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BOE taking right steps
Things are going as they should at our board of education. The
board is being confronted by citizens of Madison County who insist
on knowing how and why tax money is being spent by the school
Thinking about the election
Like most people, I'm wondering what Tuesday will bring.
I'm anticipating the late night and the workers from each precinct
bringing in their tallies. The numbers will be called out and
the fate of each candidate will take shape gradually.
SEE THIS WEEK'S PIGSKIN PICKERS!
MCHS to take on Athens Christian in season finale
After Madison County's season-opening 14-10
win over South Forysth in Cumming, the Madison County football
team, along with parents and fans, gathered around Raider coach
Tom Hybl on the field. ... With one game remaining this year
- an 8 p.m. showdown Friday night at Athens Christian off Hwy.
29 - Madison County is poised to go 10-0 for the first time in
Baldwin, Demorest still at odds over water plant
Winning the arbitration was just the first step of an uphill
climb by Baldwin officials to wrest control of the water plant
Baldwin officials say they have been kept in the dark as to what
has or has not been done up at the pumping station. City leaders
say they have not seen any bookkeeping records, maintenance logs,
plant records or expens reports.
Wilbanks asks for new trial in home invasion
A man found guilty in a 1999 home invasion in Banks County has
asked for a retrial.
Taste Of Jackson Set Thursday At Civic Center
It's billed as the "Taste of Jackson County/Business Showcase,"
but it's really a party with beverages, food and giveaway items
covered by the $5 admission charge.
Taxes, water the major issues, according to House candidates
Incumbent Rep. Scott Tolbert (R) said the most important issue
facing Jackson County is increasing taxes. His opponent, Pat
Bell (D) said access to water will be the most important issue
facing county residents in the coming years.
The Madison County Journal
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BEAUTIES AND MONSTERS
Danielsville Elementary kindergartners trick-or-treated each
other's classes Tuesday afternoon as part of the school's Halloween
festivities. (L-R) Neah Anglin, Chaz Hudson and Leah Barger,
of Rhonda Crowe's class, wait patiently for their next stop for
to be on Tues. ballot
The following proposed constitutional amendments will appear
on the Nov. 7 general election ballot:
Shall the Constitution be amended so as to provide for selection
of a replacement for any member of the General Assembly who has
been initially convicted by felony?"
This proposal provides that upon the initial conviction of any
member of the General Assembly for any felony in a trial court
of this state or the United States, the member shall be immediately
suspended from office and a replacement member shall be elected
to serve for the duration of the suspension. The suspension lasts
until the end of the member's term or until the member's conviction
becomes final or the conviction is overturned, whichever is earlier.
The proposed amendment ensures legislative representation during
the suspension of a member of the state Senate or House of Representatives
upon initial conviction for a felony. The election of a replacement
member is the same as the procedure for filling a vacancy in
the General Assembly.
Shall the Constitution be amended so as to provide for a homeowner's
incentive adjustment for ad valorem property tax relief?"
This proposal provides for an adjustment on the ad valorem property
tax return of each taxpayer claiming the state-wide homestead
exemption. The amount of the adjustment may be equivalent to
a homestead exemption of up to $18,000 of the assessed value
of the homestead or the taxpayer's ad valorem tax liability on
the homestead, whichever is lower. Each year, the General Assembly
may appropriate the amount of the tax credit as grants to local
governments and school districts for homeowner tax relief. The
procedures and conditions for the adjustments and grants shall
be subject to the provisions of general law.
Shall the Constitution be amended so as to authorize the General
Assembly to provide a program of compensation for law enforcement
officers who become physically disabled, but not permanently
disabled, as a result of physical injury incurred in the line
of duty and caused by a willful act of violence and for firemen
who become physically disabled, but not permanently disabled,
as a result of physical injury incurred while fighting a fire,
which program shall entitle an injured law enforcement officer
or fireman to receive monthly compensation from the state in
an amount equal to such person's regular compensation for the
period of time that the law enforcement officer or fireman is
physically unable to perform the duties of his or her employment,
not exceeding 12 months and with certain exceptions?"
