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 - Feb/Mar 2015


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In This Issue


 WorkReady Community
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UPCOMING Board of County Commissioners Meetings & Public Hearings


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

April 7th

 Regular BOCC Meeting 6:00PM


April 21st Regular BOCC Meeting 6:00PM


May 5th

Regular BOCC

Meeting 6:00PM



Government Services Complex
 200 East 4th Str.
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
"Counties Moving America Forward:" The Keys are Transportation & Infrastructure
Camden County is to deliver defined County services with exceptional customer service and in a financially sustainable and transparent manner. Camden County provides citizens with the essential services to create vibrant, healthy and safe communities while maintaining the outstanding quality of life that makes Camden a desirable place to live and work. Our residents depend on us to provide services that build, maintain, and protect their homes, schools and neighborhoods.
A Message from the County Administrator


On February 26, 2015, we graduated our most recent Citizens Academy Class.  I'd like to congratulate all class participants for this achievement and thank them for being an engaged group as they learned more about their county.  I encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about Camden County to become involved in our next class that begins August 13, 2015.


Spaceport Camden remains a high priority for the Board of Commissioners.  We continue to work diligently on developing a public-private partnership that will make Spaceport Camden a reality. I was thrilled to be asked again to participate in the Georgia Space Working Group in Atlanta on March 5th and provide meaningful input. Camden County has an asset that can provide an economic advantage for Georgia and space operators.Camden County can provide an optimal launch site location with ready access to cutting-edge space research and technology.  


The new Strategic Plan 2015 ~ 2020 ~ 2030 for Camden County was adopted March 17, 2015 by the Board of County Commissioners. I am proud of all the hard work that went into this new plan and we are pleased to share it with you. More information and the link to the full report are provided below for your convenience.


I was extremely proud that Camden received national attention by being featured in the March/April Issue of Government Fleet magazine.  The agreement with the City of Kingsland will help reduce costs for both entity's as well as create best practices that other local governments can duplicate.


As staff continues to focus on the upcoming FY 2016 Budget, the County is determined to provide exceptional customer service in a financially sustainable and transparent manner.


We look forward to serving you in the future.  For more information on these and other happenings and events in Camden County, please see the links below and Happy Spring to you all!


Yours for a better Camden,

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

County Administrator

2014 Annual Report Released

The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has released the 2014 Annual Report. The report summarizes the functions of each of the county government departments while providing specific information about the department's progress as well as informing the citizens of Camden County about the accomplishments the County government achieved during 2014. The continued dedication and teamwork of Camden County employees ensures our community is a better place to live, work, and play.  To view report Click Here.

County Administrator Steve Howard said the Annual Report and the annual review of priorities both serve a valuable function. "This review helps provide the impetus to continue doing everything we can to give the citizens of Camden County a government that is responsive to their needs and respectful of their wallets." The Board of Commissioners thank all county employees for their hard work, contribution and citizen partnerships for making 2014 so successful.

In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, the 2014 Annual Report will be posted and distributed electronically. 

Camden County Strategic Plan Released 
During their regularly scheduled meeting held, Tuesday, March 17, 2015 the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) unanimously adopted a new Strategic Plan that establishes a blueprint for Camden County's future.  The plan consists of A Vision for 2030, Goals for 2020and an Action Agenda for 2015. The new plan looks at five-year outcome-based goals, with measurable objectives, and 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, a Citizen's Summit was held in November 2014. Surveys were also made available at county government facilities and online to interested citizens at the County's website. Additionally, several background interview sessions were also conducted. Important strategic planning sessions were held with the Management Team and the Board of County Commissioners.  These sessions allowed for the review of accomplishments from the previous year and to focus on a vision, mission and direction for Camden County.


County Administrator Steve Howard said this process was a huge undertaking. "I applaud everyone for their efforts to make Camden's new strategic plan a reality. Hope is not a plan and therefore, having a detailed roadmap for the future is vital." The Strategic Plan and its lasting effects will help Camden County control its future.


To view the Strategic Plan click HERE


The 2015 - 2020 - 2030 Strategic Plan brings a new mission and vision statement to Camden County Government.



To deliver Defined County Services with Exceptional Customer Services in a Financially Sustainable and Transparent Manner.


Vision 2030

Camden County 2030 is the Premier Coastal Community of Georgia - Beautiful and Safe.  

Has a Strong Regional Economy and Diverse Job Opportunities with four major pillars:  

an Active Naval Submarine Base, 

a Successful World Spaceport, 

Sport Tourism and a

Technology Corridor.  

Has Relaxed Living with Quality Residential Developments, and Abundant Leisure Choices for All.

