News from Madison County...

October 31, 2001

Madison County

Madison County
Madison County H.S.

Tues., Nov. 6

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Frank Gillespie
Constitutional rights are not automatic

Who is protected by the U.S. Constitution? Who can claim full Constitutional rights? With the flood of legal and illegal aliens sweeping our nation, this question needs to be answered.

Margie Richrads
On the road again with the 'girls'

I read an article recently listing ways to "de-stress" ourselves in these uncertain times.
Besides avoiding continual TV watching on the ever-present subject of terrorism, the article listed doing fun things that relax you - such as spending time with friends.


Directions to Area Schools

Madison County to host Athens Christian Friday
Madison County and Athens Christian will resume the new Hwy. 29 rivalry Friday in Danielsville.

Neighboorhood News ..
Town elections set Tuesday
Two long-time mayors face opposition in Tuesday's city elections.
Jefferson Mayor Byrd Bruce, who has been in office for 26 years, will face challenger Jim Joiner, a former city council member.

Reservoir Water To Flow Nov. 12?
End Of Project Said To Be Less Than A Month Away
ATHENS -- The one question members of the Upper Oconee Basin Water Authority ask every time they meet on the fourth Wednesday of each month is: "When will the water begin flowing from the Bear Creek Reservoir?"

Neighborhood News...
BOC rolls back millage rate
The Banks County Board of Commissioners has once again rolled back the millage rate.

Maysville's Banks County residents to see a 1.07 mill fire tax
The Maysville City Council has decided to initiate a fire tax on Banks County residents within the city limits to pay for fire service.
The Madison County Journal
Danielsville, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056

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This year's Senior Center Halloween contest winners were: Wini Hancock, second place; Betty Brock, third place; and Kathleen Kammen, first place.

Comer to elect new mayor Tuesday
Two city council seats up for grabs.
Comer residents will elect a new mayor and two council members Tuesday, while no other municipal elections are planned for Madison County.
Those seeking to replace Mayor Chris NeSmith, who is not seeking re-election, are William E. Burroughs, Sue Carithers, Grady Mahaffey and Gene West.
In Comer's District 1 race, Paula Kidd Patat will challenge incumbent Allene Pendleton and in District 4, Susan Delay will challenge Laquita Bridges.

Tues., Nov. 6

Here is a brief look at the candidates.
William Burroughs has lived in Comer all of his 39 years.
He and his wife, Toni, have two small children, a 4-year-old and a 6-month- old.
"I'm a 'people person'; I take people's interest to heart," Burroughs says of why he decided to enter the mayor's race.
This is his first time running for an elected office and he says he was encouraged to do so by some of his fellow citizens.
Burroughs works as a contracted mechanic for Dupont in Athens.
The first thing he says he will do if elected mayor is take some time to "figure out how it all works."
"I want to be a working mayor, working for the people and listening to what they want. I'll do what the majority of the citizens' input tells me to do," he said.
Burroughs thinks a major issue facing the town today is the "city clerk controversy."
He says as mayor, he wants to see what can be done to trim the budget and cut taxes, if possible.
"I just hope all the citizens of Comer come out and vote next week - that's the important thing. That's the only right we have nowadays," Burroughs added.
For the rest of this story see this weeks madison County Journal.

