Board of Commissioners meeting cancelled

Uncategorized

Blue Ridge, Ga. – The Fannin County Board of Commissioners have cancelled there upcoming regular monthly meeting to be held on Tuesday Nov. 13.

An explanation on the county website states:

In that there are no new items that have been presented to come before the Board of Commissioners and in that there is no old business requiring Board action at this time, the November 13 meeting of the Fannin County Board of Commissioners is cancelled. The next County meeting is the regularly scheduled meeting of November 27, 2018. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Fannin County Board of Commissioners will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 5:15 p.m. on the third floor of the Fannin County Courthouse located on West Main Street.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Completion of fire station halted

Community, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – For now construction on the new emergency center / fire station located off of Windy Ridge Road in Blue Ridge will come to a halt. Plans to finish the current construction and move emergency personnel in will continue but a portion of the building that was not deemed to be finished in the current phase will remain undone for the time being.

At the Oct. 9 Fannin County Board of Commissioners meeting unexpected high bids were received for the completion of the project.

Fannin County Emergency Management Director Robert Graham explained that the completion of this particular area of the facility was not necessary for the building itself to be a functional space for emergency management staff.

The main purpose of the incomplete area will be for training and living quarters.

Graham reached out to 25 contractors in hopes of finding a winning bidder to complete the project. Local contractors were included in this list of 25, but no local companies opted to bid.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Board of Commissioners, Chairman, Post 1 Commissioner, Post 2 Commissioner, Stan Helton, Earl Johnson, Larry Joe Sosebee, Fannin County Attorney, Lynn Doss, Emergency Management Agency, Director, Robert Graham, Fire Station, Windy Ridge, Egineered Structures Inc., JM Williams Contractors

An interior picture of the new emergency center during construction.

Fannin County Attorney Lynn Doss opened two sealed bids at the meeting.

The first bid came from Engineered Structures, Inc. of Kennesaw, Ga. in the amount of $486,460, and the second bid came from JM Williams Contractors of Marietta, Ga. in the amount of $439,927.

Post 1 Commissioner Earl Johnson was first to express his opinion after a lengthy silence from all the commissioners: “I think it’s way too much money.”

“I feel like that’s really high,” Graham said agreeing with Johnson and adding, “I don’t know what happened between now and last year. That’s almost double what we started out at.”

Graham said this referring to a quote that was given previously for the completion of the area that was substantially less than either of the two new bids.

County Chairman Stan Helton, agreeing with opinions expressed by Johnson and Graham, questioned Graham if any issues, either from safety or structure, would arise by not completing this particular section at the present time.

Graham responded that there would be a need to heat the space in cold temperatures due to the sprinkler system in that area already being live and functioning.

Johnson clarified that the sprinkler system was a wet system: “The lines on a wet system are charged with water at all times and in a dry system they are only charged once needed.”

Graham suggested heating the area with a propane heater, possibly a hanging heater, and that there would be no safety issues in doing so as long as the heater had proper ventilation.

“I’m disappointed that we couldn’t get a more favorable bid on this,” Helton concluded.

Johnson motioned,” I make the motion that we deny both bids due to the extreme cost.”

This motion passed unanimously.

With the area partially complete, Johnson made a last suggestion of looking into the cost of piecemealing the project out to specialized contractors in hopes cutting costs and also encouraging local businesses to bid on the process.

Specific areas mentioned that would need completion include sheetrock, flooring, heating and air, plumbing and electrical.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Raffensperger wins nomination for Secretary of State

Election, Election 2018

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Brad Raffensperger has defeated David Belle Isle in the July Runoff Election.

Raffensperger and Belle Isle vied for the Republican nomination to seek the seat of Georgia Secretary of State. The Secretary of State seat is open with no incumbent as current Secretary of State Brian Kemp moves forward in the gubernatorial race.

With all 159 counties reporting, Raffensperger was able to receive 61.76 percent of the vote while Belle Isle fell short only receiving 38.24 percent.

Raffensperger will move forward to the November General Election where he will face Democratic nominee John Barrow.

 

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

Duncan wins tightest race in July Runoff

Election, Election 2018

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Geoff Duncan narrowly beats out David Shafer in the July Runoff Election.

In what was by far the closest race to take place during the runoff, Duncan beat out Shaffer by a mere 1672 votes. In some precincts across the state this race showed wins by a margin of only 2 votes.

