Jonathan Book, 5, picked a pop at the
annual fall festival at the Banks County Public Library on Saturday.
Click Here For Election Results
Incumbents lose in Alto, Baldwin
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,
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
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
·a request by the marching band for a field trip to Clearwater,
·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
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
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.
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.