Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 31, 2019


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 31, 2019

Benjamin Franklin became Georgia’s agent in England on June 1, 1768, making him also Georgia’s first lobbyist.

On June 2, 1774, Britain’s Parliament passed the Quartering Act, the last of the Coercive Acts, meant to punish the American colonies and reassert British control. Eventually, the Third Amendment to the United States Constitution would prohibit the forcible quartering of soldiers in private homes.

On June 1, 1775, Georgia patriots sent a care package to their brethren in Massachusetts comprising 63 barrels of rice and £122 after the battles at Lexington and Concord.

The court martial of Benedict Arnold convened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 1, 1779.

Arnold negotiated his defection to the British and the subversion of West Point over several months. The British already held control of New York City and believed that by taking West Point they could effectively cut off the American’s New England forces from the rest of the fledgling nation.

In August 1780, Sir Henry Clinton offered Arnold £20,000 for delivering West Point and 3,000 troops. Arnold told General Washington that West Point was adequately prepared for an attack even though he was busy making sure that that it really wasn’t. He even tried to set up General Washington’s capture as a bonus. His plan might have been successful but his message was delivered too late and Washington escaped. The West Point surrender was also foiled when an American colonel ignored Arnold’s order not to fire on an approaching British ship.

Arnold’s defection was revealed to the Americans when British officer John André, acting as a messenger, was robbed by AWOL Americans working as pirates in the woods north of New York City. The notes revealing Arnold’s traitorous agreement were stashed in his boots.

The Treaty of Augusta was signed on May 31, 1783, between the Creek Indians and Georgia Commissioners. A second, identical document would be signed on November 1 of that year.

The first graduation ceremony for the University of Georgia was held on May 31, 1804.

Savannah-born John C. Fremont was nominated for President of the United States by the Radical Republicans on May 31, 1864. Fremont had previously been nominated for President by the Republican Party as their first presidential candidate in 1856.

Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commanding forces west of the Mississippi, surrendered on June 2, 1865, and this date is generally considered the end of the Civil War.

The Capital City Club in Atlanta was chartered on May 31, 1889.

United States Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan certified the 17th Amendment as part of the Constitution on May 31, 1913, authorizing the direct election of United States Senators. Georgia never ratified the Amendment.

On June 1, 1942, a Polish newspaper first published information about the gassing of Jews at Nazi concentration camps in Poland.

Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on June 2, 1953.

On June 2, 1962, Georgia-born Ray Charles hit #1 on the charts with “I Can’t Stop Loving You.”

The Beatles released Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on June 1, 1967. The album is listed as #1 on the Rolling Stone top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the most important rock & roll album ever made, an unsurpassed adventure in concept, sound, songwriting, cover art and studio technology by the greatest rock & roll group of all time. From the title song’s regal blasts of brass and fuzz guitar to the orchestral seizure and long, dying piano chord at the end of “A Day in the Life,” the 13 tracks on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band are the pinnacle of the Beatles’ eight years as recording artists. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were never more fearless and unified in their pursuit of magic and transcendence.

Issued in Britain on June 1st, 1967, and a day later in America, Sgt. Pepper is also rock’s ultimate declaration of change. For the Beatles, it was a decisive goodbye to matching suits, world tours and assembly-line record-making. “We were fed up with being Beatles,” McCartney said decades later, in Many Years From Now, Barry Miles’ McCartney biography. “We were not boys, we were men… artists rather than performers.

“It was a peak,” Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1970, describing both the album and his collaborative relationship with McCartney. “Paul and I were definitely working together,” Lennon said….

Rolling Stone should stick to writing about music.

Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter appeared on the cover of Time magazine on May 31, 1971.

Carter Time Cover 1971

A summit between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev ended on May 31, 1988. Four years later, in 1992, Gorbachev was dancing for dollars in the United States, including the keynote address at Emory University’s graduation.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp addressed the Georgia Press Association on Jekyll Island, according to The Brunswick News.

The governor recounted the efforts of the state first lady, Marty Kemp, on combating human trafficking, and discussed some of the policy goals he and legislative leaders worked to address in the last session and will look at again next year.

The first applause break was for education spending, especially teacher pay raises.

“We’ve again, for the second year in a row, fully funded the public school education formula, which is just huge — it’s over $10 billion for our local school systems,” Kemp said. “We’ve given Georgia educators the largest teacher pay raise in the history of the state government. I know that is a huge issue in the areas that you are covering in your local media, because it doesn’t matter where you are — people are having teacher retention problems.”

The governor’s focus on addressing gang crime also brought acclimation from the media audience, as did when Kemp discussed the state’s hometown publications themselves.

“Hardworking Georgians make a huge difference in their local communities,” Kemp said. “Our teachers, our coaches, business owners, volunteers, public servants, those who give charitably in their local community — they’re all working for one thing, and that’s for a better tomorrow, for a better state tomorrow than it is today.

 The Lowndes County Commission first heard the proposed FY 2020 budget this week, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Lowndes County Commission Chairman Bill Slaughter said he felt good about the proposed budget of $108 million that the county will vote on at its next meeting.

