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 - August 2013


Connect With Us!

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our videos on YouTube

 Keep up with what's going on in YOUR local government!

In This Issue
A Message from the County Administrator
ICMA - Fire Consolidation Study
Employee of the 4th Quarter
Showcase Camden "Take your Best Shot"
"New" Discount Prescription Card
Joint Land Use Study (JLUS)
Certificate of Achievement for Excellence
Cert Training for Charlton
5th Annual Employee Awards Ceremony



 WorkReady Community
GA Camera Ready
 Storm Ready
 Code RED

County Offices will be closed Monday, September 2, 2013 in observance of Labor Day


Sept. 10th

Regular BOCC Meeting


 Sept 24th

Regular BOCC




Oct. 8th

Regular BOCC Meeting



County Offices will be closed Monday, October 14, 2013 in observance of  Columbus Day

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

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
A Joint Work Session was held on July 29th with the Board of County Commissioners,  Council members from the City of Kingsland and the City of St. Marys regarding the International City/County Management Association(ICMA) Fire/EMS Consolidation Feasibility Study, presented by Joe Pozzo, senior manager for Fire and EMS.  
On August 20th a work session was held to discuss the presentation that was made by ICMA to determine if there was any interest by the Board of County Commissioners to pursue any of the recommendations.  A consensus was reached unanimously by the Board of Commissioners to send a formal request to both municipalities requesting the formation of an initial Exploratory Committee.  This Committee will consist of two (2) elected officials and the City Manager from each municipality as well as the County Administrator for a total of 9 members.  The goal of this Committee is to identify ways we can improve the efficiencies and effectiveness of our Fire Departments.
I am proud that the county was awarded the "Certificate of Achievement for Excellence" - in Financial Reporting.  This Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition for a government concerning its financial practices.
It was an honor to participate in the 5th Annual Employee Recognition Ceremony held on August 22nd to recognize employees for their exceptional efforts.
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

 ICMA delivers Feasibility of Consolidating Fire Services in Camden County  


International City/County Management Association  (ICMA), Joe Pozzo, Senior Manager for Fire and EMS, Center for Public Safety Management gave a presentation on the benefits of consolidating the Cities and County Fire and EMS Services. 


ICMA found that there are two distinct fire and EMS service areas in Camden County; A northern and predominately rural system and a southern, predominately suburban and more densely populated system.  ICMA concluded it is feasible to either fully consolidate or operationally consolidate the three fire departments located within Camden County.  ICMA further found that any consolidation alternative offered is focused primarily on the southern portion of Camden.


To view the full report please click on the link below:

ICMA Fire Consolidation Study


Ron Batchelor recognized as Camden County's Employee of the 4th Quarter
During the Board of Commissioners meeting held, Tuesday, August 6, 2013, the Employee Recognition Committee recognized Ron Batchelor as Employee of the Quarter for the 4th quarter of fiscal year 2013.
Ron has been an employee of Camden County Fire Rescue since
2010, serving as Logistics Support for department. Ron provides logistical support necessary for Fire Rescue personnel and stations to have the equipment and supplies needed to keep them functioning at high levels.
Keeping the best interest of the county in mind Ron researches, purchases, and demonstrates a constant desire to pursue the best deal on behalf of the taxpayer and the county.  He has done an outstanding job at learning and adapting his logistical skill set to handling and purchasing specialized equipment normally only known to trained firefighters. 
Ron has gained the trust of his fellow co-workers by being a team player and his quick adaptation to the nature of the emergency services. "We are very grateful to have Ron, it would not be the same without him", said County Fire Chief, Dennis Gailey.  He has become an integral part of the close nit Fire Rescue family.
Members of the Fire Rescue Department have a high regard for Ron and the way he consistently performs above and beyond.
Recently, Ron has taken on additional responsibilities as his job duties have evolved.  He continually pursues refining processes and recommending additional best practices in his job duties.  Ron is described as a model employee who exudes a sense of pride and values while performing at a much higher level than expected.
 2013 "Showcase Camden County"
Photo Contest!
Take your Best Shot!  

The "Showcase Camden County" Photo Contest calls for photographers to submit their best photos of Camden County, Georgia to include its activities, people, attractions and events, as well as historic and scenic locations. Camden County's natural landscapes and unique events provide limitless creative inspiration to individuals that enjoy seeing the world through the

lens of a camera. 


The 2013 contest calls for photos to be submitted under one of four categories:

  • Landscapes
  • Nature/Wildlife
  • Transportation
  • Current Events/People 

One winner per category will be awarded. Each winning category participant will receive a $50 Visa gift card. An overall photograph will be chosen among all of the submitted photos of each category. The overall winner will receive an additional $100 Visa gift card. Gift card prizes are not County funded and are generously donated by sponsors.


