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 - January 2015


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In This Issue


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

County Offices will be closed February 16th  Observance of President's Day


February 17th Regular BOCC Meeting



March 3rd  Regular BOCC




March 17th 

Regular BOCC

Meeting 6:00PM

County Offices will be closed April 3rd  Observance of Good Friday

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.

2015 Citizens Academy
Citizens' Academy
Click here to view photos of our 2015 Winter Class
A Message from the County Administrator



On January 6, 2015, Camden County Commissioners were awarded a Community Rating System (CRS) Class 7 Plaque from Insurance Services Office (ISO) Sue Hopfensperger, ISO/CRS Specialist.  Ms. Hopfensperger made the presentation outlining Camden's accomplishments as Camden County improves to a Class 7 ranking, thereby providing citizens in the unincorporated areas of Camden who carry Flood Insurance the opportunity for a 15% savings on their premium.


I commend County staff for looking at this opportunity to reduce costs for taxpayers and for their commitment to make Camden County a more disaster resistant community. The new rating not only reduces flood insurance premiums but also enhances public safety, preserves the natural functions of floodplains and protects property. In Camden's case, it will provide those citizens with flood insurance policies a savings of over $113,000 in 2015.


As we continue to move Camden forward, much progress has been made in our new Strategic Plan and we look forward to rolling it out in the months to come.  The 2014 Annual Report will also be available next month on our website. 


We continue to promote the opportunity for Camden to be the next Spaceport in the Southeastern United States with a recent speaking engagement to the Coastal Regional Commission and a live radio interview on the Georgia Public Broadcasting 

show "On Second Thought."


Our recent Audit Report was stellar and showed no material findings. Camden County received an unmodified opinion (clean opinion) for FY2014 with no deficiencies or material weaknesses. I'm remarkably proud of the accomplishments of our Finance Department under the leadership and guidance of Mike Fender.  His team is to be applauded for their continued excellence in financial reporting.


For more information on these and other happenings and events in Camden County, please see the links below for additional 

details.  I look forward to a successful 2015 here in Camden County.


Yours for a better Camden,

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

County Administrator

County Commissioners Sworn In
Chair and Vice-Chair Re-elected
From left: Commissioner Willis R. Keene Jr. (District 1), Commissioner Gary Blount (District 4), Commission Chairman Jimmy Starline (District 3), Commission Vice-Chair Chuck Clark (District 2), and Commissioner Tony Sheppard (District 5)

Commissioner Chuck Clark (District 2) and Commissioner Gary Blount (District 4) were sworn in by Probate Judge Robert C Sweatt, Jr. in Woodbine at the January 6th Commissioners meeting to begin their new four year terms.  Commissioner Clark represents the Harrietts Bluff area and the east side of Kingsland, while Commissioner Blount represents part of the City of St. Marys and southern Camden County. This will be Commissioner Clark's second term on the Board of County Commissioners, and Commissioner Blount's third term.

The Board elects the Chair and Vice-Chair of the County Commission each year and tonight, current Chairman of the Board, Commissioner Jimmy Starline, and Vice-Chair of the Board, Commissioner Chuck Clark, were both re-elected by their peers to serve another one-year term. 


The Board of County Commissioners is comprised of five members elected through district elections for staggered, four-year terms. Their responsibilities include making policies, adopting laws, setting budget limits, and establishing tax rates. The Board also appoints a County Administrator and County Attorney, both of whom are chosen by and responsible to the Board of County Commissioners.

In addition, the Board sets an official regular meeting and holiday calendar prior to the upcoming year. Normally, meetings are held at 6:00 pm on the first and third Tuesday of each month unless otherwise scheduled due to conflicts.  All meetings are held at the Government Services Complex, on the second floor, in the Commission Chambers located in Woodbine. Special Called meetings, Work Sessions, and Public Hearings are held when necessary. All meetings are open to the public.

Movie Night at the Museum
St. Marys, Georgia


New 1st Quarter "Feature Display" offers a look at "Miss Monitor"


ST. MARYS, GA -Dorothy Ruth Thurman, known as "Tedi" was born in Midville, Georgia in Burke County. She attended the University of Georgia, studied art at the High Museum School of Art in Atlanta, and also attended the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C. While in Washington, Tedi modeled for art students and was inspired to move to New York to pursue a career in modeling. She soon landed a contract under The Ford Agency. Tedi also appeared on several TV network shows including "The Today Show." Her experience with Today turned out to be her ticket to NBC Radio's "Monitor," where she gave weather forecasts for cities in a way that they'd never been given before -- in an alluring voice with lush music playing in the background.

After serving as "Miss Monitor," Thurman moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. She passed away in 2012 and was buried in her hometown of Midville, Georgia. Tedi is a 2014 Legacy Inductee into The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame and is featured in the special quarterly exhibit at the Georgia Radio Museum, both located in the St. Marys Welcome Center, 400 Osborne Street.  The welcome center and the museum are each open 9am-5pm Monday through Saturday and 12pm-5pm on Sunday. Tedi's feature display here in Camden County ends March 31, 2015.