County commissioners discuss personnel policy at budget meeting
BOC says employees in depts. not under policy won't get 1% increase.
A discussion over the benefits of the personnel policy to county employees dominated a work session held by board of commission members Tuesday night to discuss the proposed county budget for 2002.
No decisions or changes were made concerning the budget. The proposed budget will come up for a possible vote at the next regularly scheduled commission meeting on Nov. 12.
According to BOC chairman Wesley Nash and county clerk Morris Fortson, more than 50 employees are not covered by the county's personnel policy because their department heads have opted not to request it for their workers.
One hundred or so employees who work directly for the BOC are covered by the policy, and as such, will receive a standard across-the-board one percent raise next year.
The BOC has said that those not covered by the personnel policy will not receive the increase.
Commission members seem to agree that if they give the raise anyway they will be undermining the benefits of the personnel policy.
Nash also reminded them that they have no control over how elected officials spend the money budgeted to them for their departments, which would include the one percent increase.
According to commissioner Bruce Scogin, the only benefit to elected officials (department heads) in not adopting the county's personnel policy is that they retain "power over their employees."
"It's a control issue," Scogin said. "The personnel policy totally benefits the employees."
"The merit system is a great thing for the employees of this county," Chairman Wesley Nash agreed. "It provides a job environment and job security that makes employees want to stay with us...their heads are not on the chopping block."
In other business, the BOC also discussed:
·how SPLOST funds are distributed. County clerk Morris Fortson presented a photocopy of September's SPLOST check to the county, explaining how funds are divided among the jail, recreation department and roads department.
·moving the Dec. 24 regularly scheduled business meeting to Wednesday, Dec. 19. The commission will vote on the change at the next regular meeting.

Municipal tax rates held steady
While tax rates for Madison County schools and government are up dramatically this year, municipal property tax rates remain much like last year, with two cities seeing slight rate reductions.
Danielsville officials approved a mill rate at 2.85, the same as last year. Comer and Carlton also kept their rates at the 2000 level, 4.7 and 2.8 mills respectively. Ila lowered its tax rate from 3.97 to 3.92 and Colbert also dropped its rate from 5.5 to 5.25. Hull does not levy property taxes.

Classic City Housing sues commissioners
Madison County put a halt to a Hwy. 106 manufactured home and now local leaders face a lawsuit on the issue.
Classic City Housing Inc. of Athens filed suit against the Madison County commissioners and zoning administrator Oct. 9, claiming the leaders acted "without rational basis" in supporting a work stoppage order on a Classic City manufactured home on Hwy. 106 for Brenda Witcher.
Classic City Housing seeks a reversal of the work stoppage order and "damages in an amount to be proven at trial."
The Madison County government issued a permit for placement of a house on the property in early May. The home was placed on the property and shortly after a work stoppage order was issued, requiring the home to be removed from the property.
The about-face by the government was because zoning authorities maintained that the home did not qualify as "modular" - the property for the home was rezoned last November with conditions that included restricting any home placed on the property to a site-built or modular home.

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sentenced to life without parole

A Colbert man was sentenced to life without parole last week for the March kidnapping of a Belhaven Lane woman.
Darrell Lester, 31, was sentenced last Friday in Madison County Superior Court for the kidnapping and four other charges which included: motor vehicle hijacking - 20 years, to be served consecutive to the kidnapping charge; aggravated assault - 20 years, to be served consecutively; armed robbery - life imprisonment; and possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime - five years, also to be served consecutively to the other charges.
Lester was convicted on the charges in a jury trial on Oct. 5.
Charges involving a later escape from the Madison County Jail and assault on a jailer are still pending, according to Assistant District Attorney Marsha Cole.
Lester's two accomplices were sentenced Monday in a Franklin County courtroom.
Christopher Scott Andrews was sentenced to 20 years on the same five counts and is required to serve 12.
Allah Blakley was also sentenced to 20 years on the charges and is required to serve 11.
Andrews and Blakley pled guilty to the charges and later testified in Lester's trial, Cole said.

Man charged with making pipe bombs
A Danielsville man was arrested recently when deputies were called to a Rogers Mill Road address after someone called 911 to report that he found what he believed to be two pipe bombs and material to make bombs with. William Joseph Edwards, 35, was charged with two counts of possession of an explosive device, one count of manufacturing of explosive devices, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, one count of possession of tools for the commission of a crime, and one count of possession of marijuana less than one ounce.

To read more about the local events in Madison County, including births, weddings, sports news and school news, see this week's Madison County Journal.