IN A MANGER'
Garrison) and Mary (Sheilena Brookshire) wrapped baby Jesus in
clothes and laidhim in a manger because there was no room in
the inn. "Kids for Christ" presented "The Christmas
Story" at Homer United Methodist Church Sunday evening.
resigns as Banks fire chief
Says he can't work with commissioners
BY SHERRY LEWIS
Banks County fire chief Dean Jackman resigned last week after
submitting a letter stating that he can't work with the board
of commissioners any longer. At the close of the meeting, the
BOC released a letter praising Jackman for the work he has done
as the first full-time firefighter employed by the county.
The BOC agreed to a severance agreement of 60 days' pay for Jackman
and to continue his health insurance through January 2000. Deputy
chief Perry Dalton was named as interim chief.
The board of commissioners accepted Jackman's resignation in
a meeting Friday morning. There has reportedly been some dissention
within the department, including a letter Jackman wrote to the
BOC addressing Dalton's insubordination. Following a closed session
with the BOC on Friday, Jackman issued the following statement:
"I have reached a point in my life that I can no longer
work for the current BOC and I believe the feeling is mutual.
I feel like I'm at a standstill with the department and it's
time for me to move on."
BOC chairman James Dumas said this situation is tragic.
"I am saddened any time when people cannot work together,"
he said. "When differences of opinion arise, it bothers
me. The whole thing is tragic for the community. The fire department
has come so far in the last few years."
Jackman was hired four years ago. He was the first paid firefighter
and was charged by the BOC to assist the volunteer department
in purchasing equipment and improving training. During that time,
Jackman took all the volunteer fire departments and joined them
under one unit.
In the letter released after the BOC meeting, the commissioners
praised Jackman and the volunteer firefighters.
"Because of the hard work of many volunteers and chief Jackman,
the citizens of Banks County now enjoy the protection of a better-trained
group of paid and volunteer firefighters," according to
the letter, which was signed by all three commissioners.
The letter also pointed out that firefighters now assist emergency
medical services and respond to automobile accidents. Many Banks
County citizens have also seen a reduction in fire insurance
rates by the lowering of ISO ratings.
"None of this would have been possible a few years ago,"
according to the BOC letter. "Chief Jackman and the volunteers
are to be commended for their hard work and dedication. We are
better off today than we have ever been. However, as with everything,
there comes a time for change."
being taken for planning commission members
BY SHERRY LEWIS
Banks County residents who want to become a member of the planning
commission must submit an application.
In the past, members have been appointed by the Banks County
Board of Commissioners. When it came to the BOC's attention that
the terms of all but one of the members had expired, they decided
to accept applications. The terms of Ed Barrett, Ed Lindorme,
Barbara Poole and Andrew Strickland expired in August 1999, while
Harold Ivey's term expires in August 2000. Current members will
be encouraged to resubmit their interest in writing, according
to BOC chairman James Dumas.
Planners make $25 per meeting. Those wishing to apply must send
letters of intent to the BOC.
Two BOC members
looking to make changes in road dept.
BY SHERRY LEWIS
At least two members of the Banks County Board of Commissioners
are looking to make some changes in the road department.
Following a work session on Friday, Dec. 3, which included a
talk with current road superintendent Wayne Andrews, members
Pat Westmoreland and Ernest Rogers said they want to begin the
search for a new head for the department. The two commissioners
said Andrews is an excellent motor grader operator and will be
asked to stay on in that capacity. Andrews has worked for the
county for 33 years, with two years as road superintendent. He
replaced his father, the late Carmon Andrews.
"We have asked for changes in the road department to better
serve the public," Westmoreland said. "We need to restructure
the road department and replace him (Andrews) in the near future."
BOC chairman James Dumas tried to take some of the responsibility
for the concerns about the operation of the department. Citizen
concerns come to the BOC office and Dumas contacts the road department.
Dumas is opposed to replacing Andrews.
"You all can do it but I will vote and I will vote against
it," said Dumas.
He said that Banks County has only six people working in the
department, while some neighboring counties have 20 people. Dumas
also pointed out that the county has 230 miles of dirt roads
and 200 miles of paved roads to maintain.
Andrews told the BOC that the road department is doing all it
can to keep up with the demands. One crew operates the motor
graders, while the other crew replaces signs, picks up dead animals
and does mechanical repairs. Work orders from the public also
have to be done, he continued.
"With scraping, mowing and work requests we are doing all
we can do," said Andrews.
Westmoreland and Rogers said they would continue to work to make
the department more efficient. They talked of hiring one or two
"By summer, we will have enough men to do the work on the
roads," said Westmoreland.
Westmoreland and Rogers had first discussed hiring a public works
director who would oversee the water department as well but decided
instead to hire a new road superintendent.
Holiday schedule given for News
The Banks County News will be closed Thursday and Friday, Dec.
23-24, in observance of the Christmas holiday.
The News office will also be closed Thursday and Friday, Dec.
30-31 in observance of the New Year's holiday.