News from Madison County...

FEBRUARY 19, 2003


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OPINIONS
Frank Gillespie
Good cop, bad cop
I am sure all of you are familiar with the good cop, bad cop routine so often displayed in TV crime dramas. In the scene, a suspect is being questioned.

Margie Richards
A different kind of compensation
Early last Thursday morning my husband Charles and I were awakened by a phone call from our niece, Deserree.
A phone call in the middle of the night seldom carries good news, and this one was no exception. Her house was on fire.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Eight Raiders earn trip to state
Eight Raider wrestlers are headed to state, two with area titles in hand.
J.J. Brueshaber, 145 lbs.; and Mark Arnold, 189, earned first place in their respective weight classes during the traditional area tournament at Cedar Shoals High School this past Friday and Saturday as the Madison County squad took second place in the 12-team tournament.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
Holder Construction named courthouse contractor
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners hired Holder Construction as general contractor for the new courthouse Monday.

Beatty speaks to water authority
Commissioner Tony Beatty gave the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority a demonstration of how the county commissioners conduct a meeting last Thursday night.

Jefferson BOE to regulate school taxes
Jefferson Board of Education officials voted unanimously Thursday in favor of a move that will allow the body to regulate taxes independently from the city council.

Stop ‘Harassment’ Says Water Authority
And It Will Pay Off The Bear Creek Debt
JEFFERSON -- The good news for Jackson County taxpayers is that the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority pledged last Thursday night that it will make all of the 2003 debt payments on the Bear Creek Reservoir.

Supreme Court denies appeal on landfill lawsuit
The Georgia Supreme Court has denied an appeal from a developer trying to locate a landfill in West Jackson over his lawsuit attacking the county’s zoning codes.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
The talk of the town

Keeping his campaign promise to hold a town hall meeting if elected, Lula mayor Milton Turner hosted a meeting Thursday to discuss the gains and the goals of the current administration.

BOC to hold two meetings this week
The Banks County Board of Commissioners have two called meetings scheduled for this week.

Holcomb, Lord to run for Baldwin council seat
Beverly Holcomb, wife of councilman Ray Holcomb, and Donald Lord have qualified for Post 1 in the March Baldwin special election, said city clerk Betty Harper.

Carole Moores resigns from chamber
Carole Moores has resigned as executive director of the Banks County Chamber of Commerce.
Her resignation will be effective March 28.

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The Madison County Journal
Danielsville, Georgia
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Valentine’s Queen

Mary Jones of Danielsville was crowned the “Valentine’s Queen” at the Madison County Senior Center Thursday by county commission chairman Wesley Nash. Ed Phillips of Colbert was also crowned the “Valentine’s King.”

Adams resigns as MCHS principal
First-year Madison County High School principal Robert Adams has resigned, effective at the end of this school year.
Adams declined comment Tuesday about why he is stepping down from the position, saying only that the high school has “a lot of good folks, good kids and great potential.”
The outgoing principal does not have another job lined up.
“I have quite a few places that are possibilities,” he said.
The county school board accepted Adams’ resignation at its monthly meeting Tuesday night. The principal, who turned in his letter of resignation earlier this month, was hired last April.
School superintendent Keith Cowne said he regrets to see Adams leave.
“I hate to see him go,” said Cowne. “He brought a lot of good things to Madison County and he’ll take good things with him wherever he goes.”
Cowne said the school board will try to find a replacement for Adams as soon as possible.
“We’ll go through a process like last year,” said Cowne, referring to the establishment of a committee of parents and teachers that assisted in searching for a principal last year.
The school system will begin advertising for the post immediately, with a probable deadline for applications set for March 7, Cowne said.
The superintendent added that he hopes the board will hire someone to the post by early spring.
“We hope to have somebody to name at our April meeting if not before then,” said Cowne.
Whoever replaces Adams will be the fifth MCHS principal in the past eight years.
Cowne said the high turnover rate at the principal’s position must be slowed down.
“I want somebody to come in and stay,” he said.


