Flowery Branch recently had an election for city council to replace Craig Lutz. We are all aware of the good things Craig Lutz is already doing even before getting officially elected. In the Flowery Branch election, Amanda Swafford was elected by a 2 to 1 margin. Amanda defeated Chris Strickland. Many of you will remember Chris Strickland who ran against State House Rep. James Mills. At the time claimed to be a staunch Democrat. In the Flowery Branch race he decided it was better to claim how Conservative he was but the citizens did not buy it.
Stupidly the Commission has agreed to release the minutes of the closed executive session. All they have done is expose the blatant disregard for the law. They are trying to make this issue about the payment to the Glades. Make note of the other business covered in the Executive Session. Melissa Weinman seems to be doing a good job on this story. Here are 2 follow up articles having to do with my previous post. I wish that County Attorney Bill Blalock would advise the Commission to be more careful. It seems to me like he sure is making his firm stay busy. Way to protect your client.
The Hall County Commission seems to be completely out of control under the management of Commission Chairman Tom Oliver. I personally think that Mr. Oliver's ego gets in the way of better judgement. From what I have been told, Mr. Oliver was told in the executive session that the closed door meeting was against the rules. Once he was told of the error he looked for ways to make the mistake valid. Claiming the potential for a Law Suit. A better was to handle it would have been to acknowledge the mistake and bring the meeting back in to public view. I'll let you be the judge. Personally I am looking forward to the GBI coming in and looking into Mr. Oliver and Mr. Powell.
Commission hopefuls Scott Gibbs and Craig Lutz are challenging the Hall County Board of Commissioners’ move to authorize $3 million in sales tax dollars toward the Glades Reservoir project. In a letter sent to County Administrator Charley Nix, Gibbs and Lutz questioned the validity of a commission decision in executive session and requested the matter be taken up publicly. Gibbs and Lutz claim that on Wednesday, the commissioners agreed in an executive session to pay for about $3 million in permitting costs for Glades Reservoir with a line of credit, until enough special purpose local option sales tax dollars are collected. At the Thursday board meeting, Chairman Tom Oliver announced the commission had discussed the negotiations in executive session. According to the Georgia Open Meetings Act, governments may only go into a closed-door executive session to discuss three things: potential litigation, personnel issues and land acquisition.
Hall County’s legal counsel advised the board members the discussion fell under the category of potential litigation; Lutz and Gibbs dispute that.
“I’d be more than happy to vote it at the next commission meeting if that clears the record,” Oliver said Monday.Gibbs, who is running unopposed for Steve Gailey’s District 3 seat, said his purpose with the letter was to make sure the commission’s actions were legal.
“In three months, I’m going into office and I am going to have to pay for that,” said Gibbs, who wants to have the matter discussed and voted on in public.
Lutz, who faces Democrat Paul Wayne Godfrey for the District 1 spot on the board, said he questions why the county held the Glades Reservoir discussion in executive session.
“I hate to say it, but (Hall County) has a history,” Lutz said. “The public needs a sense of confidence on what the commission is doing.”
Nix responded with his own letter later in the day.
“I understand that being a fresh face on the board, you are skeptical of the existing leadership. But before you crucify us all, I invite you to take the time to learn the intricate workings of our operation and meet the hard-working, honest people who make up Hall County government,” Nix wrote in his letter.
At issue is negotiations between Hall County and the owners of the Glades Farm property, where the proposed reservoir is to be built.
Oliver said the county has always agreed to reimburse the Glades property owners for costs expended in the permitting process for the reservoir. What was discussed in executive session was paying less of the costs up front and more following the issuance of the federal permit for the construction of the reservoir.
The county has been reviewing the reservoir plans, which date back to the early ’90s, and negotiating which charges — for engineering and consulting services, among others — are directly tied to the permitting process and should be paid for by Hall County.
“It’s basically an ongoing contract negotiation and we’re discussing partial payment,” Nix said. “We’re having to verify every document and invoice that they have presented to us.”
After taking a year off I'm gonna try and come back and do some new blogging. This blog will focus on Hall County and North GA. If you are Conservative you will probably like this blog most of the time. If you are not you will hate it. Have fun reading my thoughts.