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 - December 2014


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In This Issue
A Message from the County Administrator
Showcase Camden County
Employee of the Quarter
Aerospace Panel
You Are Why We're Here
Flood Rating
Bryan-Lang Historical Archives
Curbside Collection Schedule
Citizens Academy 2015
Strategic Planning Process
Night at the Museum
From our Board



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

County Offices will be closed November  27th & 28th in Observance of Thanksgiving


December 9th

Regular BOCC

Meeting 6:00PM



County Offices will be closed December 24th, 25th, and 26th in Observance of Christmas

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

"Planning for Success"

The Board of County Commissioners formally launched key activities in the development of a new strategic plan in November. The plan will consist of the following: A Vision for 2030 -the preferred future for the county. Goals for 2020, a five year outcome based goals with measurable objectives and an Action Agenda for 2015, which will look at specific issues and projects that will need to be addressed by the county. 

Citizens Summit
In an effort to solicit the public's input regarding the future of Camden Citizens input was received during the Citizens Summit that was held on November 12, 2014 and through an on-line citizen input survey and various media outlets.
Management Team Meeting

On December 1, 2014 a Strategic Planning Session was held for the Management Team.

Commissioners Planning Session
on December 2nd & 3rd a Leadership and Strategic Planning workshop was held for the Board of County Commissioners.  In 2015 we will be developing for each goal established in the strategic plan an action outline. When all activities are completed the Board of Commissioners will formally adopt: 
  • Strategic Plan 2015-2020-2030
  • Executive Summary 2015-2020-2030
  • Action Agenda 2015-2016
  • Leader's Guide 2015: Final Report
  • Plan in Brief

By proactively planning for the future of Camden County, we are better prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities on the horizon.  


I look forward to working with you in 2015 as we continue to 

move Camden County forward.

I wish you and your family a wonderful Holiday Season and a New Year full of peace and happiness.

Yours for a better Camden!

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

County Administrator

"Showcase Camden County" 
Photo Contest 2014
Deadline Extended
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.  
This contest calls for photographers to submit their best photos of Camden County, Georgia and its activities, people, attractions and events, as well as historic and scenic locations.  One winner per category will be awarded.  
Each winning category participant will be recognized during the Board of County 
Commissioner's Meeting. Photographs will be featured on the County's website, social media sites , and in future publications. An enlarged photograph will be displayed throughout the Government Services Complex in Woodbine, Georgia.  
Each entry must include an 8 x 10 print AND an electronic copy via disk or email. Digital images must be at least 300 dpi. A completed entry form must be submitted with EACH photograph submitted, along with a completed consent form. If submitting multiple entries, please name and number each print to match a corresponding entry form. Prints and disks will not be returned. Entries must be postmarked by Friday, January 30, 2015.


Camden County Board of County Commissioners

C/o Katie Bishop

P.O. Box 99

Woodbine, Georgia 31569

Email electronic copies to:  [email protected] 


Entries may also be dropped off at the Board of County Commissioners' Government Services Complex located at 200 East 4th Street in Woodbine, or at the Planning & Development office located in the County Annex Building in Kingsland.  


Rules, Regulations and Entry Forms are available on the County website.  Click here for more information.


Stephen Murdock Named Camden County's Employee of the 1st Quarter for FY 2015 

Camden County Government's Employee Recognition Committee is pleased  to announce Stephen Murdock of Camden County Fire Rescue as Employee of the Quarter for the 1st quarter of fiscal year 2015.


Stephen Murdock has been with Camden County Fire Rescue for more than 10 years, always going above and beyond the call of duty, from cleaning and washing the fire truck every morning before shift change or willing to help his fellow firefighters when they need to swap a shift.  He is one of the board members of the department EARF account, which is set up to help firefighters in need when someone passes away in their family. 


Stephen Murdock is a dedicated firefighter who always displays an honest sense of caring for not only is coworkers but the public he serves as well.  Camden County Fire Chief, Mark Crews said, "Stephen Murdock is a pleasure to have as an employee and friend.  He goes beyond what is expected of him in his role as firefighter and becomes a friend to everyone his life touches".


County Administrator served on panel at Aerospace Policy Forum

Camden County Administrator Steve Howard was asked to serve as a panelist at the Aerospace Policy Forum at the 2014 Legislative Roundtable on November 12, 2014 in Atlanta in preparation for the upcoming 2015 Georgia General Assembly.


The event, held by the Technology Association of Georgia and sponsored by the Center of Innovation for Aerospace, allows legislators and other state leaders to hear from industry and organizations on policy initiatives needed to support continued growth in our local technology industries, including aerospace.


