News from Jackson County...

July 18, 2000


Jackson County
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Jackson County Election Results, Tuesday, July 18

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OPINIONS
Jackson County opinion page


SPORTS
Jackson County shut out in district tourneys
If you listen closely enough, you might just hear hundreds of sighs of relief going up all over Jackson County.

Ryan Crane 18th at Montgomery
After qualifying 16th, Jefferson's Ryan Crane finished 18th Saturday in the Jasper Engines & Transmissions 200 at Montgomery Motor Speedway.

CPRD Girls At State Tourney
The only Commerce Parks and Recreation Department all-star team still in action, the 14-under softball team is planning to finish its season Saturday in the state championship game in Adel.


Neighborhood News...
MADISON COUNTY
Danielsville council focuses on water issues at Mon. night meeting
Water was the focus of the Danielsville city council Monday night. The council passed an emergency water conservation plan, approved new water rates and delayed a zoning decision on a new...

Fortson denied bond
Tracy Lea Fortson will remain in jail without bond, a judge ruled in Madison County Superior Court last week.




News from
BANKS COUNTY
Banks County residents file suit against Baldwin over taxation
Twenty-nine Banks County residents of the City of Baldwin are finding out what it's like to fight city hall. They're taking the City of Baldwin to court and they say they need Banks County's help to prevent the city from taxing them unfairly.


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BOC CHAIRMEN CANDIDATES SPEAK

Presley Attempts to Enter Chairman's Race as Independent (see below)

The three Republican candidates for chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners were among those speaking at a political forum Thursday night in Jefferson. Shown are: (L-R) Harold Fletcher, Roy Grubbs and Tommy Stephenson. (See Story)


Presley moving forward in effort to seek BOC chairmanship as independent candidate
A 26-year-old Jefferson man has passed the first hurdle in getting his name on the ballot in November as a candidate for chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.
Jerry Presley has submitted the signatures of one percent, or 160, of the registered voters in the last general election. Jackson County Probate Judge Margaret Deadwyler said these names have been certified which means he is "qualified" to seek the post. However, before his name goes on the ballot, he must have signatures from five percent of the registered voters, or 792.
Deadwyler said Presley has submitted 855 signatures but they must be verified before it becomes final. She said they must be certified by comparing the signatures to those on the voter registration card. This is expected to be done within the next week.
If Presley's name goes on the November ballot, he will face the Republican winner from the primary. There were no Democrat candidates.
Presley is a 1998 graduate of the University of Alabama with a bachelor's degree in political science. He has lived in Jackson County since January 1999.
Presley said earlier this year that he is a "political entrepreneur who firmly believes in the Constitution of the United States."
"I am an avid supporter of the people's right to sovereign authority over government," he said.


