Donner is a 1-2 year old boxer mix male who is good with people, dogs, and appears to not chase cats. He is available for adoption from the Walton County Animal Shelter.
Brandie is a 4-year old, 29# low-rider who’s about the size of a beagle. An owner turn-in, she’s said to be good with kids and other dogs. She’s available today from the Walton County Animal Shelter.
28845 is a pibble mix puppywho is friendly and playful. She and a number of other puppies, dogs and cats, is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter for the discounted adoption fee of $30.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections
For a small number of voters across the state, today is Yet Another Election Day. I’ll be heading across the street shortly after publication this morning to vote in the runoff election for Mayor and City Council of the City of Brookhaven.
The first vote I will cast will be for J. Max Davis for Mayor. J. Max is a conservative who will help ensure that the City of Brookhaven fulfills its promise of lower taxes and better services. He led the group that worked for incorporation and is the best choice today. Davis is endorsed by State Rep. Mike Jacobs and State Senator Fran Millar.
His opponent, Sandy Murray, ran against State Rep. Mike Jacobs, who sponsored the incorporation legislation, and qualified to run against him this year before dropping out of that race and entering the race for Mayor. Murray opposed incorporation and worked to defeat the measure. She is supported by the Democratic Party of Georgia, with DPG Political Director Rashad Richey sending a mass email yesterday saying, “Sandy Murray is a solid Democrat running for Mayor of Brookhaven who will work with progressives….”
If I lived in her district, I would be voting today for Rebecca Chase Williams for District 1 City Council.
Senate District 30 voters will choose between State Rep. Bill Hembree and Mike Dugan in today’s runoff election, leading to the General Special Election on January 8, 2013.
Turnout could be light, if advance voting figures are any indication. Only 922 voters cast early ballots in Carroll County, about 1.8 percent of the 52,412 eligible voters.
Voters in Augusta City Commission District 1 will return to the polls today in a runoff election between Commissioner Matt Aitken and challenger Bill Fennoy. Aitken was first elected three years ago in a runoff against Fennoy.
Clayton County voters will fill two seats on the county board of education today. Clayton County is currently under investigation by SACS for board in-fighting.
District 2 incumbent Trinia Garrett will face Judy Johnson, and District 7 incumbent Wanda Smith will face Mark Christmas.
Currently, there are 18,600 registered voters in School Board District 2 and 13,775 in School Board District 7.
Early voting for the Dec. 4 election closed Friday, but the Elections and Registration Office has only received 9 in-person voters and 62 mailed absentee ballots.
“Observing the turn out for early voting, I do not anticipate a high volume of voters to turn out Tuesday,” said Elections Director Annie Bright.
Last week the State Elections Board fined Blackshear City Council Member David Broady $5500 for illegally handling 55 absentee votes in 2009 during his reelection campaign.
The civil fine amounts to $100 for each absentee vote the Georgia Secretary of State’s office investigation said Broady handled and delivered to the Blackshear post office just prior to the Dec. 1, 2009 city council District 4 runoff election.
Broady was accused of 55 felony counts of unlawful possession of absentee ballots. State law says it is illegal for anyone other than a person with legal authority to possess others’ ballots – such as an official overseeing an election – outside of the polling place.
State election officials launched a probe in January, 2011 following a complaint regarding the 2009 runoff between District 4 incumbent Broady and challenger Bernice Blakely Bowles. The State Election Board forwarded the case to the Attorney General’s office after a presentation in February this year after finding probable cause to proceed.
The absentee ballots allegedly handled by Broady were counted in the runoff election, in which Broady defeated Bowles 90-57.
In Troup County, there will be a rare runoff election for Sheriff as an independent candidate forced Democrat Ruben Hairston and Republican James Woodruff into a second round of voting. Hairston played professional football and was endorsed by the outgoing Republican sheriff.
Wilcox County also has a runoff election for Sheriff with Republican Mike Martin and Democrat Lonnie Curry on the ballot today.
McIntosh County hosts a runoff election for board of education between Republican Bonnie Caldwell and Democrat Vicky Persons after an independent ran in the general election.
Putnam County hosts a runoff election for District 1 County Commissioner with Republican Kelvin Irvin and Democrat Fred Ward making the cut.
Early voting in the special election runoff for the District 1 county commission seat ended Friday with a total of 317 ballots cast, according to the BER office. In addition, 62 absentee ballots had been returned by 5 p.m. Monday.
The Taylor County Commission District 4 seat is up for grabs today in a runoff election between incumbent Commissioner Jerry Albritton and challenger Russell Pounds, who tied in the general election with 343 votes each.
