you are one of the property owners who had filed an appeal before September 8, 2009, one of three things will happen in the upcoming months: 
A)  Call from the Assessors to discuss your appeal: Everyone who requested an informal hearing will be contacted. If you did not request an informal hearing, you may not be contacted.
B) "Change of Assessment Notice" in the mail: If you are satisfied with the value shown on the notice then you do not need to take any action. That new value will become your taxable value on the 22nd day after the notice is sent. If you do not agree with the value stated, you have the right to appeal that notice within 21 days of when it was mailed. That will generate an appointment with the Board of Equalization for resolution.
C)  Letter from the Board of Equalization informing you of a hearing: If you receive an appointment for the Board of Equalization you will be given specific instructions in that letter. You will have the opportunity to discuss the merits of your case directly with the Board of Equalization and they will make a determination that they feel is fair. Should you be dissatisfied with that ruling, you have the right to appeal to Superior Court within 30 days of that ruling.
If you still have an active appeal when tax bills are sent out, you will be billed at 85% of your taxable value. If you have any questions about your tax bill, please contact the Tax Commissioner's office at (912) 576-3249.
For more information on the property tax assessment process and rights granted by the State, please see the Taxpayer Bill of Rights at:
JDA: Former Paper Mill Site to be Redeveloped
David KeatingThe Camden County Joint Development Authority ("JDA") is pleased to announce a Public-Private Partnership with the Trustee of the Bankruptcy Estate of the Durango Georgia Paper Company ("Estate") to redevelop the former paper mill site. The 750-acre project is located at the gateway to historic St. Marys and is a trophy parcel within Camden County offering deep water access, panoramic marsh views, extensive highway frontage, and rail service. The St. Marys Downtown Development Authority ("DDA") is scheduled to consider joining the Agreement at its next Board of Directors meeting on October 5, 2009.
"After months of hard work and negotiations I am pleased to announce we have established a partnership with the Trustee of the Durango Estate to stimulate new life and opportunity at the former mill site," reports David Keating, Executive Director of the JDA. "The property has such an important role in the history of our community and was an economic cornerstone for decades. We hope our efforts will allow this landmark property to become an economic cornerstone once again." 
Redevelopment of the former mill site will not only enhance the value of public and private property, but also increase employment opportunities, expand the tax base, and provide lifestyle benefits to local citizens. The goal is to convert a non-productive brownfield site into a vibrant waterfront revitalization project that could provide benefits such as restaurant and entertainment establishments, a resort hotel with convention and meeting facilities, retail and residential uses, and light manufacturing facilities. The public partners are not committing any funds to the project at this time, but have established a platform to serve as a conduit of incentives and capital in the future depending on proposed uses of the property, amount of private investment involved, public benefits to be derived, and related factors.
According to David Keating, "The first step of the public partners will be to seek funding from the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") and other sources to serve as seed capital for grants and loans to eliminate blight and perform any needed environmental remediation. We will be working side-by-side with the Trustee to recruit and attract new private investment, advance the redevelopment plan, and produce valuable benefits for our citizens. In these very difficult economic times, it is critical that we all work together and jointly invest resources to help our community."
New Board of Registrars
The Camden County Board of Registrars has a new look and a new location. The Board of Registrars has moved to 600 East Street in Woodbine to the Historic Court House. As you enter the front foyer, the offices are located on the left side.
Not only does the Board of Registrars have three offices, but also a vault for storage of records and supplies, as well as an Absentee/Advance precinct which doubles as a training facility. In addition, there is a secure vault/storage room for early voting.
The new Board, Mary Ann Kicklighter, Chief Registrar, Robert Cummings, Anne Orr, Mike Reinas, and Linda Victory took office July 1, 2009. The Board has implemented new policies for its Deputy Registrars, Kay Screws and Darlene Flowers.
The Board's monthly meeting is held the first Thursday of each month at 9:00 AM All meetings are held in the Absentee/Training precinct, located at 600 East Street in the Historic Court House in Woodbine.
Currently, the Board is in the process of helping Judge Gillette and Associate Judge Wise
conduct Poll Worker training for the Municipal Elections, which is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3. Linda Kaye Parker is the trainer on the Touch Screen units as well as on the Express Poll.
October 5th at 5:00 PM is the deadline to register to vote, if you are not a registered voter, for the Municipal Elections. However, you may continue to come in and register to vote for other elections.
Absentee Voting begins on Tuesday, October 13th from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM through Friday, October 30th at the Board of Registrars office in Woodbine.
On Tuesday, November 3, 2009, the following precincts will be open from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM for the Municipal Elections:
  • Kingsland
  • North Kingsland
  • West Kingsland
  • Gross Road
  • South St. Marys
  • North St. Marys
  • West St. Marys
  • Mary Lee Clark
  • Mush Bluff