Fire/EMS Functional Consolidation on Track

The historic Mutual and Automatic Aid Agreement that joined together Camden County Fire Rescue (CCFR), the Kingsland Fire Department (KFD) and the St. Marys Fire Department (SMFD) was signed just over a year ago in February 2014. The agreement was designed to help improve efficiency, reduce response times and improve the level of service for the citizens of Camden County. Under the agreement, the three departments began training together and the unit that was geographically closest to a call location responded. The first joint training sessions were held on February 5, 2014.


A year later and the results are tangible. CCFR Station 14 (near the intersection of Harrietts Bluff Road and Highway 17) has been closed and the county trucks and equipment moved to KFD Station 5 on Robert's Path adjacent to Mamie Lou Gross Elementary School. In addition, SMFD Station 9 (at the intersection of Colerain Road and St. Marys Road) now has a CCFR ambulance. These strategic changes help to better utilize resources and provide cost savings.


The agreement was the result of unprecedented cooperation between the Camden County Board of Commissioners (BOCC), the Kingsland City Council and the St. Marys City Council. The agreement was one of the options proposed by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Center for Public Safety Management who had been hired in 2013 to study the feasibility of consolidation of fire services within the county. Following the study, a committee was comprised of elected members of the two city councils, the BOCC as well as the County Administrator and the two City Managers.


All the City and County Elected Officials and the City and County Fire Chiefs involved in drafting and implementing the new mutual aid agreed that this is a positive step forward in providing all the citizens of Camden County the best possible fire and EMS service.


County Administrator Steve Howard said the agreement and its very positive results are a testament to the power of committed cooperation. "This is a very important step in the right direction and clearly demonstrates to the people of Camden County that their elected officials and their local governments will work together for the common good. This successful functional consolidation is a proud moment in the history of Camden County."

Public Works
"You Are Why We're Here"

Of the 300 miles of roads in the unincorporated area of Camden County approximately half (169 miles) are paved and the rest (131 miles) are dirt. Maintaining, repairing and providing drainage for these roads falls to the Roads and Bridges Division of the county's Public Works Department. The other division, the Capital Improvements Division, is primarily responsible for overseeing the design and construction of new and renovated buildings owned by Camden County.

It is a lot of work for Public Works Director Harvey Amerson and his crew of fifteen employees. Amerson, who has worked for Camden County for twenty years, said it is always a balancing act between providing quality services and finding ways to cut costs. One way he does that is by utilizing the Georgia Department of Corrections inmate labor program. Using this program on several recent and current projects will save approximately $250,000.

The largest current ongoing construction project is the expansion of the Camden County Jail in Woodbine. The expansion will provide a new kitchen and a 50-bed dormitory style pod. The expansion should be complete in approximately one year. Another large project being worked on is the construction of a Camden County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) shooting range on Georgia Highway 110 near Highway 40. The 35-acre project is anticipated to include three ranges within the complex. The use of inmate labor will cut the construction cost by approximately half.


The Roads and Bridges Division also stays very busy. Their highest priority is keeping water off the roads. Amerson said beavers are not his favorite animals as they often cause flooding by the building of dams on local waterways, hence making more work for the department. This division is also responsible for making repairs to potholes and washouts, trimming tree limbs, clearing vegetation from county right-of-ways, mowing county roadsides, picking up litter and maintaining safety and traffic signage on county roads.


Recent road projects include the resurfacing of Kinlaw Road, Powderhorn Road, Liberty Tree Road and Sheffield Island Road. The Road Department has also resurfaced short areas on Elliott's Plantation Road, Refuge Road and Dover Bluff Road. In addition, the right-of-way is being cleared for the paving of Powell Street, Jody Lane and Kayla Street. The grading of dirt roads is always an ongoing project.

County Administrator Steve Howard said although they may often work behind the scenes, the Public Works Department is invaluable. "The County is fortunate to have an experienced Public Works team that properly and efficiently maintains our roadways. The staff do a great job and their work is essential for the well-being and vitality of Camden County. Public works literally paves the way for the County's future."

2015 Citizens Academy Graduates 18  Local Area Residents
Camden County Board of Commissioners are pleased to announce the 2015 Citizens Academy Winter Class graduates.  18 local residents were presented Certificates of Completion during a ceremony in Woodbine on Thursday, February 26, 2015.

This program informs the general public about the roles, services, and operations that comprise Camden County Government. The institution of a Citizens Academy was approved by the Board of Commissioners in February 2009. 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.
Starting in January, the class met every Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to learn how their tax dollars are spent. Presentations were given on all aspects of county government, including the court system, taxes, and public safety. The participates who completed the class and received their certificates are Kelly Gibson, Steven Sainz, Steve Walker, Diane Lustenader, Bob Lustenader, Dr. April Howell, Gerald Howell, Ginger Readdick, Barbara Jean Tyre, John Tyre, Rachel Baldwin, Ben Casey, Carol Riley, Dan Riley, Barbara Parkinson, Liz Johnsen, Eddie Rhone and Marjorie Howard.

