For nearly three months, Johnston and Sherman had maneuvered around the rugged corridor from Chattanooga to Atlanta. Although there was constant skirmishing, there were few major battles; Sherman kept trying to outflank Johnston, but his advances were blocked. Though this kept losses to a minimum, there was also a limit to how long Johnston could maintain this strategy as each move brought the armies closer to Atlanta. By July 17, 1864, Johnston was backed into the outskirts of Atlanta. Johnston felt his strategy was the only way to preserve the Army of Tennessee, but Davis felt that he had given up too much territory.
The Beatles premiered The Yellow Submarine on July 17, 1968 in London.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
Governor Nathan Deal yesterday endorsed Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle in the Primary Runoff Election. From the AJC:
The governor called Cagle the best candidate to continue his “tradition” of conservative leadership, making the announcement during a question-and-answer session at the end of an unrelated press conference at the state Capitol.
“My point of view is not personal. I have known both of these candidates in our Republican runoff, and I think very highly of both of them,” Deal said. “My concern is, let’s not undo, or transform in a negative fashion, the good reforms that we’ve put in place.”
The governor added: “That will be the challenge for the next governor of this state: To not go backwards, but to go forward. And for that reason, I believe Casey Cagle will be the best candidate.”
“This is a man with great integrity and great character,” said Cagle, who cast himself as an extension of Deal’s legacy. “To have his confidence reflects exactly the type of governor that I’ll be.”
“In order to get those major changes through the General Assembly, I had two partners,” Deal said. “Because he has had a part in making these reforms happen, I think he is the best one to continue this tradition.
“My concern is let’s not undo or transform in a negative fashion the good reforms that have been put in place. For that reason, I believe that Casey Cagle will be the best candidate for that position as the next governor of our state.”
“I want to build on the foundation that Gov. Deal has created,” Cagle said. “Eight years ago no one would have thought that we would grow by nearly 700,000 jobs and 40,000 businesses, become the No. 1 state in the nation for business and cut taxes by billions. But that’s what happens with rock-solid conservative leadership.”
As of Monday morning, there have been a total of 718 ballots cast for the run-off, according to elections supervisor Andrew Harper. The majority of those ballots — 597, or 83 percent — are Republican ballots. The other 121 are Democratic ballots.
The majority of ballots cast have been in-person, with 569 being cast that way. The other 149 have been absentee by mail.
In May, during the general election, less than 17 percent of Troup County’s 37,775 voters went to the polls to take part in the election.
Run-off elections generally have a low voter turnout as well.
According to Tina Lunsford, Henry County’s director of elections and voter registration, a total of 1,796 voters cast their ballots between Monday and Friday, while 325 voters cast their ballots during the special Saturday polling event.
A week before, a total of 1,289 voters participated in early voting, which means that 3,410 voters have participated in early voting since the start of the month. There is a total of 160,292 registered voters in Henry County.
On the local level, a seat on the Henry County State Court and the District 4 seat on the Henry County Board of Education are up for grabs.
Floyd County Election Technician Donna Maldonado said 636 people had cast ballots through Friday at the two early-voting sites in the county.
Of those, 559 chose the Republican ballot and 77 picked the Democratic ballot. The Elections Department also mailed out 107 Republican absentee ballots and 45 containing the Democratic race. Forty-six of the 152 absentee ballots were still out Monday.
“But, remember, mail-outs have until 7 p.m. on July 24 to return their ballots,” Maldonado said.
Any eligible Floyd County voter can walk in between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to vote at the County Administration Building, 12 E. Fourth Ave., or Garden Lakes Baptist Church, 2200 Redmond Circle. All 25 precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Floyd County’s turnout for the May primary barely topped 20 percent. A total of 9,659 votes were cast in the Republican and Democratic governor races. About 69.6 percent of the voters pulled the Republican ballot and 25 percent voted in the Democratic primary. The rest voted only in the nonpartisan judges’ races.
