Following a request from the Jackson County Board of Commissioners to cut each department’s budget by five percent, Sheriff Stan Evans has called for a two-day furlough for all of his employees. The employees will take two days off without pay before the end of the year.
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With two town hall meetings slated for the coming week, the head of Hoschton’s finance committee is again calling for the town to impose a property tax to fund city expenses.
The Hoschton City Council will hold two “town hall meetings” at the depot to discuss the proposed city property tax. The first will be held on Thursday, Oct. 23, at 2 p.m. A second meeting is set for Monday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m.
Last week, Tom Walden, the head of the Hoschton City Council’s finance committee, called for the town to impose a 2.1 mill property tax — the first in the last 30 years — to fund city expenses. A few weeks ago, Walden initially proposed a 4 mill property tax.
The proposed Hoschton budget for 2009 calls for an 11 percent hike in city spending.
“With this, we are creating a reserve,” Walden said. “It is a minimal reserve, but it is a starter reserve.”
But councilman Jim Jester opposed the idea, saying the town should look at cutting its work week and other cutbacks to avoid imposing a property tax.
Mayor Bill Copenhaver said cutting the work week wouldn’t save much money.
“We will end up paying more because we won’t get the work done,” the mayor said.
But Jester disagreed.
“People take vacations and the work gets done,” he said. “People aren’t always here five days a week…I think we ought to not rule it out…I won’t vote for a property tax if this is all I have to work from.”
The debate over a city property tax is part of an ongoing problem the city has had for several years as it has faced severe financial problems and budget shortfalls in revenue.
In its current version, the proposed 2009 city general fund budget has expenses of $941,800, an 11 percent increase over 2008. The proposal eliminates pay raises for employees, patrol cars being taken home by policemen and some capital expenses.
On the revenue side, the proposal calls for $942,000 in income, including $111,500 from a 2.1 mill city property tax. The budget also calls for using $95,000 of its reserve funds.
The Commerce Police Department has confirmed that officers arrested a Braselton man wanted on charges related to an early morning crime spree in Winder.
Authorities had been seeking Waylon Robert Westbrooks, 17, of Kirby Circle in Braselton after he was identified as the perpetrator in an early morning vehicle theft from a Winder subdivision.
Westbrooks allegedly stole a 2006 F-150 truck from a Shenandoah Lane address between 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. The vehicle was later involved in a serious motor vehicle accident on I-85 in Jackson County.
Westbrooks was also listed as a suspect in a series of car break-ins overnight on Buena Vista Street and St. Ives Circle in Winder. According to police reports, the suspect acquired a large caliber handgun from one of the vehicles.
After being involved in the Jackson County car crash, Westbrooks reportedly stole another vehicle from a residence near the accident scene.
Westbrooks was apprehended after a pawn shop owner in Commerce noticed Westbrooks stealing money from the store cash register. As Westbrook fled the scene, the pawn shop owner made note of the license plate on Westbrooks' vehicle and called police.
Lt. Harmon of the Commerce Police Department said officers apprehended Westbrooks a short time later at a nearby gas station.
Westbrooks has been turned over to the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, according to Harmon.
The Jefferson Police Department confiscated some $40,000 in marijuana and arrested one person Wednesday in a raid on a Jefferson home.
Charles Mark Day, 43, Storey Street was arrested and charged with manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of non-game species and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Officers conducted a search warrant on Day’s home where they found 40 marijuana plants being grown in his basement. Officers also found a frozen owl and hawk in the house.
A recently released study compiled by a Barrow County private citizen shows that while progress has been made in the Barrow County School system, work remains to be done. “In some respects, I think this [study] validates that some of the things they are doing are working,” Kenneth Young said. However, Young is still concerned about certain ...
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Deon Orsborne is doing his part to dispel any myth that Commerce is a one-dimensional football team. The dual-threat Tiger running back hauled in a 64-yard touchdown pass from Cody Streetman Friday in the second quarter to put Commerce (4-5, 3-2) ahead for good in a 21-7 win over Social Circle. “A lot of people have been saying we can’t do ...
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Deon Orsborne is doing his part to dispel any myth that Commerce is a one-dimensional football team. The dual-threat Tiger running back hauled in a 74-yard touchdown pass from Cody Streetman Friday in the second quarter to put Commerce (4-5, 3-2) ahead for good en route to a 21-7 win over Social Circle. “A lot of people have been saying we ...
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