After voting for the City of Reidsville millage rate to remain at seven percent on Thursday, September 29, 2022, the council had to call a meeting on October 3 to correct an error.
The City of Reidsville advertised a notice for the millage rate to decrease to 6.86 percent in The Journal Sentinel on September 22. The millage rate for 2021 was seven percent.
Tax Assessor Laura Adams submitted the 6.86 percent decrease to the state on Friday, September 30, since the due date for submission was October 1. The contradicted the October 3 vote by the Reidsville City Council to keep the rate at seven percent, hence why the city needed to call a meeting on Monday, October 3 to change their vote.
The city would not have been able to make the October 1 deadline if they advertised for the seven percent millage rate, so they had to go with what was sent by the tax assessor.
“No one did this intentionally,” Councilwoman Carolyn Crume-Blackshear said. “This was a mistake, but we need to rectify it.”
Crume-Blackshear assured those who were present at the meeting that taxes would not go up from this decrease due to a rollback system.
This called meeting was held on October 3 at 5 p.m. at City Hall. The meeting announcement was posted on the City Hall doors on Friday, according to the city clerk. The Journal Sentinel, however, was notified of this meeting at 1:09 p.m. the day of. Not notifying the newspaper of a called meeting 24 hours prior to the meeting time is illegal.
OCGA: “In counties in which a legal organ is published less than four times per week, the time, place, and date of the meeting must be posted less than 24 hours at the regular meeting location, and upon request from the broadcast or print media in the county, notice must be provided to the requesting media outlet 24 hours in advance of the meeting.”
The city can schedule meetings with under 24 hours’ notice in case of emergencies, however Monday was not an emergency meeting.
OCGA: “When special circumstances occur and are so declared by an agency, that agency may hold a meeting with less than 24 hours’ notice upon giving such notice of the meeting and subjects expected to be considered at the meeting as is reasonable under circumstances...”
At the October 3 meeting, Mayor Curtis Colwell announced the meeting was not a “special called meeting” but a planning session, however the agenda read “Special Called City Council Meeting”. A planning session followed after the called meeting was adjourned. A vote cannot take place at a planning session, since it is designed for the purpose of planning. A vote can only take place at an official called meeting, which the October 3 meeting was.