County talks update for records

Published 6:06 pm Thursday, September 27, 2018

On Thursday, the Troup County Board of Commissioners heard a request to reevaluate how the county decides which records to archive. 

Troup County is required to maintain records under Georgia’s Sunshine Law and has used the entity now known as the Troup County Archives to store those documents since 1982. However, Archive Director Shannon Johnson said that the original agreement now requires updates to keep up with current laws.

“We would like to work toward making this language [in the ordinance] current, and a little more protective,” Johnson said. “We would like to work toward greater collaboration and communication between the county agencies and us at the archives. Specifically, we would like to ask you to allow for a committee to be formed to investigate and draft a more current language ordinance and entire policy, so that the archives can continue to offer the county government agencies the best possible records maintenance.”

County staff agreed that the ordinance needed an update in addition to other measures like additional staff training.

“Our ordinance has not been updated since the 1980s, and it needs to comply with state law,” County Clerk Valerie West said. “This current undertaking will entail not only updating our ordinance, but also establishing a policy and providing education and training to staff on best practices.”

In addition to a representative from the archives, leaders from county departments are expected to take part in the committee that will analyze how to best update the ordinance.

“We have an idea of the entities that we feel like really need to be involved, but those folks would have to be selected by the designee of that agency,” Assistant County Manager Eric Mosley said.

West said representatives from the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, the tax commissioner’s office, probate court, clerk of court’s office and the commissioners’ office were all discussed as part of the committee. Membership on the committee would allow those offices to give input on what would work best for the individual departments. 

Commissioner Morris Jones asked if the Troup County Archives had adequate space. Johnson said that space is always an issue for the archives, but a policy that clearly stated which county records should be saved would help with that problem.

“As we are able to dispose of items that don’t need to be kept anymore, we will be able to free up space,” Johnson said. 

There was also some discussion on paper records versus digital copies at the archives. The Troup County Archives has both in some cases, but Johnson said paper is still preferred because of digital degradation. The Troup County Archives also maintains records for the City of LaGrange and the Troup County School System. 

The Troup County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet again on Tuesday at 9 a.m. at 100 Ridley Avenue.