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4-1-07 More Oconee Citizens calling for change in Oconee BOC makeup –growth concerns

. More folks are asking questions. They are also becoming more aware of the approaching qualifying time for the July 2008 Election. It is barely a year away. Citizens need to encourage and help dedicated and civic-minded citizens run for office and “take back” our county. . Many have come to realize that fighting individual rezones is just “tilting at windmills”.

AVOC

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April 1, 2007

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More Oconee Citizens calling for change in Oconee BOC makeup –growth concerns

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By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc

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For sometime, some citizens have been concerned about the direction of our county government.   It seems to show little regard for the values and rural, pristine landscape that helped make our county a great place to live.  Rezones come in a steady stream.   Many have come to realize that fighting individual rezones is just “tilting at windmills”.

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The recent split vote on the Walton Water Reservoir project really ignited more determination to make changes in the coming election.   Many folks cannot believe we committed to so little water for so much money and a lack of detail of what we are getting into.  ($ 46 Million for 3.5 MGD in first phase and for a project without a governmental agreement, without a state withdrawal permit and a conditional (12 Pages of conditions) 401 Permit from the Corps of Engineers).

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It has become obvious that some of the Commissioners, particularly the Chairman, have little appreciation or understanding of where tax dollars come from.   Some folks really have to scrape up funds to pay the bill.   However, the BOC continues on its merry way of spending, borrowing and “putting more money in surplus”- $ 15 Million now- 6 times the amount from 6 years ago.

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We do have much more money to spend –thanks to past efforts.However, are we spending on the real necessities?   Will our schools, fire stations and roads keep up with helter-skelter growth?

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More folks are asking questions.   They are also becoming more aware of the approaching qualifying time for the July 2008 Election.   It is barely a year away.Citizens need to encourage and help dedicated and civic-minded citizens run for office and “take back” our county.

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Melvin Davis                       Donald Norris                 Jim Luke

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These three commissioners voted to do the Hard Labor Creek Deal and causing more citizen unrest

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See Links:

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3-16-07 What the Oconee 3-2 (Melvin Davis) vote on Hard Labor Creek Means

3-30-07 Oconee’s Melvin Davis could give tax break of over $ 200 for $ 200,000 Homeowners

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3-29-07 Time to throw the rascals out!!

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The Oconee Leader

46 Greensboro Hwy Ste A

P. O. Box 967

Watkinsville, Georgia30677

editor@theoconeeleader.com

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March 29, 2007                       OPINION COLUMN

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It’s Time to Throw the rascals out

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By Bill Mayberry

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AVOC Note: After discussing the National and State Level elected officials, the following was in the article.

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…………….The Oconee County commissioners voted, by a narrow margin, to entangle Oconee in a controversial future water reservoir deal with Walton County. The details are such to make one's eyes glaze over, but suffice it to say that many people were opposed to the idea. One side says future growth demands the outlay, the other that there are better, less expensive alternatives. The deal does give the appearance that the taxpayers will be producing a great deal of valuable lakefront property for a few, soon to be very wealthy developers.

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According to public records, Oconee County has over $ 15 million of surplus funds - one mil in property taxes is worth about $ 1.3 million of revenue. Gosh, wouldn't it be nice to see property taxes go down instead of committing us to building more lavish luxuries? Having a reservoir may not be it luxury, but spending over a hundred million dollars for just the first phase of this Project is a huge tax gamble. (Note First Phase is ONLY $ 46 Million for 3.5 MGD of water).There are a few potholes out there that need fixing, as well as some folks who'd like to pay fewer taxes on their homes.

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Rolling our eyes heavenward and dismissing it all as filthy politics will help but little. God is probably up there snickering at us. We elect men and women to office to promote the general welfare and to ensure domestic tranquility, not to spend their time and our money jockeying for political power. They are losing the privileges we grant them, and could use a little reminder now and then.

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Follow-Up to BOC Water Vote and April 3 Agenda

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Citizens for Oconee's Future,Inc
P. O. Box 1301
Watkinsville, GA 30677

http://www.oconeesfuture.com/index.html

OconeesFuture@aol.com

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March 30, 2007

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Followup on BOC Water Vote on March 6 – time to change three votes

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By Charles Baugh

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Citizens

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Shortly after the Board of Commissioners vote on the grossly expensive reservoir project with Walton County I sent an e mail with the results and a promise for further information after having time to think about it for a while.  Here is what I think about it.  The voting majority of this Board made up of Davis, Norris and Luke is on a mission to fully develop this county no matter what the cost to quality of life for current residentsThere is no way to change this policy without changing 3 votes.  There is on way to change 3 votes without changing Davis, Norris and Luke for three with a more balanced policy.

