Our Time and Place:
A History of
Jackson County, Ga
A complete history of Jackson County, Georgia
from 1796 to the present. Written in narrative style for easy
reading. Includes material not found in other books about Jackson
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1998 Building Permits
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1999 Property Transactions
2000 Building Permits
2000 Property Transactions
Bear Creek Project
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Directions to Area Schools
Dragon machine rolls over Banks, 35-7
Fresh off a pair of huge wins to open the season, the Jefferson
Dragons will rumble on to the Johnson High School campus Friday
hoping to improve to 3-0. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
Panthers fall to Madison County, 35-7
The Jackson County Panthers will travel to Elberton Friday for
a game in one of the most reknowned and easily recognized football
stadiums in the state, Elbert County's Granite Bowl. The game
will be the first region contest for both teams.
Neighboorhood News ..
County reacts to national tragedy
Downtown Danielsville was unusually quiet Tuesday afternoon,
as many stayed home or in their offices, glued to their televisions
and radios as the unprecedented terrorist attacks on the World
Trade Center, the Pentagon and other American government buildings
BOC denies request to reverse work stoppage order
The Madison County commissioners unanimously agreed to stick
to a work stoppage order on a manufactured home on Hwy. 106.
J. Stuart Teague Jr., an attorney for Classic City Homes, asked
commissioners to reverse a work stoppage order issued by the
county on a manufactured home on Hwy. 106 for Brenda Witcher.
Voters go to the polls Tuesday
SPLOST on the ballot.Voters will go to the
polls on Tuesday to cast their ballot on renewing the one-cent
Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) for education.
New 911 signs arriving at planning office
The new 911 number signs are arriving and being prepared.
New homeowners will receive a 911 sign with their permits at
the Banks County Planning Office.
NICHOLSON -- Two candidates have qualified
to run for mayor and seven others will run for the four positions
on the town council when Nicholson holds its municipal elections
Nov. 6. James Kesler will challenge incumbent mayor Ronnie Maxwell.
Incumbent councilmen Chuck Wheeler and Billy Kitchens qualified
for re-election. They're joined by Deborah Moore, Bobby Crawford,
Howard Wilbanks, Lamar Watkins and Paul Cartledge for the four
council seats. Incumbent Margaret Ward did not offer for re-election.
All of the city council seats are at-large and the four candidates
with the most votes will win the four council seats. Kesler,
Crawford and Moore were all unsuccessful candidates in the March
20 special election in which Kitchens and Wheeler were elected.
Kesler polled 101 votes, Crawford 59 and Moore 30. Qualifying
was Monday through Wednesday.
The Jackson Herald
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056
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SEEKING COMFORT IN PRAYER
Hundreds of local people, like
these men and women at White Plains Baptist Church, went to special
church services Tuesday night to pray for those killed and injured
in terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.
only 11 percent
of voters go to the polls
The special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) for education
was overwhelmingly passed by 93 percent of voters who went to
the polls Tuesday.
Some 1,712 countians voted in favor of the sales tax, while only
134 voted against it. Only 11 percent of the county's approximately
17,000 registered voters went to the polls.
The tax is expected to bring in $45 million in SPLOST revenue
over the next five years.
Commerce voters passed the tax 363-15; Jefferson voters passed
it 336-14; and county voters passed it 1,013-105.
set for Nov. 6
Qualifying ended last week and elections
are set in several Jackson County towns. Those seeking office
in the various towns are as follows:
In Arcade, an election won't be necessary as only the incumbents
qualified. The council will consist of: Mayor Doug Haynie and
council members Dean Bentley, Tom Hayes, Cindy Bone, Polly Davis
and Ron Smith.
In Braselton, incumbent Mayor Henry Edward Braselton will face
challenger Patricia Graham. Others to qualify include: District
1, incumbent Bruce Yates; District 2, Tom Clark; District 3,
incumbent Pam Jackson and Elise Cotter; and District 4, incumbent
In Commerce, those who qualified are: At-large Post 2, city council,
incumbent Archie Chaney and Neal Smith; Ward 2, city council,
Donald Wilson; Ward 1, city council, incumbent Riley Harris and
Oliver Pittman; District 1, board of education, Arthur Lee Pattman;
and District 2, board of education, incumbent Mary Seabolt and
Qualifying will end Friday. The qualifying fee is $81 for the
city council seats and $18 for the school board posts.