Our next Citizens' Academy will be offered beginning August 13, 2015.  It will take place over an 8-week period on Thursday evenings from 6-8pm. Please email us at [email protected] if you are interested in signing up for this class.  You may also call 912.510.0464 for more information.
Spring has Sprung!
Spring Facts

Spring is that exciting season where we transition from Winter into Summer. It usually occurs during the months of March, April and May, or from the Vernal Equinox (March 20) to the Summer Solstice (June 21). For more information and facts on Spring, keep reading.

  • In the Northern Hemisphere, Spring is just beginning, but the opposite is true for the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The first day of spring is also called the vernal equinox where there is supposed to be 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night.
  • In spring, the Earth's axis is tilted toward the sun, increasing the number of daylight hours and bringing warmer weather.
  • Severe weather most often occurs during the spring, when warm air begins to move up from the lower latitudes and cold air pushes down from the polar regions.
  • Many trees, flowers, plants and bulbs begin to grow during the Spring.
  • Animals begin to shed their winter coats for the warmer weather.
  • Spring is a symbol of rebirth. Many animals have babies such as cows, birds, and ducks.
  • Animals such as bears who hibernate start to wake up and become active.
Camden County Human Resources Department
In any organization the key to success is the people. That is especially true if the organization is a county government that provides a great many services to more than 50,000 citizens. Many times county employees serve the community behind the scenes in vital but not always visible ways. In Camden County, there are approximately 430 employees working to provide these services.

The Human Resources Department for Camden County plans and implements human resource programs and policies in the area of staffing, compensation, benefits, employee relations and training for employees. The Human Resources (HR) team is in the process of updating county policies to ensure they are consistent with the work culture and compliant with the law. HR staff work diligently to make sure the same standard applies to every employee.

The biggest challenge facing new HR Director Katie Howard and staff is attracting and retaining qualified, professional employees to serve the citizens of the county. Once hired, it is the responsibility of the HR Department to make sure new employees have the necessary resources and support they need in order to provide high quality service that county citizens have come to expect.


Ms. Howard and the HR Department also manage the Medical and Wellness Division, which includes a Wellness Clinic located in Kingsland. This Living Well Clinic not only serves the employees of Camden County but also the employees of the Public Service Authority (PSA), the Joint Development Authority (JDA), the City of St. Marys and the City of Kingsland.


County Administrator Steve Howard said providing services for so many employees can be a challenge. "It's a complex, demanding role that our HR department handles competently and professionally. We value our employees and want to provide them with the support services they deserve."

Space Payloads through 2034 could be $240 Billion
According to a Press Release from Teal Group Corporation on March 16, 2015.  Coinciding with the Satellite 2015 Conference & Exhibition held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC during March 16-19, 2015, Teal Group space analysts have identified 4,607 space payloads proposed to be built and launched to earth or deep space orbits between 2015 and 2034. They estimate the value of these satellites and other space payloads at more than $240 billion.
The payload count for 2015-2034 reflects a 29% increase compared to the 3,280 payloads identified last year for 2014-2033 and 31% more than the 3,164 payloads in 2013 for the period 2013-2032. So the trend is clearly upward.


Teal analysts identify 695 payloads "proposed" for launch in 2015, followed by 579 in 2016, 390 in 2017, 297 in 2018, 513 in 2019, 523 in 2020, 411 in 2021, 159 in 2022, 90 in 2023, and 98 in 2024.


"Remember, these numbers do not represent a forecast of what is to come, but rather a snapshot of what we know is being proposed to be built and launched," said Teal Group senior space analyst Marco C�ceres. "That's why the numbers appear somewhat disjointed. They're higher in the near-term, because companies and governments that plan to launch satellites, probes, and capsules generally aim to do so within the next few years, and so we have more hard information with which to work. The higher numbers during 2019-2021 mainly reflect hundreds of small broadband communications satellites being proposed by companies such as OneWeb and SpaceX," added C�ceres.


Teal Group publishes its detailed space payload numbers in a daily-updated online spreadsheet known as the Worldwide Mission Model Online. (Contact regional representatives at In their latest update by spacecraft type, Teal analysts classified 2,587 of the payloads as commercial, 1,071 as civil, 606 as military, and 343 as university and non-profit. "Most of the commercial spacecraft are for communications, imaging, or navigation applications," said C�ceres. "Civil and military are a wider mix of scientific, communications, Earth imaging, navigation, early-warning, exploration, technology development, crew transport, and cargo resupply."

