The Upson County Board of Commissioners met last Tuesday for the first time since Rusty Blackston was sworn in as the new Commission Chairman. It was also the first official meeting for new District 1 Commissioner Lorenzo Wilder.
At the request of County Manager Jim Wheeless, the BOC approved the creation of a part-time position for a Records Retention Clerk during their first meeting of the year. Wheeless told the board that county records are in drastic need of organization and policy in place for how long each type of record is kept. He also asked for permission to set up a Records Retention Committee to help with the process.
“The committee would include representatives from all appropriate business units and stakeholders involved in our records,” said Wheeless. “I have talked with Mrs. Penny Cliff at the Archives and she has agreed to help get it started and serve on the committee.”
Wheeless continued saying that the first order of business would be to do a records inventory and evaluate all documents so that the county may know where they come from, what format they are supposed to be in and who has to have access, then form a comprehensive list of all records. He noted that this is not an overnight process, as it will take several months to complete and then will have to be kept up in order to keep things organized.
The board will also have to decide on a retention policy to determine how long each record is kept. There are state laws that require some documents to be kept for a minimum of three or seven years and then some which must be kept permanently. Wheeless stated that the board would also have the option of keeping documents longer than the state requires if they so choose. Also, that as part of the policy, a plan needs to be in place of how the records will be recovered in case a disaster ever happens in Upson County.
“This is going to be a lot of work, but in the long run it will make life much easier.”
County Attorney Ed Trice commended the board for moving forward with the formation of a retention policy and organization of records.
“I would like to commend you all very strongly with the action taken on the retention of records,” said Trice. “I’ve been bringing this issue up for over 15 years and mostly it falls on deaf ears. But I am so glad you all have finally stepped up to the plate on that.”
In other business, the board approved the bid for the 2013 TAN with SouthCrest Bank at 1.94 percent. Wheeless told the board that requests for the bids were sent to all four local banks with three of those responding. The other bids received were United Bank at 1.95 percent and Colony Bank at 2 percent.