The Board of Registrars is here to serve the citizens of Camden County. You may reach Mary Ann Kicklighter, Chief Registrar at (912) 576-0214 and our Deputy Registrars at (912) 576-3245 or (912) 576-3426.
Mary Ann Kicklighter, Chief Registrar adds, "On behalf of the entire Board of Registrars and our staff we would like to thank Steve Howard, County Administrator, and all the County Departments for their willingness to help make our transition run so smoothly."

Congratulations Shirley Wise - Probate Court's New Associate Judge
August 24, 2009 marked a new beginning in the Camden County Probate Court. Judge Martin Gillette, after issuing an Order and receiving the approval of the Camden County Board of Commissioners, bestowed the title of Associate Probate Judge upon Shirley P. Wise. 
Mrs. Wise, who has served as Chief Clerk under Judge Gillette since he took office in 1993, will now act on Judge Gillette's behalf in the event of his absence over a period of time.  She will continue in her position as Chief Clerk while serving as Associate Judge and will be performing the duties of both positions to better servie the citizens of Camden County.
Please join us in congratulating Shirley in her additional role as Associate Probate Judge! 
Community Wide Needs Assessment
United WayUnderstanding the needs of our local community is vitally important to nonprofit service providers and local governments.  The United Way of Camden County is asking you to take a few moments to complete a survey.  The information gathered will give our community a clearer vision of what the community sees as the area's greatest needs.  In this time of limited resources, community leaders, government officials, and local nonprofits need this information to help better direct their limited resources to "improve the common good" in Camden County. 
The Carl Vinson Institute and the Fanning Institute of the University of Georgia have been commissioned by the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation, the United Way of Coastal Georgia, the United Way of Camden County, Family Connections, the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, and the UGA Archway Project to design the survey, collect and analyze the data.  It takes no more than 10 minutes to complete the survey.  All survey responses will be anonymous.
Login to
Enter access code:  uwcamden
Please do not complete the survey more than once, even if more than one organization solicits your participation.

Thanks in advance for helping to make our community a better place to live and raise a family.
Public Surplus Items - New Location
As of October 1, 2009, Camden County will be selling surplus items online at a new location, It costs nothing to view or to register to bid on various items offered for auction.  Items such as old computers, monitors and keyboards as well as tractors, vehicles and boats will be listed on Public Surplus and available for purchase by anyone!
The previous auction site charged the County a seller's fee for items sold on their site; whereas Public Surplus allows that fee to be paid by the buyer which will save the county up to 7.5% of each sale. 
On the Public Surplus homepage, select the region: Georgia, then select the agency: Camden County Board of Commissioners.  All items available for auction will be listed including pictures and a detailed description.  Public Surplus can also be accessed through the county website at
Camden County is now a Certified Literate Community
On Tuesday, September 22, 2009, Camden County was officially recognized in a ceremony as a Certified Literate Community through the Certified Literate Community Program (CLCP). A resolution was presented to Camden County for achieving the designation of Coastal Georgia CLCP.  Two raod signs were also provided to Camden County for display.
Pictured from left to right are: Karen Byrd, Executive Director for Coastal Georgia CLCP, Steve Howard, Camden County Adminstrator, Mary Flanders, Chair of the State Board Adult Education Committee, Lorette Hoover, President Altamaha Technical College, and Dr. Josephine Reed-Taylor, Assistant Commissioner of Adult Education Programs, TCSG
The CLCP is an initiative of the state of Georgia allowing individual communities to address the problem of literacy in ways designed to fit their own communities.  Coastal Georgia CLCP, along with many community partners form a collaborative unit to provide for education in literacy and work readiness skills.  Unified effort will eliminate duplication of service, reveal service gaps, and facilitate the sharing of collective knowledge and ideas as well as material resources.  CLCP is high profile and will work to raise community awareness of the problems and impact of illiteracy on the community and to mobilize through volunteerism all sectors-including education and literacy providers.
Karen Byrd stated, "I am excited to be involved with CLCP and look forward to working with others as we seek to become literate communities. The impact illiteracy has on a community is huge. Health care, crime, economic development, poverty rate and unemployment are just some of the areas that are affected. Promoting literacy through special projects, recruiting volunteers, and supporting and supplementing local education efforts will help make it possible for individuals and thus the community to achieve and become literate."