Culver, 48, president and CEO of Progressive Consulting Technologies Inc., faces charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to launder money as part of a $3.7 million deal in late 2012 to put new computers in Macon schools.
While Romain Dallemand, ex-superintendent of Bibb schools, could be called to testify, Judge Marc T. Treadwell explained to prospective jurors that Dallemand is not accused by federal prosecutors of conspiring to commit any wrongdoing in this case.
Alabama is offering a tax-free weekend, to include Phenix City and the nearby shopping hub of Auburn-Opelika, the latter having a major power shopping center in Tiger Town, as well as a mall.
The sales tax holiday kicks off bright and early at 12:01 a.m. Friday, then runs until midnight Sunday. Alabama is among 16 states this year offering such tax breaks leading up to the start of school later this summer, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators.
Georgia last held a tax holiday in 2016, but lawmakers in the Peach State failed to pass legislation in 2017 and again this year to make the event happen.
Based on data from 3,954 drug cases investigated by GBI from January to May 22, the six most confiscated drugs in Georgia are methamphetamine, cocaine, alprazolam (Xanax), oxycodone, heroin and hydrocodone.
GBI’s Chemistry Section Manager Deneen Kilcrease said meth has been the most tested substance for GBI since 2011, when it topped the former leader, cocaine.
Only four counties in the state — Cobb, Fulton, Gwinnett and DeKalb — had a higher number of opiates tested than Chatham.
A total of 11 different variations of fentanyl were seized by law enforcement and tested by GBI.
Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of the project, watched the mushroom cloud rise into the New Mexico sky. “Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds,” he uttered, reciting a passage from an ancient Hindu text.
The White House is again slashing funds for the “navigators’’ who help enroll people in the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges.
The cuts will almost certainly reduce the in-person assistance provided to Georgians seeking an exchange health plan for next year.
Macon-based Community Health Works, which oversees a navigator program in the state, said Wednesday that the federal navigator funding for the upcoming year’s enrollment for Georgia will be $500,000 – about one-third of the 2018 exchange total. The cuts will especially affect enrollment of hard-to-reach populations, experts said.
The federal funding for insurance navigators nationwide will drop to $10 million for the 2019 open enrollment period, down from $36 million for 2018 and about $63 million the year before, federal health officials announced late Tuesday.
The first three acts took aim at the rights of immigrants. The period of residency required before immigrants could apply for citizenship was extended from five to 14 years, and the president gained the power to detain and deport those he deemed enemies. President Adams never took advantage of his newfound ability to deny rights to immigrants. However, the fourth act, the Sedition Act, was put into practice and became a black mark on the nation’s reputation. In direct violation of the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of speech, the Sedition Act permitted the prosecution of individuals who voiced or printed what the government deemed to be malicious remarks about the president or government of the United States. Fourteen Republicans, mainly journalists, were prosecuted, and some imprisoned, under the act.
As I indicated to you in my last note, we completed the bridge (Moore’s), and were ready to cross at daybreak yesterday morning, but before we essayed it a report came from Major Buck, in command of a battalion seven miles above, that the enemy had been crossing above him on a boat or a bridge, and that his pickets had been cut off.
Colonel Biddle, who was left with his brigade at Campbellton, reports the enemy quite strong at that point, with two guns of long range in each of the two redoubts on the opposite bluff, which are opened upon him whenever any of his men show themselves.
I was very anxious to strike the railroad from personal as well as other considerations, but I became convinced that to attempt it would incur risks inadequate to the results, and unless we could hold the bridge, as well as penetrate into the country, the risk of capture or dispersion, with loss of animals (as I could hear of no ford), was almost certain.
An attorney and former student body president of the University of Georgia, Swindall stormed onto Georgia’s political scene in 1984, when — as a 34-year-old Republican — he ousted five-term incumbent Democrat Elliott Levitas, who represented northeast metro Atlanta.
It was Swindall’s first attempt at elected office. His upset victory was built on a wide, suburban network of church activists driven by their opposition to abortion.