More than $6,000 donations
reported in House race

The largest amount of donations made to candidates in the last month came in the District 25 seat on the Georgia House of Representatives. The two candidates received a total of more than $6,000.
Incumbent Scott Tolbert (R) reported $3,754 in donations, while challenger Pat Bell (D) listed $2,300.
Tolbert's contributions including the following: Tommy and Carolyn Barnett, Nicholson, $200; Committee of Automobile Retail, Atlanta, $254; Committee to Elect Bob Smith, Watkinsville, $250; Construction Suppliers Association, Roswell, $500; Ford Motor Company, Dearburn, Mich., $150; Georgia Dental Association, Roswell, $500; Georgia Mining Association, Macon, $200; Georgia Oilman's Association, Lawrenceville, $200; Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia, Atlanta, $500; Gregory Irvin, Athens, $250; J. Mack Robinson, Atlanta, $250; and Medical Association of Georgia, Atlanta, $250. He also reported $300 in in-kind contributions from Keith Hayes, Jefferson, for dues payment for the Jackson County Builders Association. He also listed on his report a $1,000 donation from the House Republican Trust incumbency fund, Atlanta, which he refunded. Tolbert reported $1,000 in contributions to the Georgia Republican Party, Atlanta.
Bell's contributions include: Kirby Atkinson, Monroe, $250; Griffin, Diane and Associates, Atlanta, $1,000; Joe Tanner, Stockbridge, $250; and $800 in individual donations of $100 or less each. She also listed $540 in in-kind contributions from Larry Phillips, Hendersonville, N.C., for the use of a popcorn popper and supplies. Her expenditures include $1,447 to Personal Service Company, Springfield, Ill., for signs; $165 to the United States Postal Service for stamps; and $79 in miscellaneous expense.
BOC CHAIRMAN
Harold Fletcher's contributions include $600 in individual donations of $100 or less each. His expenses include $1,052 to The Jackson Herald.
Tommy Stephenson's reported contributions include $1,817 in personal funds and $500 in individual donations of $100 or less each. His expenses include $775 to Chatham Signs and $1,367 to The Jackson Herald.
Roy Grubbs' contributions include: Ron and Sara Bond, Jefferson, $200; Brent Greenwood, Jefferson, $150; $633 in personal funds; and $570 in individual donations of $100 or less. His expenses are Athens Blueprint, $661, and MainStreet Newspapers, $543, and $55 in miscellaneous expenses.
DISTRICT 1 BOC
Thomas Benton reported no contributions or expenditures.
Stacey Britt reported $575 in individual donations of $100 or less each. His expenses include $370 to MainStreet Newspapers for advertising and $1,632 to McKinney Designs for signs. Felton Rainey reported no contributions or expenditures. Travis Boles Sr. reported his contributions as $133 in personal funds and $100 from Bell Construction. His expenditures include $116 to Commerce Printing and $16 for miscellaneous items.
DISTRICT 2 BOC
Sammy Thomason reported no contributions and the following expenditures: Jana Adams, design consultant, $125; MainStreet Newspapers, $126, advertising; and WJJC, $154, advertising. Don Blalock reported $50 in donations. His expenses include $214 to McKinney Designs and $88 for miscellaneous items. Tommy Ford had not filed a report by the July 3 deadline.
DISTRICT BOC 3
Jerri Smith reported $640 in contributions, including $500 in personal funds and $140 in individual donations of $100 or less each. Her expenditures include $125 to the Jackson County Republican Party for a fundraiser barbecue. Fran Thomas reported no contributions or expenditures. Mark Tolbert reported the following contributions: Hilda Gee, Pendergrass, $450; Alan Puckett, Jefferson, $250; Melvin Tolbert, Jefferson, $500; and $1,015 in individual donations of $100 or less each. He reported $405 in expenses of $100 or less each. Edward "Chip" Pritchett reported $80 in contributions and the following expenditures: $54, Georgia U.S. Data, Norcross, and $210, The Jackson Herald. Emil Beshara reported $435 in individual donations of $100 or less each and $52 for miscellaneous expenses.
DISTRICT BOC 4
Tony Beatty reported $350 in individual donations of $100 or less each. His expenditures include: $140, Bobby's Signs; $198, Office Depot; and $180 for miscellaneous items. Daniel Sailors reported no contributions and $380 to Bobby's Signs and Graphics. Kenneth Bridges reported $305 in individual donations of $100 or less each. His expenses include $138 to Bonnie Evans, typist, and $330 to U.S. Postal Service.
SHERIFF
Stan Evans reported $839 in contributions, including $200 from Greg Irvin, Athens; $269 in personal funds; and $370 in individual donations of $100 or less each. His expenditures include $215 to Bobby's Signs and $54 for miscellaneous items. Charles Hayes reported no contributions and the following expenditures: Circle K, Jefferson, $10; MainStreet Newspapers, $235; and $245 in individual expenses of $100 or less each. Glenda Coker reported no contributions or expenditures. Steve Gary reported no contributions or expenditures.
PROBATE JUDGE
LeAnn Crawford reported $1,175 in contributions, including $680 from her husband, Steve Crawford, and $495 in individual donations of $100 or less each. Her expenditures were $148 for miscellaneous items. Margaret Deadwyler's contributions included $500 from Jack Davidson, $200 from Joe Booth and $400 in individual donations of $100 or less each. His expenses include $104 to Comax Inc.
CORONER
Keith Whitfield reported his contributions as $94 in personal funds and his expenses as $94 to MainStreet Newspapers. Terry Baxter reported no contributions and $160 in individual expenditures. Sammy Qualls reported no contributions or expenditures.
BOE POST 1
Ricky Sanders and Stephanie Kitchens reported no contributions or expenditures.