Brunswick sees a runoff for the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission between Clifford Adams and Sandy Dean after a ten-candidate
free-for-all general election.
Lobbyists are reminded that registration is due soon and the online renewal system will be available from December 17, 2012 through January 9, 2013. At least in theory. The computer system at the Commission appears to be down this morning. Consider yourselves warned.
Governor Nathan Deal named Senators Rick Jeffares and Charlie Bethel as Administration Floor Leaders, who join Senator Bill Jackson.
Deal also appointed two judges in the Bell-Forsyth Judicial Circuit.
Deal announced Monday that he tapped State Court Judge Philip C. Smith, 57, to the superior court. He then selected Forsyth Solicitor-General Leslie Abernathy, 45, to fill Smith’s seat on the state court.
Deal’s Judicial Nominating Commission had put both Smith and Abernathy on the short list for the superior court seat. The vacancy created by Smith’s promotion to the superior court was not advertised and did not go through the usual JNC vetting process, although previous governors have made similar moves.
The Atlanta City Council voted themselves pay raises yesterday, going from $39,000 to more than $60,000 and raising the Mayor’s pay from $147k to $184k per year. Because they deserve it.
The raises were pushed by an independent review committee that looked into compensation for Atlanta’s elected officials. Supporters say bigger salaries would bring better candidates, but some union officials think the money would be better spent on those supplying city services. Taxpayer watchdogs also wonder about the wisdom of giving elected officials big raises.
While most council members chose to remain silent on the issue, veteran council member Cleta Winslow defended her vote for the pay raise.
“There have been a lot media that’s been running around today — I’m not afraid of the media. I believe that we deserve the raise and I’m just going to say it,” Winslow said after listening to numerous speakers question the timing and amount of the proposed salary hike.
Fulton County will consider on Wednesday hiring Arnall Golden Gregory to lobby the General Assembly at a cost of more than $260,000.
After months of deadlock over how to handle the upcoming state Legislative session, on Wednesday the Fulton County Commission will consider hiring an outside lobbying firm at a cost of $260,416. Arnall Golden Gregory scored the best out of three bidders for the state- and federal-level lobbying job. Rusty Paul, a former Republican state senator and leader of the Georgia GOP, is a senior policy advisor at the law firm and co-chairs its government affairs team.
Paul was last seen on Fox5Atlanta defending the exorbitant lunch and flower bills of the Development Authority of Fulton County.
WABE asks “Who steals 20,000 bags of dog food,” after a theft of more than $30,000 worth of kibble from a warehouse. This guy, that’s who.
The Murray County Animal Shelter in Chatsworth, Georgia has impending deadlines on Thursday before dawn for a number of dogs.
This is a one-and-a-half year old Lab boy who is great with other dogs and with people, available from the Murray County Animal Shelter with a deadline of 2 AM Thursday morning.
This sweet brown dog is a mother at ten months of age, and she and her puppies are destined to be euthanized tomorrow morning if no one steps up to adopt or foster. They are available for adoption immediately and transportation can be arranged.
These two 16-week old lab puppy males are still available for adoption.
Six black lab mix puppies (above) and their mother (below).
The year-and-a-half Boxer female above is the shelter volunteers’ favorite because she’s sweet to people and other dogs.
This black lab mix male is about ten months old and has the beginning of mange, but it’s easily treated.
There are a half-dozen other dogs in dire need before Thursday. Transportation for any of these dogs to the Atlanta area is available for free and we have sponsors who are willing to pay the adoption fee for any of these dogs. Email me if you’re interested in adopting and have any questions.
To save one of these souls, here is the contact information:
Lisa Hester, volunteer
Megan706-260-5251 (daytime Tu,Th,F)(TEXT or call)
706-463-2194, TEXT messages only
If you are not able to save a dog at this time, you also may make a donation on behalf of one of the dogs or for a “hard to place” dog. To make a donation, simply go to www.paypal.com, click on the “send money” tab on the home page and enter the shelter acct, [email protected]. In the subject line, indicate this is a donation for the (brief descrip and/or ID # of animal or “hard to place dog”). IMPORTANT: Be sure to designate the payment as a “gift” or PayPal will take part of it.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns & Elections
Early voting has started in the runoff election for Senate District 30 between Bill Hembree and Mike Dugan.
Both Hembree and Dugan are expected to speak at the Dec. 1 county Republican meeting at Sunnyside Cafe in Carrollton, likely their last joint appearance before the election.
On the campaign trail, Hembree is emphasizing his years of experience as a legislator and his conservative background, while Dugan is running as a new face, with a new approach to the problems facing the state.
