Place A Classified Ad
Madison Opinion Page
Madison Obituary Page
Send A Letter
List Your Business
Madison County Stats
Go to Jackson County
Go to Banks County
We must preserve the Electoral College
Millions of Americans have discovered for the first time the
existence of the Electoral College. As the realization dawns
that the candidate who received the most popular votes may not
win the presidency, they react . . .
Muzzling opponents is not the answer
Chairman Wesley Nash should not have blocked his fellow commissioners'
efforts to get on the board's meeting agenda to talk about legal
fees related to recall efforts.
Nash's position of denying . . .
Lady Raiders win fourth in a row
Four consecutive wins may be in the books, but Lady Raider basketball
coach Tim Cook said his squad isn't ready to pat themselves on
the back. According to Cook, the squad still has some strides
to make to get where they need to be.
BOC agrees on tentative SPLOST allocations
The Banks County Board of Commissioners is one step closer to
finalizing the proposed Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax
Maysville bust nets $62,000 in drugs and cash and four
A weekend drug bust in Maysville resulted in the recovery of
$43,000 in drugs and over $19,000 in cash and four arrests
New deputy warden charged
The new deputy warden at the Jackson County Correctional Institute
has been charged with theft by taking.
Jackson County gets greenspace grant of $139,450
Jackson County has received a $139,450 state grant for its greenspace
program. The Georgia Greenspace Commission approved six grants
under Gov. Roy Barnes' new Georgia Greenspace Program.
The Madison County Journal
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056
NEWS / ADVERTISING
® Copyright 2000
MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Copyright / Terms / Privacy
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Dennis Mize helps his son Matt Mize, 9, chop down the
family Christmas tree last Saturday at Briar Hill Christmas Tree
Farm in northern Madison County, while sister Kasi, 12, stands
by to assist. Mom Marie Mize and brother Josh Welborn were also
on hand to help pick out the tree. The family says this is an
Rift over legal
fees continues among commissioners
Madison County leaders continued a fight over the payment of
legal fees related to recall efforts Monday, though the contentious
issue was cut short as chairman Wesley Nash declared that the
matter was settled two weeks ago and needs no more debate.
The chairman denied two commissioners' written requests to be
on the agenda Monday to discuss the matter and allowed no discussion
of the issue during the meeting.
Nash said he was simply following Georgia law, while his opponents
said he was denying their freedom of speech.
On Nov. 27, the BOC voted 3-2 not to allow payment of attorney's
fees for commissioners fighting recall efforts. These bills included
a $4,568 bill for Patsy Pierce and a $2,684 bill for former commissioner
Pierce was not at that meeting and in her absence, chairman Nash
cast the deciding vote to deny payment.
Prior to Monday's meeting Pierce and commissioner Melvin Drake
filed written requests with the chairman to be on the meeting
Drake's request was for "reconsideration of unpaid legal
fees for commissioners." Pierce asked that the agenda include
the item: "file litigation to cover legal fees and court
Chairman Nash responded with letters to both commissioners explaining
"This issue was settled at our last meeting when a motion
was approved 'that we deny the payment of these expenses and
that we deny any further submission for payment of any recall
expenses,'" Nash wrote Pierce. "I believe Commissioner
(Bruce) Scogin has presented sufficient information to determine
that the payment of legal fees in a recall action is contrary
to Georgia law, therefore, even if ordered to do so by this board
I will not knowingly commit an illegal act."
Nash's letter to Drake contained essentially the same information,
with this added: "I hope that the day of self-serving politics
is behind us and that we can move forward in a spirit of unity
for the good of the citizens of the county."
Monday's meeting opened with Pierce, Drake and District 2 commissioner
Nelson Nash voting to deny the minutes from the Nov. 27 meeting.
Later, Drake asked that regular meeting rules "be suspended"
to allow the discussion of the legal fees issue.
The board voted 3-2 to allow the discussion, with Pierce, Drake
and Nelson Nash voting for the measure and Scogin and Bill Taylor
But the chairman said county policy stipulates that the suspension
of meeting rules must carry a unanimous vote.