The deadline to submit photos is Friday, November 8, 2013. Detailed information regarding the photo contest & rules can be found by clicking the link below:


 "Showcase Camden County" Photo Contest

Camden County Launches "New" Free Discount Prescription Savings Program
The new Coast2CoastRx  card will allow all County residents, regardless of income, age, or health status to participate in the program and save on the cost of their medications.  The program has saved cardholders throughout the nation an average of 60% in 2013 on the cost of prescription drugs.  Even pets and people living outside the County are able to take part in the program.. The Rx card is distributed free of charge and may be used at all pharmacy chains ad most independent pharmacies in Camden County and includes over 60,000 drugs in its formulary.
"With healthcare costs on the rise, prescription drug discounts will help ease some of the financial burdens individuals and families are facing at a time when they need it the most,"  Said Steve Howard, Camden County Administrator.  "There are no eligibility requirements so the Rx card is expected to have a sizeable impact on uninsured residents or residents facing high insurance deductibles.  If a particular drug isn't covered under a person's health plan - they can use the card to save on those prescriptions."  
Providing savings for residents through the Rx program will come at no expense to the County. Besides the discount on prescriptions, the card also provides discounts on dental, vision, veterinary and hearing services; plus discounts on lab and imaging tests and diabetes supplies and equipment for all family members.   
The Coast2CoastRx card will be available for residents beginning September 1, 2013 at most participating pharmacies, governmental offices, libraries and County health facilities.  Residents will also be able to print a Rx card and view the nearest participating locations at
The Coast2CoastRx card will provide residents with a valuable tool to help maintain their health and wellbeing at an affordable cost.  Other Georgia Counties in the program include Augusta-Richmond, Barrow, Banks, Ben Hill, Charlton, Chatham, Cherokee, Cobb, Effingham, Greene, Habersham, Heard, Jackson, Jones, Liberty, Lumpkin, Oconee, Peach, Turner, Union, Walton and White.
What does the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay mean to you?                             
The Camden/Kings Bay Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) is a joint effort of Camden County, the cities of Kingsland, St. Marys and Woodbine, and the Camden County Joint Development Authority (JDA) in cooperation with Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE) Kings Bay.  Joint Land Use Studies have been completed in many communities with military bases across the United States. 


The goals of the JLUS process are to:


1) establish smart-growth land use and development plans for vacant and redevelopment sites near the installation;


2) identify existing non-compatible uses and propose mitigation options;


3) develop enhanced communication and access management plans involving various highway and waterway linkages between the community and the base. 

In the JLUS process, the community and the military study issues in an open forum, considering both community and military viewpoints.  This planning effort helps the partnership between the community and the military, and promotes opportunities for economic growth. 


The expected benefits from the study include enhancement of the already strong relationship between SUBASE Kings Bay and adjacent communities through adoption of a smart growth plan promoting economic expansion and addressing development and military mission compatibility in the vicinity of the base.  The results of the study  promote greater understanding and coordination among all community stakeholders and SUBASE Kings Bay.


Please consider participating in the following survey to help build our relations with the US Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.  The response will help form a foundation for long term planning as part of the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS).




To learn more about the study or to get involved, please visit
Camden County Awarded "Certificate of Achievement for Excellence" 
 in Financial Reporting

The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to Camden County by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.


An award for Financial Reporting Achievement has been awarded to the individual(s), department or agency designated by the government as primarily responsible for preparing the award-winning CAFR, and this award has been presented to Michael J. Fender, Director of Finance and Budget.


The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR. The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago, IL and Washington, D.C.


The Board of County Commissioners is exceptionally proud of this achievement. As well as County Administrator, Steve Howard, who said "I am thrilled with the announcement of this news and proud of the accomplishments of the Finance Department under Mike Fender's leadership". Mr. Fender has been the Director of Finance and Budget since August 1997. His unrelenting attempt for excellence is to be applauded.

Camden Offers Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training to
 Charlton County

A Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) exercise, hosted by Camden County Fire Rescue (CCFR), was held on August 13, 2013 at the Charlton County Old School House in Folkston. The exercise was held for members of the Charlton County community and was the culmination of multiple weeks of training led by CCFR instructors. It may have been hot, but it was a lot of fun.


The CERT Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.


 Chief Dennis Gailey said the CERT program is an excellent way to share manpower, experience and resources with sister communities. "Most major emergencies don't impact just one community. The more people available to respond to an incident the easier the load is to bear for everyone involved." 