"This presents a great opportunity for Camden County and demonstrates that working together we can make a positive difference for all of Camden County," added Steve Howard, County Adminstrator.
Some specific actions include the Dictionary and Thesaurus projects and the provision of accessory support for adult education efforts such as child care, transportation, and tutor training.
Coastal Georgia CLCP completed the eight criteria set forth and became a participating community with the State of Georgia CLCP on August 6, 2009.  While outcomes are measured by the number of adults who are served and advance in adult education and/or attain a GED, preschool children who participate in the Ferst Foundation program will also be tracked (CRCT scores/grade level advancement/eventual graduation). 
Coastal Georgia CLCP will serve McIntosh, Camden, and Glynn to promote literacy and thus accomplish their mission which is to promote literacy in Coastal Georgia (Camden, Glynn and McIntosh counties) by mobilizing every available resource into a literacy campaign that will result in literate communities.
Emergency Operations Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony & Open House
Steve Howard, Mark Crews, David RainerOn Thursday, September 24, 2009 a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house was held at 5:00 p.m. to commemorate the grand opening of Camden County's new Emergency Operations Center, located at 131 N. Lee Street in Kingsland. Mark Crews, Director of Emergency Management, opened the ceremony by welcoming those in attendance and thanking everyone involved in the process of re-engineering what used to be the old Kingsland Post Office building into the new Emergency Operations Center that could withstand a Category 4 hurricane.

"The completion of this project would not have been possible without a lot of talented and dedicated professionals working together to make this a reality," stated Mark Crews. Among those thanked were the Board of County Commissioners, Steve L. Howard, County Administrator, John Stokes, County Engineer, Keri Moreland, Camden County Purchasing Officer, W.H. Gross Construction, R & L Electric, and Turner Brothers Heating & Air. Also, thank you to Musca-Dines for providing sweet tea and delicious cookies for the ribbon cutting and open house event.

During his speech, Steve L. Howard noted, "the mission of the emergency operations center is to lessen the impact of disasters and potential catastrophic incidents by meeting the needs of our community through planning, response, and coordination of information and resources."

This state of the art facility has been outfitted with all necessary communications equipment, along with an emergency generator with electrical capacity to run the entire building in the event of a power failure.  The entire structure from the roof to the foundation has been reinforced to provide a safe and comfortable working environment for our local decision makers and their staffs.
Neighborhood Stabilization Program Applications Still Available
In March, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs awarded Camden County the Neighborhood Stabilization Program Grant for its innovative collaborative project in partnership with the Cities of Fitzgerald, Darien and Brunswick. This grant will enable Camden County to provide down payment assistance to qualified buyers of nine (9) foreclosed homes in Camden County of approximately $11,951.00 per home.  The receipt of this grant has the ability to assist families in Camden County realize the dream of home ownership.
(click to view)
Camden County Applies for TIGER Grant for Road Improvement Project
recovery.govOn September 15, 2009, Camden County applied for its largest request for funding to date. Grant funding for road projects is extremely limited, especially in areas not considered to be in metropolitan areas. However, this year Camden County was able to submit a TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant in the amount of $74,970,000 to begin the construction/modification of Colerain Road into a four-lane roadway bypass. This grant is especially exciting as no matching funds from Camden County are necessary to receive this funding. 
While we understand the competitive nature of these grants, we also realize that in order to be considered for this award, we must apply. We believe very strongly in our grant application and its benefits to our community. We trust that those who make the decisions during this process will find that Camden County is in need of this funding for evacuation, economic development, and traffic concerns.  It is expected that decisions regarding the award announcements for the TIGER grants will come in mid-February.  Camden County will continue to actively pursue grants for our community and expect to apply for grants which will help other areas within our community by the end of 2009.
1st Place - Cheryl ConnerThe Board of County Commissioners is pleased to announce the close of the "Showcase Camden County" Photo Contest on September 30, 2009.  The contest called for photographers to submit their best photos of Camden County, Georgia and its activities, attractions, and events, as well as historic and scenic locations.  A total of 43 entries were submitted from 19 contestants. The contest was once again a huge success! 
As an addition to the chosen winners, this year a "Citizen's Choice" will be awarded as well.  This award will be derived from the photo which receives the most votes.  To view this year's photos that were submitted and to vote for your "Citizen's Choice," CLICK HERE or log on to the County's website and click on the Photo Contest: 2009 Photo Contest tab from the lefthand side. The winner's will be announced during the Board of County Commissioners' Meeting held on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at 6:00 PM. The winning photographs will be showcased at Camden County's new Government Services Complex as well as various other locations throughout Camden County.  The photos will be used by the Camden County Board of County Commissioners in its promotions and publications, and appropriate credit will be given to photographers when their photos are used.
The 3rd Annual "Showcase Camden County" photo contest will launch January 1, 2010.  The contest rules have been amended to allow entries to be classified in categories such as landscape, people and nature.  This will also allow for more entries to be submitted in multiple categories.  The deadline for the 2010 Showcase Camden County Photo Contest will be November 30, 2010.  Additional information can be obtained by logging on to  under "News & Announcements" starting January 1, 2010.
Questions may be emailed to or call (912) 576-5650.
Get Out and Take Your Best Shot!

