Cherokee Tribune – Local man files ethics complaint against Cummins

CANTON — A resident in the Great Sky community has filed a complaint against Councilman Glen Cummins, claiming the councilman’s candidacy for city manager puts him in violation of Canton’s ethics ordinances.

Andy Potts, who said he has about 50 of his neighbors behind him, sent the complaint to Mayor Gene Hobgood on Tuesday. The complaint accuses Cummins of abusing his role as a council member and interim city manager to become the finalist for the city manager job.

“These charges against Mr. Cummins are a clear violation of the most sacred roots of our democracy,” Potts wrote in the complaint, citing city code. “Elected officials should never be allowed to participate in a process, or have direct influence in a process, that allows them to benefit financially and receive taxpayer dollars.”

via Cherokee Tribune – Local man files ethics complaint against Cummins.

Cherokee Tribune – Ball Ground council to lower tax rate consider sign ordinance amendment

The Ball Ground City Council plans to roll back the city’s millage rate from 6 to 5.375 mills, or a 4.4 percent reduction, officials said.

The council approved a $1.89 million 2014-15 budget at its last meeting in May, which called for a rolled back millage rate from 6 to 5.625 mills, to remain revenue neutral.

However, Ball Ground City Clerk Karen Jordan said Wednesday City Manager Eric Wilmarth planned to recommend the council set the millage rate at 5.375 mills, “representing a tax decrease of 4.4 percent.”

via Cherokee Tribune – Ball Ground council to lower tax rate consider sign ordinance amendment.

Cherokee Tribune – Cosby clashes with residents Former tea party leader to petition for Nov Boc run

CANTON — Clashes between a potential independent candidate and residents persist as a former tea party leader attempts to fill up her petition to run against Cherokee Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens in November.

In recent weeks, residents have complained of harassment and conflicts with Carolyn Cosby, former chair of the Canton T.E.A. Party, and her supporters outside the tax office in Woodstock, said Cherokee Tax Commissioner Sonya Little.

“We’ve had taxpayers wanting to be walked out to their cars,” Little said Thursday, adding she was working to serve the rights of Cosby and residents visiting the tax office. “I really don’t know who’s instigating what, because this is all happening outside. With them being outside and with my camera not having sound, you’re really not going to know the whole story.”

Cosby denies she has been harassing anyone, just as she did when she was asked to leave the Canton Post Office earlier this month after officials advised she and her supporters were breaking federal law by petitioning there.

via Cherokee Tribune – Cosby clashes with residents Former tea party leader to petition for Nov Boc run.

‘Stigma of corruption’ haunts DeKalb | www.ajc.com

DeKalb County is the proud owner of a “Comprehensive Market Development Strategy” that notes, in mulitple places, the continuing “stigma of political corruption,” poor county leadership and other problems the county faces.

To prepare the report, the county hired a private contractor, which in turn hired a subcontractor to supply research and background. That subcontractor was Michael Hightower, who knows a thing or two about political corruption, having pleaded guilty to it in 2000 after accepting nearly $25,000 in bribes while serving on the Fulton County Commission.

via ‘Stigma of corruption’ haunts DeKalb | www.ajc.com.

Savannah’s River Street trolley returns to the rails | savannahnow.com

Visitors along the waterfront are riding the rails once again, now that Savannah’s River Street trolley is back in operation.

The biodiesel powered streetcar “Dottie” resumed offering free rides from one end of River Street to the other on Thursday after extensive repairs to the wheel base were made and subsequent testing confirmed the improvements were satisfactory, said Veleeta McDonald, Savannah’s mobility and parking services director.

via Savannah’s River Street trolley returns to the rails | savannahnow.com.

Savannah considering Forsyth Park bike ban | savannahnow.com

The days of bicycling through Forsyth Park could soon come to an end.

City officials are considering banning the practice as the number of people visiting the park increases and concern about endangering pedestrians grows, said city spokesman Bret Bell.

A full ban would be easier to understand than the limited restriction currently in place, which prohibits bicyclists from riding in a section running from the fountain to southern limits of the old fort, Bell said.

