Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 1, 2022

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 1, 2022

On June 30, 1665, England’s King Charles signed a royal charter for Carolina, defining its southern border and also claiming all land in what is now Georgia.

On July 5, 1737, James Oglethorpe sailed from England to Georgia with a warship and troop transports carrying a regiment to be stationed at St. Simons Island.

On July 5, 1742, Spanish forces based in Florida sailed past Fort St. Simon, bypassing English forces there. That night, Oglethorpe’s troops left Fort St Simon and fell back to Fort Frederica.

Fort Frederica National National Monument on St. Simons Island

On June 30, 1775, the Continental Congress passed the Articles of War, laying out complaints against Britain’s Parliament.

“The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”

The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia on July 1, 1776 to debate a resolution by Richard Henry Lee that the colonies declare their independence of Britain.

On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted a resolution by Richard Henry Lee (father of Robert E. Lee) calling for independence from Britain. The delegations of twelve colonies voted in favor, while New York’s abstained, not knowing how their constituents would wish them to vote.

On July 4, 1776, the United States declared its independence from Great Britain.

On July 2, 1826, representatives from Georgia and Alabama met to begin surveying the border between the two.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826.

The first U.S. Postage stamps were issued on July 1, 1847 in New York City.

On July 2, 1826, representatives from Georgia and Alabama met to begin surveying the border between the two.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826.

The Battle of Gettysburg began on July 1, 1863. July 2, 1863 saw day 2 of the Battle of Gettysburg, with Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia attacking Meade’s Army of the Potomac.

On July 4, 1868, the Georgia General Assembly convened for the first time after passage of the Constitution of 1868 with a legislature comprising 186 members, of whom 36 were African-American.

On July 3, 1889, the Georgia General Assembly held its last session at the Kimball Opera House, located at the corner of Marietta and Forsyth Streets in downtown Atlanta before moving into a new Georgia State Capitol. On July 4, 1889, the Georgia State Capitol was dedicated, then housing all three branches of the state government.

Happy birthday to Idaho, which became a state on July 3, 1890.

Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders charged San Juan Hill in Cuba during the Spanish-American War on July 1, 1898.

On July 2, 1898, the first pot of delicious Brunswick Stew was made in Brunswick, Georgia.

On July 3, 1913, the Georgia state Senate tabled a motion to allow the Georgia Women’s Suffrage Association to address the chamber.

Coca-Cola marketed its current formula for the first time on July 1, 1916.

Construction of USS Augusta, a cruiser, began on July 2, 1928, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

She would be completed and launched in February 1930, “sponsored” by Evelyn McDaniel, of Augusta, who would later become the wife of a Superior Court judge.

Augusta saw service in the Pacific and later became a command ship during Operation Overlord and the D-Day invasion. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman traveled aboard her during wartime treaty endeavors, and the latter would publicly announce the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima from his office aboard the ship.

USS Augusta was built at Newport News Shipbuilding, where my father worked when I was a child, and where we occasionally attended christenings and launches.

June 30th could well be called Intermodal Transportation History Day in Georgia. The first four-lane highway in Georgia was announced on June 30, 1937 from Atlanta to Marietta. The first C5 air flight took place from Dobbins in Marietta on June 30, 1968 and MARTA rail service began on June 30, 1979.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell first went on sale on June 30, 1936; on June 30, 1986, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating Margaret Mitchell.

Superman made his first appearance in Action Comics #1 on June 30, 1938.

On July 1, 1956, a new Georgia flag bearing the state seal and a version of the Confederate Battle Flag became effective after being adopted by the Georgia General Assembly in the 1956 Session.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on July 2, 1864. Major provisions included outlawing discriminatory application of voting laws, prohibiting racial discrimination in public accomodations, allowing the Attorney General to join lawsuits against states operating segregated public schools, and prohibiting discrimination by state and local governments or agencies receiving federal funds.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a witness to Johnson’s signature, standing behind the President in the Oval Office. Johnson presented King with one of the 72 pens used in signing the legislation.

Occasionally, pens from the Civil Rights Act signing come onto the collectors’ market. A collection of 50 pens used to sign legislation by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson went across the block in November 2013. This pen went unsold.

As a student of Dr. Merle Black in the political science department at Emory, we began our study of Southern politics from the premise that race relations and the legacy of racial discrimination shaped Southern politics. One book we read every year was The Longest Debate: A Legislative History of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which belongs on the bookshelf of any serious student of American politics, political history, and legislative process.