Of the proposed payloads, more than three-quarters have a mass of less than 1,500 kg. "Most of these spacecraft are low Earth orbit (LEO) mobile and broadband communications satellites, medium Earth orbit (MEO) navigation satellites, and LEO university technology and scientific research satellites."

More than three-quarters of the payloads are being proposed by government agencies, companies, universities, and organizations in the United States, Europe, and Russia. "No surprise there," notes C�ceres. "But the fastest growing region is Asia and the Pacific Rim, especially China and India... mainly because of their extremely ambitious national space programs and overall general consumer demand for commercial satellite services."

Camden featured for Sharing Fleet Services
in National Government Fleet Magazine

Camden County and the City of Kingsland to share fleet services is receiving national attention. An article in the March/April issue of Government Fleet magazine addresses the unique agreement in detail.


Before approaching the City of Kingsland, Camden County Administrator Steve Howard, with support from the Board of Commissioners, initially looked to privatize fleet services following the retirement of its Fleet Manager. While researching other privatized fleet facilities in the region, Howard met with the city to see if they would consider sharing their fleet services director.


Howard's ultimate goal is to save money and implement best practices across multiple fleets. With the City of Kingsland partnership, we are creating a best practice and model that other local governments can duplicate. Howard says "the economies of scale for all parties would reduce costs. By local governments working together, it drives cost effectiveness, leveraging each entity's assets through collaboration."


A special thank you to the Kingsland City Council, City Manager Lee Spell, and Fleet Director Ronnie Wise for their cooperation and leadership in helping to make this idea a reality. The Camden County Sheriff's Office is now also participating in this collaboration initiative. We would like to extend our appreciation to Sheriff Jim Proctor and staff for participating in this joint effort by recently co-sharing their fleet services and joining this partnership. This is another example of collaboration that exhibits success through partnerships.  

To read the full article please click HERE
Woodbine Crawfish Festival 2015
April 24th & 25th

Entertainment is offered on Friday night from 5:00pm to 9:00pm at the Satilla Waterfront Park Stage. Saturday's entertainment begins at 9:00 am and continues throughout the day at the waterfront stage as well as the gazebo stage located in the Arts & Crafts Area. A children's amusement area provides activities and games on Friday night and all day Saturday.

The Crawfish Parade is one of the highlights of the festival and is enjoyed by young and old alike. It begins at 10:00am at the corner of U.S. 17 and E. 10th Street and features entries such as bands, clowns, floats and horses.  

For more information please click HERE.


National County Government Month
April is National County Government Month and Camden is joining with counties across the US in celebrating.  The 2015 Theme is "Counties Moving America Forward:" The Keys are Transportation and Infrastructure. 
Please visit our information tables, April 1st - 30th, that will be displayed at the Camden County Public Library, the Public Service Authority (PSA) and the Government Services Building in Woodbine.   
Transportation and Infrastructure are critical components that support the economy of our county and improve the standard of living for our citizens.  Counties invest in building the schools where students learn, the hospitals that treat and provide care to the community and the jails that house and rehabilitate offenders.  

From cleaning up storm debris and restoring safety to the community to cleaning the water we drink by maintaining reservoirs, purification, plants, and pumping stations, counties provide the basic services that are often taken for granted.

Coastal Regional Commission in Support of Spaceport Camden
In a resolution adopted on March 11, 2015 the Coastal Regional Commission (CRC) Council agreed  to support Camden County in efforts to make Spaceport Camden a reality.
The Coastal Regional Commission (CRC) is a standing board that is inclusive and representative of the main economic interest of coastal Georgia.  The CRC has established regional goals and objectives in an effort to advance economic development within identified economic clusters as documented in the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).
The CRC has identified Aerospace and Defense as a primary cluster for the region within the CEDS document and process.  The CRC further understands the inherent viability of a spaceport site within Camden County due to its rural location and underdeveloped buffer zone.    
The Board of County Commissioners are looking forward to the support the Coastal Regional Council will bring to this very important project.
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!
Our mission is to deliver defined county services with exceptional customer service and to do so in a financially sustainable and transparent manner.

Camden County 2030 is the premier coastal community of Georgia- beautiful and safe.  

Camden County 2030 has a strong regional economy and diverse job opportunities with four major pillars:
  • An active Naval Submarine Base;
  • A successful World Class Spaceport;
  • Space tourism; and,
  • a Technology Corridor. 

Camden County 2030 has relaxed living with quality residential developments, and abundant leisure choices for all.



The Board of County Commissioners and employees of Camden County are committed to the following values: Integrity, Respect, Service, Accountability, Teamwork and Balance.