In Hoschton, incumbent Mayor Billy Holder will face challenger
Gary Titus. Those two qualify for the council seats include:
Post 1, incumbent Roslyn Clark and Brian Boehmer; Post 2, Benjamin
Davis, Glenn Evans and Larry Stancil; and Post 3, incumbent Joyce
Peppers and Sandi Romer have qualified.
In Jefferson, incumbent Mayor Byrd Bruce will face Jim Joiner.
Those to qualify for the council seats include: Ward 2, incumbent
Marcia Moon and Bobby Patterson; Ward 4, incumbent Bosie Griffith.
Those to qualify for the board of education include: chairman,
incumbent Ronnie Hopkins; Ward 2, BOE, incumbent Steven Hix;
and Ward 4, BOE, incumbent Derrell Crowe.
In Nicholson, incumbent Ronnie Maxwell and James Kesler have
qualified for the mayor's post. Those who have qualified for
the four at-large council seats are: incumbents Chuck Wheeler
and Billy Kitchens and Howard Wilbanks, Bobby Crawford, Lamar
Watkins, Paul Cartledge and Deborah Moore.
Qualifying was to have ended Wednesday.
In Talmo, the incumbents were the only ones to qualify. They
are: Mayor Larry Joe Wood; Post 3, Jill Miller; and Post 4, Trapper
Two men from Jackson at WTC during attack
Two men who grew up in Jackson County were in or near the World
Trade Center Tuesday when it was attacked by terrorists flying
commercial airliners into the buildings. Both men are reportedly
safe, said family members.
Former Jefferson resident Stephen Bryan, who is a professor at
Wake Forest University, was at the World Trade Center on business
Tuesday. His stepmother, Rebekah Bryan of Jefferson, said he
was not injured in the attack.
"He got out," she said. "I haven't heard any more
Mrs. Bryan said she hasn't been able to talk with Stephen, but
that family members have had contact with him and he was not
injured. She said she heard he was able to walk from the World
Trade Center after the attack occurred and was in a church nearby.
Another former Jackson Countian, Robert Goodman, was working
in a bank across the street from the World Trade Center. He is
the son of Robert and Linda Goodman of Nicholson.
Mrs. Goodman said Robert received minor injuries when the attack
occurred and saw the second plane hit the World Trade Center.
"He got hurt a little, but he's OK," she said. "He
was knocked to the ground and he got cut up...Last night when
I spoke to him, he kept telling me that he was fine."
Mrs. Goodman's sister and niece also work in New York, but were
not injured. She said after the attack occurred, Robert walked
six or seven miles to where her sister works.
When news of the terroristic attacks in New York was reported,
Mrs. Goodman said she worried until she heard from her family.
"It was really tense until we got confirmation that he was
OK," she said. "It was really scary. You tell yourself
not to think the worst, but it's really scary because you are
so protective of your children."
Goodman, who graduated from Georgia Tech in 2000, has been employed
at Deutsche Bank since January.
Like millions of other Americans, local citizens were stunned
Tuesday as word of the terrorist attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon
filtered into offices and schools.
Students across the county sat silently around televisions as
news of attacks was reported. Office workers gathered around
radios and small televisions in shocked silence as the latest
news came in of thousands being killed in the largest terroristic
attack to hit the United States.
And Tuesday night, many local churches held special prayer services
in the wake of the events and additional services were scheduled
for Wednesday night as well.
While some evening meetings and events were canceled in Jackson
County Tuesday, most events went on as scheduled. Budget hearings
held by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners continued Tuesday
night, but the board stopped at 8:30 p.m. and gathered in the
conference room to watch the president's address. After the brief
remarks, the commissioners returned to their meeting.
Starting in January, a new company will provide residential and
light commercial garbage pickup service in Commerce.
Accepting the recommendation of city manager Clarence Bryant,
the city council voted Monday to enter a five-year contract with
Waste Management, said Bryant, provided the low bid for the service,
saving the city $41,286 per year over what it is now paying Robertson
Sanitation and $5,272 less than the BFI bid.
Under the terms of the contract, Waste Management will provide
the service at the same rate for two years, after which it will
be adjusted according to the cost of living in the southeast.
The city charges $11 per month for residential garbage pickup,
but that also covers removal of yard wastes. Waste Management
will charge $7.33 per month for weekly pickup of trash in 95-gallon
containers. It will charge $13.56 per month for twice-weekly
pickup of 95-gallon containers for small businesses and for twice
weekly pickup of downtown trash cans.
