Crowded House with the Movers and ShakersJuly 25 | Posted by editor | News, Towns, Union Tags: Mountain Movers and Shakers
Young Harris, GA – Standing room only was the order of the day, as more than forty people tried to fit into a room meant to hold 24. With the July 31 primary less than 2 weeks away, nine (well, 8 now) candidates tried to make their case for election to office.
Office seekers from both sides of the aisle joined the usual crowd plus over a dozen new faces this past Friday.
Jana Hill, Democratic Candidate for State Representative introduced herself. She spoke of the need for jobs in the area, and her accomplishments in the private and public sector. We are sure to hear more from this Rabun County resident.
All of the School Board Candidates were on hand. Bob Gibby, father of Mayor Gibby of Young Harris, spoke against school vouchers, and asked everyone to vote against the proposal. Candidate Penny Ledford, a fixture in the youth sports scene, with children in the school system, talked about the importance of building student confidence through athletics. Incumbent Donna Hedden asked for another term in office, citing more work to be done. Candidate Rodney Thomas, with two school children in Towns, introduced himself, spoke of his career in green energy procurement, and insisted the school system could use some modernization and updated procedures. Finally, Laura Diehl announced that she was withdrawing her School Board Candidacy.
Steve Gerdes, Republican Candidate for Sole Commissioner spoke of the need for change, spending accountability, real transparency, and again promised to get a referendum for a multi member Commission on the ballot during his term. He said this could be done without significant cost increase.
Sherriff Chris Clinton reported crime in Towns County decreased 30% during his term, while other Counties in the Enotah Circuit saw double digit increases. He asked the voters to honor him with another term.
Tax Commissioner Candidate Bill Kuykendall stressed the need for accessibility to the tax office, asked why Towns County had a million dollars in uncollected taxes outstanding, and said he sent a certified letter formally requesting tax arrears information several weeks ago, with as yet no response despite the Open Records Law that requires a reply in three days.
Jonni Marie Shook, Towns County Superintendent of Elections, spoke about the T-SPLOST and told people that while it would add an additional 1% sales tax for ten years if passed, it has an option for an additional ten years. This aspect is not mentioned by this tax’s proponents. She promised to come back next week with more information about the election ballots.
And then, thankfully there was some nonpolitical news.
The “Welcome to Towns County” sign is up and complete. The landscaping, with the planting of shrubs and flowers donated by Mike Clark of English Country Gardens is the final phase of the project, and that will be completed shortly. Many thanks to Shane Haney and his crew from Rock of Ages Stone and Landscaping, Sharon Penner and Matt Waldroup for their efforts getting it done.
Next Saturday, July 28, there will be a Pet Celebration held on the Hayesville Square starting at 8:30 AM and running all day. Dr Hilty Burr, of Lake Chatuge Animal Hospital, invited everyone to bring their pets, large and small. This event features a rabies vaccination clinic, several pet groomers and specialty pet treat purveyors, a demonstration by Towns County Detective Barrett and Sarge, a veteran Drug Unit K9. It will feature a Pet Forum, simulcast by WJUL Radio, with Radio Personality Tim Rose. DJ Cool Poppa will be playing music and supporting the musical entertainment, with several acts, including Mike Whitney, performing during the daylong Celebration. Pet Parades, Costume Contests and other events are planned. Come all and don’t forget your pets!
Then at the Union County Farmers Market, the Green Bean Festival culminates with the Alzheimer’s Association’s Low Country Boil starting at 4:30 PM. For those unfamiliar with a Low country Boil, giant cauldrons filled with shrimp, sausage, crawfish, and corn on the cob and potatoes simmer to perfection, and everyone eats till they near burst. For more info and advance tickets, call (706) 374-4286. DJ Cool Poppa will also be here spinning as well.
State Representative Stephen Allison (R-8) will be the featured speaker on Friday, August 10. He had, as promised, not begun his campaign until after the primary smoke had cleared. We will be his first campaign stop. Everyone is invited to listen and ask questions as Representative Allison seeks his third term. District 8 encompasses Towns, Union, Rabun, and a portion of White Counties.
As always, everyone is invited to join this nonpartisan group of Movers and Shakers, meeting every Friday morning at 8 AM at Mary’s Southern Grill to share information, conversation, and breakfast. For more information, please call(706) 994-4658. Have your morning brew with our crew.