Duncan and Shafer vied for the Republican nomination to seek the seat of Georgia Lt. Governor. The Lt. Governor seat is open with no incumbent as current Lt. Governor Casey Cagle chose to throw his name in the hat for the Republican nomination in the gubernatorial race.

With all 159 counties reporting, Duncan was able to receive 50.15 percent of the vote while Shafer fell short receiving 49.85 percent.

Duncan will move forward to the November General Election where he will face Democratic nominee Sarah Riggs Amico.

July Runoff Election Results

Election 2018

***UPDATED: Tue. July 24 @ 11:38 p.m.

With the July Runoff Election officially coming to a close, candidates have now been selected for the Nov. General Election.

Locally Challenger Glenn Patterson won the Republican nomination for Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner over Incumbent Larry Joe Sosebee receiving 64.45 percent of the vote. Patterson will go on to face Democrat Dixie Carter in the General Election.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Challenger Glenn Patterson (R) moves forward to the November General Election to run for the seat of Post 2 Commissioner.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Dixie Carter (D) will be seen on the ballot for the November General Election for Post 2 Commissioner.

In another upset Challenger Mike Cole was able to beat out Incumbent Steve Stanley for the Republican nomination and recieved 52.69 percent of the runoff vote. Cole will now face Democratic opponent Susan DeMoura for a seat on the Fannin County Board of Education.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Challenger Mike Cole (R) pictured with family will move forward to the November General Election for a seat on the Fannin County Board of Education.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Susan DeMoura (D) will be on the November General Election Ballot for a seat on the Fannin County Board of Education.

Having already been decided in the May General Primary, the the second seat with the Fannin County Board of Education that is open for election will see Incumbent Bobby Bearden (R) face Challenger Jeff DePaola (D).

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Incumbent Bobby Bearden (R) will be seeking re-election for a seat on the Fannin County Board of Education.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Jeff DePaola (D) will challenge the incumbent for a seat on the Fannin County Board of Education.

After what became dubbed as a “nasty” campaign by many, Secretary of State Brian Kemp has won the Republican gubernatorial nomination over his opponent, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and will face Stacey Abrams (D) in the General Election.

After what became dubbed as a "nasty" campaign by many, Secretary of State Brian Kemp has won the Republican gubernatorial nomination over his opponent, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and will face Stacey Abrams (D) in the General Election.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) will move forward to the November General Election ballot for seat of Georgia Governor.

After what became dubbed as a "nasty" campaign by many, Secretary of State Brian Kemp has won the Republican gubernatorial nomination over his opponent, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and will face Stacey Abrams (D) in the General Election.

Stacey Abrams (D) will be seen on the ballot for the seat of Georgia Governor.

Another closely watched campaign has come to a close as Geoff Duncan beat out opponent David Shafer and will represent Republicans in Nov. as he moves on to face Sarah Riggs Amico for the seat of Georgia Lt. Governor.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Geoff Duncan (R) moves forward to the seat of Lt. Governor and will appear on the Nov. ballot.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Sarah Riggs Amico (D) will appear on the Nov. General Election ballot for seat of Lt. Governor.

The Secretary of State seat was also seen in the 2018 runoff. Brad Raffensperger was able to defeat David Belle Isle for the Republican nomination. Raffensperger is set to face John Barrow (D) in November.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

Brad Raffensperger (R) will seek seat of Secretary of State in the Nov. General Election.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, United States Representative District 9, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Service Commissioner District 3, Public Service Commissioner District 5, Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, Sarah Riggs Amico, Triana Arnold James, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Rick Jaffares, Stacey Abrams, Stacey Evans, Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins, Eddie Hayes, Hunter Hill, Casey Cagle, Marc Urbach, Michael Williams, Doug Collins, Dave Cooper, Josh McCall, John Hitchins, Tricia Pridemore, Dawn Randolph, Doug Stoner, Chuck Eaton, Lindy Miller, John Noel, Johnny White, Jim Beck, Jay Florence, Tracy Jordan, David Belle Isle, Buzz Brockway, Josh McKoon, Brad Raffensperger, John Barrow, Dee Dawkins-Haigler, R.J. Hadley, Smythe Duval, Democrat, Republican, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Dixie Carter, Fannin County Board of Education, Mike Cole, Steve Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Jeff DePaola, Bobby Bearden

John Marrow (D) will be on the November ballot for seat of Secretary of State.

The General Election will be held Nov. 6, 2018.

*These election results are unofficial until being certified by the Secretary of State’s office.

**The results for state seats in this article reflect the voters of Fannin County only and do not reflect voting statewide.

