Baldwin County Commission Chairman Johnny Westmoreland presides over his first official commission meeting of 2019 Tuesday night after being elected the new chairman of the five-member commission panel.

February officially has been designated as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month by the Baldwin County Board of Commissioners.

The proclamation was unanimously adopted by commissioners during a Tuesday night meeting.

“Dating violence is a reality of many youth and an issue that many parents are not aware of,” according to Commissioner Emily C. Davis. “One in three young people are affected by physical, sexual or verbal dating violence. One in five in a serious relationship reportedly have been slapped, pushed, hit, and threatened. Young people can choose better relationships when they understand that young people relationships are based on respect, and learning to identify the early warning signs of an abusive relationship.”

Davis said the proclamation declaring the Month of February as Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention provides what she called an “excellent opportunity” for citizens to learn more about such a problem and to show support for such a problem in society.

In another matter, Commissioner Sammy Hall talked about having run into some difficulty in the last year with a lack of attendance for meetings involving the Sinclair Water Authority.

“We’ve had some difficulty over the last year or so with not having proper attendance at the meetings so that we could conduct business,” Hall told fellow commissioners. “And we wanted to make a change to the bylaws to make sure that we have a sufficient amount of people there to be a quorum and conduct business.”

Hall said new bylaws were adopted last week by members of the Sinclair Water Authority.

“And we’re asking that it be approved by a vote of the county,” Hall said.

“If Putnam (County) has some minor changes to that last sentence, I guess we could approve it at a subsequent meeting,” Hall said. “But I move that we go ahead and adopt this change the bylaws of the Sinclair Water Authority.”

County Attorney David McRee explained to commissioners that the change also would have to go through passage by the Georgia General Assembly.

“I think the motion would be to have our local legislative delegation introduce this with a resolution,” McRee said.

Hall agreed, saying he had spoken to state Rep. Rick Williams about getting it placed into the hopper for state legislation consideration.

Commission chairman Johnny Westmoreland, who presided over his first official commission meeting since being elected chairman by fellow commissioners earlier this year, later called for a motion.

Davis made a motion to accept the change. The motion was seconded by vice chairman Henry Craig. During the vote that followed, the other three commissioners, Tommy French, Hall and Westmoreland all voted to approve of the bylaw change.

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