County attorney John McArthur told the board that the chairman
was correct, but that there have been occasions when the board
has not followed that policy.
Pierce questioned how the board could reconsider a number of
other items in recent meetings but not reconsider the legal fee
Chairman Nash said he was following the law and Robert's Rules
of Order and he moved on to the next agenda item - the approval
of beer and wine permits for county businesses. Fourteen permits
Three Madison County commissioners faced recall efforts in the
past three years, with two - Clark and Jack Fortson - resigning
shortly before recall votes. An effort against Pierce fizzled
amid legal challenges.
Budget on hold
amid commissioners' conflict
Approval of the 2001 budget was put on hold Monday amid the conflict
over the payment of commissioners' legal expenses.
The board voted 3-2 to deny the budget proposed by chairman Wesley
Nash. BOC members Nelson Nash, Patsy Pierce and Melvin Drake
voted against the proposal, while Bill Taylor and Bruce Scogin
voted to approve the budget.
Prior to the vote, Pierce made a motion for amendments to the
chairman's budget. She requested that "all unpaid legal
fees incurred by county commissioners be paid by Jan. 5, 2001."
Pierce also requested that $10,000 in capital outlay funds be
added to the budget for the Clerk of Court's office for items
such as document time clocks and a roller-shelf record desk.
The amendment also included an increase in travel and training
funds from $600 to $1,000 and food and lodging from $400 to $1,000.
Chairman Nash told Pierce that her motion was "out of order."
County attorney John McArthur said the chairman has the authority
to determine whether a motion is appropriate.
After a long pause, Scogin made a motion to amend the proposed
budget to include $10,000 in capital outlay funds for the Clerk
of Court's office.
That motion died due to a lack of a second.
The board will meet Monday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m. in the county
government complex to set the 2000 millage rate.
In a separate matter Monday, the board approved a request from
Will Winterfeld and Don Mosely of Jubilee Partners to rezone
20 acres on Hwy. 22 from R-R to R-3 on the condition that the
property be limited to no more than three additional residences
on the property, where refugees are sheltered.
The board approved a contract with E.R. Snell to pave Freedom
Church Road for approximately $54,000, a turn lane on Hwy. 98
for $9,000 and drives and parking areas at the new Mental Health
Facility on Hwy. 98 for $34,000.
Taylor reported that a board appointed by the new commissioners
and the chairman will be set up after the new year to review
a proposal for a drug counseling program in the county.
Go to Madison
Public Meeting Dates
& Convenience Stores
service up and running
Hull residents may be feeling a little more secure these days.
Mayor B.W. Hutchins reported during Monday night's council meeting
that Georgia Security Detective Agency has been patrolling the
city during the night and early mornings on a part-time basis
and that the city will be receiving weekly reports from the agency.
In the first such report, Hutchins said the patrol related that
all businesses within the city limits had been checked and found
to be secure and that no problems had been found on numerous
rounds throughout the city limits during the night.
In a separate matter, the council voted unanimously to approve
the 2001 budget at $39,250, up seven percent over last year.
No residents attended the budget hearing held 30 minutes prior
to the regular council meeting.
16th annual luminarias
and live nativity planned
The 16th annual Booger Hill/Moon's Grove Luminarias and Live
Nativity is planned for Saturday, Dec. 16, from 6:30 to 9:30
Organizers say this is a community tradition featuring luminarias
at approximately 200 homes on a route of country roads.
The event also features a Nativity scene with live characters
and animals; carolers and other Christmas scenes throughout the
From Athens, go north on Hwy. 29; turn left at Living Word Church
onto Booger Hill Road.
Continue 3.5 miles to view the Nativity scene on the right. To
visit Moon's Grove Road, take a right at the first road just
past the Nativity.
Go to Hwy. 106, then turn around and go all the way back down
Moon's Grove Church Road to Hwy. 29 where another right takes
you back to Athens. Allow time for heavy traffic.