FANNIN COUNTY POST 2 COMMISSIONER

Glenn Patterson (R) – 64.45%       2114  votes (Challenger)

Larry Joe Sosebee (R) – 35.55%    1166  votes (Incumbent)

 

FANNIN COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

Steve Stanley (R) – 47.31%      1529  votes (Incumbent)

Mike Cole (R) – 52.69%            1703   votes (Challenger)

 

GOVERNOR CANDIDATES:

Casey Cagle (R) – 33.94%       1113  votes

Brian Kemp (R) – 66.06%      2166  votes

 

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CANDIDATES:

David Shafer (R) – 50.03%      1518  votes

Geoff Duncan (R) – 49.97%      1516  votes

 

SECRETARY OF STATE CANDIDATES:

Brad Raffensperger (R) – 62.28%    1768  votes

David Belle Isle (R) – 37.72%            1071  votes

 

STATE SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT CANDIDATES:

Sid Chapman (D) – 57.89%        44  votes

Otha Thornton (D) – 42.11%       32  votes

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Voting ends today for July runoff election

Election 2018

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Today is the day that Georgians will be able to see a finalized list of candidates that will face off for varying seats statewide.
Locally, Fannin County saw a remarkable turnout during the early voting period of the July run-off. Historically, run-off elections tend to see a much lower voter turnout than the May General Primary.

With only a 25 percent turnout for the general primary, both parties were left discouraged and it was expected that we would only see approximately 15 percent make it out to cast their ballots during the run-off.

So far this has not been the case. Fannin County reported that 1161 total votes were cast during early voting and 163 paper ballots were received for the runoff election. Compare these numbers to the May General Primary which saw 1259 total votes and 224 paper ballots and it appears that the run-off is on course to closely match the initial turnout in May.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Stacey Abrams, Brian Kemp, Casey Cagle, David Belle Isle, Brad Raffensperger, Democrat, Republican, General Primary Runoff, July 2018, Fannin County, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Fannin County Board of Education, Steve Stanley, Mike Cole, Dixie Carter, Susan DeMoura

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle (Left) Secretary of State Brian Kemp (right)

Much of the interest in the runoff election can be attributed to the gubernatorial race for the Republican nomination. This race between Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp has become what many deem “nasty”. This race has, however, brought out big name endorsements including retired Lt. Colonel Oliver North and even the President of the United States Donald J. Trump.

While state offices are getting quite a bit of attention, Fannin County also has two positions on the Republican ballot.

The Republican nomination for Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner seat has garnered its own recognition as Incumbent Larry Joe Sosebee and Challenger Glenn Patterson continue to vie for a chance to face Democrat Dixie Carter in the Nov. General Election.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Stacey Abrams, Brian Kemp, Casey Cagle, David Belle Isle, Brad Raffensperger, Democrat, Republican, General Primary Runoff, July 2018, Fannin County, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Fannin County Board of Education, Steve Stanley, Mike Cole, Dixie Carter, Susan DeMoura

Incumbent Larry Joe Sosebee (Left) and Challenger Glenn Patterson (Right)

One seat with the Fannin County Board of Education will also be seen on the Republican ballot. Incumbent Steve Stanley and Challenger Mike Cole hope to receive the Republican nomination and move forward to face Democrat Susan DeMoura in Nov.

Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, David Shafer, Geoff Duncan, Stacey Abrams, Brian Kemp, Casey Cagle, David Belle Isle, Brad Raffensperger, Democrat, Republican, General Primary Runoff, July 2018, Fannin County, Post 2 Commissioner, Larry Joe Sosebee, Glenn Patterson, Fannin County Board of Education, Steve Stanley, Mike Cole, Dixie Carter, Susan DeMoura

Incumbent Steve Stanley (Left) and Challenger Mike Cole (Right)

Polls will be open until 7 p.m. this evening. Follow FetchYourNews as we will bring you the latest updates regarding the July run-off election results.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Audit shows Fannin County finances in good standing

Community, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – The Fannin County 2017 audit concluded with much praise from independent accounting firm Rushton and Company. The overall state of finances for the county are “very healthy”.

Sam Latimer, CPA and audit manager with Rushton and Company, gave citizens an overview of the Fannin County 2017 audit at the June 26 Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting.

Rushton and Company was hired to analyze the county’s 2017 finances and give an unbiased opinion based on an in-depth look at all county run departments.

Latimer noted that working with the county and management had been very easy for the company, and that all county employees had been very cooperative and helpful in providing the firm with all the information they needed to conduct the audit.

