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 - September 2014


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In This Issue
A Message from the County Administrator
GA Radio Museum & Hall of Fame
Rare Orchid Found
Georgia Spaceport
Wild at Heart
Labor Day
Camden Awarded Certificate
Millage Rate Increase



 WorkReady Community
GA Camera Ready
 Storm Ready
 Code RED
UPCOMING Board of County Commissioners Meetings & Public Hearings


September 4th Budget Public Hearing



September 5th

Budget Public Hearing



September 24th Budget Public Hearing 



September 24th

Regular BOCC Meeting



October 7th Regular BOCC




County Offices will be closed October 11th in Observance of Columbus Day


October 21st Regular BOCC Meeting



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

I was honored to be asked to attend the Georgia Spaceport Leadership Summit in Atlanta back in July; this was an extraordinary opportunity to showcase Camden County to the space industry.   The Georgia Space Leadership Summit focused on addressing the following three priorities: 

  1. Where can Georgia provide a meaningful impact in the development and operations of space systems, payload services, and space operations?
  2. How can Georgia be developed as a significant provider of vertical and horizontal launch services?
  3. What is a successful communication strategy for Georgia's space activities, both internal and external to the state?

Camden County is fortunate to be in on the ground level of developing the space industry in the state.  I communicated the message that Camden County stands poised and ready to meet future opportunities. Camden County offers the potential to be one of the most important Spaceports on the east coast.


I would like to congratulate our Finance Department for being awarded the "Certificate of Achievement for Excellence" which is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.  I applaud Mike Fender and his team for their unrelenting attempt for excellence.


Back in April at the Camden County Economic Development Visioning Workshop it was proposed and later agreed by the Board of County Commissioners and the cities of Kingsland, St. Marys, and Woodbine to provide additional funding to the Joint Development Authority by increasing the millage rate by up to one mill. 


The Board of County Commissioners will be holding three public hearings in September before the final vote to approve the increase.  All meetings will be held at the Camden County Government Services Building, 200 East 4th Street, Woodbine, GA.  The hearings will be held on on the following days:

  •  Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.
  •  Friday, September 5, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.;
  • Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.


Yours for a better Camden,

Steve L. Howard, ICMA-CM, CPM, CPPO
County Administrator

The Georgia Radio Museum and Hall of Fame
Elmo Ellis began his career in radio as director of public relations for WSB Radio in 1940. When World War Two broke out, Mr. Ellis joined the U.S. Air Force where he worked as a writer and producer for radio programs that aired on the major radio networks. He returned to work in network radio in New York after the war as a writer and producer for network radio shows. He moved from radio to the infant industry of television in 1948 as production manager for WSB-TV. He would stay in that role until 1952 when he was called on to revive WSB Radio - an era that became famous for Ellis's call to "remove the rust" from radio.
Mr. Ellis was the Programming-Production Manager for WSB Radio from 1952 until 1964 - a time of innovation and pioneering that would serve as a guiding light for the rest of the radio industry in this period of time. In 1964, Mr. Ellis was promoted to the job he is best known for in Atlanta and radio history, when he became General Manager of WSB-AM and WSB-FM. He would be promoted during this time also to Vice President of the Cox Broadcasting Corporation. 
Mr. Ellis retired from radio work in 1982 and went on to continue a career as the author of books and a newspaper columnist for local newspapers in Atlanta. He was a 2007 Legacy inductee into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame. In 2008, the organization announced it would honor select Georgia radio professionals with the Elmo Ellis Spirit Award. 
The award is not given every year. The Georgia Radio Museum currently honors Ellis with its inaugural feature display in the lobby of the St. Marys Visitors Center at 400 Osborne. The feature display changes quarterly.
Rare Orchid found in Camden County
Platanthera chapmanii, Chapman's Fringed Orchid, found in Camden County, Georgia.
This photograph represents plants of the only known extant population of this species in Georgia. P chapmanii is one of the rarest orchids in North America based on known occurrences.

As a species, P chapmanii is believed to have ancestry from an interspecific hybrid between Platanthera ciliaris and Platanthera cristata. This seed producing population is isolated from both P ciliaris and P cristata by approximately 30+ miles based on botanical surveys in the region over the past 5 years.

Georgia Spaceport Leadership Summit
County Administrator, Steve Howard was invited to speak at the Georgia Space Leadership Summit, July 29, 2014 at the GTRI Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia.  
The Summit brought together aerospace leaders from across the state to develop a long range plan that will build on Georgia's strengths in military and civil aerospace, and excellent aerospace education infrastructure, to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the global space industry to expand the space industry within the state of Georgia.  
Space thought leaders' and representatives from the Federal government; as well as others held focus group discussions on the opportunities and challenges ahead.
Wild at Heart 
Saturday, September 6th from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM, The City
of St. Marys, will be celebrating......
The 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act
Join the family-friendly party at Howard Gilman Memorial Park (on the St. Marys Waterfront) as environmental organizations from around the state and beyond offer information booths, activities, and more. 
Participating organizations include (among others) The Southern Environmental Law Center, NOAA/Sea Grant, One Hundred Miles, The Satilla Riverkeeper,
The Georgia Conservancy,The St. Marys EarthKeepers, Glynn Environmental, The St. Marys River Management Committee, The Center for a Sustainable Coast, White Oak Conservation Foundation, Crooked River State Park, Greenlaw, and The Pew Charitable Trusts. *Exhibits and information for the Cumberland Island Wilderness Area are available in the park's visitor center adjacent to Howard Gilman Memorial Park. 
Hosted by the St. Marys EarthKeepers, Inc.; Entertainment provided by The Friese Studio of Music & Performing Arts.
Refreshments provided by (and all proceeds going to benefit) For The Love Of Pets.
Celebrating Labor Day

For most people, Labor Day means two things: a day off and a chance to say goodbye to the summer. But why is it called Labor Day? Labor Day is a day set aside to pay tribute to working men and women. It has been celebrated as a national holiday in the United States and Canada since 1894.


The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.


In the USA, governmental recognition first came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.


Sources: US Department of Labor, PBS, US Census

Camden County awarded "Certificate of Achievement for Excellence" 
 in Financial Reporting
Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to Camden County by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United Stated and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR).  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 remarkably proud of this achievement.  As well as County Administrator, Steve Howard, who said "I am 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.  


Millage Rate Increase to Benefit 
Joint Development Authority 
In an effort to increase the potential for economic development in Camden County the Board of Commissioners (BOCC), following discussions with and agreement by the cities of St. Marys, Kingsland and Woodbine, plans to provide additional funding to the Joint Development Authority (JDA) by increasing the millage rate by up to one mill. The additional funding concept was first proposed at the Camden County Economic Development Visioning Workshop in April. The participating entities agreed in principle that consolidating county economic development activities under one organization would be the most efficient and productive way to proceed in the future.

 The JDA was established in 1981 by joint resolution of Camden County and the Cities of Woodbine, Kingsland and St. Marys and empowered with unique tools to promote business, industry, and agriculture within the County.


The BOCC will hold three public hearings before the final vote to approve the increase. All three hearings will be held at the Camden County Government Services Building, 200 East 4th Street, Woodbine, GA. The hearings will be held on Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 6:00p.m.; Friday, September 5, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.; Wednesday, September 24 at 5:30p.m. The final vote will be held on September 24.


The one mill increase will increase the millage rate approximately 7.8% and generate an estimated $1.3 million. While the overall millage rate has remained unchanged since 2008, the amount of revenues collected dropped 26.3% over the same period. This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 12.945 mils. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $147,766 is approximately $55.11. 


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