For more information about the Georgia Radio Museum & Hall of Fame go to, or call 912-882-4000.

"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. 

Georgia Public Broadcasting Interviews Howard on "Spaceport Camden"
County Administrator Steve Howard accepted an invitation to
speak on the Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) show "On Second Thought" with host, Celeste Headlee. The live interview took place 
Wednesday, January 21, 2015. 

"This interview was an exciting opportunity to share the vision of developing a world-class spaceport to an even larger audience within the state of Georgia and the Southeast.  The unique project will have a positive impact for all of Georgia," remarked Steve Howard.  

Mr. Howard discussed the spaceport opportunity for Camden County, the coastal region, and the state of Georgia. To listen to the interview click the link below.
Barbara Ann Hinkle Named 
Employee of the Quarter

Camden County Government's Employee Recognition Committee announced Barbara Ann Hinkle of the Camden County Tax Commissioners Office as Employee of the 2nd Quarter for fiscal year 2015.  Barbara was recognized by the Board of County Commissioners at their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, for her dedication and commitment to the citizens of Camden County.


Barbara Ann has a glow about her that is contagious. It is not easy to work in the county tax office, but Barbara Ann sends citizens off with a smile and a "God Bless You." No one desires to pay taxes, but she can make someone almost happy about it, just by being herself. Barbara Ann is friendly, outgoing, caring and understanding. Citizens are often moved enough by her kindness and spirit to fill out a comment card recognizing her for her actions. Barbara Ann is the perfect person you want on the front lines to serve the citizens of this county.


Always going above and beyond for her customers, Barbara Ann strives to make each person feel as if she is there to wait on them and no one else. She understands that her attitude and her customer service skills are a direct reflection on that of Tax Commissioner Beth Soles, her office and the county. She always does what she can to make sure the customer leaves with a good impression about the tag office. She often worries about her teammates and wants to ease the workload for everyone. Barbara Ann never complains about the amount of work to be done and is always just glad to have work to do.


Barbara Ann suffered a stroke within the last 2 years, yet still came to work when the doctor allowed.  She worked behind the scenes, not only to keep a pay check coming in but also to help ease the load on her co-workers.  Recently, when a co-worker faced hard times, Barbara Ann was a wonderful friend to lean on. Barbara Ann rocks and her attitude is nothing less than admirable. She has been faced with many personal challenges, yet still comes to work and gives her best to the citizens of Camden County every day.


In her role of dealing with the public, Barbara Ann's constant attention to customer service and genuine compassion for others is not just quarter-specific.  She delivers service excellence on a daily basis.  While facing her own struggles, she has stayed positive, lifted spirits and made others feel better about their situations. Barbara Ann doesn't want pity, but only to provide peace and love to friends, co-workers and complete strangers.  She is an inspiration to many people and a true asset to the Camden County Tax Commissioners Office.  

"You Are Why We're Here" 

It is an issue that faces nearly every community. How to properly dispose of solid waste? Fortunately, it is not an issue that Camden County will have to face anytime soon.


Solid Waste Authority Director Lannie Brant began his tenure at the Solid Waste Authority in November 1987. The current landfill on Highway 110 opened in September 1992 and under Brant's guidance, it has become a state of the art operation that meets all federal requirements and is the envy of many communities.


Currently, the landfill takes in approximately 350 tons per day of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and about the same amount of Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste daily. That comes out to about 80 truckloads daily of both CSW and C&D. At that rate, Brant said the current landfill on Highway 110 has enough capacity for the next twelve years of MSW and a whopping 300 years of capacity for C&D waste. Currently only 202 acres of the 1,387 acres available for the landfill are in use. 

Not all the waste going into the landfill is generated in Camden County. Several surrounding counties make use of the Camden County facility. County Administrator Steve Howard said it is a win-win situation for everyone. "We have the facility and the capacity while they need a place to dispose of their waste. We provide that place and generate revenue for the county."


Nearly any item can be brought to the landfill, but hazardous waste, liquids and tires are prohibited. For Camden County citizens, the disposal fee for CSW is $22.55 per ton. That's a little over a penny a pound. For C&D, the rate is $14.75 per ton.


There is no charge for disposing of residential yard/lawn waste. Items can be brought to the facility on Highway 110 during regular hours or to the facility on Old Still Road on Saturdays. The hours of operation are Monday - Friday 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.  Staff may be reached at the landfill by calling 912.729.4099 during normal business hours. 





 Did you know there are 30,863 real estate parcels in Camden County? Imagine Camden County divided into 30,863 pieces. Imagine having to keep track of the assessed value (about $4,000,000,000 for the whole county) of all those parcels. That laborious task falls to the Camden County Tax Assessor's Office. The Tax Assessor's Office falls under the purview of the Board of Assessors, an independent board, whose five members are appointed to four-year terms by the Board of Commissioners.

The Tax Assessor's Office does not send county residents a tax bill. The tax bill comes from the Tax Commissioner's Office (which is a Constitutional Office) based on the mileage rate as set by the Board of County Commissioners. The Tax Assessor's Office does just what the name says, they assess the value of real and personal property and produce the Tax Digest as mandated by Georgia law.