“You (Fannin County) have a very capable finance department,” Latimer spoke specifically of the work done by Fannin County Finance Director Robin Gazaway.

Net assets were among the highlights given by Latimer. Net assets make up the county’s infrastructure (ex. roads and buildings), equipment, restricted funds (ex. SPLOST or Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax), and unrestricted funds (ex. funds remaining after the first two categories are filled).

During the 2017 fiscal year Fannin County net assets grew by $1.6 million, up 27 percent from 2016.

Latimer dubbed this increase a “very healthy year for the county”.

One of the largest components of Fannin County finances is the General Fund, and like the net assets, revenues to this fund showed positive growth with a 5.7 percent increase.

Nearly $1,000,000 of taxpayer funds were saved through cuts made to the budget of the Public Works department (Roads and Bridges).

“Due mostly to personal services,” Latimer said explaining where these cuts came from, “There was a large decrease in the number of employees.”

Latimer did note that the county’s insurance claims had risen by almost $1,000,000, but was not alarmed by this increase stating, “This is an area that is hard to control because your claims are based on people’s health.”

Insurance claims will fluctuate from year to year according to Latimer: “So that just happens to be up this year.”

The unassigned fund balance did decrease slightly from the previous year of 2016. The funds in this area, however, are still well above standard expectations.

According to the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) the unassigned fund balance should have enough finances available for a county to operate approximately two months if all revenues stopped.

“What that means,” Latimer spoke of the remaining balance in Fannin County’s unassigned fund, “is that if you were to close the doors today and stop receiving revenue; you could operate for almost seven months.”

“Most (counties) are probably between two and three months,” Latimer added, “You guys are definitely above what the average would be.”

Fannin County Chairman Stan Helton noted that spending had slowed, but stated that the ultimate goal of the county should be to bring expenditures down enough to begin adding revenues back to the fund balance once again.

Post 1 Commissioner Earl Johnson agreed with Helton on this matter and stated of the audit, “It shows that next year we’re going to make some, as you just said, either some cuts or we’re going to have to look at other ways of revenue.”

Johnson stated that the audit is a good way to see exactly where the county stands: “This will allow all of us to make a very informed decision as to where we are going to go next year.”

At the conclusion of the presentation, when asked about the overall strength of Fannin County financially, Latimer simply replied, “Very healthy. Very good.”

The full 2017 audit , including the management report, will be available for the public to view on the Fannin County Government website.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Citizens defend Tax Assessors

Community, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – There was no shortage of comments as citizens filled the public commentary portion at the Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting to express their outrage over the recent handling of Chief Tax assessor Dawn Cochran.

After reading about the exchange between county commissioners and Cochran in local media, citizens of Fannin County spoke in defense of the Tax Assessors department.

Frank Moore of the Aska Road area was first to speak. Moore, an attorney, works on property tax appeals and has firsthand experience dealing with the Tax Assessors department and Cochran herself: “That is a very professional office.”

Appalled by the questioning of Cochran’s education by Fannin County Chairman Stan Helton, Moore expressed his opinion, “Whoever was asking that question makes me wonder where’s your MBA? Where’s their high degree of education that qualifies them to do anything?”

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Board of Commissioners, Chairman, Post 1 Commissioner, Post 2 Commissioner, Stan Helton, Earl Johnson, Larry Joe Sosebee, Tax Assessors, Chief Appraiser, Dawn Cochran, GMASS, Georgia Mass Apprassial Solutions and Services, Public Commentary, Education, Frank Moore, Lane Bishop, Sonia Smith, Sandra Daugherty, Ralph Garner, Marcella Olsteen

Fannin County citizen Frank Moore spoke of his outrage over the recent handling of Chief Appraiser Dawn Cochran.

Moore also expressed concerns over recent Board of Assessors (BOA) appointment Angelina Powell.

“And who’s the person that would actually put Angelina Powell on the Board of Assessors instead of that man right there?” Moore asked motioning to former BOA Chairman Lane Bishop.

At this point Helton put a stop to Moore’s questioning stating that Moore’s actions were boarding a personal attack, “We’re not here to criticize citizens like that. That’s out of line, so let’s move forward. Criticize me if you wish.”

“If anything I’m attacking the board for making that decision,” Moore replied to Helton, “I don’t know who made that decision, but it was a foolish decision.”

Others who spoke were just as angered as Moore over the questioning of Cochran’s education.

A former board member of the BOA, Sonia Smith, asked, “It’s not that you need an education to ask a question is it?” adding, “I believe her questions were educated. She wanted an answer to her question.”