"All of the bidders also submitted a proposal for curbside
recycling starting in the second year. I recommend we look at
that in about a year," said Bryant.
In addition, Waste Manage-ment offered an option, which the council
did not discuss, to cover the pickup of other household wastes
currently not covered by garbage service or the city's yard waste
One result of the change is that residents will get new garbage
containers, Bryant said.
School SPLOST vote
New schools, upgrades at stake in key ballot issue. Voters will
go to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether the special purpose
local option sales tax (SPLOST) for education will be extended
for another five years.
The current SPLOST for education is due to expire June 30, 2002,
but because collections will hit the $28 million cap earlier,
it will end earlier in the year.
If the Sept. 18 referendum passes, the tax would continue without
interruption. The tax is expected to bring in $45 million in
SPLOST revenue over the next five years to be used by all three
school systems in Jackson County.
Jackson County School System superintendent Andy Byers said that
the Tanger II outlet alone provides more than $2 million per
year to that system.
"We did what we said we would do," Byers said of the
current SPLOST, which reduced the millage rate for bonded indebtedness
from 4.53 mills to one mill. "That is a tremendous savings
to the taxpayers."
The system also built 10 new classrooms at North Jackson Elementary
School, 10 new classrooms at South Jackson, nine at Jackson County
Elementary School, built an intermediate school in Hoschton and
bought 147 acres near East Jackson Middle School where grading
has started on what will be the East Jackson Elementary School.
"We've got $4.5 million in the bank for the new school we're
grading on," Byers marveled.
If the voters approve the extension, Byers said the Jackson County
Board of Education will increase the capacities of the two middle
schools to 880 students; they're currently at 650 capacity. The
system will also build an East Jackson High School on the same
site where the EJES is under construction, will keep the millage
rate for the 1994 bonds at one mill or less and will buy more
land for new schools as the need arises.
"The sales tax allows us to buy $1 worth of brick and mortar
for every $1 in taxes paid," he said, noting that to pay
for the same amount of construction, the system would have to
issue $100 million in bonds.
"I pledge to you the continued wise use of the sales tax
money," he concluded.
Jefferson City Schools superintendent Dr. John Jackson said that
when it comes to providing classroom space, the school systems
have no choice but to build it.
"When these kids are here, we've got to educate them,"
he said. "We can't close the door and say we don't have
With funds from the current SPLOST, Jefferson has reduced its
bond obligation, renovated most of its high school, added six
classrooms at the elementary school, upgraded computers and done
major renovations to its middle school and gym. It is currently
building a new middle school.
If the tax is extended, the city system will continue reducing
its bonded indebtedness, saving $1.75 million in the process,
will split Jefferson Elementary School into two schools, will
do more renovation at the middle school, re-roof its art/computer
center and make additions to the new middle school now under
Jackson also alluded to the percentage of the tax paid by non-residents.
"That's not something to be ashamed of," he said. "When
you go to Gwinnett or you go to Athens-Clarke and spend money,
you help their educational system with the SPLOST they've got
Commerce City School superintendent Larry White said the funds
would be used to finance a $6 million bond, proceeds of which
would go to build a new middle school to house 450 students,
for new concession stands, restrooms and a visiting team's dressing
room at the high school football field, an addition to the CHS
gym to provide practice space for wrestling and cheerleading,
a new central office facility, upgraded locker rooms for girls'
sports and miscellaneous heating and air conditioning and plumbing
project draws mixed reaction
A public hearing about an industrial warehouse proposed for location
on 162 acres at Zion Church and Tom White roads alongside I-85
near Braselton brought mixed responses from residents and business
owners Thursday night. At the second public hearing held on the
proposal, TC Atlanta Development, Inc. representatives presented
plans for the 2.6 million-square-foot industrial warehousing
project and again requested that the town council annex the property
into Braselton and approve rezoning from A-2 to M-1.
The council heard the TC proposal, then listened as 12 audience
members spoke - seven in opposition to the project and five in
favor. The council will make a decision on the matter when it
meets at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 13, at city hall. Mayor Henry
Edward Braselton and councilmember H.B. "Kit" Braselton
are abstaining from any decision on the project, as they or family
members have property interests that could be affected by the
rezoning, explained city attorney Tom Fitzgerald.
During the two-hour hearing, TC Atlanta representatives Duane
Wood and Pat Henry described the project, saying the benefits
of the $75 to $100 million total investment would be to attract
more businesses to the area, bring some 900 jobs to the area,
boost the local tax base - serving as a "funding mechanism"
for the school system - and "ultimately bring higher property
values for the surrounding area."
