February 12, 2013

Public auctions to be moved inside courthouse

Jamie Jones

— The steps at the Whitfield County courthouse are moving, but not literally.

The board of commissioners has changed where the courthouse steps are defined when it comes to selling items such as property during public auctions. Sales will be moved inside to the courthouse lobby beginning May 7.

Commissioners said the change was made because of safety concerns. A group of people standing on the courthouse steps during a public auction could be targets of violence from those who were having their property sold, Chairman Mike Babb said. Everyone who enters the courthouse for the sales will pass through the sheriff’s office’s security line.

“It made good safety sense and good common sense,” Babb said.

Also, the move will keep people out of the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter, he said.

Commissioners are not required to vote on the change.

In other business Monday night, commissioners voted 4-0 to:

• Approve the board of elections’ recommendation to name Mary Hammontree chief registrar. Hammontree most recently worked for Whitfield County in the information technology department. She replaces Kay Staten, who passed away last month. Staten worked in the board of elections office for 33 years and oversaw elections for Dalton, Tunnel Hill, Varnell and Whitfield County.

• Appoint Nicky Starling to the Region One Planning Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities; appoint David Renz to the Dalton-Whitfield Joint Development Authority board; re-appoint John Antalis to the Whitfield County Board of Health; and appoint Commissioner Robby Staten to the Limestone Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council.

Babb appointed Commissioner Lynn Laughter to the Dalton-Whitfield Community Development Corp. and the North Georgia Community Action board.