Chairman's race to top
ballot at next Tuesday's voting

Local candidates have been talking a lot in recent weeks, but now it's time for voters to speak.
Next Tuesday, voters will decide on a slew of local races, including naming one of three candidates to lead the restructured Jackson County Board of Commissioners. The BOC chairman's race will be decided in the Republican Primary election since only Republican candidates are seeking the post. It is the only race to be decided Tuesday since all other local races have candidates from both parties who will face off in November.
But this year's balloting may create a unique problem for those wanting to vote for chairman and for a local Democrat - they can't do both. Voters can only vote in one primary and must choose between a Republican ballot or a Democratic ballot. Those voting a Democratic ballot will not be able to vote for county commission chairman. Nor can those voting a Democratic ballot vote in a Republican runoff should that be necessary. Runoff balloting is slated for Aug. 8.
Two former county commissioners, Harold Fletcher and Tommy Stephenson, will vie along with political newcomer Roy Grubbs for the chairman's position. That position will be voted on county-wide. It is the second time Fletcher and Stephenson have faced each other in an election. In 1992, Stephenson beat Fletcher in a close race for state representative.
In addition, four BOC district seats will be decided.
In the District 1 Jefferson area BOC race, three Republicans face each other Tuesday. Travis Boles Sr., Felton Rainey and Stacey Britt are all seeking the seat. The winner will face Democrat Thomas H. Benton in November.
In District 2, Commerce area Democrats Sammy Thomason and Thomas "Tommy" Ford are on the ballot Tuesday. The winner will face Republican Don Blalock in November.
Four Republicans are seeking the District 3 North and West Jackson area seat on the BOC ballot. They are Emil Beshara, Mark Tolbert, Geraldine "Jerri" Smith and Edward "Chip" Pritchett. The winner will face Democrat Fran Thomas in November.
Republicans Kenneth Bridges and Tony Beatty are seeking the District 4 South Jackson BOC seat. The winner will face Democrat Daniel Sailors in November.
Voters will also be casting their vote in the sheriff and coroner races. Incumbent sheriff Stan Evans (R) will face challenger Charles Hayes on Tuesday. Glenda Coker and Steve Gary will be on the Democrat ballot for sheriff.
In the coroner's race, incumbent Keith Whitfield will face Terry L. Baxter in Tuesday's Democratic primary. The winner of that race will face Sammy Qualls (R) in November.
ABSENTEE BALLOTS
For those who will be unable to go to the polls on July 18, absentee ballots are available. Those interested may go by the county registrar's office at the Jackson County courthouse in Jefferson and complete an application to vote absentee. Ballots must be cast by the close of the business day on Monday, July 17.
Those who are homebound and can't come in to the office, may call and ask the registrar to mail an application. Once approved, the registrar can mail a ballot to the applicant's home.
At the polls on election day, voters must present one of several forms of approved identification. A voter registration card is not acceptable identification. Permitted ID includes: a valid Georgia driver's license, valid state ID card, U.S. passport, valid employee photo ID; valid photo student ID, hunting/fishing license, gun permit, U.S. military ID, certified copy of birth certificate, valid Social Security card, certified naturalization documentation, certified copy of adoption or name/sex change.
There are 15,562 "active" voters registered in Jackson County. To be classified as "active," a countian must have voted in an election in the past three years. There are almost 5,000 voters listed as "inactive" because they haven't voted in the past three years. Both "active" and "inactive" voters will be allowed to cast a ballot in the primary.
See this week's Jackson Herald for more in-depth election coverage.


County BOE sets Aug. 9 work
session on attendance policy

An increasing number of requests from students living outside the school district to attend county schools has led the Jackson County Board of Education to take a closer look at its attendance policy.
The BOE has tentatively planned a work session for 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 9, to discuss its attendance policy.
At a work session last week, school officials said the BOE has had problems in the past with out-of-system attendees. Superintendent Andy Byers said some residents within the city systems have requested to go to the county schools to participate in various programs available there.
BOE member Ed Tolbert suggested "throwing" the policy "out the window" and letting the students attend the county schools.
But, Byers said there are some issues with adequate building space and with choosing who gets admitted and who doesn't.
Tolbert said the system doesn't have the people to "police this" and that it's "getting worse every day."
BOE member Jill Elliot said: "I hate to have a good system and tell people they can't come."
She suggested an application process and suggested charging tuition. However, the point was made that parents currently getting around the system would attempt to get around paying tuition.
Byers said the issue would take a while to figure out and he suggested setting up a day-long work session retreat during the fall to revisit the policy.