When questioned by councilmember Bruce Yates, Wood said an estimate
on how much tax money the project could bring in was "somewhere
between $800,000 to $1 million" per year, including ad valorem,
personal property and equipment taxes. He also estimated that
65 percent of that tax money would go to the school system.
"We want to join the Town of Braselton in addressing any
concerns," Wood said. "We want to partner with the
town, county and state."
Wood's pronouncement that the warehousing project would ultimately
increase property values brought laughter from residents who
are concerned about residential quality of life dropping if the
project is approved. Audience members filled the meeting area
Thursday night, overflowing up the stairway in the hall and into
an adjacent room.
Town resident and property owner Bill Braselton was the first
to speak in opposition to the warehousing project.
"As a citizen of Braselton, I am totally opposed to this
project," he began. "It will cause endless traffic,
with trucks running maybe 24-7...It would result in immediate
lowering of residential property value."
Braselton proposed that the town council consider "much
better, less negative, less impacting" uses for the property,
adding, "We are going to grow, why not do it right?..My
simple question to the council is, are we going to become a town
Braselton also added that he has a piece of commercial property
for sale near the site, and that the plans for the warehousing
project calls for a road to be cut through that acreage.
Other residents, including James Harrison, Linda Post and Tom
Clark, spoke against the project, citing concerns about traffic,
noise and pollution, as well as the desire for the council to
consider "sound growth" for the town's future.
Post discussed traffic pollution and noise, saying "Atlanta
smog is not what we need...I hope when progress and change takes
place, you will consider environmental issues, such as greenspace,
noise and pollution...We picked a charming community to move
into, not an industrial park."
Harrison, who recently re-located to the area from Gwinnett County,
said he moved to get away from the bumper-to-bumper cars and
is deeply concerned by what he sees as the "threat of not
only bumper-to-bumper cars, but also bumper-to-bumper 18-wheelers."
He questioned the council's opposing a Mercedes truck terminal
locating in town a couple of years ago, but "now it's OK
to consider tractor trailers in our residential areas?"
SUPPORT FOR PROJECT
A number of property owners and businessmen spoke in support
of the warehousing project, including Herb Braselton Jr., Mike
Dominy, Gary Waters and Charles Titshaw Jr., as did Pepe Cummings,
president of the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce. The
city received a letter of support from school superintendent
Andy Byers, who said if the property is valued at $100 million,
it would generate $595,600 in school taxes, while a $150 million
would generate $893,400.
Zion Baptist Church building and grounds committee sent a letter
of support - contingent upon a new parking lot - as did other
business and property owners. The DOT also sent a letter stating
that it would be in support of relocating Zion Church Road, which
TC Atlanta has said it would be amenable to facilitating. If
the road is not relocated, the DOT is looking at making Zion
Church Road a right-in, right-out only road at Hwy. 53 to alleviate
traffic problems at that intersection.
Waters, Titshaw and Murahari R. Purugulla, who each own a business
on Zion Church Road, voiced support for the TC Atlanta property
and for keeping Zion Church Road open, saying restricting road
access could be devastating to their businesses.
"They're willing and big enough to buy rights of way to
move the road," Titshaw said of TC Atlanta. "That's
the only way they could get trucks in and out."
Titshaw added: "It's also a huge tax base for the school
system, and our schools need it, and eventually for the city
if it is annexed in...It would be in the best interest of the
city. Realistically, the development is going to come; it's just
a question of whether it's for Jackson County of Braselton."
Other supporters, such as Edd Price, who submitted his opinions
via letter, pointed out that the best place for industrial property
is along the interstate, and that such zoning is consistent with
county and city land use plans.
"This type of development will enhance the professional
feel of the area and will attract other professional type businesses
and business people...They will pay millions of dollars in taxes
and use relatively little of the city's services...I believe
this change will not only be consistent with the zoning of the
surrounding area and land use plan, but will also have a positive
economic impact and help to solve a serious traffic safety issue."
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Qualify So Far
For Commerce City Elections
It's still early, but as of press time, all incumbents have qualified
but no challengers have filed to seek election to seats on the
Commerce City Council and the Commerce Board of Education.
Qualifying for the Nov. 6 city elections continues through Friday.
The qualifying fee is $81 for city council members and $18 for
school board members.
