Camden CountyCamden County
Board of Commissioners
Community Outreach eNewsletter
  "Working together to make a positive difference in the community."  


 A Publication from the Office of the County Administrator - February & March 2013


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In This Issue
A Message from the County Administrator
Camden Behavioral Health
Goal Setting Retreat
New Tankers for Fire Rescue
Honorable Ann Purcell, GDOT
Comprehensive Analysis FIre Study Underway
Comprehensive Analysis Police Services Underway
Special Election Held



 WorkReady Community
GA Camera Ready
 Storm Ready
 Code RED

County Offices will be closed Friday, March 29, 2013 in observance of  Good Friday


April 9th

Regular BOCC Meeting


April 23rd

Regular BOCC Meeting



May 14th 

Regular BOCC




County Offices will be closed Monday, May 27, 2013 in observance of Memorial Day

 May 28th

Regular BOCC



Government Services Complex
 200 East 4th Street
Woodbine, GA 31569
"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

Discount Rx Card

Click on the image above to view more information about this service.

Camden County Fire Rescue Seeking Volunteers

Camden County Fire Rescue is recruiting volunteer firefighters to be a part of the department. The volunteer firefighter program will be used to augment existing peronnel to meet the needs of the community now and in the future.


Visit the program website for the most current information.


Contact Fire Rescue Headquarters at (912) 729-3911 for questions about this program.

A Message from the County Administrator
Steve L. Howard, County Administrator
I want to commend the elected bodies of St. Marys, Kingsland and Board of County Commissioners for their bold leadership to proceed with the joint analysis of FIre Services.
 I also want to further commend the City of St. Marys' City Council and Sheriff for their bold leadership in conducting the joint analysis of Police and Sheriff Office operations. 
In today's economic climate communities face extraordinary challenges and local government must seek out new solutions for providing mission critical services.
On another note I am also proud that Camden County was selected as the 2013 "A County of Excellence - Financial Category" winner by Georgia Trend Magazine and the Association County Commissioners of Georgia.  This is a major accomplishment by being the only county in Georgia to be recognized out of 159.  Camden County will formally accept this award at the Annual Meeting of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia in April.
I look forward to working with each of you as we continue to move Camden County Forward.
Yours for a better Camden,

Steve L. Howard, CPM, CPPO
County Administrator

Camden Behavioral Health
Ribbon Cutting


Back row- Angela Baker, Oscar Patterson, Bill Lapierre , Al Osborne, Bill Shivers, MD, Suzanne Harper and Clinic Manager Colleen Snow; Front row- Kathy Schrieber, Tina Miller, Allen Brown, Willis Keen, Chairman of the Camden County Commission, Dr. Frank Bonati, Megan Thrasher, Goulnissa Octechova, and Darcy Dennis.


On February 7, 2013 a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house was held to commemorate the grand opening of Camden Behavioral Health.  Camden Behavioral Health will offer comprehensive child, adolescent, adult and family mental health services in Kingsland.  Merging Gateway and Unison into a single location will allow for increased access and expanded services for the citizens of Camden County.


Gateway has provided care in Kingsland for over 30 years, focusing on adult mental health and substance abuse treatment.  Unison has provided child and adolescent services in Kingsland, since 2009.   "As healthcare dollars shrink, it doesn't always make sense for providers to go it alone. Within this joint venture we've been able to find new economies of scale and apply those savings toward sustaining and expanding community services," said Dr. Frank Bonatioral, CEO of Gateway.

 Camden Behavioral Health serves all ages with an array of clinic and community-based mental health and substance abuse treatment programs. This new partnership accepts private insurance as well as Medicaid, Medicare and Tricare. Offices are located at 600/700 Charles Gilman Jr Boulevard in Kingsland. To make an appointment or request further information, please contact Camden Behavioral Health at (912) 576-HELP (912-576-4357).

2013 Goal Setting Retreat Conducted

 The Board of County Commissioners met, February 25, 2013, for a Goal Setting Retreat to discuss and set goals that will be implemented during the next several years.  Peggy Jolley, Coastal Region Manager, Community and Economic Development for Georgia Power Company facilitated the retreat.  In setting a course of action the Board of Commissioners will be better prepared for future opportunities and challenges.


Once the Goals have been formalized they will be posted on the County website for review.


Our Commissioners are dedicated to moving Camden forward. 