The strength of what would become known as the “religious right” was still untested, and the approach was largely foreign to Democrat-dominated Georgia. Swindall attacked Levitas, who was Jewish, as an out-of-control Washington liberal.
A DeKalb County resident, Swindall joined Newt Gingrich as one of only two Republican members of the U.S. House from Georgia. Mack Mattingly, a third Republican, was finishing out his single term in the U.S. Senate.
“Georgia values the safety and wellbeing of our most vulnerable citizens and it’s critically important we take every precaution to protect individuals with disabilities statewide,” said Lt. Governor Cagle. “Service animals play an important role in assisting blind and disabled Georgians and I know Senator Unterman and the members of this study committee will carefully evaluate how the state of Georgia can further assist those who would benefit from owning a service animal.”
Lt. Governor Cagle has appointed the following Senators to the Senate Study Committee on Service Animals for Physically or Mentally Impaired Persons: Chairman Renee Unterman, Greg Kirk, Gloria Butler, Nan Orrock, and Kay Kirkpatrick.
“I am thankful Lt. Governor Cagle recognizes the importance of this issue and has served as such a dedicated champion for Georgians with mental and physical disabilities,” said Chairwoman Renee Unterman. “Our state needs to look at establishing clear qualifications to separate the trained animals from scammers who attempt to take advantage of those with disabilities. Our state must protect our most vulnerable populations and I look forward to working with my colleagues to explore real solutions to this issue.”
In the British House of Commons, Percival served on the committee on jails with a young member named James Oglethorpe, who shared his idea about a new colony in North America for the deserving poor. Percival, like Oglethorpe became a Georgia Trustee, and during Georgia’s first decade, with Oglethorpe in America, Percival worked harder than anyone to champion Georgia’s cause and secure its future.
The first U.S. Army soldiers to receive what would become the nation’s highest military honor were six members of a Union raiding party who in 1862 penetrated deep into Confederate territory to destroy bridges and railroad tracks between Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia.
Lt. Frank Reasoner of Kellogg, Idaho died in action on July 12, 1965 and was later posthumously awarded the first Medal of Honor to a United States Marines in connection with the Vietnam War.
Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams raised more than $2.7 million in the latest campaign filings, with roughly 60 percent of her itemized contributions coming from donors outside the state, according to a McClatchy analysis.
Abrams said the number of out-of-state donors to her campaign reflects the national interest in the gubernatorial race and the importance of Georgia — home of the world’s busiest airport in Atlanta and the country’s fourth-busiest container port in Savannah.
[Lieutenant Governor Casey] Cagle raised more than $3.7 million between April 1 and June 30 and had more than $1.3 million left in the bank at the end of the reporting period. About 91 percent of his donations came from Georgia individuals and organizations, according to McClatchy’s analysis.
[Secretary of State Brian] Kemp took in $1.6 million in contributions in the three-month period and reported $700,000 cash on hand. About 97 percent of his itemized contributions came from within the state.
On July 11, 1782, British colonists including British Royal Governor Sir James Wright, fled Georgia.
Wright had been the only colonial governor and Georgia the only colony to successfully implement the Stamp Act in 1765. As revolutionary fervor grew elsewhere in the colonies, Georgia remained the most loyal colony, declining to send delegates to the Continental Congress in 1774.
Burr was a fugitive, but his killing Hamilton in a duel held a certain justifiable reasoning since dueling was not illegal, though morally questionable, to be sure. According to H. S. Parmet and M. B. Hecht in their Aaron Burr: Portrait of an Ambitious Man, after the duel, he immediately completed, by mid-August, plans which he had already initiated, to go to St. Simons, “an island off the coast of Georgia, one mile below the town of Darien.”
Jonathan Daniels’ “Ordeal of Ambition” handles the situation this way: “With Samuel Swartwout and a slave named Peter (‘the most intelligent and best disposed black I have ever known’), Burr secretly embarked for Georgia. There on St. Simons Island at the Hampton Plantation of his friend, rich former Senator Pierce Butler, he found refuge…” As Georgia Historian Bernice McCullar, author of “Georgia” puts it, Burr was “fleeing the ghost of Alexander Hamilton” when he arrived on the Georgia island.