“It’s sometimes tricky for bikers to understand,” he said.

Bicycling is also prohibited on the sidewalk surrounding the park.

via Savannah considering Forsyth Park bike ban | savannahnow.com.

Proposed Juliette solar site could power 130 homes | Local & State | Macon.com

A proposed Juliette solar energy site could soon be producing power for about 130 homes.

Lilburn-based Solar Support Works filed a Planning and Zoning application May 21 for a 1-megawatt site nestled between Ga. 87 and the Ocmulgee River, just north of Georgia Power’s Plant Scherer.

Monroe County’s Planning and Zoning Board approved the proposal last week.

A final public hearing is set for Tuesday night’s county commission meeting.

via Proposed Juliette solar site could power 130 homes | Local & State | Macon.com.

Peach BOE to vote on Byron Peach Charter High School petition | Education | Macon.com

FORT VALLEY — Last year, a petition to open a charter high school in Byron was rejected by both the county and state boards of education.

The Byron Peach Charter High School Association submitted a new petition May 29, and the Peach County school board will vote on the measure at its next work session July 29.

Should the local board deny the petition, the state Board of Education could still override its decision and approve the charter high school.

“I really feel strongly about our petition,” B.J. Walker, an association board member, told the Peach school board Tuesday. “I’d much rather us be united, and y’all being the local educational agency, that we work together.”

via Peach BOE to vote on Byron Peach Charter High School petition | Education | Macon.com.

Crawford coroner takes county to court | Politics | Macon.com

Crawford County’s coroner is taking the county government to court, hoping to get a judge to force the county to provide him the equipment he says he needs to run his office.

Coroner Allen O’Neal filed the petition Wednesday in Crawford County Superior Court. O’Neal wants a judge to order the county “to perform their official duties as mandated by Georgia Law and Local Act, including but not limited to providing a vehicle for the Office of the Coroner, providing a safe, secure office for the Coroner with a secure location for all evidence and samples monitored by the Sheriff’s Office” and paying for telephone and fax lines at O’Neal’s house.

The dispute has been brewing for months. O’Neal previously said he would file suit if the county didn’t do what it had to.

The official Crawford County attorney represents both the county commissioners and the coroner, leading to outside attorneys in the case. O’Neal is being represented by Michelle Smith, of Warner Robins. The County Commission hired Duke Groover, of Macon, as its attorney in the case.

Groover told The Telegraph that the county believes it’s complied with the law and has given O’Neal what he needs.

Commission Chairman Dean Fripp said this year that “he’s asked for an office. He’s asked for a lot of different things that we’ve given him. Nothing that we’ve done has been good enough.”

O’Neal’s petition cites state law that says the coroner must be provided supplies and equipment to reasonably run the office. One of the larger sticking points was a vehicle. O’Neal’s lawsuit says that “bodily fluids are a health hazard and risk for the Coroner to use his personal vehicle for the discharge of his duties. Further, the County is unable to provide any liability insurance to and from death scenes for the use of the Coroner’s personal vehicle.”

via Crawford coroner takes county to court | Politics | Macon.com.

Bill aims to move Ocmulgee National Monument closer to national park designation | Local & State | Macon.com

A new bipartisan bill could help the Ocmulgee National Monument move significantly closer to becoming a national park.

The proposed legislation, called the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act of 2014, would expand the park’s acreage from about 700 acres to more than 2,000 acres and would change the name of the monument to the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park. The bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., and Austin Scott, R-Ga.

Perhaps most importantly, the bill would authorize a study about further expansion of the park between Macon and Hawkinsville. Should the results of that study show that the land between the two cities should be designated for the park, it would increase the park’s size to more than 40,000 acres — enough to make it Georgia’s first national park, said Jim David, the monument’s superintendent.

“This is the first step in basically the expansion of the park,” David said. “It’s been something a lot of people have been working on for many years to provide protection for unique and valuable archaeological resources. It’s a dream many people have had for many years.”

via Bill aims to move Ocmulgee National Monument closer to national park designation | Local & State | Macon.com.

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