Incumbents Archie D. Chaney Jr., at-large post 1; Donald Wilson,
Ward 2; and Riley Harris, Ward 1, have qualified for re-election
to the city council. Mary Seabolt has qualified for re-election
from District 2 on the school board and Arthur Lee Pattman qualified
for the District 1 seat. All terms are for four years.
"We've got a good council and we're working together,"
said Chaney, 62, pointing out that one community development
block grant project is under way "and we just got another
"I just want to continue to enforce city policies, help
reduce crime and just try to take care of the residents of the
city of Commerce," Wilson, 59, commented. "I look forward
to serving the city during the next four years."
Harris, 69, seeks his third term of office after being elected
in 1994 to fill the unexpired term of the late John Pardue.
"I would like to see the city get its infrastructure updated,
get sidewalks everywhere they should be and I'd like to see the
city posture itself for the expected growth," Harris said.
Seabolt has been on the board since she was appointed by the
city council in 1989. She was vice chairman 1992 and 1993 and
served as chairman from 1993 to 1998.
"I would love to see us build a new middle school, upgrade
the facilities at the football field and see the special purpose
local option sales tax pass again so we can do the things we
started with them," she said.
Pattman said he wants to apply "all I have learned in eight
years on the board to make the Commerce City Schools the best
city school system in the state of Georgia.
"I want to continue to be here to watch this growth, especially
the new middle school and the performing arts center."
fund discovered at county road dept.
A secret checking account at the Jackson County road department
was recently discovered by county leaders and a subsequent audit
revealed that thousands of dollars has been spent on furniture,
employee meals, flowers and gifts.
More than $29,000 had been deposited in the account since 1998,
but leaders said they knew nothing about the fund until it was
accidentally discovered while tracing a wayward check. A balance
of $1,578 was shown in the account at the end of July.
There were apparently two signees on the account: road superintendent
Sam McClure and his secretary, Kathy Mize. The account was funded
from timber permits and the sale of pulp wood and scrap metal
from road rights of way, according to the audit.
County commissioner Emil Beshara brought the matter to light
Monday night, saying that an audit has been completed on the
"This is public record," Beshara said. "This commission
is committed to spending the taxpayers' money responsibly. All
issues like this will be aired out to the public. If we find
a situation like this, we will correct it."
The audit reveals that more than $1,000 from the account was
spent on a retirement party and gift; more than $1,500 was spent
on meals for employees; $271 went toward commercial driver's
licenses for employees; $352 was spent on flowers; and $1,250
was spent on electronic equipment, including a television. Some
$1,400 was also made payable to cash, rather than to a specific
payee. So far this year, more than $5,200 has been spent on furniture,
including an oak table purchased in July for $450.
County officials said the funds should have passed through the
county's general fund rather than being held by the road department.
The account was apparently set up under the direction of the
previous administration. The money was apparently spent at the
discretion of the department and the purchases didn't go through
the budgeting process or the purchasing department.
Finance director John Hulsey said that the money wasn't reviewed
by county auditors earlier because it wasn't linked to the county
tax identification number. When an audit is done, the county's
accounts are found at the bank by the tax identification number.
The BOC agreed to close the account immediately and for all funds
remaining in it to be deposited in the general fund.
The secret account apparently came to light when a check paid
by the water authority to the road department was deposited into
it instead of into the county's general fund. That led to questions
from county officials as to why the water authority hadn't paid
the bill for the road work. It was then discovered that the water
authority had paid the bill, but that it was put into the secret
BOC chairman Harold Fletcher asked county manager Skip Nalley
and Hulsey to send a letter to all department heads advising
them if there are any other accounts like this, they need to
be closed and the funds need to be put into the general account.
Fletcher added that if any accounts similar to this are found
in the future, it will be grounds for dismissal.
No disciplinary action against road department officials was
taken by the board Monday night.
Maxwell In Nicholson
A man who narrowly missed being elected to the city council last
winter has qualified to run against Nicholson mayor Ronnie Maxwell
James Kesler and Maxwell have both qualified for mayor. Kesler
received 101 votes in the March special election in which Billy
Kitchens and Chuck Wheeler were elected to the council with 107
and 108 votes respectively.
As of 3:00 Tuesday, Wheeler was the only incumbent councilman
to qualify for office. Others running for the four seats are
Bobby Crawford, Paul Cartledge and Howard Wilbanks.
All city council seats are open. Terms are for four years and
qualifying was scheduled to end today (Wednesday) at 4:30.
The other incumbents are Kitchens and Margaret Ward.