The Aerospace Policy Forum, held in conjunction with the Georgia House Study Committee on Aviation & Jobs, features expert panels in three topic areas: 

  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems
  • Aerospace Engineering & Professional Licensing
  • Space Launch & Operations

Mr. Howard served on the Space Launch & Operations Panel and spoke about the proposed Camden County Spaceport and opportunity it presents to the coastal region and state of Georgia. Camden County sits poised, both geographically and in term of planning and preparation, to play an integral role in the space industry which is becoming increasingly conducted by the private sector instead of government. As published in the Space Report 2014 the global space economy grew by 4% in 2013, reaching a new record of $314.17 billion. The local spaceport, which would be located at the end of Harriett's Bluff Road, will be vital to developing the aerospace industry in the state and create more Georgia aerospace jobs. 


The development of Spaceport Camden would allow Georgia to become a significant provider of vertical launch services. 

"You are why We're Here" Campaign
YOU ARE not required to analyze your own drinking water, or patrol your own streets, fix potholes or paint bridges.  Same for restaurant inspections, issuing permits, maintaining records, issuing marriage licenses or settling legal disputes.  All of these and man, many more are WHY WE'RE HERE.

Community Rating System Program
Given its location as the southernmost of Georgia's six coastal counties flooding in Camden County is inevitable. Being unprepared for a flood however is not. That is where Scott Brazell comes in. Brazell is the Camden County's CRS (Community Rating System) and E&S (Erosion and Sedimentation) Coordinator. It is his job to administer the program for flood plain management for the unincorporated areas of the county.         

Brazell works with property owners in a flood hazard area to ensure they build to a higher standard to protect themselves from flooding conditions. By doing so they not only protect themselves and their property they can also qualify for lower flood insurance premium rates on new structures. Some of the criteria used to set the premiums are the size of the structure, the elevation of the structure and where in the flood hazard area the structure is located.


The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System was implemented in 1990 as a voluntary program for recognizing and encouraging community floodplain management activities exceeding the minimum NFIP standards. Nearly 3.8 million policyholders in 1,296 communities participate in the CRS by implementing local mitigation, floodplain management, and outreach 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.


All the effort has paid off as Camden County's CRS rating for the unincorporated area will improve from a Class 8 to a Class 7. What that means for county residents in the unincorporated area is that their flood insurance rates on new structures that conform with the guidelines will now receive a 15% discount. There are currently 1,451 flood insurance policies in the unincorporated areas of Camden County. The average annual savings for Camden County's Class 7 rating is $113,005.00, or approximately $78.00 per policy.

Building higher is literally the way to go. The higher a new structure is built off the ground the greater potential for savings. Brazell said elevation above the flood plain is the key. "The best way not to flood is to be above it. Higher is better."


Scott Brazell can be reached at (912) 510-4320 or by email at [email protected]. Additional information can be found at the Camden County website


Bryan-Lang Historical Archives

The Bryan Lang Historical Archives, tucked away near the courthouse in Woodbine, is not a dry dusty repository of tattered tomes and brittle papers. Instead, it is a place where the rich history of Camden County is very much alive. It is a vast treasure trove of items that hold the story of a place and the people who inhabited that place.


The Bryan-Lang Library, as it was known then, opened in 1987. In 2009 the name was changed to the Bryan-Lang Historical Archives to more accurately reflect the nature of the documents and artifacts in the collection. The collection is largely the work of two remarkable women, Beatrice "Bebe" Lang and Mary Bryan. Lang was a member of a long standing Camden County family interested in preserving local history. Mary Bryan was a State Archivist tasked by the Georgia Archives with trying to preserve the documents and papers, the history of Georgia places. The two women's synergy and hard work created something truly extraordinary. The collection was donated to Camden County with two stipulations; it had to be housed in Woodbine and had to be open to the public.


Their work and the work of many others is a tremendous resource for genealogists, historians and the merely curious. Moving through the shelves is like literally walking back through time. There are newspapers on microfilm from almost a century ago. While it is hard to say which record is the oldest there are many from as early as 1800.  In addition to official documents the collection contains more than 3,000 family history files.


The collection contains the stories of the people from every stripe of life. The lives of rich planters, of yeoman farmers, of sharecroppers and even of slaves wait to be explored. It also contains the history of the places. The first county seat in Camden was at a place called Jefferson. It sat on the Satilla River and was a natural loading place for the county's bounty of lumber and naval stores. The county seat was then moved to downtown St. Marys as the trade and the population shifted. In 1927 the county seat was moved to Woodbine which is closer to the geographical center of the county.


