When qualifying ended at noon Friday, races had been set for four seats on the May 19 General Primary Election.
In the Banks County Board of Commissioners chairman’s race, Charles Turk will face Will Ramsey. Incumbent Jimmy Hooper is not seeking reelection. Turk is the current District 4 commissioner.
In the District 2 commission race, incumbent David Duckett will face challengers Jason Hensley and Bo Garrison. Garrison is a former member of the Banks County Board of Education.
In the District 4 commission race, Robert “Bob” Blackwell, Brad McCook, William Reems and Keith Gardiner will be on the ballot.
The other local race that will be on the ballot will be the chief magistrate seat where incumbent Ivan Mote will face Noel Brown Ventrice.
In the other positions up for reelection, only the incumbents qualified. These include: sheriff, Carlton Speed; clerk of court, Tim Harper; tax commissioner, Becky Carlan; coroner, Mark Savage; surveyor, Andrew Jordan; probate judge, Helen Hewell; post 1 school board, Anthony Seabolt; post 2 school board, Wes Whitfield; and post 4 school board, Atha Dalton.
The General Election will be Nov. 3.
Banks County High School student Tyler Morris has been named the 2020 STAR Student.
He is the son of Jonathan and Jennifer Morris and has two sisters, Amber and Emily Morris.
Each year, the Banks County Chamber of Commerce CVB presents a $500 scholarship to the Banks County STAR Student and also sponsors the STAR Student and Star Teacher to attend the Annual Region STAR Banquet.
Morris selected Lara Jackson as the STAR Teacher. They will be recognized at Georgia’s Region 4 STAR Students and Teachers Annual Banquet at the University of Georgia on March 24.
William “Will” Randall Ramsey announces he is running for chairman of the Banks County Board of Commissioners.
Ramsey is a third-generation Banks County native and Banks County High School graduate, class of 1995. After high school, he furthered his education by attending Gainesville College and North Georgia Technical College. Will founded QA Home Inspections and Carpentry, and is providing services throughout Banks County, as well as surrounding counties.
Ramsey stays very active in the community and serves as a board member on the Farm Bureau Board of Directors and is an active member of the NRA. He’s also a Banks County FFA alumni and active sponsor of the Shawn Smith Scholarship, a scholarship that is given away to one Banks County Senior every year. Ramsey says that he "supports our local county school systems and all that they stand for."
His wife, Ashley Denton Ramsey, has been working as a Dental Hygienist for over a decade and shares Will’s vision for Banks County success. She is also proud to be a third-generation Banks County native and graduate. Together, they are current members of Temple Baptist Church.
In his free time, Ramsey enjoys spending time with Ashley and their two young sons, Ollis (age 4) and Tytus (age 1). Ramsey says that, "they recently built their forever home on Marion Cape Road and plan on watching their family grow old in Banks County." He adds that what he "loves most about the area are the long dirt roads and the peaceful, laid-back ways of life." He says that the small-town, friendly atmosphere is just what he wants his children to experience and appreciate, just like he did growing up.
Will states, “Let it be known as I earn your vote, I, Will Ramsey, will work hard for the people of our county. I will give them a voice and I will always value their safety and concerns to better our area. In order to do this, I will always have an open ear and an open door to the people! I will strive to promote industry growth and success that is ideal for our way of life. Agricultural growth will be a priority as it continues to remain our #1 business opportunity. I look forward to seeing you at the polls in May!”
William Reems has qualified for the Banks County District 4 Commission seat on the Republican ticket.
Reems is a Banks County native, graduate of Banks County High School, and the University of Georgia.
"I understand the desire to grow opportunities, while keeping Banks County rural," Reems states. "My campaign will be focused on putting Banks County and our people first. As a self employed farmer, I see the need to grow our tax base in a positive way that is friendly to business, so we can offer better services at lower tax rates to the citizens of the county. Other things I would like to work on include transparency and communication from our local government, the competent use of our county resources and investments, and accountability for all employees. I would encourage any citizens with questions to call me at 706-654-0790 and you can read more about our message and follow the campaign at https://www.facebook.com/WilliamreemsBOC/."
Bo Garrison has announced his intentions to seek the Post 2 seat on the Banks County Board of Commissioners.
"I would appreciate your support and vote," Garrison stated. "I look forward to talking with as many voters as I can over the next few months. I am not running against any one person. I am running to let the voice of the citizens be heard. As always in the past, I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you."
Early voting is underway for the presidential primary and the Town of Homer Alcohol Referendum.
Early voting will be held through March 20, on Mondays through Fridays. Saturday voting will also be held on March 14.
All early voting will be held at the Banks County Elections Office, located at 226 Candler Street in Homer. Hours for early voting will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 14.
Residents who live in the city limits of Homer will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” on three questions related to alcohol sales. The three questions will be:
•Alcoholic Beverages by the Drink: Shall the governing authority of the Town of Homer be authorized to issue licenses to sell distilled spirits for beverage purposes by the drink, such sales to be for consumption only on the premises? Yes or No
•Sunday Sales of Alcohol by the Drink: Shall the governing authority of the Town of Homer be authorized to permit and regulate Sunday sales of distilled spirits or alcoholic beverages for beverage purposes by the drink? Yes or No
•Sunday Package Sales of Alcohol: Shall the governing authority of the Town of Homer be authorized to permit and regulate package sales by retailers of both malt beverages and wine on Sundays between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.? Yes or No
Voters who ask for a Democratic ballot in the presidential primary will have the following candidates to choose from: Michael Bennet, Joseph R. Biden, Michael R. Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, John K. Delaney, Tulai Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.
The Republican ballot only lists incumbent Donald J. Trump.
The Gillsville City Council is in the process of finalizing design and details for improvements to the downtown Reo Frankum building.
During a meeting held March 3, Mayor Roy Turpin said he has received one sealed bid to replace electrical wiring in the historic building, with additional bids forthcoming.
Other improvements discussed include expansion of the building to include space for a handicap accessible restroom and storage area.
Once the design is completed, the city will move forward with obtaining sealed bids to complete this phase of the project.
The city is also looking to make improvements at the city park. Turpin said plans include construction of an additional restroom and storage area that will be accessible from outside the park building. For security purposes, the council is looking to place exterior lighting and install fencing and a gate at the entrance of the park.
In other business, Turpin reported an updated city map has been submitted to the Department of Community Affairs. The new map will reflect all annexed property as of December 31, 2019, and those properties will be included in the 2020 census report.