“Major Pierce Butler,” she relates, “had fought in the British army and remained in America after the war.” He had married a South Carolina heiress, Miss Polly Middleton, and acquired two Georgia Coastal plantations, which he ran like a general storming after the troops. In fact, he was so strict that none of his slaves could associate with any of the others. He also required anyone who visited his plantations to give his or her name at the gate. With this tight security, Burr should have felt safe..
Actually, Butler’s invitation to visit the island fitted the escapee’s plans nicely. Not only was the Hamilton affair a bother, but also Burr needed to get away from a lady by the name of Celeste; however, the real reason, aside from being near his daughter, who was also in the South, was the nearness of the Floridas. No real purpose is given why the Vice-President wanted to spend “five or six weeks on this hazardous and arduous undertaking.”
Daniels underscores that from this St. Simons point Burr could “make any forays into Florida he wished to make. He traveled under the name ‘Roswell King.” After his Florida odyssey, he planned to meet his South Carolina son-in-law “at any healthy point.”
Clark lived in the home from 1804 until his death in 1848. He was appointed in 1807 by then-President Thomas Jefferson as customs collector for the Port of St. Marys, a position he held until his death. The year Clark bought the house, he is said to have provided a temporary hideout to Aaron Burr, who was traveling in the South to evade federal authorities holding a warrant for his arrest after he killed Alexander Hamilton in their infamous duel in July 1804.
Verification of Burr’s stay in St. Marys is hard to come by. But it is confirmed that he stayed on St. Simons Island and Cumberland Island late in the summer after he killed Hamilton. That Burr knew Clark is not disputed. The two attended law school together in Litchfield, Conn., but there is no mention in either man’s records that Burr stayed in the home.
Sadie is a King Cavalier cocker spaniel, and she belongs to Rep. Karen Handel (R-Ga.). The Handel family has a tradition of naming their female dogs after role models. She is named in honor of Sadie Robertson from “Duck Dynasty.”
General Garrard Moved rapidly on Roswell, and destroyed the factories which had supplied the rebel armies with cloth for years.
Over General Garrard was then ordered to secure the shallow ford at Roswell and hold it until he could be relieved by infantry, and as I contemplated transferring the Army of the Tennessee from the extreme right to the left, I ordered General Thomas to send a division of his infantry that was nearest up to Roswell to hold the ford until General McPherson could send up a corps from the neighborhood of Nickajack.
General Newton’s division was sent and held the ford until the arrival of General Dodge’s corps, which was soon followed by General McPherson’s whole army.
The Scopes “Monkey Trial” began on July 10, 1925, in which a Tennessee public school teacher was tried for teaching evolution, against state law. Three-time Democratic candidate for President William Jennings Bryan volunteered to help the prosecution, and famed lawyer Clarence Darrow defended John Thomas Scopes.
Rung to call the Pennsylvania Assembly together and to summon people for special announcements and events, it was also rung on important occasions, such as King George III’s 1761 ascension to the British throne and, in 1765, to call the people together to discuss Parliament’s controversial Stamp Act. With the outbreak of the American Revolution in April 1775, the bell was rung to announce the battles of Lexington and Concord. Its most famous tolling, however, was on July 8, 1776, when it summoned Philadelphia citizens for the first reading of the Declaration of Independence.
The Liberty Bell inscription includes a reference to Leviticus 25:10, “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”
It’s home to the East Coast’s underwater nuclear defense system.
“What that means is that we put strategic weapons on board our submarines and they stand watch, they deploy out of Kings Bay,” said Scott Bassett, the base’s spokesman.
Kings Bay is also a big deal for Camden County. It’s the coastal’s county’s largest employer at 9,000 workers and sprawls more than 17,000 acres.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
President Trump‘s nominees to the 11th Circuit United States Court of Appeals may change the court, according to the AJC.