New Tankers for County Fire Rescue
The Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of two tanker trucks for Camden Fire Rescue Department.
   Example Photo
These tankers will be an addition to the fleet that is needed to meet the demands of the water delivery strategy during the next ISO inspection and to combat fires of all types more effectively.
One of the most important elements of fire service is its ability to transport water efficiently in the absence of a county-wide water system.  The purchasing committee conducted an extensive research and proposal process that included evaluating used, demonstration and new models against the required specifications.  Staff recommended the purchase of two Pierce 3000 gallon Tankers similar to the photo above.  Once the order is placed the tankers will be on a 180 day delivery schedule. 
Camden Receives LMIG Funds, Honorable Ann Purcell & The Georgia Department of Transportation, Check Presentation
Newly elected, State Transportation Board member, Ann Purcell along with other members of GDOT spent the day touring Camden.  Commissioners Chip Keene, Chuck Clark and County Administrator, Steve Howard along with Scott Brazell, Director of Public Works, were on hand to
receive the Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant which will be used in the construction and paving of roads around Harrietts Bluff.
Camden County Awarded - County of Excellence Winner for Improving Healthcare


In the March issue of GeorgiaTrend Magazine, Camden County is featured as a County of Excellence winner for Improving Healthcare. The employee health plan was growing faster than the departments delivering the services it existed to serve. Total costs increased by 82 percent over a three-year period, exceeding national medical trends by double digits. The employee health plan became the fastest growing sector of the general fund budget in fiscal 2009, constituting 16 percent of the total general fund expenditures. "We had to do something," County Administrator Steve Howard says. "We couldn't operate our health plan the way it was."


The county administrator, having the support of the Board of County Commissioners, turned to experts in the community as well as Camden County Support Services Director Staci Bowick, Humans Resources staff and Mary Smith, a consultant with The Cumberland Financial Group, for help.


The first recommended change was the addition of a wellness program. For just a small investment, the county was able to use some of its existing resources - including a full-time registered nurse, acted as a liaison between its human resources and workers comp. program, to begin an onsite clinic. The County next partnered with a local nonprofit agency called Coastal Medical Access Project in a pilot program for chronic disease management.


As the clinic began to grow the county brought in new entities, including the City of St. Marys and the Public Service Authority to share the benefits and costs of operations. Patients can visit the clinic without a copay and receive prescribed medications on the clinic formulary free of charge.


Next the County plans to move the clinic into a county owned building where a collaborative relationship with a local nonprofit agency will allow it to add mental healthcare to its offerings.


"The healthcare plan has turned around, says, Howard, "The County has saved $2 million (in healthcare costs) in four years." "I am thrilled that Camden County is being recognized for this accomplishment and can share our model Success through Partnerships with the state of Georgia."


Comprehensive Analysis of Fire/EMS Services Underway  
The City of St. Marys and the City of Kingsland's City Councils along with the Board of Commissioners authorized a joint comprehensive analysis of Fire and Emergency Medical Services to be conducted.  In general the analysis includes the major outcomes of the following:
  • Examine the departments' organizational structure and culture:
  • Perform gap analysis, comparing the "as is" state of the department to the best practices of industry standards;
  • Recommend a management framework to ensure accountability, increased efficiency and improved performance;
  • Conduct a data-driven forensic analysis to identify actual workload;
  • Identify and recommend appropriate staffing and deployment levels for every discrete operational and support function in the department 
Comprehensive Analysis of Police Services Underway
The City of St. Marys City Council and the Camden County Sheriffs office authorized the Board of County Commissioners to have a joint comprehensive analysis of Police Services and Contract Opportunities between the agencies to be conducted.
  • Examine the department's organizational structure and culture;
  • Perform gap analysis comparing the "as is" state of the department to the best practices of industry standards;
  • Recommend a management framework to ensure accountability, increased efficiency and improved performance;
  • Conduct a data-driven forensic analysis to identify actual workload;
  • Identify and recommend appropriate staffing and deployment levels for every discrete operational and support function in the department.
Special Election
 SPLOST & Probate Judge
Out of Camden County's 28,059 active registered voters, 4,730 cast their ballots during the Special Election held Tuesday,
March 19, 2013.
The Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) was passed by the voters of Camden County with 61.52% voting YES and 38.48% voting NO.
SPLOST is an optional one percent county sales tax used to fund capital outlay projects proposed by the county government and municipal governments.  The funds collected will help Camden in striving to be a better community for all its citizens.
You may view the voter approved county-wide SPLOST projects by visiting our website at
The Special Election ended with a run-off between Probate Judge candidates Robert "Beau" Sweatt, Jr. and Martin A. Turner. Candidate Robert "Beau" Sweatt, Jr. received 38.38% of the votes while Martin A. Turner received 20.16%. A candidate must receive at least 51% of the votes to be declared the winner of the election. A Run-Off Election will be held Tuesday, April 16, 2013 to determine who will be the next Probate Court Judge.  
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. We hope you enjoyed reading the monthly Community Outreach newsletter and found it informative. We encourage and value your feedback and any input you may have to help us improve it in the future.  

By working together Camden County can continue to be "Georgia's Coastal Community of Choice."

Meet Your Commissioners

Commissioner Chip Keene, District 1
Chip Keene
District 1
Chuck Clark 2013
Chuck Clark
District 2
Commissioner Jimmy Starline, District 3
Jimmy Starline
District 3
Commissioner Gary Blount, District 4
Gary Blount
District 4
Tony Sheppard 
Tony Sheppard
District 5
Our Commitment to You!
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, and Balance