The appraisal of all property in the county for the tax digest is done by mass appraisal, which is the systematic and uniform appraisal of multiple properties and allows for statistical review and analysis of the results. Mass appraisals are not individual, site-specific appraisals such as would be done for a bank appraisal. Once the appraised values have been finalized an analysis is done to compare appraisal values to sale prices to ensure compliance with the Department of Audits and the Department of Revenue requirements. The Tax Digest then goes to the Board of Assessors for approval. From there, it goes to the Tax Commissioner and finally to the Board of Commissioners.

Chief Appraiser Terry Ross, who has more than 20 years experience in appraising and is a Level 4 Appraiser (the highest level offered by the Georgia Department of Revenue), said it is a complex and sometimes daunting yet manageable task. He also said property owners have the right to appeal the appraised value to the Board of Equalization. The appeal can be based on several factors, two of which include the property owner's belief that property is not valued using the same appraisal method as similar properties or that the property may be exempt from ad valorem taxation.

The amount of taxes is not an appealable issue. The actual amount of the tax bill is calculated by using 40% of the appraised value adjusted by frozen homestead values, accounting for other exemptions that have been granted, and by tax mileage rates as set.

The Tax Assessor's Office can be reached at 912.576.3241. A tremendous amount of information is also available online at You may also contact Camden County at 912.576.5601 or visit our website at

Recreational Park Updates

Several of our local parks are currently in the process of receiving upgrades. The County is excited to offer new pavilions and upgraded playground equipment, along with some new recreational space to benefit the community.  See below for a complete list of the new additions. 


Browntown Wilderness Park: A new pavilion is currently being

painted and features a screened in common area and a full kitchen. The new restrooms are located at the end of the pavilion and have a separate entrance.  New playground equipment has also been installed and features a double swing set.


Maple Ford Park, Spring Bluff: New playground equipment has been installed, along with a new walking trail. A new pavilion is currently in the process of being built.


Satilla Waterfront Park:Restroom and pavilion upgrades are in progress at this park.


St. Marys Civic Park: A new picnic shelter is currently being built beside the basketball courts at the St. Marys Civic Park.


Phase II(Behind Rec Center): New batting cages and storage area at Phase II are in the final stages of completion.

Camden County Receives Excellent 
Audit Report

The January 20th, 2015 Board of County Commissioners regularly scheduled meeting provided an opportunity for a presentation on the County's recently conducted financial audit. Mark Hardison, CPA and Partner with Clifton, Lipford, Hardison & Parker, LLC (Auditor) reported on the findings of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2014.  Mr. Hardison and his firm are responsible for expressing an opinion on the financial statements based on the audit. He reported to the Board that there were no material findings and the financials are in accordance

with generally accepted

accounting principles (GAAP). While it is the Auditor's responsibility to express an opinion on the financial statements, it is management's responsibility to provide an accurate accounting and financial report that demonstrates a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate its financial story.


Camden County's previous thirteen consecutive CAFR's have been awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United Stated and Canada (GFOA). The Certificate of Achievement is a prestigious national award recognizing conformance with the highest standards for preparation of state and local government financial reports. Mr. Hardison reports that "less than 1% of all governments receive this award and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management." 


The individual department designated by Camden County as primarily responsible for preparing the CAFR is Michael J. Fender, Director of Finance and Budget, and his staff. Mr. Fender has been the Director of Finance and Budget since August 1997. The preparation of this report and completion of the audit could not have been accomplished without the professional, efficient, and dedicated services of the entire staff in the Finance Department.  Fender stated that "the Camden County Board of Commissioners, along with County Administrator Steve Howard, have played a vital role in establishing and updating policies that guide us in our quest to have the most efficient operations for the taxpayers of Camden County." 


Steve Howard commented that he is "remarkably proud of the accomplishments of the Finance Department under Mike Fender's leadership and guidance. His unrelenting attempt for excellence is to be applauded."

2015 Citizens Academy
Citizens' AcademyCamden County Board of Commissioners are continuing to carry out past and future goals of an open government. One way we do this is by offering The Citizens Academy. The Academy is a free, interactive program designed to familiarize the general public with the roles, services, and operations that comprise Camden County Government.

The program focuses on educating residents, business owners, and interested persons who work in Camden County on how daily County Government operations contribute to building a better community.

The 2015 Citizens Academy is in the fourth week and going tremendously well.  The current participants have been educated thus far on Budget & Finance, Human Resources, the role of the County Clerk, Clerk of Superior Courts Office, Magistrate Court, Probate Court, Voters Registrar's Office, Administrative Services, Curbside, and the Bryan-Lang Historical Archives.  

This class will continue until the end of February with plans for another class in the summer.  Details about the next class will be available soon.  
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

  Chip Keene
District 1

Chuck Clark
District 2
  Jimmy Starline
District 3
Commissioner Gary Blount 
  Gary Blount
District 4

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