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Co. should hold non-partisan elections
It is not often that I find something
good to say about Athens-Clarke County. But this time, they did
something right. Voters in Athens overwhelmingly approved a plan
to require non-partisan elections. The measure won 69 percent
yes to 31 percent no.
live under your bed?
Well, the elections are over and now it seems its time to jump headlong into the holiday season. Some of you probably already have. Maybe even a few of you have been smart enough and energetic enough to finish your Christmas shopping.
Raider wrestlers prep for first year
under new coach. Perhaps for the first time in the Madison County
wrestling programs history, a new Raider coach has a tough
act to follow.
Richie Houston comes to Danielsville after the team enjoyed a
successful three-year span under Steve Mason which saw 23 state
qualifiers under his watch and a two-time state champion in Mark
to have full-time agent
After over one year of asking the University
of Georgia to find the funding for a county extension agent in
one of the states leading agricultural counties, Bob Waldorf,
Stephens County extension agent, told the Banks County Board
of Commissioners at a meeting held Monday that a county agent
would move into the county as soon as the application process
Day program set Thurs. at BCMS
Banks County Middle School will hold
its Veterans Day program on Thursday, Nov. 11, at 9 a.m.,
in the gym.
A two-year-old dispute between the Jackson
County Sheriffs Office and the county marshals department
came to a head Monday morning when Sheriff Stan Evans impounded
three vehicles belonging to the marshals department.
Arcade water deal
But county authority, new BOC members
opposed to plan
Jefferson city officials gave final agreement Monday night to
a plan being pushed by the current board of commissioners that
will take away a large area of water and sewerage service from
the county water authority and give it to Arcade.
The Madison County Journal
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Time to Grapple
Madison Countys wrestling fans can get a
look at the 2004 high school squad Thursday night at the Raider
Rumble in the old Danielsville gym off Hwy. 29 next to the government
complex. Pictured at Mondays MCHS wrestling practice are
(top) Ace Samples and (bottom) Kevin Ciciora.
BOC to seek
judges order on tax digest
County commissioners are tired of waiting
on a tax digest. So Monday they voted to do something about it.
The board of commissioners (BOC) agreed 5-0 to seek a judges
order giving them the right to use the 2003 tax digest instead
of the incomplete 2004 digest as they set next years
budget and approve tax rates. County commissioners did not set
a date Monday on when they would present the request to a judge.
BOC chairman Wesley Nash told commissioners they either needed
to seek a judges ruling or look at borrowing money. Otherwise,
they may not have enough money to run the government come January.
Were at the point of needing to do a temporary collection
order and collect on last years digest...or we need to
think about borrowing money, said Nash.
Commissioner Bruce Scogin said he didnt feel borrowing
money was a viable option.
Id rather see us do a temporary collection order
for collecting on last years digest than borrow,
said Scogin. I feel at some point well get a digest.
The county board of assessors has yet to bring tax assessment
appeals under the magic figure of 700 the
maximum number of pending appeals Madison County assessors can
have and still submit a digest to the state.
County tax assessor chairman John Bellew, who was defeated by
Nash in the Nov. 2 race for the BOC chairmans seat, said
Tuesday that he felt the assessors can bring the total number
of pending appeals under 700 at their regular meeting Thursday
night at 7 p.m. in the BOC conference room in the county government
If the assessors, in fact, do bring the number of pending appeals
below 700, then those who receive a second appeal notice that
night will have 21 days to file an appeal. Once that time has
elapsed, a digest could be submitted to the state for approval
around the beginning of December.
Once a digest is approved, the countys tax-levying boards
the commissioners, the school board and industrial authority
can set their tax rates and tax bills can be mailed to
BOC BUDGET NOT
The BOC has not yet approved the 2005 county budget. And right
now, based on projections with 2003 digest figures, proposed
expenses are approximately $686,000 more than anticipated revenues
in the preliminary 2005 budget.
Essentially, if the 2003 digest is used, the BOC will have to
look at either increasing its tax rates or significantly slashing
the proposed budget.
The BOC will address the 2005 budget in upcoming meetings.
new pay classification, promotes Salter
County commissioners created a new class
14 tax appraiser III position Monday, then they promoted
Mechell Salter to that classification, with pay reflecting five
Commissioner Mike Youngblood asked chairman Wesley Nash if Salter
would be working in the BOC office or the tax assessors
office. Salter was fired earlier this year by the board of assessors,
but Nash overturned that dismissal, declaring it an unjust termination
a decision the BOC backed and Salter was moved
from the assessors office to the commissioners office.