This proposal authorizes the General Assembly to provide for
a program of compensation for injuries incurred by law enforcement
officers and firemen who become physically disabled but not permanently
disabled in the line of duty. Monthly compensation from the state
in an amount equal to such person's regular compensation is authorized
for the period of time that the law enforcement officer or fireman
is physically unable to perform the duties of employment for
a period up to a total of 12 months. Satisfactory evidence of
disability shall be required and such benefits shall be subordinate
to workers' compensation
benefits, disability, and other compensation benefits awarded
from an employer and shall be limited to the difference between
the benefits actually paid by the employer and the amount of
the person's regular compensation. Any law enforcement officer
or fireman who receives payments under the state indemnification
program for permanent disability is excluded from this compensation
Shall the Constitution be amended so as to authorize the General
Assembly to provide by law for indemnification with respect to
public school teachers, administrators, and employees who are
killed or permanently disabled by an act of violence in the line
of duty, a nonlapsing indemnification fund for such purposes,
and dedication of revenue from special and distinctive motor
vehicle license plates honoring Georgia educators to such fund?"
This proposal authorizes the General Assembly to enact an indemnification
program for public school teachers, administrators, and employees
who are killed or permanently disabled by an act of violence
in the line of duty and to establish a nonlapsing fund for such
purposes with revenue from special and distinctive motor vehicle
license plates honoring state educators.
Shall the Constitution be amended so as to provide that the General
Assembly may provide by law for a program for indemnification
with respect to the death or permanent disability of any state
highway employee who is or at any time in the past was killed
or permanently disabled in the line of duty?"
This proposal authorizes the General Assembly to create a program
of indemnification with respect to the death or permanent disability
of any state highway employee who is or at any time in the past
was killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Funds
shall be appropriated as necessary for payment of such indemnification
and for the purchase of insurance.
Shall the Constitution be amended so as to provide that marine
vessels may be classified as a separate class of property for
ad valorem property tax purposes, and such class may be divided
into separate subclasses for ad valorem purposes and to authorize
the General Assembly to provide by general law for the ad valorem
taxation of marine vessels including, but not limited to, providing
for different rates, methods, assessment dates, and taxpayer
liability for such class and for each of its subclasses and need
not provide for uniformity of taxation with other classes of
property or between or within its subclasses?
This proposal authorizes the creation of a separate class of
property for ad valorem property tax purposes to be known as
marine vessels and authorizes the creation of separate subclasses
of marine vessels for tax purposes. The General Assembly is authorized
to provide for different rates, methods, assessment dates and
taxpayer liability for such class and need not provide for uniformity
with other classes of property or for uniformity among the subclasses
of marine vessels. The portion of any ad valorem tax on marine
vessels to be retained by the state shall be as provided by law.
Marine vessels are defined as all vessels used or capable of
being used as a means of transportation on water, except for
Shall the Constitution be amended so as to increase from five
years to seven years the time of which state court judges must
have been admitted to the practice of law?"
This proposal increases the experience requirement for eligibility
for the office of state court judge by requiring that such persons
shall have been admitted to practice law for seven years. The
proposed amendment changes the requirement from five years to
seven years' experience and would not apply to state court judges
elected or appointed in the year 2000 or earlier.
Shall the Act be approved which exempts from ad valorem taxes
certain fixed and mobile farm equipment used by family owned
qualified farm products producers?
This Act grants family owned farms an exemption from all ad valorem
taxation for farm tractors, combines and all other farm equipment
other than motor vehicles used in the production of agricultural
products. If approved by a majority of the voters, the Act becomes
effective on January 1, 2001, and applies to all tax years beginning
on or after that date.
Shall the Act be approved which increases from $300 to $2,500
the ad valorem tax exemption for all tools and implements of
trade of manual laborers?
This Act increases to $2,500 the personal property ad valorem
tax exemption granted to manual laborers residing in Georgia
with respect to tools and implements of trade. Current law exempts
up to $300 of the actual value of such tools and implements owned
by each laborer. If approved by a majority of the voters, the
Act becomes effective on January 1, 2001, and applies to all
tax years beginning on or after that date.