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The current development policy will eventually directly impact every one of the 30,000 who live here now.  It will do no good to fight each rezone proposal as long as the county "economic development" policy is to promote more "rooftops" and strip shopping all over the county.  Citizens cannot rely on any county ordinance that gets in the way of development.  An example is the proposal scheduled for hearing at the BOC meeting of 4/3 to allow construction of buildings on Daniel's Bridge Road exceeding the county ordinance for building height.  Home owners in the Settlers Ridge subdivision will be looking up at seven story hotel buildings from their quiet neighborhood.

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The trio of Davis, Norris and Luke are operating what amounts to a bait and switch operation.  While they tout the County as a wonderful place  to live primarily because of the small town, rural atmosphere and the good schools, they promote a development policy that diminishes those qualities and will too soon make us just another over-developed county with poor schools to go with it.  Next time you see them ask them what it is they don't like about Oconee that they are trying to change with this development policy.

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Following is the text of a message I received from a citizen who is concerned about the impact of the rezone and conditional use requests on Daniel's Bridge Road.  These requests sailed right through the Planning Commission.  Those impacted by the requests should make it known to the BOC.  When they vote they should be looking at a room full of voters.

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The text of the BOC agenda also follows.    

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Citizen Comments

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"I have reviewed this rezone. It is a big problem for two important reasons. First. it is going to put tremendous stress on traffic at Daniel's Bridge Road, Mars Hill Road, and SR316. These are projects that are ahead of the road system, particularly given that the County did not get funding for the Mars Hill Road improvements.

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Second, the buildings are beyond the capability of the fire department to service. The zoning staff has noted this, and it is a BIG problem. The rezones are to change the land. In each case, there is an additional conditional use request to violate the county's regulations on building height. These are seven story buildings, and the county has no equipment to provide fire service to them.

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The rezones are probably better than other potential commercial development of the sites. But traffic will be a problem even with these.

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You get the picture. This is more of the same. Developers are pushing the county to spend money for things it does not have, such as a professional fire department."


AGENDA

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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

OF

OCONEE COUNTY, GEORGIA

April 3, 2007

Commission Meeting Chambers

Oconee County Courthouse

7:00 p.m.

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1.                  Approval of Minutes:

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Minutes of the March 6 and March 27, 2007 meetings have been distributed.

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2.         Business Involving Guests, Groups or Multiple Visitors:

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      None.

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3.         County-wide Matters:

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      None.

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4.      Approval of Resolutions, Ordinances, Policies, Etc:

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5.         Hearings and Actions on Rezone Matters, Special Use Permits, Street Light Tax   Districts, Etc:

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1.      Consider Street Light Tax District No. A-1H-L1 for Fairfield Meadows Subdivision.

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2.      Consider Rezone Request # 5351, by Daniells Bridge Partners, LLC, ±17.508 Acres, located on Daniells Bridge Road, from B-2 to OBP.

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3.      Consider Special Use Request # 5352, by Daniells Bridge Partners, LLC, ±17.508 Acres, located on Daniells Bridge Road, to increase the maximum structure height for buildings in the proposed office park.

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4.      Consider Special Use Request # 5354, by Westminster Christian Academy, ±30.705 Acres, located on New High Shoals Road, to revise previously approved expansion plans for the existing school.

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5.      Consider PUD Amendment Request # 5355, by Sterling Mills PUD, Phase II, ±8.77 Acres, located on Rocky Branch Road, to remove a condition restricting the location of the private driveway for the single-family residence.

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6.      Consider Rezone Request # 5356, by Glades Commercial Properties, LLC, ±6.895 Acres, located on Daniells Bridge Road, from B-1 PUD to OBP.

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7.      Consider Special Use Request # 5357, by Glades Commercial Properties, LLC, ±6.895 Acres, located on Daniells Bridge Road, to increase the maximum structure height for two hotel buildings.

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6.        Personnel Matters:

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1.      Consider appointment of Deputy Clerk.

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2.      Consider appointments to the Oconee County Clean and Beautiful Commission.

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3.      Consider appointments to the Oconee County Animal Control Advisory Board.

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4.      Consider appointment to the Oconee County Family and Children Services Board.

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7.         Approval of Contracts, Rights-of-Way, Awarding Bids, Purchases, Etc:

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None.

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8.        Budget Items:

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None.

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9.        Miscellaneous:

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1.Consider policy to place approval of subdivision right-of-ways on the Board of        Commissioners Consent Agenda.

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10.      Consent Items:

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1.          Agreement with City of Bogart for the collection of property taxes.

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2.         FY2008 Food Vendor contract with GA Food Service, Inc. for the Senior Center.

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3.         Georgia Mutual Aid Group application and resolution for the Oconee County Fire Department.

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4.         Acceptance of road right-of-way and right-of-way deeds for Lee Ridge Subdivision.

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11.       Statements and Remarks from Citizens.

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12.     Executive Session to discuss land acquisition, personnel matters and/or potential litigation (If Needed).

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13.       Adjourn.


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