Trump’s imprint on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals all but guarantees it will remain one of the nation’s more conservative courts for years to come. The 11th Circuit, which presides over Georgia, Alabama and Florida, often takes on some of the most hotly contested issues of the day: abortion, police brutality, gun control, immigration, the death penalty, gay rights, and discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
“But it’s often overlooked that 99-plus percent of all cases are decided by the lower courts,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network. “So it’s important that the president is nominating judges who are fair, who are interpreting the laws as they’re written and not substituting their own policy preferences. And, of course, judges who are faithful to the Constitution as it’s written. It’s been very encouraging.”
Trump has filled two vacancies on the 11th Circuit with former Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Elizabeth Branch and former Alabama solicitor general Kevin Newsom. Both are expected to cast reliably conservative votes on the court.
Trump’s third nominee, Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt Grant, was expected to be a slam-dunk confirmation in the full Senate. But Arizona Republican Jeff Flake is holding up her confirmation in protest of the administration’s imposition of tariffs on U.S. allies. Both Grant and Newsom are on Trump’s short list for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Cagle and Kemp now frequently invoke the president’s name in their bid to rally conservative voters during a contentious runoff that will be decided July 24. The winner will face Democrat Stacey Abrams, who is seeking to become the first black woman to become governor of any U.S. state.
Cagle, in social media posts and in stump speeches around the state, regularly touts the recent federal tax cuts backed by the president and praises his focus on American workers.
A recent television ad from Cagle’s campaign opens on a picture of Trump with the words “Trump gets things done,” scrawled across the bottom of the screen. The ad then fades to a shot of Cagle, with the words “Conservative Casey Cagle – Just like President Trump,” written below.
Kemp, meanwhile, has run a campaign with obvious similarities to Trump’s, positioning himself as a “politically incorrect” outsider with a business background who wants to cut through the bureaucracy of government.
“The choice is clear,” Cagle said. “If you want an individual who is just like President Trump, and also like Gov. (Nathan) Deal and says what he means and gets things done, then I am your candidate. … Like my opponent who does not have a record he can run on in November and be successful is a major issue.”
Kemp said voters continue to see “all the nonsense” from Cagle.
“He has been falsely attacking me on all these issues, that quite honestly are false,” Kemp said. “He knows better than that and it’s wrong. Certainly, the state deserves better.”
Kemp kept pounding Cagle for his establishment ties and said that Georgians are ready for a politically incorrect governor.
“I think people are ready for a politically incorrect person to say and talk about the issues we have before us — track and deport, stop and dismantle gangs, public safety reform, building off what Gov. Deal has done with criminal justice reform to keep our families safe,” Kemp said. “Sometimes leaders need to be politically incorrect to talk about what federal prosecutors are saying that Georgia has become a home to the Mexican drug cartel and a distribution hub.”
“One thing that is for certain, every poll that has been issued shows that I am the right candidate to win in November,” Cagle said. “And it’s important that we nominate someone who is electable, but can get the job done and does what he says he will do. I can tell you that doing a bad job as an insider does not make you an outsider.”
[Cagle] took aim at Democrats from outside of Georgia as he talked about the campaign for governor.
“There’s going to be more resources coming to this state than we’ve ever seen before and there’s going to liberals flooding into this state than we’ve ever seen before,” Cagle said. “We’ve got to have someone who is true to our value system, someone who has a record that can back it up and someone who is going to fight for every single person.”
Cagle touched on several of his proposals for taxes and career education. He highlighted college and career academies, saying workforce training was needed to generate economic prosperity, particularly in areas with high poverty rates.
“You can go to parts of our state and sadly enough some of it looks like a third world country,” Cagle said. “That’s not acceptable. Economic prosperity in this state means no one gets left behind.
Another other item Cagle outlined as he addressed local Republicans was a goal to reduce the state income tax to less than 5 percent.