Instructors for the course were CERT Coordinator Phyllis Keffer, Lt. Scott Heglund (EMT/Firefighter) and Craig Crawford (EMT/Firefighter).

The 5th Annual Employee Awards Ceremony
The 5th Annual Employee Awards Ceremony was held Thursday, August 22, 2013 at the Public Service Authority.  Camden County Government understands the importance in recognizing the efforts of its most valued resources, "The Employees".  The employees work hard on a daily basis to serve the citizens and contribute to the quality of life in our community.  While budgets are slim and employees may not receive appreciation in the form of monetary pay raises, it is essential now more than ever to continue to celebrate the accomplishments of the most outstanding employees in other ways.
The Employee of the Year Award is open to the Employee of    the Quarter winners and is designed to recognize an employee who consistently performs well beyond what the job description requires.  This year the distinguished honor of Employee of the Year was presented to Jennifer Carver of the Tax Commissioners Office. 
Jennifer has been described as someone who always has a positive attitude, handles herself professionally and has excellent organizational and customer service skills. She takes great pride in her job performance and is always upbeat. Her ambitious personality motivates the office and often helps to make a fellow co-worker's day a little easier. The volume of work that passes through the office is staggering, yet somehow Jennifer completes and organizes it in a manner that allows it to always be readily available. Jennifer takes each challenge as her own responsibility and follows through until it is resolved. There is no task she will not volunteer to take on, her work is exact and her energy and passion are infectious.  She inspires everyone around her with her dedication, caring nature and phenomenal work ethic. 
Other awards were also presented to Eric Watson (Safety Warrior), Charley Darby (Thrifty Nickel), Kevin Chaney (Humanitarian), David Dugan (Most Dedicated), Shannon Herrin (Future Leader), and Donald Glover (Customer Service).  Departmental Most Valuable Player awards were awarded to Ken Gay, Roshan Spell, Charles Happoldt, Jennifer Douglas, Brenda Amerson, Eddie Carver, Heidi Butler, Kathy Strickland, Larry Peeples, Mandy Hartley, Matt Turner, Robert Butler and Vicky Aldridge.  Additionally, County Administrator, Steve Howard, presented two of his own awards to Dawn Vivenzio (Leadership) and Katie Bishop (Teamwork).  

"The contributions of County employees are what keep the County running. Their efforts are sincerely appreciated as they continuously focus on excellence and take pride in public service." said Steve L. Howard, County Administrator.


This event would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors.  The following sponsors generously donated monetary funds and/or in-kind services for the ceremony: Commissioner and Chairman, Chip Keene; Commissioners Tony Sheppard, Vice Chair Jimmy Starline, Chuck Clark, and Gary Blount; County Attorney Brent Green; County Administrator Steve Howard; the Employee Recognition Committee members, Public Service Authority, Lannie Brant, Mary Hoover , The Lunch Box, Borrell Creek, Mi Casa, Sonny's Bar-B-Q, Ship 2 Shore Seafood, Skinny Pete's, Willie Jewell's BBQ, Wee Pub and Applebees.
On behalf of Camden County's Employee Recognition Committee, congratulations to all of the award winners for 2013! YOU make the difference!
Camden Recognized by FEMA for Outstanding Performance in the Community Rating System                             
On August 20th, Sue K. Hopfensberger, a Community Ratings System Specialist for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)addressed the Camden Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) about the County's Community Rating (CRS), Ms. Hopfensberger (center) presented a plaque commemorating the County's participation in the program to Camden County Public Works Director, Scott Brazell (left) and Chairmen of the Camden Board of County Commissioners, Chip Keene (right).
Several years ago Camden County began participating in the NFIP's Community Rating System Program (CRS). The CRS is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. Under the CRS, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reward community actions that meet the three goals of the CRS, which are: (1) reduce flood damage to insurable property; (2) strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP; and (3) encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management. As a result of the County's efforts local NFIP policyholders are afforded premium discounts on their policies.


On May 1, 2013 Camden County was given a plaque of recognition by FEMA acknowledging the County's successful certification in the program and for the County's efforts to reduce loss of life and property damage caused by flooding, restore environmental functions of floodplains, and hold development to standards that exceed the minimum requirements of the NFIP.


County Administrator Steve Howard said participation in the CRS program demonstrates the County's commitment to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible cost to all county citizens. "Not only is participation in the Community Ratings System the right thing to do for the safety of our community, it is also good business."


Camden County Public Works Director Scott Brazell said anyone building, especially in a flood zone, should contact his office. "We can get them the information they need to build smarter and to make sure they qualify for this important program."

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