No county is an island. The history of a county, of a community of people, is never isolated from the history and stories of people of the adjoining communities or the region of which they are such an integral part. The Bryan-Lang Historical Archives reflect that reality and house items from the history of southeast Georgia, from Charlton, Brantley, McIntosh and Glynn Counties as well as from north Florida.


Judy Buchanan became the Director/Archivist in 2007. She said the value of the collection is not just in the items themselves. "It is the repository of memory. The information, the family connections made here has put smiles on the faces of thousands of people."


Ms. Buchanan and her staff are very knowledgeable and can assist everyone from the dedicated historian to someone just looking for information about their ancestors.

The Bryan-Lang Historical Archive is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm for more information please call (912) 576-5841.


Curbside Collection garbage collection schedule will be altered on certain days during Christmas and New Year's weeks
Due to the end of year holidays, the Curbside garbage collection schedule will be altered on certain days during Christmas, and New Year's weeks. The modifications are listed below for your convenience. If you do not see your normal day listed, then your service will remain unchanged.


For City of Kingsland Residents only:

                        Normal day                     Will be picked up on      


Christmas         Thursday, 12/25             Friday, 12/26


New Year's      Thursday, 1/1                  Friday, 1/2


For St Marys & Unincorporated County residents:

                        Normal day                      Will be picked up on      


Christmas         Thursday, 12/25              Friday, 12/26

                          Friday, 12/26                   Saturday, 12/27


New Year's       Thursday, 1/1                  Friday, 1/2

                          Friday, 1/2                        Saturday, 1/3


City of Woodbine Residents only:

                           No change

Camden County staff and the Board of County Commissioners are preparing for the 2015 Citizens Academy class to continue carrying out the goal of open and accessible local government. The Camden County Citizen's Academy, which was established in 2008, is a free interactive program designed to familiarize the general public with the roles, services, and operations that comprise Camden County government. The academy focuses on educating residents, business owners and other interested persons in Camden County on how daily county government operations contribute to building a better community.


The theme of this session is, "You Are Why We're Here"

to coincide with a public awareness campaign urging citizens to learn more about services provided by county government.
Classes are limited to 20 applicants and admission will be on a first come first serve basis. Various county staff and elected officials from the various departments will host the sessions. Participants must be willing to commit to two hours a week for eight weeks beginning in January 2015. Classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at several county locations. All citizens of the community are encouraged to apply.


County Administrator Steve Howard said that every opportunity to educate county citizens about local services is important. "The Citizens Academy allows residents to see the full scope of all that their county government offers. It helps citizens better engage with their local government and gives us the opportunity to meet them."


All interested individuals can view additional details, a 2015 Class Schedule, as well as an application at  . Please submit completed applications to Attn: Office of County Administrator, P.O. Box 99, Woodbine, Ga., 31569 or via email at [email protected] or by fax to (912) 576-5647.


Space is limited so get your information in as soon as possible.
County Commissioners Work on Strategic Plan
 The Board of Commissioners strategic planning for setting goals for 2014-2015, County Administrator, Steve Howard recommended establishing a new blueprint for Camden's future. The plan will consist of: A Vision for 2030 - the preferred future for the county.  Goals for 2020, five-year outcome-based goals with measurable objectives and an Action Agenda for 2015, which looks at specific issues and projects that need to be addressed by the county.  
In an effort to solicit the public's input regarding the future of Camden County, citizens input were received during a Citizen's Summit that was held on Wednesday, November 12, 2014.  This gave the public the opportunity to provide meaningful input for the strategic planning process. 

County department heads and elected officials then meet and gave their input to the strategic planning process.  After which the  County Board of Commissioners got together for a two day Planning session with all the surveys from citizens and employees to help plan the future of Camden County.


County Administrator Howard stated that having a detailed road map for the future is essential. "When developed the Strategic Plan and its lasting effects will help Camden County control its' future. It is a means of understanding change, forecasting change, and setting a course of action to manage the expected implications of change. It is a positive means of moving the county forward together."

Movie Night at the Museum
The Georgia Radio Museum presents Move Night at the Museum each month featuring "radio" related movie. The December Movie is "The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular", rated G. There is no admission; however, a donation is appreciated. Guests may enjoy free popcorn and refreshments. 
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 400 Osborne Street, St. Marys, GA. Movie starts promptly at 7:00PM.
Merry Christmas from your Board of County Commissioners
Christmas Tree
Candy Cane

The Board of County Commissioners wish
you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  
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