“We do have a balanced budget proposed in front of us, which we are very, very fortunate to have,” Slaughter said.

The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing at 5 p.m., June 11, in the commission chambers. The public is encouraged to attend if residents have any thoughts or concerns about the budget.

The $108 million represents the total cost of expenditures for Fiscal Year 2020. The county’s general fund balance, which pays for most of the county’s services provided to the public, is set at $58 million and is completely balanced, county staff said.

The Glynn County Board of Elections hired Assistant Elections and Registrations Supervisor Chris Channell as the new Elections Supervisor, according to The Brunswick News.

The Glynn County Fire Department is working with a deficit, according to The Brunswick News.

The department is expected to go into the next fiscal year with a $616,000 deficit, according to interim Chief Financial Officer Tamara Munson.

Overall, the department’s expenses dropped, she explained to the Glynn County Commission during a special called meeting on Thursday. The commission gathered specifically to discuss a proposed budget for the fiscal year 2019-2020.

The problem arose because the department’s revenue dropped as well, in large part due to the county diverting the insurance premium tax that once went to the fire fund. It’s now going to the Glynn County Police Department’s new fund to cover for a drop in overall tax revenue.

“There are four reasons why we had to fund with (reserves) this year, and we did not in the past. The first reason is the insurance premium tax,” Munson said. “… The second reason was there was $175,000 worth of (promotions) for the fire department this year, so that caused an increase in personnel costs … in addition to the (cost of living adjustment). The SAFER grant, also, will cause a $70,000 increase this year.”

The department could close most of the $616,000 gap by paying off two fire trucks. Annual debt payments come out to around $600,000, but paying them off would cost around $4 million in total. The money could either come from the $4 million in the fire department’s reserves or out of the county’s $19 million in undesignated funds, Munson explained.

Muscogee County School District has a new police department, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

It’s the first time the Muscogee County School District’s new police department will be put into action — after being created in response to the school shootings in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas.

The first hiring phase is this year for the command staff (one captain and two sergeants, in addition to the already hired police chief) and 15 officers, one at each of the nine high schools and six rotating among the 12 middle schools. The second phase will be next year, hiring six officers to rotate among 32 elementary schools.

Ground was broken for a new Chatham County Behavioral Health Crisis Center, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The psychiatric crisis facility has been a joint effort of the Georgia General Assembly, the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, and the Chatham County Commission.

The facility is 22,000 square feet with an 24-hour, year-round walk-in crisis service alternative to hospital emergency rooms.

Services are for people needing emergency help with psychiatric diagnoses, including hallucinations, psychosis and severe depression.

Alpharetta City Council member John Hipes announced he will run for reelection this year, according to the Patch.

Tybee Island City Council member Shirley Sessions announced she will run for Mayor, according to the Savannah Morning News.

About a week after Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman announced that he will not seek reelection in 2020, the city has it’s first candidate for the upcoming mayoral race.

Tybee Island City Councilwoman Shirley Sessions announced on Thursday her intention to run for mayor.

Some of her top priorities include beach renourishment, public safety and infrastructure.

She said she believes networking “across the bridge” is critical to the long-term success of Tybee.

“For me the mayor’s role is one of uniting people,” she said. “I’m a big believer in finding common ground. As mayor, it’s always important to work for beach renourishment, public safety, infrastructure and also I think respect for individuals. I’m a big believer in accountability and transparency in government. My plan is to help Tybee really be more united.”

Gainesville City Council is considering a property tax rollback, according to the Gainesville Times.

Gainesville officials are recommending the city roll back its millage rate to 3.322 mills from 3.364 mills, the amount needed for the average city property owner to maintain their rate in light of increased property valuations.

City Manager Bryan Lackey presented the recommended budget to the City Council on Thursday and also outlined some proposed capital projects and improvements for the police and fire departments.

The Floyd County Board of Education held its first hearing on the 2020 budget, according to the Rome News Tribune.

The second and final hearing will take place next Thursday at 8 a.m. at the same location. After the second hearing the board will take a vote to accept the budget as tentative with a final vote taking place at the next board meeting.

“We’re passionate about getting a balanced budget,” Superintendent Jeff Wilson said. “We feel really good about this budget and hope the community will, too.”

The proposed budget is $121.9 million which increased $5.7 million from last year. This number is reached by combining the school system’s beginning balance — $19.2 million — with its revenues and equals the system’s ending balance — $18.3 million — plus expenses.

The system is receiving an estimated $66 million from the state for its 9,324 students, Chief Financial Officer Greg Studdard said. These numbers come from the quality basic education earnings sheet, which is what the state of Georgia uses to determine how much funds systems receive.

The biggest expense for the system will be raises for certified and classified personnel, which comes in around $3 million. Certified personnel will be getting the $3,000 raises from the state, Studdard said, but with declining enrollment the system lost about a million in funding and will be receiving $1.4 million for the raises.

The Floyd County Commission is considering zoning changes that would allow some farm animals for personal use, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Comments ( 0 )