Deal, who is wrapping up his final year as governor, said much has changed across the education landscape since his last visit to the conference four years ago.
He said he has worked throughout his tenure to increase state funding for education. Over the last eight years, Deal said his administration has been able to include about $3.6 billion in additional funding for education in the budgets.
Most recently, he signed the first state budget to fully fund the QBE formula since the formula’s adoption in 1985.
“We tried a couple of times to look at the QBE formula, to try to reform it. Every time that we undertook that effort we were confronted from the education community, ‘Well we don’t need reform of the formula we just need you to fully fund it,’” Deal said. “Well, we have fully funded it.”
Democrat Stacey Abrams raised $2.75 million dollars in the last quarter for her campaign for Governor, according to the AJC.
The former House minority leader will report raising roughly $2.75 million for her bid for governor between April 1 and June 30. The campaign has about $1.6 million in cash on hand – nearly double the amount she had three months ago. Overall, she’s raised about $6 million since entering the race.
The race for Georgia governor is set to smash fundraising records. All told, the candidates have either raised or loaned themselves at least $25 million.
Commission Chairman Mike Boyce has proposed an increase in the amount of taxes collected on property for the general fund. He calls his proposal a “sustainable” millage rate that will set Cobb, a growing county, in the right direction for 2019 and beyond.
The threat of cuts if the county doesn’t raise taxes has galvanized support for such a move, particularly among those who fear austerity measures could affect libraries, parks and community groups like the Master Gardener Volunteers, a program of the UGA Cobb Extension.
Critics also say the board hasn’t planned well. For example, construction of the new Sewell Mill Library and Culture Center was funded by SPLOST, but the commissioners didn’t budget for the cost of operations.
Debbie Fisher, one of the organizers of the event, said Boyce was manufacturing outrage over the parks and libraries in order to push his tax hike through instead of looking for efficiencies.
The Georgia State Ethics Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission expects to see a record number of campaign complaints, according to the AJC.
The commission also doesn’t adjudicate such cases right before elections for fear of weaponizing political complaints: allowing candidates to get headlines if their opponents are fined for ethics violations….Stefan Ritter, the executive secretary of the commission, recently told the panel: “There will be a number of cases in the 2019 calendar year. I think next year will be a big year for us in terms of cases.”
“We are going to look at every single candidate’s filings,” Ritter told the commission at its June meeting. “It’s not partisan, it’s across the board, and we are finding violations and problems.”
“I would rather have us be proactive on the front end, tell them what we think are the red flags and address those,” Ritter said. “Our goal is to get them filing correctly rather than dinging them on the back end. We do not want to have a media swarm with people filing complaints but rather get things right upfront.”
Elections and Registration Supervisor Monica Couch said 617 people had voted as of 9:15 a.m. Friday, 22 having voted between 8 and 9 a.m. She said she expected around 700 to 800 votes to be cast by the end of the day.
Between 700 and 800 votes is especially noteworthy considering the early voting polls were closed for the Fourth of July, Couch said. If voters continue to come in at the same rate, Couch said runoff voting number could surpass the 2,233 votes cast in the May primaries.
The Statesboro-based, four-county circuit is the only one of the state’s 49 superior court circuits that does not have a juvenile court. Instead, the three judges of the Superior Courts also handle juvenile cases.
The governor cannot create a juvenile court in the circuit. That would be a decision for the Superior Court judges, or their chief judge, working with the county governments. But with Chief Judge William E. Woodrum Jr. retiring from the Superior Court bench July 31, the city’s letter asks Deal to appoint a new Superior Court judge favorable to creating a juvenile court judgeship.
“Of the 159 counties in the State of Georgia, only four – Bulloch, Jenkins, Screven and Effingham – do not have a designated Juvenile Court Judge to adjudicate their juvenile law caseload,” states a revised draft of the city’s letter.