On July 3, 1970, the Atlanta Pop Festival was held in Byron, Georgia.

Among the artists playing at Byron were the Allman Brothers Band and Jimi Hendrix.

Ohio became the 39th state to ratify the 26th Amendment on June 30, 1971, lowering the voting age to 18.

The Clash played their first live show on July 4, 1976 at The Black Swan in Sheffield, England.

The current Georgia Constitution became effective on July 1, 1983 after its approval in a referendum during the November 1982 General Election.

Back to the Future was released on July 3, 1985.

On July 3, 1986, President Ronald Reagan reopened the Statue of Liberty after a two-year restoration.

Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing was released on June 30, 1989. Lee was born in Atlanta and graduated from Morehouse College.

Georgia native Clarence Thomas was nominated to the United States Supreme Court by President George H.W. Bush on July 1, 1991.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

A raft of new state legislation goes into effect today. From the Associated Press via 13WMAZ:

CRITICAL RACE THEORY: House Bill 1084 bans the teaching of certain racial concepts that Republicans say are divisive. Opponents say the measure would frighten teachers away from an honest classroom discussion of race in history and the present.

SCHOOL RECESS: House Bill 1283 requires daily recess for all public school children in grades K-5.

VACCINE MANDATES: Senate Bill 345 prevents state agencies and local governments from requiring COVID-19 vaccines, mostly by banning them from requiring proof that anyone has been vaccinated to receive government services. The law excludes government-owned health facilities and doesn’t effect private business.

FREE SPEECH: House Bill 1 bars public universities and technical colleges from setting areas of campus as free speech zones, instead allowing speech in all generally accessible areas. Administrators could still regulate the time, place and manner of speech.

From the AJC:

Transgender girls in sports – Republican lawmakers tacked an amendment about gender and sports onto House Bill 1084. The bill creates a school athletics oversight committee and authorizes athletics associations to decide whether to accommodate transgender athletes. The executive committee of the Georgia High School Association, the state’s dominant school sports authority, voted unanimously in May to ban transgender athletes from competing based on their gender identity.

Obscenity and parental oversight of schools – Senate Bill 226 expedites the process for removing books and other content some find to be obscene by putting the decision in principals’ hands. Book challenges by parents have usually been handled by school panels that included school librarians, teachers and parents. The new law gives the state Board of Education until Sept. 1 to write a model policy. Local school boards have until Jan. 1 to adopt a complaint resolution policy.

From Fox5Atlanta:

Reform of mental healthcare in the state received bipartisan support when it passed both chambers of the Georgia General Assembly. HB 1013 pressures insurance companies to improve coverage of mental illnesses, including addictions. The law requires publicly funded insurance programs to spend more on patient care. It provides for loan forgiveness for people studying to become mental health professionals.

SB 10 increased penalties for drag racing. A first offense would impose a mandatory $1,000 fine and six driver’s license points. The law also makes it an offense to promote illegal drag racing.

HB 1304 requires hospitals to permit patients to specify their lay caregivers after discharge. A patient can change their caregiver by notifying the hospital. The bill provides legal definitions for “lay caregiver,” “aftercare,” and “discharge.”

From 11Alive:

PARENT BILL OF RIGHTS: House Bill 1178 puts into one law a number of parental rights that already exist. It says parents have the right to review all classroom materials, to access their child’s records, to opt their child out of all sex education, and to prevent the creation of photos, videos and voice recordings of their children except for security purposes.

Dougherty County Commission Chair-elect Lorenzo Heard used politically-incorrect language against a member of the Commission, according to the Albany Herald.

Before order was cleared, the chairman-elect of the Dougherty County Commission called a sitting Albany City Commissioner a “punk-ass fag—” and the commissioner leveled sexual misconduct allegations against the soon-to-be commission chairman in an ugly scene that was witnessed by members of both commissions and some citizens in attendance.

The fireworks started when Lorenzo Heard, who was elected to serve as the county commission chairman in the May Democratic primary, walked over to Ward II Albany Commissioner Jalen Johnson after the joint meeting ended. Johnson confronted Heard about personal attacks Heard had made on a radio program the Greater Second Mt. Olive Baptist Church pastor co-hosts on Sundays.