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Jefferson BOE sets tentative budget at $7.9 million
The Jefferson Board of Education reviewed a tentative fiscal year 2001 general fund budget of $7.9 million Thursday afternoon, with plans for the budget to lie on the table 30 days. The board also approved a one-month spending resolution for operating expenses until the budget is officially approved.
The 2001 budget of $7.9 million is up $1.2 million over last year's $6.6 million general fund. Revenues for the new year include an increase of $211,097 over last year in appropriations from the city. The system will also see an increase of $1.3 million in total QBE earnings.
Dr. John Jackson, superintendent, explained that new textbooks, extra staff and raised salary contribute to increased expenditures, particularly in the area of instruction, which saw the greatest jump over last year. He pointed out that, per approval given Thursday, the school system will be purchasing new textbooks for elementary art and music, eighth grade Georgia history and high school drama.
Also, the system is funding an additional half-time counselor and full-time custodian for Jefferson Elementary School and a half-time administrator for Jefferson Middle School. The budget also includes a slight increase in pay for substitute teachers, as well as as a salary increase for certified and non-certified staff. Certified staff will see an eight percent increase in the part of their salary that comes from a local supplement, as well as a three percent increase in salary from state-based funds. Non-certified staff will see a four percent salary increase.


Commerce BOE To Fingerprint Staff
The Commerce School System has always required fingerprinting and a criminal records check for its certified staff but, under a new state requirement, as of July 1 the system will require the same procedure for all its staff.
The Commerce Board of Education held a first reading of a policy that enforces that requirement Monday night, after discussing the matter at a work session Thursday.
All state school systems will be required to establish such a policy.
At the proposal of Superintendent Larry White, the board agreed to reimburse the $24 cost of the fingerprinting and background check for the system's employees if they turn in a receipt.
White suggested that the system "get on a regular schedule," requiring staff to have the fingerprinting and records check done every five years. Under the new plan, all new staff will be required to undergo the check when they begin work, and teachers submit to it when they get re-certification.
But White said he would like to see all staff get the information updated on a regular, five-year basis.
He proposed to have the food service and custodial staff get fingerprinting and a background check in 2001 and have the secretaries, clerks, bus drivers and paraprofessionals get the procedure done the next year. That would spread the cost of reimbursement out some, he said.
The board will hold a second reading of the policy, which is available for review for 30 days, at its August 14 meeting.


Water authority commits $40,000
on land deal

The Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority voted unanimously Thursday night to front $40,000 for the option to buy approximately 150 acres of land adjacent to the Jackson County Wastewater Treatment plant.
The board will have 45 days to run tests on the land to determine whether or not it will be suitable to use as spray or drip fields for wastewater.
As part of the option to buy, the property owner will also conduct a survey of the land to identify the wetland areas on the property. According to engineer Bob Sutton Jr., wetlands make up approximately 40 acres of the property.
The board will meet with the Jackson County Board of Commissioners before the option expires to decided whether to purchase the land.
OTHER BUSINESS

At its meeting Thursday, the board also:
·learned the authority has begun making more documentation of project work and is now using computers to track inventory better.
·heard from engineer Charlie Armentrout that the raising of the Center water tank the additional 30 feet needed to establish pressure continuity in the system may not be feasible. Armentrout was quick to point out that he did not want to make a recommendation to the board until the full report on the project was completed.
·approved a list of charges for tampering with water authority meter boxes.
·learned the authority will not have to buy more than its contracted share of water from Athens-Clarke County.
·learned the authority still does not have Bear Creek Reservoir water purchase agreements with Hoschton or Maysville. The board agreed to send a letter to Maysville giving them until the end of September to act on a draft of the agreement.