Opens Thursday Night
The Cold Sassy Players will lift the
curtain Thursday night at 8:00 on the first of four performances
of Neil Simon's comedy "Come Blow Your Horn." The cast
includes John Haubenreich, left, who as "Buddy", finds
himself uncomfortably close to the sexy and rich Peggy Evans.
Here For Election Results
Y2K Fears May
Kill New Year's Party, Dance
Fear of a Year 2000 crisis may kill a long-time Commerce tradition.
Officers of the Commerce Area Business Association will recommend
to the group's membership that the annual New Year's party and
dance be canceled.
"Due to previous commitments, many city businesses and individuals
who are longtime supporters of our dances will be unavailable
to attend or support this event," said CABA President Rob
Jordan. "It is therefore the recommendation of our executive
committee and our dance committee that the millennium dance be
postponed until Dec. 31, 2000."
The "previous commitments" are mostly related to businesses
whose employees will have to be on hand at midnight Dec. 31 to
baby-sit computers that could possibly have problems with the
BJC Medical Center, Jackson EMC, some financial institutions
and other companies will reportedly have staff on hand when the
new year begins to deal with any Y2K problems.
The issue was to be put to a vote of members at their November
meeting this (Wednesday) afternoon. The group had already put
$2,500 down to reserve a band.
There is a possibility that the dance will go on as scheduled,
but with a disc jockey instead of a band, that it will be held
a day later or another dance will be substituted at a later time,
said Susan McCorkle, who is on both the Dance Committee and the
Executive Committee. There is also the possibility that the general
membership will vote to go along with the original plan.
"I think there has been kind of a gradual discovery that
so many people are going to be working or be on standby or be
at a special church service. Some people are going to be with
families in other parts of the country. When we started to contact
the people we count on to be at the dance, this is what turned
up," McCorkle said.
New Year's has been deemed the start of the "new millennium,"
even though the 21st century doesn't actually begin until Jan.
1, 2001. But the fact that Dec. 31, 2000, falls on a Sunday could
make it difficult to organize a party next year.
Pope Retains School
Board Seat In Commerce
Incumbent District 5 board of education member Lanny Pope was
re-elected Tuesday in the only contested race in Commerce.
Pope turned back challenger Kimberly Kamp, 43-13.
Voters Approve Gov't Change And Sales Tax
JEFFERSON -- Jackson County voters overwhelmingly approved Tuesday
a dramatic change in how their county government operates and
approved a $35 million special purpose local option sales tax.
By a 2,547-662 margin, voters opted to change to a government
featuring a five-member board of commissioners and a county manager.
In a secondary decision, voters opted to elect four of the commissioners
by districts, preferring that by a 1,987-1,024 margin.
Next year, voters will elect five part-time county commissioners,
including a chairman who runs at large and four members who run
The sales tax vote, approved 2,175-1,053, is a victory for city
and county governments, not to mention the Jackson County Area
Chamber of Commerce, whose chairman, Richard Cathey, led the
efforts to get the tax passed in the wake of last year's 66-vote
At stake was a total of about $41 million divided among local
governments. The SPLOST is expected to bring in $35 million over
five years, although officials set a $45 million ceiling in the
hopes of strong economic growth. Of the $35 million, 70 percent
is earmarked for water and sewer projects. Twenty-three percent
is allocated for roads, bridges and sidewalks, and the Georgia
Department of Transportation has promised to match those dollars
by 75%, which means the approximately $8 million generated by
the roads and bridge portion of the tax will attract another
$6 million in DOT funds.
The remainder of the money would go for recreation (5.5 percent)
and a training facility (1.5 percent) for the county's firemen.
For Commerce, passage of the tax means $5.5 million. The Jackson
County Water and Sewerage Authority should get $17.3 million,
the county road department $9.4 million (counting the DOT match),
the county recreation department $1.2 million, Nicholson $738,000,
and Maysville $400,000.
JEFFERSON OK'S LIQUOR
Jefferson voters approved liquor by the drink, 300-158, and Jim
Joiner beat incumbent Ward 5 Councilman Jack Seabolt, 122-107.
Tax Rate Virtually Unchanged
BY ANGELA GARY
JEFFERSON -- It appears that the cost of Jackson County's government
will go up 7.5 percent next year.
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners adopted a tentative
budget Monday morning that will require $447,300 more than the
current year's budget. Projected tax rates for residents of unincorporated
areas of the county will stay at 7.58 mills, while the rate for
city residents will be 9 mills, compared to 8.98 this year.
The action is tentative, with a final vote to be taken on the
millage rate and the 2000 budget in a called meeting at 10 a.m.
Thursday, Nov. 18, at the Administrative Building in Jefferson.
The virtually stable tax rates were possible because the county's
tax digest, upon which rates are based, grew substantially.
The total expected tax levy is $6,416,805, compared to $5,969,505
for the current year.
The commissioners also discussed raising the millage rate if
the special purpose local option sales tax vote on Tuesday failed,
but decided instead that the county department heads would be
asked to reduce their budgets by one percent each if the referendum
"I'd rather do that than raise taxes," commented commissioner
Commissioner Pat Bell made the motion for the one percent decrease
if the SPLOST failed.
The commissioners got an unpleasant surprise when they found
out that the final tax digest was $35 million less than the preliminary
digest. The difference amounted to $200,000 in revenue.
Newspapers To Go To Press Early Next Week
The Commerce News will be published a day early next week, thanks
to the U.S. Postal Service.
Because the Post Office will be closed Thursday, Nov. 11, for
Veterans' Day, the MainStreet Newspapers, which include The Commerce
News, The Jackson Herald, The Banks County News and The Madison
County Journal, must all be printed early so subscribers will
get their newspapers before Friday.
The papers will be printed Tuesday, will be on newsstands Tuesday
evening and will arrive in local subscribers' mailboxes with
Wednesday's mail. The MainStreet offices in Commerce, Jefferson,
Homer and Danielsville will be open on Veterans' Day, however.
To meet the early production schedule, all deadlines for next
week's newspapers have been moved up. The deadline for classified
advertising will be Noon Friday, and the deadline for all other
advertising will be at 5:00 Friday. The advertising for all news
items to be published in next week's papers will also be at 5:00