“He repeatedly drug my name through the mud (on the radio program),” the Ward II commissioner said Thursday. “He had been given proof that the allegations were unfounded, and he continued to spew lies against me. I tried to keep it professional because I believe that’s part of being a government leader.

“He walked up to me after the meeting and reached to shake my hand. I told him now would be a good time to acknowledge the untruths he’s been telling. He called me a ‘punk-ass fag—’ … that’s word-for-word what he said. I was stunned.”

Three other people who were present at the meeting confirmed that Heard did indeed use the homophobic slur in the conversation with Johnson, which witnesses say grew increasingly heated.

“This is a person who, I believe, built his career on falsehoods,” the city commissioner said. “As I said, he got rich off the backs of poor people and created a kind of cult following. Someone should have instructed him on the separation of pulpit and politics before they propped him up to run for office.”

Governor Brian Kemp nominated Patrick Jones to fill a vacancy on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia after Don Waters resigned. From the press release:

Governor Brian P. Kemp today announced the resignation of Regent Don Waters and his appointment of Patrick Jones to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia to fill the vacated seat representing the 1st Congressional District. Regent Waters was first appointed to the Board on March 1, 2013.

“I am very grateful for Don Water’s contributions to the Board and our state during his time as a Regent,” said Governor Kemp. “As a past chairman of the Board and a proud alumnus of two USG institutions, his impact on the system and generations of its students will continue to be felt for years to come. Marty and I wish him and Cindy well-earned time enjoyed together. I also look forward to the impact Patrick Jones will have on the Board, as it furthers the university system’s reputation as a world-class education provider. With a wealth of experience as a leader in the private sector, he will help ensure our postsecondary education campuses continue to produce top talent for this state of opportunity.”

Chairman of the Board of Regents Harold Reynolds and University System Chancellor Sonny Perdue also shared the following regarding their friend and colleague, Regent Don Waters:

“Having known Don for the last 20 years, I’ve seen how strongly he believes in local communities, this state, and in investing in education,” said Chairman Harold Reynolds. “Don is a staunch advocate for doing everything we can to work together and create educational opportunities that empower ourselves and our neighbors. I’ve learned a lot from him as both a leader and as a Georgian, and I know many others have, too. He’s served the university system and his beloved hometown of Savannah well, and the Board and I are grateful for all he’s done on behalf of faculty, staff, and especially students. We also look forward to working with Patrick Jones as he joins us in continuing to move the University System of Georgia forward.”

“Regent Don Waters throughout his life has championed the idea that knowledge and education allow students, no matter where they live in Georgia, to pursue their dreams and build a better life for themselves, their families, their community, and their state,” said Chancellor Sonny Perdue. “He learned this early on from his mother, Bernice, who as a librarian brought home books for him and his brother to read and learn from. And he took it to heart as a student and graduate of the former Armstrong State College and the University of Georgia School of Law. The University System of Georgia is going to miss Don’s counsel as a member of the Board of Regents, but I take heart that his impact on students and our mission lives on with the Waters College of Health Professions on what is now the Armstrong Campus of Georgia Southern University. It has been an honor to have Don and Cindy as members of the USG family, and we wish them our very best. We are also happy to welcome Patrick Jones to the Board and know he will be a great addition.”

Don Waters is the CEO of Waters Capital Partners, LLC, an investment company and family office. From 1993 through 2016, he was the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Brasseler USA, Inc., an international manufacturer of dental and medical surgical instrumentation.

Prior to that he practiced as a Certified Public Accountant, as a Partner with Price Waterhouse & Co., and as an attorney with Hunter Maclean. A native of Savannah, Waters currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Chatham County Hospital Authority and the Board of Trustees of the Augusta University Health System. In 2013, Waters was inducted into the Savannah Business Hall of Fame, and in 2017 he was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Savannah Branch of the NAACP. In 2018, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Scroll from the University of Georgia School of Law, his alma mater.

Waters graduated from Armstrong State College with a BBA in Accounting and the University of Georgia School of Law with a JD.

His family endowed the Waters College of Health Professions at Armstrong State University, now part of Georgia Southern University. He and his wife Cindy have two daughters, five grandsons, and are members of the Isle of Hope United Methodist Church.

Patrick Jones is Chairman of the Board of PrimeSouth Bank, President of The Jones Company, and President of Walker Jones Automotive Group.

