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FRONT PAGE - NOVEMBER 3, 1999 - HOMER, GA

PICKING A POP

Jonathan Book, 5, picked a pop at the annual fall festival at the Banks County Public Library on Saturday.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Click Here For Election Results
Incumbents lose in Alto, Baldwin city elections
BY SHERRY LEWIS
Two incumbents were sent packing, while one was re-elected during local city elections on Tuesday. Voter turnout was extremely low in the Alto, Baldwin and Lula elections.
In Alto, Audrey Turner defeated incumbent Miriam Sosebee in a 27-to-8 vote. Only 35 of Alto's 280 registered voters showed up at the polls.
Alto Mayor Jack King ran uncontested for another term. Other uncontested races included: Post 1, Donald Wade; Post 2, Susan Wade; and Post 4, Carolyn Gulley. Incumbent Post 1 councilman Tim Tankersley and incumbent Post 2 council member Carolyn Cabe did not seek re-election. The Post 4 seat was vacant.
In Lula, Ward 5 incumbent Lamb Griffin was victorious over challenger Mordecai Wilson in a 61 to 47 vote. Only 112 of Lula's 500 registered voters came out to the
Uncontested races included: Ward 1, Mike Ostrander, and Ward 4, Perry Bridgeman. Ostrander will replace councilman Randy Worley, who did not seek re-election.
In Baldwin, Kevin Gaddis came out on top in post 1 over incumbent John Thomas in a 105 to 18 vote.
Uncontested races included: Post 1, Jeff Bohannon, and Post 3, Mitchell Gailey.


BOE increases White's salary; another school official leaves
BY DREW BRANTLEY
The interim superintendent's pay gets increased. Another department head leaves. And a bus driver and parents smooth out a conflict. All in one Banks County Board of Education work session bumped up two days early.
Tuesday's work session was moved from its regular spot on Thursday because chairman Don Shubert would be out of town Thursday.
The meeting began with the final presentation by superintendent search groups and included discussion of Debbie White's contract, which is set to include an addendum to include taking over the duties of interim superintendent. White has been serving as interim superintendent since Dock Sisk retired.
Because White has a higher certification than former superintendent Dock Sisk, she will receive more money from the state, pushing her salary to more than $81,000. That total is approximately $3,000 more than Sisk made.
White has a T-5 certification, which entitles her to approximately $6,000 more than Sisk received from the state. White negotiated to receive half that amount. She ends with a raise of about $7,000, all of which comes from state money.
White justified the increase in pay by stating that she still handles several of the duties she was responsible for as assistant superintendent, as well as the new duties as interim superintendent.
After that agreement was announced, Shubert announced that he had received the resignation letter of school food and nutrition director Melissa Mabry.
White said she had negotiated with Mabry to stay on until the end of the month to facilitate the transition.
All of this action came after a parent asked for his child to not ride the same bus after an altercation that occurred with the bus driver.
Steve Dodd spoke to the board about the disciplinary actions taken by Joe Rimler, who drives the bus Dodd's son rides to school.
After giving a brief overview of the chain of events, all parties seemed willing to abide by whatever decision the board makes at its regular meeting Monday night. White said that Monday's meeting will also have a presentation on the system's Reading Recovery program.
No decisions on any items were reached at the work session.
Other items calling for action by the board Monday night include:
·J.O. Rylee's request to gain official permission or denial to use school property to reach his family's land, which he stated has been cut off by the construction of the new high school.
·a request from Tiffany Davis for maternity leave, effective Nov. 13.
·a request by the marching band for a field trip to Clearwater, Fla.
·the hiring of Sarah Beck to replace Michelle Queen as cashier in the cafeteria at Banks County Elementary School.
·hiring Roy Neal and James Heaton for four hours per day each to replace Teresa Martin as a custodian at the high school.
·approving 10 fund-raisers for the elementary school, two for the Beta Club, two for the gifted program, and one each for the Endangered Species Club and the Miss Banks County High School pageant.


Baldwin mayor ready to go to attorney general on tax issue
BY SHERRY LEWIS
Baldwin Mayor Mark Reed is considering seeking an opinion from the attorney general on whether the Banks County residents in the town should pay property taxes.
For the past 20 years, Habersham County residents inside the city have paid a city tax while Banks County residents have not. The tax for Banks County residents was abolished when the city began getting a portion of sales tax money from Banks County.
City attorney David Syfan has given a legal opinion that states that all citizens should be treated equally and pay a city tax.
"You've presented us with the law and we're ignoring it," Reed said. "Can we ask for an informal opinion from the attorney general and see what he says?"
Syfan said the council could ask for that opinion.
City councilmen Robert Bohannon and Jeff Bohannon have been against reinstating the tax up to this point. At Monday's work session, Reed reminded R. Bohannon that he said he would vote for the tax if the Baldwin school issue was settled. Representative Jeanette Jamieson sought help from Governor Roy Barnes and the state is paying the tuition for 21 Banks County students to go to school at Baldwin Elementary, located in Habersham County.
"You said you'd vote for it if we got the Banks County school thing settled," Reed exclaimed. "We keep voting our taxes up and Banks County is not paying it. We are not two towns. We are one town."
Councilwoman Deloris Thomas reminded Reed that the state has only committed to pay the cost of tuition for one year.
The Bohannons have expressed concern that the city would lose the sales tax money from Banks County if the city tax was implemented. Reed and Syfan told the members that that was not going to happen.
Reed, along with councilman Mitchell Gaily, support taxing Banks County residents. Last night, they hinted at throwing city tax out altogether if all citizens were not taxed equally. Councilmembers John Thomas and Deloris Thomas have not decided which way to vote on the matter, according to their statements in a meeting last week.
Syfan told the council that the matter needed to be decided by the end of November so the city can set a millage rate. The council has received the tax digest from Habersham County and is still waiting to get it from Banks County before setting the millage.


DON'T FORGET...
News, ad deadlines moved up for next week

News and ad deadlines have been moved up for next week due to the Veteran's Day holiday on Thursday, Nov. 11.
The deadline for classified and display ads will be at noon on Friday. The legal deadline will remain the same, noon Thursday.
The news deadline will be 5 p.m. Friday. This includes school, social and other news submitted to the paper.
The papers will be available late Tuesday night on the news stands and will be delivered by mail Wednesday. The change was made because the post offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 11.
The news offices in Jefferson, Homer, Danielsville and Commerce will remain open for the holiday.



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