Shall the Act be approved which provides that any person who
is a citizen and resident of Georgia and who is an unremarried
surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces of the United
States, which member has been killed in any war or armed conflict
in which the armed forces of the United States engaged, whether
under United States command or otherwise, shall be granted a
homestead exemption from all ad valorem taxation for state, county,
municipal, and school purposes in the same amount as that to
which a disabled veteran is entitled under other provisions of
This Act grants to the unremarried surviving spouse of a member
of the armed forces of the United Sates killed in service during
a war or armed conflict a homestead exemption from all ad valorem
taxation for state, county, municipal, and school purposes in
the same amount as that to which a disabled veteran is granted
by law. Current law only grants such an exemption to a disabled
veteran or the unremarried surviving spouse of a disabled veteran,
and the exemption amounts to $43,000. If approved by a majority
of the voters, the Act becomes effective on January 1, 2001,
and applies to all tax years beginning on or after that date.
Shall the Act be approved which provides an ad valorem tax exemption
with respect to the property of Elks Lodges?
This Act excludes Elks Lodges from all ad valorem taxation for
state, county, municipal and school purposes provided such property
is used exclusively for charitable, fraternal or benevolent purposes.
If approved by a majority of the voters, the Act becomes effective
on January 1, 2001, and applies to all tax years beginning on
or after that date.
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Public Meeting Dates
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County to pick
favorites in 11 contested local elections
After months of listening to the candidates, voters will have
their turn to speak Tuesday.
Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. in Madison County's
Up for grabs in Madison County are the county commission chairman's
seat, four commissioner's posts, a school board position, the
clerk of court, the probate judge and the state house and state
Candidates for the BOC chairman's post are Republican incumbent
Wesley Nash and Democratic challenger Nelson Nash. Those seeking
the BOC District 1 seat are Democratic incumbent Bill Taylor
and Republican John Brueshaber. In the District 2 BOC race, Republican
Larry Stewart will face Democrat Johnny Fitzpatrick. Republican
Danny Andrews and Democrat Mike Youngblood are vying for the
BOC District 3 post. And Republican incumbent Bruce Scogin will
face Democrat Marion Baker in the BOC District 5 race.
The lone school board seat up for grabs is in District 5, where
incumbent Democrat Jimmy Patton will be challenged by Republican
In the State House of Representatives District 24 race, Republican
incumbent Ralph Hudgens will face Democrat Doug McKillip, while
in the State Senate District 47 race, Democratic incumbent Eddie
Madden will be challenged by Republican Mike Beatty.
Several county officials will also be on the ballot without opposition
Tuesday. They include sheriff Clayton Lowe, tax commissioner
Louise Watson, BOC District 4 representative Melvin Drake, District
3 school board member John Mason, BOE District 4 representative
Jim Patton (no relation to District 5 member Jimmy Patton) and
surveyor James Smith.
The Madison County registrar's office has sent out 368 absentee
ballots for Tuesday's election. There were 12,538 registered
voters in Madison County as of October.
For indepth coverage of each candidate, see this week's Madison
County BOE to hold forum on school finances
The Madison County Board of Education will hold a public forum
on the financial state of the school system Thursday, Nov. 30
at 7 p.m. Board members and other school officials will field
questions from the public regarding the school system's current
The board recently agreed to borrow $895,000 after it was revealed
that the system may have a $2 million cash shortfall by the end
of the year. Last week, the board announced plans to raise local
property taxes for schools by 28 percent.
A required tax rate hearing may also be held in conjunction with
the Nov. 30 meeting.
On Monday, the school board adopted a tentative budget for FY2001.
The board was required to submit a budget by Oct. 31 for state
approval. The tentative budget includes property tax rates of
14 mills for operations and 1.8 mills for bond payments.
The actual millage rates cannot be set until a final tax digest
is released by Tax Commissioner Louise Watson. Once the digest
is approved, the board will set a millage rate to raise local
Frank King, a retired school superintendent from Thomaston, has
offered his services in developing a search program for a new
superintendent. He would offer advice and suggestions for an
independent search for a fee of several hundred dollars. Professional
organizations that conduct such searches charge $10,000 or more.
BOE Chairman Jimmy Patton will contact Mr. King for references.