Helping Other People Everyday (H.O.P.E.)

The Camden County H.O.P.E. Committee is excited to announce its newest charitable initiatives.  We will begin accepting donations to help our neighbors during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.   
The Camden County Employees H.O.P.E. Committee is reaching out to fellow County employees, Constitutional Officers and the citizens of our community to partake in a Thanksgiving Food Drive. Donations of non-perishable food items can be dropped off at any County office and bins will be available for distribution.
Examples of items to donate include: Gift Certificates for Frozen Turkeys, Canned Ham & Meats, Bisquick, Corn Meal, Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Canned Pie Filling, Pie Crust Mix, Jell-O, Pudding Mix, Canned Veggies, Yams, Marshmallows, Stuffing Mix, Instant Mashed Potatoes, Rice, Dried Beans, Fruit Cocktail, Canned Fruit, Canned Cranberry Sauces, Canned Gravy, Broth, Macaroni and Cheese Mixes, Canned Juices, Canned Milk, Salt, Pepper, Spices, Cooking Oil, Cake Mixes, Frosting, Brownie Mix, Muffin Mix, Dried Pasta, Foil Pans, Pie Pans, etc. 
For the safety of those we serve, the committee is unable to accept open packages, homemade food items, perishable foods, or items with expired dates. 
For more information or to have a bin delivered to your office please contact Katie Bishop at (912) 576-5651.
Toys for TotsAdditionally, following the Thanksgiving Food Drive, we will begin accepting donations for our Christmas for Camden project.  Donations of toys and gifts for children of all ages will be accepted through December 15, 2009 to benefit Toys 4 Tots.  All donations will benefit the children of Camden County, ensuring smiles on the faces of the children throughout our community on Christmas Day.  All gifts must be unwrapped and in new condition.  Gifts may be donated for children from newborn - teens, we do not want anyone to be left without a present on this special day.  More information will become available regarding this Toy Drive in November. 
If you have any questions or would like to have a donation box delivered to your office, please contact Diana Smith at (912) 576-6773.
As always, one of our goals is to ensure we are providing the citizens of Camden County information and a better understanding of current issues involving Camden County Government. I hope you enjoyed reading our Fall Edition of the Community Outreach newsletter and found it informative. I encourage and value your feedback and any input you may have to help us improve it in the future.  
Please let us know what you think by taking our SURVEY!
By working together Camden County can continue to be
"Georgia's Coastal Community of Choice".
"Helping to make Camden County the best place to be by preserving and enhancing the history and quality of life while promoting smart growth and providing an efficient, effective and responsive government."
It is the mission of Camden County Government to provide responsive, innovative, and cost effective services, promote smart growth, effectively communicate with the community, improve infrastructure and technology, preserve the health, welfare, safety, and environment while maintaining the outstanding quality of life that makes our county a desirable place to live and work.
The Board of County Commissioners and employees of Camden County are committed to the following values:
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Service
  • Accountability 
  • Teamwork
  • Balance

Georgia's Coastal Community of Choice

Do you have great news? Please share it with us! If you would like to provide information to be included in this newsletter, please contact Julie Swick at (912) 510-0464.