Until we find out what the tax digest is doing, I dont
know how to answer that, said Nash, adding: Shell
stay in this position until a position opens up there (in the
Youngblood asked what Salters job duties are in the BOC
office now. County clerk Morris Fortson said Salter is helping
us with whatever we can find for her to do, adding that
she needs to be back where she is trained.
In separate personnel actions, the board agreed to rehire part-time
seasonal supervisor Sandra Chastain at the recreation department
and agreed to hire Charles Middleton as a 75-percent employee
van driver/custodian for the senior center.
to review proposed leash ordinance
Local leaders are considering proposed
animal control laws for Madison County.
Commissioner Mike Youngblood handed fellow board members a proposed
six-page leash ordinance Monday night, noting that he had taken
many suggestions from commissioner Bruce Scogin and added parts
of animal control laws from neighboring counties.
The BOC agreed to look over Youngbloods proposals and discuss
the issue at its next meeting. If the ordinance is approved,
a first hurdle in animal control will be cleared. However, implementing
actual animal control will require funds for manpower, equipment
If approved, the ordinance will be known as the Madison
County Leash Law. Youngbloods proposal states:
GENERAL PROVISIONS: Within the unincorporated boundaries
of Madison County, Georgia, no person shall own, keep or harbor,
outside the confines of the owners property (meaning owned,
rented or leased) any dog which is not held firmly on a leash,
not longer than six feet, by a person who has control over such
dog. All persons owning, keeping or having possession, charge
or custody of any dog shall confine such dog on their premises
by means of a leash, tether, run or proper enclosure.
NUISANCES: Any owner or attendant of a dog shall
exercise proper care and control so as to prevent said animal
from becoming a public nuisance. Excessive or untimely barking,
intervening of passers by on public ways, chasing vehicles, attacking
people or other domestic animals, trespassing upon public or
private property in such a manner as to damage property shall
be deemed a nuisance.
VACCINATION: Every owner of a dog more than six months
old shall have the dog vaccinated or re-vaccinated at appropriate
intervals by a licensed veterinarian. Any impounded dog shall
not be released to owner until proof of current vaccination is
provided. If valid proof of vaccination cannot be provided by
owner, the impounding officer may have the dog vaccinated at
IMPOUNDMENT: Any dog may be impounded for the violation
of any section of this ordinance. In any case where a dog has
not attacked a person or other domestic animal, the dangerous
dog control officer shall have broad discretionary authority
over the disposition of said dog. Any dog that attacks a person
or another domestic animal, or is deemed a dangerous or potentially
dangerous dog shall be treated in accordance with the provisions
of the Madison County Dangerous Dog Control Ordinance.
DOGS RUNNING AT LARGE: It shall be unlawful for any
person owning or having in his or her possession any dog to allow
such to be at large without the owner or person in charge thereof
having control over such dog. (*Hunting dogs shall be deemed
under control while on land with the consent of the owner thereof
and engaged in normal hunting activity for the particular type
of hunt involved.) An owner or person having in his possession
a dog may allow the dog to be at large on the owners property
or on other property by permission of an owner that does not
provide the animal with access to a sidewalk or street.
For the rest of this story see this week's Madison County
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news, see this week's Madison County Journal.
hearing set for Dec. 16
A Superior Court judge will hear arguments
for and against the county board of assessors in just over a
The hearing is set for 2 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 16, in the county
Superior courtroom in the government complex in Danielsville.
Last month, the BOC filed a lengthy complaint against the assessors
asking for a recommendation from a judge on whether there is
sufficient grounds for dismissal of three of the four current
members: chairman John Bellew, John Mallonee and Gerald Coutant.
(The commissioners are not seeking the dismissal of recent appointee,
In their complaint, the commissioners claim that the three tax
board members have failed to perform their duties and requirements
and meet the qualifications imposed upon them by law in numerous
Bellew, who lost the race for the BOC chairmans seat to
Wesley Nash last week, contends that the charges lack merit.
But he said he will most likely resign sometime after
the 2004 digest is finalized because he believes the commissioners
will be out to get the board of assessors as long as he is on
I will be more of a liability to the assessors than an
asset, said Bellew on continuing to serve.
For the rest of this story see this week's Madison County
Two fired from
tax commissioners office
Tax commissioner Louise Watson, who was
re-elected to another term last Tuesday after facing a challenge
from one of her employees, Kathy Stamps, fired Stamps and employee
Donna Epps from the tax commissioners office the day after
Watson was out of town this week and unavailable for comment.
Stamps said Tuesday that she would prefer to withhold comment
for now, but would have plenty to say after she checked to see
what her options are. Epps also declined comment.
Watson defeated Stamps with 5,721 to 3,830 votes, 59.9 to 40.1