News from Jackson County...

July 19, 2000


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Jackson County Election Results, Tuesday, July 18

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OPINIONS
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SPORTS
Commerce Hosts Preseason Camp With More Than 250 Prep Players Participating
More than 250 high school football players have converged on Commerce High School practice fields for this year's Northeast Georgia Offensive Camp.

JCCHS hosts Georgia Games Saturday
Jackson County Comprehensive High School will host the 2000 Georgia Games wrestling competition Saturday. Sidney Garner, president of the Jefferson Wrestling Club, will serve as tournament director.

JCPRD holds sports camps
The Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department is currently holding its summer soccer camp at Lamar Murphy Park. On tap for the department next week is softball camp.


Neighborhood News...
MADISON COUNTY
Subdivision struggles with unsavory well water
Four to five times a month Madison County's Kathy Reese pulls clothes out of her washing machine to find "big globs of yellow, gold gunk" in the middle of her white loads.

Run-offs set in two elections; Fitzpatrick wins Democratic race
The Madison County election field narrowed Tuesday as Johnny Fitzpatrick won the Democratic nomination for the county commission's District 2 seat.




News from
BANKS COUNTY
Whisnant, Thomas to face in runoff while incumbents sweep field in other posts
Betty Jean Evans Thomas and Ben Whisnant will have three more weeks to campaign for the Banks County probate judge seat. Neither of the two could get enough of the 2,923 votes cast for a full victory in Tuesday's primary, leading to a run-off Tuesday August 8.

Alto increases fee for opening water account
In a move to end the problem of people moving out without paying their water bills, the Alto City Council voted unanimously last week to up the deposit required to open a water account.


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VOTING IN PENDERGRASS

Michael Boehlke, Pendergrass, and his 6-year-old daughter Claire were among those who turned out at the polls Tuesday. Twenty-eight percent of the county's voters turned out to vote.


Fletcher Vs. Stephenson In
Run-Off; Thomason Wins Big

Republicans Harold Fletcher and Tommy Stephenson will meet again in the Aug. 8 primary run-off for the right to chair the new five-member board of commissioners for the next four years.
Fletcher nosed out Stephenson, who was weakened by a strong race in the Democratic Primary in Commerce, by a scant 42 votes, 1233-1191. Roy Grubbs finished a distant third with 614 votes.
The winner may face a challenge from Independent Jerry Presley in the Nov. 7 election (see story on Page 3A).
Commerce dentist Dr. Sammy Thomason won easily in the District 2 seat for the Board of Commissioners, beating Tommy Ford 491-106 and winning the right to take on Republican Don Blalock in November.
The strong showing in the Thomason-Ford race undoubtedly hurt Stephenson, and it could continue to hurt his efforts in the primary run-off. By law, voters who participated in one party's primary election may not vote in the other party's primary run-off. Fletcher was not available for comment early Wednesday morning, but Stephenson expressed some disappointment with the turnout.
"I can't help but be a little disappointed with the turnout. The chairman's race is such an important race," he said. "...I think having the Sammy Thomason-Thomas Ford race going on in Minish (his home district) was hurtful...I was very pleased with the vote total I got in Jefferson.
"I feel pretty good about it because I feel like Roy Grubbs, without question, is the anti-growth candidate and he got about 600 votes. I believe if the anti-growth sentiment is not going to play in the favor of electing a realtor as chairman of the board of commissioners. I don't say that in a negative way towards Harold, I just say that as a political analysis as to what took place last night. Roy got 20 percent of the vote and I think the 20 percent that he got was pretty clearly anti-growth. I think most of those people won't be really enthusiastic about going to the polls to elect a realtor to be a chairman. There is that perception there that a realtor will be for any kind of growth and all growth and that kind of thing. I feel pretty good about picking up some of the Roy Grubbs support. That will be the key."
In other board of commissioners races, Republican Stacey Britt won the right to meet Democrat Tommy Benton in District 1, collecting 73.4% of the vote. He had 701 votes, compared to 160 for Travis Boles and 94 for Felton Rainey.
District 3: In the West Jackson area, Republicans Emil Beshara (319 votes) and Mark Tolbert (310) will meet in the run-off. The winner will take on Fran Thomas in November.
District 4: Tony Beatty beat Kenneth Bridges 383-364 in the Republican Primary. He will face Democrat Daniel Sailors in the run-off.
OTHER RACES
For sheriff: Incumbent Stan Evans easily turned back the challenge of Charles Hayes on the Republican side, 2,443-629, while Democrat Steve Gary beat Glenda Coker 819-232 for the right to a rematch against Evans in November.
For coroner: Incumbent Keith Whitfield had no trouble beating challenger Terry Baxter for the Democratic nomination, 811-331. He will take on Republican Sammy Qualls in November.
In Jackson County, Mac Barber of Commerce had more votes than David L. Burgess in the race for a seat on the Democratic ticket for the Public Service Commission, but statewide, Burgess was the winner.
Rep. John Linder carried 86 percent of the Jackson County vote to beat challenger Vince Littman of Banks County 2,521-414 and won just as easily statewide.
TURNOUT LOW
Voter turnout was low, as had been expected. Only 28 percent ­ 4,361 ­ of the county's 15,562 registered voters turned out for the election.