“Instead, in this Ogeechee Judicial Circuit, the three Superior Court Justices sit in judgment of juveniles, in addition to their normal civil and criminal lawsuits,” the letter continues. “We are asking that with the pending retirement of Judge Woodrum on July 31, 2018, that you use this discretionary appointment to right this wrong and ensure the children of this district receive the special attention their cases deserve.”
To hold a vote on joining MARTA this year, or not to hold hold a vote on joining MARTA this year? That is the question Gwinnett County commissioners will have to answer in the next few months.
Though the regional transit bill offers a referendum on joining the metro system as one option available to the county, it also offers the option of a Gwinnett-specific transportation special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST). That would fall under the Atlanta-region Transit Link Authority, known as The ATL, that will come into existence in January.
The regional transit bill, House Bill 930, changed how soon Gwinnett leaders have to make a decision, dropping a deadline from the MARTA Act that would have required a decision to made at the beginning of July and tying the decision instead to the same time frame used for calling special elections.
That could, in theory, mean the county can make a decision as late as the beginning of October, though commissioners would need to consider when the county’s elections office needs a decision in order to get the referendum on early and absentee ballots.
“There are some practical considerations, so I think a decision to call for a referendum probably needs to happen in August,” Gwinnett County Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said.
Lee County met with local municipalities to discuss adding a Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax to the November ballot, according to the Albany Herald.
“As you all know, we still have a lot of dirt roads we’d like to pave, and we always have roads to resurface,” Lee County Commissioner Billy Mathis said. “This money would free up the other SPLOST funds to really make the roads in Lee County very nice.”
The T-SPLOST, a 1 percent tax across all of the county for the sole purpose of improving transportation, if approved by the county’s citizens, would bring in a projected $17 million to the three municipalities. Lee County would receive an estimated $15 million (87.74 percent) followed by the city of Leesburg with $1.7 million (10.23 percent) and the city of Smithville receiving $348,000 (2.03 percent). The funds would be returned to the people through road and highway repairs, pavings and resurfacings.
“This is too much money to not try to get,” Leesburg Mayor Jim Quinn said as representatives of the three governments came together to discuss the T-SPLOST. If all parties come to an agreement, the tax would be for 1 percent up.
“This is an ongoing issue that dates back to the 1800s,” The Armuchee Republican said Thursday. “The original boundary line survey was in error. There have been several efforts throughout history to resolve it, but nothing’s been done.”
Once the senate members are appointed, Lumsden said they’ll start scheduling meetings with experts and — hopefully — lawmakers in the two states to the north.
“Water is at the heart of this,” he said. “The boundary was supposed to be at the Tennessee River … That would provide some additional sources for North Georgia, and it’s probably at the forefront of why we want to do this now.”
Other House appointees are Republicans Jason Ridley of Chatsworth, Terry Rogers of Clarkesville and non-voting member Marc Morris of Cumming.
The Joint Georgia-North Carolina and Georgia-Tennessee Boundary Line Commission was created by SR 794, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller of Gainesville and backed by Northeast Georgia senators from Dahlonega, Toccoa, Danielsville and Buford.
John Barrow, a former U.S. congressman who campaigned in Moultrie last week, hopes his reputation as a centrist who can work with elected officials in both his party and Republicans will help him become Georgia’s next secretary of state.
His voting record, for example, includes joining 38 other Democrats who voted against passage of the Affordable Care for America Act (also known as “Obamacare”).
“I feel like most people want it down the middle,” Barrow said. “When I ran for Congress, I tried to strike a balance.”
“Most people think of it as nonpartisan,” Barrow said. “This is the most nonpartisan statewide job in state government. I think it’s what this office represents. This is largely an administrative job.”
Blythe is a town of about 700 residents and out of those 700 residents, about 425 are registered voters. In the city council race between John Daniel Martin and Judy Cordova, 150 people voted and each candidate received 75 votes.
That vote occurred May 22 and will be resolved in a runoff election between the two candidates July 24.
DeKalb County Schools Chief Operating Officer Joshua Williams will leave to join the City of Atlanta, according to the AJC.