Jones spent over three decades of his career with Flash Foods. Under the leadership of Jones and his brother, Jimmy, Flash Foods became one of the largest convenience chains in the Southeast, on the cutting edge of technology as one of the first convenience chains to establish a loyalty program, a proprietary retail pricing platform, and a robust item-level inventory management system. In 2016, Flash Foods was acquired by CST Brands and subsequently Circle K.

Jones currently serves on the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Southern Georgia Citizen’s Review Panel, which was created through the Transportation Investment Act. He has previously served on the Bona Fide Coin Operated Amusement Machine Operator Advisory Board.

Jones graduated from the University of Georgia in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in Risk Management. He and his wife, Kara, have two children and reside in Blackshear, Georgia.

From the AJC:

Jones, has with his family and company donated about $54,000 to Kemp’s gubernatorial campaigns in 2018 and 2022, according to campaign finance records.

This election year, he’s given the maximum legal amount to Kemp. Jones, his family and companies have donated about $270,000 to Republican state candidates and causes in Georgia over the past decade.

Governor Kemp signed Executive Order # 07.01.22.01, renewing the State of Emergency for Supply Chain Disruptions and E.O. # 07.01.22.02, extending the suspension of fuel taxes during the State of Emergency for Supply Chain Disruptions. The State of Emergency was to expire July 14, 2022 (Bastille Day) and now expires a minute before midnight on Thursday, Augusta 13, 2022, while the fuel tax suspension runs concurrently.

From Fox5Atlanta:

State officials first paused collection of motor fuel taxes back in March. That initial action was slated to end in May, but the governor extended it through July 14. Now, it will last through the summer.

“In March, I took decisive action to help those impacted by high prices at the pump,” Kemp said in a statement. “Unfortunately, President Biden and Democratic leaders have not done their part to tackle this issue, instead calling on Americans facing record-high inflation to live more frugally. To provide actual relief to Georgians, I am once again extending the supply chain state of emergency and suspending our state motor fuel tax.”

The gas tax suspension now also includes taxes on locomotive fuel.

According to the Georgia Department of Revenue, the state collects a little less than $0.29 per gallon in taxes.

From the Associated Press via AccessWDUN:

Kemp previously signed a law in March that passed with broad bipartisan support suspending the state’s gas tax through May 31. At the end of May, he extended that suspension through July 14.

Under state law, Kemp can suspend taxes by executive order as long as state lawmakers ratify the action the next time they meet. Kemp abated gas taxes in 2021 during a pipeline shutdown, and former Gov. Nathan Deal suspended gas taxes multiple times.

In announcing the extension of the suspension, Kemp blamed high gas prices on President Joe Biden.

“I am committed to fighting to ease the economic burden hardworking Georgians are facing due to disastrous policies from Washington politicians,” Kemp said in a news release.

Democrat Stacey Abrams, who’s challenging the Republican Kemp in the governor’s race in November, said on Twitter Friday that “it’s past time for Brian Kemp to commit to suspending the gas tax through the end of the year.”

From the AJC:

The governor hasn’t said whether he’ll push the gas tax break through the rest of the year, but state officials say he can’t extend the break until 2023 in one fell swoop. State law requires a month-to-month decision, which also gives him a burst of media attention each time he signs an order.

Each extension deprives the state of roughly $170 million a month in tax revenue vital to transportation projects. Kemp’s office has used budget surplus funds to plug some of the gap.

Georgia Democrats have embraced the tax breaks to counter GOP attacks blaming President Joe Biden’s economic policies for higher fuel prices. Energy prices have soared amid economic uncertainty worsened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

It’s past time for Abrams’s buddy Joe Biden to do something to help Americans.

Democrat Stacey Abrams continued trashing Gov. Kemp. From MSNBC:

“If you are a woman, you are in danger. If you are a Black woman, you are in extreme danger. If you are a person in this state, Brian Kemp has no interest in actually serving your needs,” says Stacey Abrams, discussing the current state of abortion rights in Georgia under Gov. Kemp.

Other Georgia Democrats joined the party. From WTVM:

“The Georgia GOP now has a clear path and some of the things they want to propose are not only an unpopular anti-choice agenda that strip women of the right to make their own medical decisions, but some of them are downright dangerous,” said Georgia House Rep. Debbie Buckner.

Buckner and Rep. Carolyn Hugley, and Columbus City Councilwoman Toiya Tucker spoke on why they oppose the efforts to enact the law in the state.