Hembree, 46, a Douglas County insurance agent, served 18 years as a Republican member of the Georgia House of Representatives, chairing higher education, rules and industrial relations committees. On Sept. 6, he resigned from the House to enter the state Senate race.
Dugan, 49, is making his first run for public office. He is emphasizing his military and business experience as training for the Legislature. He has pledged to hold regular town hall meetings, if elected, and to work for term limits. He said it’s time for new ideas and new leadership.
Hembree was strong in the early voting phase of the general election when he received more votes than he did on Election Day.
District 30 comprises portions of Carroll, Douglas and Paulding counties.
Extra points are awarded to the Douglas County Sentinel writer who actually used the word “comprise” correctly.
The nascent City of Brookhaven will also elect a Mayor and three City Council members in runoff elections. I’ll be voting for J. Max Davis for Mayor.
During his campaign, Davis said he had a great experience connecting the voters with his campaign, which showed in his voting results numbers.
His campaign style also includes going door-to-door and phone calling — but Davis also held meet and greets in the homes of his supporters, as well as restaurants.
“I did meetings anywhere people wanted to meet and I would come and meet and talk with them,” he said.
On his continuing campaign before the runoff, Davis does not plan to change anything, but would like to replicate the results of last Tuesday.
“We’re just focused more on getting people out to vote,” he said.
In Brookhaven District 2, Rebecca Chase Williams is the likely winner and I would vote for her if I lived in that district.
In Brookhaven District 3, Kevin Quirk came in ten votes behind Bates Mattison in the initial election. Quirk has been going door-to-door, while I haven’t seen Mattison in my neighborhood.
In Brookhaven District 4, Joe Gebbia has been endorsed by State Rep. Mike Jacobs and will likely win.
“Joe Gebbia has displayed the ability to reach out to all individuals in his district,” said state Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Atlanta, who was theauthor of the Brookhaven cityhood bill. “Whether you were for or against cityhood, Joe has proven that he’s committed to bringing our city together.”
The Brookhaven Patch has a pretty good analysis of the runoffs.
Plant Vogtle’s new reactors may be later than previously thought in being brought online as construction is running behind schedule. According to a story by Kristi Swartz in the AJC:
Worker training, increased project oversight and stiffer regulatory requirements are chief reasons behind the delay, tacking on six months’ worth of additional labor costs, Georgia Power has said. The project’s main contractors say the delays could be even longer, with the first reactor starting up in early-to-mid 2017 and the second one a year later.
The first of the $14 billion reactors was originally scheduled to be finished in April 2016, and the second one a year later. Regulatory and other pre-construction delays had already changed the estimate to six months later than that.
The delay had lead to a 1 percent increase in Georgia Power’s $6.1 billion portion of the project, but customers currently are not paying any of those additional costs because the utility has not asked utility regulators for permission to recoup that money.
David McKinney, Southern Nuclear’s vice president of construction support for Vogtle 3 and 4, revealed the contractors new estimated dates of “early to mid 2017, 2018” in a hearing Tuesday before the Georgia Public Service Commission.
The new reactors at Vogtle are the first to be built from scratch in the United States in 30 years. Georgia Power officials acknowledged that the project is under intense regulatory scrutiny from a cost and safety standpoint.
Frank Poe, Executive Director of the Georgia World Congress Center announced that a deal for a new Atlanta stadium should be ready by December 31st. Taxpayers will be on the hook for roughly one-third of the estimated $1-1.2 billion cost through the hotel-motel tax. Common Cause is rightly raising questions about the process and the public’s role or lack thereof.
Leaders with the Atlanta Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority have talked privately about a new stadium. Those talks are legal as long a quorum of a government board is not present.
Common Cause Georgia Executive Director William Perry stands across the street from the Georgia Dome, where the Atlanta Falcons play. Perry has questions about plans for a new Falcons stadium
Even if they are not breaking the law, Common Cause Georgia head William Perry argues the groups should add seats at the table for the public.
“When we’ve got a state agency dealing with a $1.2 billion facility, a third of which will be funded by taxpayers, taxpayers and citizens have a right and need to be engaged in the process,” said Perry.
Georgia might appeal a decision by a Federal Court of Appeals that prevents HB 87′s prohibition on knowingly transporting or harboring illegal immigrants in the course of another crime to the United States Supreme Court.
The state had asked the appeals court to reconsider its decision against a part of the law that would punish people who knowingly transport or harbor illegal immigrants while committing other crimes. In August, the court ruled the measure is pre-empted by federal law, which already prohibits such activities.
