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FRONT PAGE - FEBRUARY 16, 2000 - HOMER, GA

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LEAPING LEOPARDS

Mike Ivey and the rest of the Banks County High School basketball team are flying into the state basketball tournament this weekend. The Leopards will play their first-round game at Hancock Central High School in Sparta Friday night at 8:30 p.m.
Photo by Travis Hatfield


EDUCATION

White named superintendent
BY SHERRY LEWIS
Deborah White has officially been named superintendent of the Banks County School System.
Just last month, the board of education declared that White, the acting superintendent, was the best person for the job and decided not to conduct a search for a superintendent.
After a short closed session on Tuesday, the BOE made the unanimous decision. White will have a three-year contract with a salary of $86,000. Of that salary, only $26,000 comes from the local supplement, which is approximately $800 more than the local supplement of former superintendent Dock Sisk. In the year 2001, White will get a four percent increase on the $26,000, or a $1,000 raise.
The action Tuesday followed almost three hours of closed-door meetings in the past week by the BOE. At a work session Thursday night, the BOE met in closed session for one hour and 15 minutes. Then at the regular BOE meeting Monday night, it met another one and a half hours-still without taking any action.
White has worked in the Banks County School System for 25 years. She has been a language arts teacher, gifted teacher and was named curriculum director in 1978. That title was later changed to assistant superintendent.


LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Rep. Jamieson introduces legislation to protect Banks Crossing from annexation
BY SHERRY LEWIS
State Representative Jeanette Jamieson has introduced four pieces of legislation to protect Banks Crossing from being annexed into the City of Commerce or Jackson County.
Representatives of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) and the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) have worked for more than a year to make some type of compromise on cross county line annexation. The negotiations were at a standstill until Jamieson introduced the bills last week.
"We've come up with language that representatives from the GMA and ACCG agree," she said. "It looks like there will be no opposition from them. I've introduced a bill that would forbid cross county line legislation unless the county is in agreement. They would have 30 days to respond. If they fail to do so, the legislation takes place (House Bill 1318)."
Jamieson also introduced additional legislation to address the issue.
House Bill 1316 prohibits cross county line annexation; House Bill 1317 would require 100 percent of the landowners to agree and restrict such cross county line annexation by municipalities with two or more independent school systems. House Bill 1319 would require 100 percent agreement of the landowners and would restrict annexation across county lines with one independent school system if the city is in another county than the county where the property is being annexed.
Jamieson hopes this will end the fear that some Banks County residents have about the possibility of losing an important part of the tax base.
"From the beginning, I've been committed to some form of legislation to protect Banks Crossing from an annexation movement," she said. "I believe this legislation goes a long way in meeting that commitment."


Baldwin resident questions taxes
BY SHERRY LEWIS
A Baldwin resident who lives on the Banks County side of the town has asked the mayor and council to explain why Banks County residents are now required to pay city taxes.
Linda Caudell told Baldwin officials Monday night that citizens on the Banks County side approved a sales tax in lieu of a property tax 20 years ago.
Until this year, those Baldwin residents were not charged a city tax. The one cent sales tax money from Banks County was used to roll back those taxes. Mayor Mark Reed and a majority of the council voted late last year to begin charging those citizens taxes.
"We are trying to have one Baldwin where every- body is treated the same under the law," Reed said. "We have one town and the law requires one millage rate for the whole town."
Caudell pointed out that while the Banks County sales tax money goes into the general fund, the sales tax money the city gets from Habersham County must be used for a few specific purposes. She also pointed out the opinion of the assistant attorney general, who did not give a firm decision on the taxation issue.
He basically said he agreed with the position of the city but pointed the city in the direction of a lower court for a ruling.
City attorney David Syfan said: "The assistant attorney general said he thought our position is what the law is stating. His counter argument is premised upon adding language to the statute. That's kind of stretching things. The city could seek a declaratory judgment but a majority of the case law supports what Baldwin is doing."



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