Smith also stated that the commissioners’ behavior toward an employee could be very discouraging for other personnel who might now be intimidated to ask a question.

Sandra Daugherty of Sugarcreek agreed with Smith’s perceptions of the BOC possibly making it difficult for county employees to come to them with questions.

“To be clear everyone, I’m addressing you, Mr. Helton, and you, Mr. Johnson (Post 1 Commissioner), both as a human being and as a public official, you should both be ashamed of yourselves. Not only do you owe Dawn Cochran an apology, but you owe everyone sitting here that night an apology.”

Former BOA Chairman Lane Bishop was present to defend Cochran having worked with her for several years: “Dawn Cochran doesn’t have a formal degree as you so crudely pointed out, but she does have a PhD. It’s in honesty.”

Bishop accused the BOC of having a vendetta against the Tax Assessors department. Speaking directly to Chairman Helton, Lane stated, “You’re real vendetta against the Tax Assessors office is because you can’t control it.”

Lane elaborated further, “Also the fact, the new board three years ago fired Steve Stanley, your’s (Helton) and Larry Joe Sosebee’s friend. The good ol’ boy syndrome lives in Fannin County.”

“Maybe it’s time for the voters of Fannin County to consider a recall petition on you,” Bishop concluded his time, “a class action lawsuit and call the department of revenue on all three of our commissioners.”

Blue Ridge resident Ralph Garner reasoned, “Why tarnish the legacy of good that you (BOC) are doing with ugly behavior like that? A prolonged repetitious rant is out of order most any time.”

Marcella O’Steen of Epworth approached the matter on a more personal level stating that Dawn is someone’s mother, daughter and wife. O’Steen was unable to hold back anger as she stated of the situation: “If I were her (Cochran) husband, I would kick your a**!”

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Board of Commissioners, Chairman, Post 1 Commissioner, Post 2 Commissioner, Stan Helton, Earl Johnson, Larry Joe Sosebee, Tax Assessors, Chief Appraiser, Dawn Cochran, GMASS, Georgia Mass Apprassial Solutions and Services, Public Commentary, Education, Frank Moore, Lane Bishop, Sonia Smith, Sandra Daugherty, Ralph Garner, Marcella Olsteen

Former BOA Chairman Lane Bishop accused commissioners of still using the “good ol’ boy” system.

After agreeing to discontinue the profanity, O’Steen was allowed to continue speaking. Unlike many of the other speakers who were focused solely on Helton and Fannin County Post 1 Commissioner Earl Johnson, O’Steen also accused Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner Larry Joe Sosebee of negative behavior in the meeting.

Sosebee who had previously complimented the Tax Assessors department during the June 12 meeting failed to take action making him just as guilty according to O’Steen: “Out of three men up here not one of you came to her defense.”

While people certainly expressed their outrage over the perceived treatment of Cochran, many were also displeased with the option that was presented of outsourcing some of the of the workload of the Tax Assessors office.

It was proposed at the June 12 BOC meeting to look into a contract with Georgia Mass Appraisal Solutions & Services (GMASS). In this contract, GMASS offers to appraise a third of the counties parcels each year for three years. This would keep the county in compliance with Georgia state standards.

The GMASS contract would cost taxpayers a total of $784,000 for three years of service. Chairman Helton pointed out that Fannin County’s total yearly budget for the Tax Assessors department is far more than surrounding counties, and this contract could be a way to alleviate some of the financial burden on the taxpayers of the county.

Helton clarified that he was not advocating to completely replace the tax assessors department: “You always need to have some local involvement and people there.”

“What they’re (tax assessors) not telling everyone, is they already are using this company(GMASS),” Johnson said of the proposed contract.

Chief Assessor Dawn Cochran did confirm that she had planned on asking for help in 2019 with approximately 13,000 parcels.

“No one voted to do it,” Johnson said explaining the proposed contract,”I’m all about saving the taxpayers money, but we’ve got a lot of research to do.”

“I have not had to raise the mileage. I didn’t get elected to look at the tax assessors. I got elected to save taxpayers money,” Johnson concluded his feeling about the public commentary.

Helton expressed a similar view to Johnson: “Fannin County taxpayers are contributing almost $1 million a year to fund our Tax assessors office. This is the highest budget in 10 Northeast Georgia counties, including Cherokee, NC. I think the citizens have a right to expect their Chairman to ask tough questions instead of worrying about my bedside manner.”

 

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Natalie Kissel

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