“It is critical that we win up and down the ballot in November because Republicans up and down the ballot stand ready to push through (draconian) abortion restrictions,” said Tucker.

“Make no mistake about it… these decisions should only involve a woman and her doctor. Politicians do not need to be involved in the most deeply personal health decision that a woman will ever make,” said Hugley.

Buckner says there is already a shortage of OB/GYN doctors in the state, and she has concerns about access to healthcare for women, especially in rural areas.

“We don’t have enough OB/GYN’s in the state of Georgia for the women that live here.”

Savannah Medical Clinic, an abortion clinic, is closing, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Savannah Medical Clinic, an abortion provider that opened 40 years ago, announced this week that it has permanently closed its doors. The clinic’s website included the following statement:

“After 40 years of serving Coastal Georgia in providing abortion services, Savannah Medical Clinic is sad to announce we have closed our office and are no longer taking appointments.”

The longstanding clinic was the only abortion provider in Savannah that offered surgical abortions. With its closing, the only abortion provider that stands is Planned Parenthood Southeast, which offers the abortion pill for up to 11 weeks.

Those in Savannah seeking an abortion procedure instead of the pill would have to travel almost two hours to clinics in either Charleston, S.C., or Augusta, Ga., placing a burden on people who neither have the time or the resources to travel for an abortion.

The Savannah College of Artistic Drunks Art and Design no longer has Clarence Thomas’s name on a building, according to the Savannah Morning News.

[A] group of SCAD students … wants his name removed from SCAD’s building, and any vestige of the justice scrubbed from the city.

The university has also removed the sign from the East Broad Street building, but has not responded to the News’ emails asking for the reason why.

As of Thursday morning, an online petition calling for the Clarence Thomas Center for Historic Preservation to be renamed has garnered more than 1,400 signatures.

First reported by WTOC, the petition cites Thomas’ comments on the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which repealed the constitutional right to abortion. Thomas indicated he would like to see a repeal of protections for gay marriage, access to contraception and privacy in the bedroom, calling the initial rulings that granted those rights “erroneous decisions.”

Since at least Tuesday, the sign proclaiming the former Franciscan Convent as the Clarence Thomas Center for Historic Preservation has been missing from its post in front of the 1906 red-brick building.

The building was named in dedication to Thomas in 2010. It’s part of the former Catholic school and convent where Thomas spent much of his early life. Thomas’ childhood connection to the building was the reason for the building naming.

University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue visited Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, according to the Albany Herald.

“ABAC has always been a great place,” Perdue told students in the Donaldson Dining Hall who were on campus for a fall semester orientation session. “I don’t think I have ever met an ABAC graduate who didn’t like it here.”

United States Senator Raphael Warnock (D-Atlanta) spoke to Whitfield County Democrats, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

Georgia U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock views legislation and public policy as “letters to our children, and we’d get it right more often” if more elected officials held a similar outlook, he said here Wednesday.

“Infrastructure is the covenant we have with one another — an inescapable connection — and I want to write a letter to every child in America,” the Democrat explained during a visit to the Mack Gaston Community Center sponsored by the Whitfield County Democratic Committee. “In America, you can achieve — you can be — whatever you decide to be.”

“I’m going to stay focused on the people and their problems, not politicians and their problems,” said Warnock. “There’s so much talk about politicians and how they’re doing, (but) my job is to center (on) the concerns of ordinary people, (such as) a livable wage and access to healthcare.”

“Georgia stood up,” also electing Democrat Jon Ossoff to the U.S. Senate over Republican incumbent David Perdue on the same day, and “I’m a proud Georgian,” Warnock said. Georgia, a member of the former Confederacy, “sent a kid who grew up in public housing to the Senate, (a kid with a mother) who grew up in the Jim Crow South and picked cotton and tobacco for other people.”

“As a pastor and a man of faith, I have profound reverence for life, and an abiding respect for choice,” Warnock said. A patient’s room is “too cramped for a woman, her doctor and the U.S. government.”

Warnock first came to Dalton as a college student in the late 1980s while working for the state’s public health department, so “I’ve been focused on women’s reproductive health and reproductive rights” for more than three decades, and “there are constructive and productive things the government can do if serious about life,” he said. For example, “we could focus on the criminally high maternal mortality rate” in the country and, specifically, Georgia, especially among Black women.