Comer beer, wine ordinance gets thumbs up
Those wanting a beer or glass of wine with their meal in Comer will now be able to place that order.
The Comer City Council unanimously passed a beer and wine ordinance Tuesday that will allow restaurants to acquire licenses to serve alcoholic beverages to their dining customers.
Two current restaurants and one in the planning stage are expected to offer the beverages.
The vote followed months of deliberation on the matter. While city officials opened the door for diners to have a drink with their meal, council members focused on preventing city restaurants from becoming drinking hangouts.
The ordinance requires each facility to prove that at least 50 percent of their sales are food. It requires the purchase of a meal before alcoholic beverages can be ordered. Patrons who order a pitcher for the table will each have to order a meal. Outdoor service of alcoholic beverages cannot be visible from the street.
The council also passed an excise tax schedule Tuesday for beer and wine sales at restaurants. City clerk Steve Sorrells said the city brings in about $35,000 a year from package store alcohol sales. He said the city will also generate tax revenue through the sale of beer and wine at restaurants, but approximately how much can’t be determined yet.
In a separate matter Tuesday, the council passed a resolution in support of legislation that, if passed, would allow municipalities to propose their own one-cent, special purpose local option sales tax.


Planners frown on one-acre lot in low density area
Family members wanting to give an acre of land to a disabled family member ran into a road block at Tuesday night’s public hearings of the planning and zoning commission.
The commission voted 6-1 to recommend that the BOC deny a request by Sue Ann Blaylock, representing her mother, Odie Lee Bryant, to rezone a one-acre portion of a 6.94-acre parcel on Cheek Pulliam Road (off Hwy. 281) from A-2 to R-1 for an existing mobile home.
Commission members pointed out that the majority of the property in that area is zoned A-1 or A-2 and that the county’s comprehensive plan calls for “low density” (larger) lots in that area.
Blaylock maintained that all of the surrounding area is owned by members of their family and that her mother wanted to make sure her son and his wife had their own place.
Commission member Walter Searcy voted against denying the request.
In a separate matter, the commission narrowly recommended approval of an amended and conditioned request by realtor Ann Anderson, representing property owner Shirley B. Spratlin, to rezone a 12-acre parcel on Nowhere Road from A-1 to R-R in order to split the land into two 2-acre parcels for two existing homes and two additional four-acre parcels for the remaining eight acres of property. Ms. Anderson conditioned the property to only the four splits to contain site built homes only.
After a lengthy discussion and a motion for denial by Jeep Gaskin, Anderson agreed to amend the original request, which called for six lots of two acres each.
Gaskin withdrew his motion to deny and a motion by commission member Bill Holloway to approve the request carried by a 4-3 vote, with Gaskin, Stacey Ferrell and Wendell Hanley voting to deny the amended request.
The BOC will decide on these and other zoning matters at their regular business meeting next Monday night.
In other business:
•The commission recommended approval of a request by Carey Smith, representing his mother, Annie M. Smith, to rezone two 2-acre portions of a 10-acre tract, one for an existing business, and one for an existing home.
Ms. Smith wants to sell both parcels and keep the remaining acreage (approximately six acres) in the current A-2 zone.
•The zoning board recommended approval of a request by Charles Gee for an area variance for a residence on a lot that is less than the two acres required for a home in an agricultural zone. The lot was separated from the original parcel by Hudson River Church Road.
•The planning commission recommended approval of a request by Lynn Morey, for property owner William Branyon, to rezone a two-acre portion of a 6.43 acre parcel from A-2 to R-R (rural residential, two-acre minimum lot size). Mr. Morey wants to buy the two acres from Branyon in order to locate a modular home on it as a winter residence.
•The commission recommended approval of a request (6-1) by Charles Compton for an area variance in order to locate a residence on an existing one acre A-2 “lot of record” which already contains a well and septic system from a previous residence. Compton wants to allow his son to place a mobile home on the lot, which has been vacant for several years. An area variance is required in this instance because the lot, which is smaller than the two acres the zoning ordinance calls for in an A-2 zone, has been vacant for more than 12 months. Gaskin objected to the variance, saying “there are better alternatives than replacing a home on a too-small lot in a predominantly agricultural area.”
•The zoning board recommended approval of a request by Jody Russell to rezone property on Duffell-Martin Road from A-2 to R-R in order to subdivide it into two lots of 3.86 acres each for two existing homes.

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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.


Annual Chamber of Commerce meeting set for Thursday
The annual Madison County Chamber of Commerce meeting will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 20, in the new Chamber office at the old county courthouse in downtown Danielsville.
The meeting, which was originally set for Jan. 28, was postponed until Feb. 20 so that the finishing touches on renovations to the new Chamber courthouse office could be completed.
The Chamber plans to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new office at 5 p.m. The annual “passing of the gavel” will be at 5:30 p.m.