News from Madison County...

February 14, 2001


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OPINIONS
Frank Gillispie
Time to reduce bureaucracy

President Bush has made an interesting proposal that federal money be used to finance the charitable activities of "faith based" and private organizations. I have a better idea.

Zach Mitcham
How did we get these names?

There's Buzzard Flopper Creek in Cherokee County, a waterway believed to have been named for an Indian named Buzzard Flopper (or flapper) who lived on the Etowah River.


SPORTS
Madison County topples Loganville; locks up first state tourney berth since 1988

The Madison County girls' basketball team soundly defeated Loganville 61-32 in Hartwell Tuesday night, earning the Lady Raiders' first state tournament appearance since 1988.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Probate judge calls for audit
Banks County's new probate judge presented a plan to the board of commissioners Tuesday night that will ensure that the financial records from her office are audited each year.

Home and garden center gets approval
The Banks County Board of Commissioners approved a rezoning request Tuesday night that will bring a home and garden center to the county.



News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
Opponents Of Sewer Line Get Reprieve From County
Property owners enraged over plans to build county sewer lines through their property got at least a temporary reprieve Thursday night.

Jefferson votes to hire city manager
Despite the opposition from one city council member, and to the obvious dismay of Mayor Byrd Bruce, the Jefferson City Council voted Monday night to hire a city manager to run the town's government.


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A LOOK BACK AT LOVE


Danielsville Elementary fourth graders performed a scene from "Romeo and Juliet" for their peers on Valentine's Day. The scene was part of a play called "A Look Back at Love" that portrayed "love scenes" from different periods of history. Pictured are: Cody Esco, Josh McBride, Katie Eliopulos, Meredith Cole and Lisa Abercrombie.



BOC makes county complex more accessible
All county complex doors were unlocked for business Tuesday morning in an effort to make the building more accessible to the public.
The move was pushed by those who feel citizens shouldn't have to make the long trek from the back parking lot to the front of the building, particularly in poor weather. But those who opposed the action said the door is now open for security breakdowns.
The Madison County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 Monday to make the building "more accessible." Commissioners Bill Taylor, Johnny Fitzpatrick, Melvin Drake and Bruce Scogin voted for the measure.
District 3 commissioner Mike Youngblood provided the lone "no" vote.
With all entrances to the building unlocked, the complex's security guard, Marlin Carithers, will now patrol the halls instead of sitting at the front desk by the metal detector, which has been moved to the Superior courtroom entrance.
District 5 commissioner Scogin made the recommendation, saying that he has received numerous complaints from people about the inconvenience of only one entrance.
After some debate on the matter, Scogin suggested that the two back doors of the building be opened, leaving the side doors locked.
At the end of the meeting there was some discussion of what motion had been made.
County clerk Morris Fortson read the motion back to the commissioners, which stated that the building be made "more accessible." Scogin said he thought the motion was for just the back doors to be unlocked. The board agreed to check the tape of the meeting the following morning.
Fortson said Tuesday that the motion was for the building to be made "more accessible," noting that such a motion can be broadly interpreted.
BOC chairman Wesley Nash agreed with Scogin Monday that the building should be made more accessible. He said that he receives complaints every day from those upset about the complex having only one entrance.
Nash added that every door in the complex should be open during business hours.


Full-time county employees can receive dental coverage
Full-time Madison County employees and their families will now be offered dental insurance.
The board of commissioners unanimously approved a plan from Protective Dental for county employees at no cost to county taxpayers.
Full-time employees have the option of a plan that covers regular checkups and other preventive dental work. This plan costs the employee $6.73 every two weeks. A second plan offers coverage for more involved dental work, such as dentures and cavity fillings - braces are not covered. This plan costs employees $9.86 every two weeks.
County personnel coordinator Connie Benge said that about 50 percent of county employees have expressed interest in the insurance.
In other personnel matters Monday, the board approved the promotion of Kristie Fox from part-time to full-time in the EMS department. Travis Legg was hired as a part-time worker in that department, taking over Fox's old job. The board is also seeking a receptionist for the BOC office, but no action was taken on the matter Monday.
The board approved the 2001 county personnel policy. Changes from last year include a requirement that employees with access to county vehicles provide a motor vehicle report every two years. Last year's pay scale included 17 pay classes, but that was increased to 24 this year. The BOC also plans to begin random drug testing of county employees. County commission chairman Wesley Nash reported recently that he and Benge have already submitted to the tests.
For the rest of this story, see this week's Madison County Journal.




Purchase of Athens water line yet to be finalized
Madison County officials have yet to finalize a deal to purchase a water line operated by Athens in Hull.
The county industrial authority continued negotiations Friday with Athens-Clarke County on purchasing the water line installed by Athens in the Hull area in 1991. The water line loops down Davis Road to Old Elberton Road and back to the red light in Hull.
Authority chairman John Scoggins said that once the deal is finalized, connecting the Athens and Hull lines will be a two-day project, costing approximately $27,000.
The Madison County Board of Commissioners and Industrial Authority held a joint meeting Thursday in the county government complex to discuss the deal. Before a purchase is made, the two boards must establish an "intergovernmental agreement," allowing the authority to act on the county's behalf. The BOC postponed approval of that agreement at its regular meeting Monday.
Thursday's joint session was also an opportunity for the new commissioners to learn about the industrial authority.
Scoggins updated the commissioners on the authority's powers, its current assets and its goals. Scoggins emphasized that developing water services in the county helps bring in retail businesses, which boost sales tax revenue. Other benefits include potable water for more citizens and improved fire protection.
Scoggins also spoke of development in the Hull-Dogsboro area, the fastest-growing part of the county, saying the authority is interested in putting a sewer system in the area. Madison County, under the guidance of the industrial authority, recently opened a water system in the Hull-Dogsboro area to serve the new elementary school and Ingles.



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More interviews scheduled in search for superintendent
The Madison County school board will conduct more interviews Thursday in its search for a new school superintendent.
"We just want to get a better feel for people before we start eliminating candidates," said board of education chairman Robert Haggard.
Haggard said the BOE may narrow the field from six to three candidates Thursday, or it may do so at its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Of the six candidates interviewed, four are from Georgia, one from Florida and one from South Carolina.
Haggard said he was pleased with the interviews conducted by the school board in Athens this past Thursday through Saturday. He said he felt that there is a better overall field of candidates than the last time the board searched for a new superintendent in 1998.
"All of them had done their homework," said Haggard of the candidates.