Another part of the statute — nicknamed the “show-me-your-papers law” — has been on hold while the case was before the appeals court. That other provision would give police the option to investigate the immigration status of suspects they believe have committed state or federal crimes and who cannot provide identification or other information that could help police identify them.
Georgia has about 90 days to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could accept or decline such a case. Under that scenario, the state’s show-me-your-papers law could remain on hold until the Supreme Court acts.
“We are considering our options and no decisions have been made at this time,” the Georgia Attorney General’s Office said in a statement issued Tuesday.
Republican and Democratic legislators representing Macon and Bibb County are at odds whether to change local elections to non-partisan following the merger of the city and county governments.
A Republican-led push for nonpartisan elections in Bibb County led to clear fissures in the county’s legislative delegation hearings Tuesday at the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce.
State Rep. Nikki Randall, D-Macon, said partisan elections were continued in the consolidation proposal that voters approved this year.
“Are we saying, ‘We got you to vote for it, now we’re going to change it?’” Randall asked. “Some may consider it to be a deceptive act.”
Randall said she expected bills for nonpartisan elections will be filed by state Sen. Cecil Staton and state Rep. Allen Peake, both Macon Republicans whom she thinks have the votes needed to pass them.
In a 2013 budget proposal released Tuesday, Nash unveiled a spending plan incorporating a new balance of funding created by a settlement with local cities over services. It divides the county into districts, ensuring that city residents do not pay county taxes for services they only receive from the city.
While that means all city residents will receive a break on paying for development and enforcement taxes, the biggest break will come for those in cities with their own police forces.
But Nash said the service from the county police department will change little. So with fewer taxpayers footing the bill for the county force, the tax bills for unincorporated residents (and those in cities without police departments) are expected to go up.
“Essentially, it’s a redistribution,” Nash said. “We feel like the safety of the residents is so important. I could not bring myself to make the cuts needed to balance the budget in the police district.”
The Gwinnett County Commission also approved an additional payment to Partnership Gwinnett, an economic development joint venture with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce that has been under fire over its spending and whether records of Partnership Gwinnett are subject to state Open Records laws.
Under a new agreement approved by the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, the funds contributed to Partnership Gwinnett will be public.
A progress and financial report for the new nonprofit entity, along with a Board of Directors formed by the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce will be approved by the county. It would also keep the money separate from the chamber’s private donations.
“Their records will be open to an open records process so the county and the public will be aware of how those funds are used,” said Bryan Lackey, director of the county’s planning and development department.
Without discussion, Columbus Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to approve a settlement of the city’s lawsuit against online travel websites Expedia.com and Hotels.com for approximately $586,000.
In addition to the money, the companies agree to remit the full amount of hotel occupancy taxes due to the city and to re-list local hotels on their websites, City Attorney Clifton Fay said.
The Expedia case is the second such case the city has settled with online travel sites. The city settled with Orbitz for $230,000 in 2010 and Priceline settled with the city for about $72,000 with no litigation. Those bring the city’s total in settlements to just over $888,000.
The litigation between the city and the online travel brokers began in 2006, when the city sued, claiming the companies were not remitting the proper amount of hotel occupancy taxes. Ostensibly in reaction to the lawsuits, many online brokers stopped listing Columbus hotels on their websites, costing local hoteliers business.
If travelers entered Columbus into the websites, they were directed to hotels in nearby cities instead.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will close its Georgia Rural Development Office in Baxley.
Sumter County Commissioner A.J. Hurley will face trial for bribery as jury selection begins today in federal court in Albany.
Hurley is accused of agreeing to accept $20,000 in bribes from an unidentified asbestos abatement company licensed in Michigan in order to influence the vote of a contract before the Sumter County Commission, according to the indictment levied against him by a federal grand jury in May.
The government contends Hurley received two bribes.
Hurley has denied the accusations and maintains his innocence.
Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-City of Brookhaven), who is the legislative architect of the incorporation of the new City of Brookhaven, has met both of the candidates for Mayor of Brookhaven in previous campaigns, defeating them in state house races.
In 2010, Jacobs (R) trounced Democrat Sandy Murray by a 66-34 margin. Murray has qualified to run for Mayor of Brookhaven, despite having opposed the cityhood effort. This also means that she will not be the Democratic candidate for State House District 80 against Jacobs this year, despite having qualified for the seat.
In 2004, Jacobs was the Democratic nominee against J. Max Davis, then-Republican nominee, now candidate for Mayor of Brookhaven. Jacobs won a narrow victory over Davis that year with a 51.2-48.8 margin.