Independent seeks spot in the BOC
chairman's race

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 Democratic 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.


W&S Authority Buys Option On 150 Acres
The Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority voted unanimously Thursday night to front $40,000 for the option to buy approximately 150 acres 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 decide whether to purchase the land.
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.
·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.


'Chances good' that new JES kindergarten classrooms will be ready for school's start
Chances look good that Jefferson Elementary School will be able to start off the school year utilizing six new kindergarten classrooms.
Dr. John Jackson, superintendent, told the Jefferson Board of Education Thursday that "chances are still really good" that the new classrooms will be ready when the school's doors open August 4. In addition to staying within schedule, the project is also so far staying within the anticipated cost of some $650,000.
For more information about other completed and renovation and construction projects for the school system, see this weeks story in The Jackson Herald.



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City Planning Board To Consider Zoning For Annexation
A developer proposing to put 68 houses on 50 acres in a multi-zoned subdivision will come before the Commerce Planning Commission seeking rezoning for annexation Monday night.
The planning commission meets at 7:00 at the Commerce Civic Center. It will make recommendations on this and other land use issues to the Commerce City Council, which will act on them at its Aug. 14 meeting.
John Buchanan proposes to have 26.49 acres behind Piedmont Street and Mount Vernon Mills zoned R-1 and the adjacent 23.77 acres zoned R-2. The R-1 section would hold 29 lots and the R-2 section 39.
In other business, the developer of a proposed subdivision near Commerce Middle School will try again to get the planning commission's approval of a preliminary plat.
For the rest of the story, see this week's Commerce News.


Davis elected to Arcade council
Polly S. Davis was elected to the Arcade City Council in a special called election Tuesday.
Davis had 50 votes, while challenger Ralph Worley had 30 votes. Only 14 percent of the city's registered voters turned out for the special election.
The election was held to fill the unexpired term of the late Charles Segars. Davis was appointed in March to fill the term of Segars on an interim basis until the election was held


Georgia Power plant named after Southern Company CEO
Plant Dahlberg, the new Georgia Power generating facility in South Jackson, was officially dedicated in a ceremony Thursday. The 38th Georgia Power generating plant was named in honor of Southern Company chairman and CEO Bill Dahlberg.
"I said I am going to have a plant named after me and I am going to grow a mustache and I'm not going to cut it off until I do," Dahlberg said. "I'm proud to have my name on a Georgia Power plant."
A host of state dignitaries and Southern Company and Georgia Power executives were on hand for the dedication ceremony, including Governor Roy Barnes.
"Plant Dahlberg is a remarkable facility named for a remarkable man," Barnes said. "This is a clean plant that reflects Georgia Power's commitment to rural economic development and protecting the environment."
Plant Dahlberg is a $200 million natural gas-powered facility. The plant generates power with eight 80-megawatt units. Two more units are scheduled to be online in 2001, and when totally completed, the plant will have 16 units with 1,200 megawatts of generating capacity. The facility will generate electricity for the wholesale energy market.
"This plant will bring $1.5 million in tax revenue for Jackson County," Barnes said. "It will increase the tax base without burdening the citizens."
David Ratcliffe, president and CEO of Georgia Power, also presented Athens-Clarke County mayor Doc Eldridge with a $100,000 donation to the Sandy Creek Nature Center near the plant.


Family seeks funds for wheelchair lift
Victoria and Martin Walker of Jefferson are seeking funds to purchase a wheelchair lift for their van for their 3-year-old daughter Julia, who has cerebal palsy. They will be at the Bell's Food Market on Hwy. 129 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 22.