The Georgia Supreme Court reversed the murder conviction of Tex McIver, according to CNN via the Albany Herald.

Claud “Tex” McIver was convicted in 2018 of felony murder and other charges stemming from the 2016 killing of his wife, Diane, who was fatally shot by McIver while sitting in front of him in a car.

Georgia’s Supreme Court overturned McIver’s felony murder conviction, ruling that the jury should have been instructed by the court that they could consider a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.

The court said based on the evidence and testimony during the trial, “the jury could have concluded that the revolver was not deliberately or intentionally fired, bur rather, as McIver suggests, discharged as a result of his being startled awake, reflexively or involuntarily clutching at the bag holding the firearm, and inadvertently contacting the trigger,” according to the ruling.

The court further found that the evidence supporting that McIver intended to kill his wife was “disputed and circumstantial,” adding, “No witness testified to any disagreement or quarrel between McIver and Diane, and many witnesses testified that they were very much in love.”

Five victims of a stabbing spree in Savannah were taken to the hospital, according to WTOC.

According to Chuck Kearns with Chatham County Emergency Services, they received a call at around 7:24 p.m. about a man with a knife who was threatening the occupants of a home.

According to Savannah Police, a family dispute led to five people being injured, one of them being the suspect.

One of the five injuries is serious and they were all taken to the hospital.

Brunswick and Glynn County are negotiating over the proceeds of a proposed Local Option Sales Tax (LOST), according to The Brunswick News.

City and county officials met Thursday at the Brunswick library for the start of discussions, though the official 60-day countdown to complete negotiations actually began June 28, County Attorney Aaron Mumford said.

If both sides fail to reach an agreement within the 60-day window set by the state, the negotiations will go to non-binding arbitration.

Brunswick City Commissioner Johnny Cason said a lot has happened since the last agreement was negotiated 10 years ago.

A decade ago, the city and county agreement gave the city 27% of the tax. The county also assumed responsibility for animal control, traffic light maintenance and city recreation programs. The three programs were estimated to cost another 8% of the tax, giving the city the equivalent of 35%.

Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter will leave the department in preparation for taking office as United States Marshal for the Southern District of Georgia, according to WSAV.

His last day with SPD is July 29.

“Being Savannah’s police chief has been an honor and I look forward to the potential opportunity to continue my service to this community and all of southeast Georgia,” said Police Chief Roy Minter. “I am thankful for the experience these last four years. And while I am departing my role as police chief to focus on the confirmation process for my federal nomination, I remain thankful for the opportunities afforded to me by Team Savannah, the City Manager and our Mayor and City Council.”

Assistant Chief Lenny Gunther will serve as the interim Police Chief beginning July 30. Gunther has been with SPD since 2001.

President Biden announced the nomination in late May along with nine other nominees to serve, two of whom are also in Georgia.

“Chief Minter has been a consummate professional and his legacy will live in his historic promotions of women within our ranks and the technological and programmatic advances that will keep the Savannah Police Department the premier municipal law enforcement agency in Georgia,” Mayor Van Johnson said. “Our city will forever be grateful for his efforts during some of the most challenging times in our history.”

Warner Robins City Council adopted a budget, according to 13WMAZ.

The City of Warner Robins decided on its budget plan for 2023. The $143 million budget will help with the city’s expansion and growth, and half of that will go towards public safety — more than $27 million, specifically to fire and law enforcement.

Patrick says any inflation any household is seeing the city is seeing as well.

“It was very challenging to approach it from that technical standpoint, considering those inflation prices, but still make it so we are not raising taxes at the city level,” Patrick said.

Mayor Patrick says they made the decisions about raises with inflation in mind. She says employees cannot live comfortably with the salaries from the past year due to the changing economy.

“We wanted to make sure our employees were not having to struggle with the inflation, dealing with the inflation for their households,” Patrick said.

Oconee County broke ground on a new $14.8 million dollar administration building, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

“This is a generational event here,” Oconee County Commission Chairman John Daniell said shortly after he and 11 others tossed a shovel of red dirt. “This has been talked about for over 20 years and now we have a spot to put the building and consolidate our departments.” he said.

The 44,000-square-foot building on a 7.63-acre tract will contain numerous offices not associated with the judicial branch of government, which will be retained in the current courthouse in downtown Watkinsville.

Officials estimated the building, with 158 parking spaces, will be completed sometime next summer.

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