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.”

 

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

Tax Assessors question county accounting practices

Community, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – A misunderstanding of county accounting practices and a misuse of terminology had the Board of Commissioners (BOC) questioning whether the Board of Assessors were keeping two sets of books.

Chief Appraiser Dawn Cochran spoke at the June 12 Board of Commissioners meeting about a line item in the Tax Assessors budget that she felt was an error.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Board of Commissioners, Chairman, Post 1 Commissioner, Post 2 Commissioner, Stan Helton, Earl Johnson, Larry Joe Sosebee, Tax Assessors, Board of Assessors, Chief Appraiser, Dawn Cochran, Troy Junnier, Budget, Line Item, Maps, Aerials, GMASS, Georgia Mass Appraisals and Services

Chief Appraiser Dawn Cochran questions to the BOC on why her numbers do not match the county’s official accounting records.

The line item in question concerns the purchase of new aerial maps for Fannin County. According to an agreement made last year, the Tax Assessors Department would pay for the mapping upfront, but other departments who would benefit from use of the maps would reimburse the county for their portion of the overall price.

“We started at $24,000,” Cochran said explaining the line item, “We paid $8,000 out to QPublic. We paid $22,000 to EagleView which is for the maps. We paid $1,000 for LiDAR (Light Detection and Radar) and that put us a balance of negative $7,000.”

Cochran stated that the revenue to date for her department was $7,508.13 and that invoices had been sent out to other departments for their share in the mapping costs for a total of $12,513.35.

“The current balance that should be in the line item for maps and aerials is $13,021.68,” Cochran concluded.

Cochran approached the BOC because the department still has expenditures for the year that would need to come from that line item and worried that already showing a negative balance would reflect badly on continued spending.

Fannin County Chairman Stan Helton explained that crediting back revenue to a department is not how the county’s accounting practices work. Helton stated that the way the county keeps records of its expenditures and revenues is set by the county’s auditors, Rushton and Associates.

According to Helton, revenues from any department are put back into the county’s general fund. He cited the Tax Commissioners office as an example of why this is the practice. Helton stated that if revenues were credited back to a department, such as the Tax Commissioners, it would in a sense give the department unlimited spending abilities.

“They tell us that you don’t offset expenses with revenue,” Helton said explaining the auditors recommendations. “You just don’t do that.”

Helton went further to ask if Cochran had ever invited Fannin County’s Chief Financial Officer Robin Gazaway to a Board of Assessor’s meeting to explain this practice. Cochran replied that she had not, but that she had been in contact with Gazaway via email and that all board members were copied to the exchange.

Cochran did not back down from her claim saying that it is important to keep accurate numbers from the top down, adding “Our number’s don’t match up with Ms. Gazaway’s numbers.”

Helton questioned Cochran’s accounting background and why she felt that her knowledge was correct over the county’s hired CFO.

Cochran stated that her board was upset over this “false negative” and stated, “It’s really hard to try to keep two sets of books.”

This statement immediately caught the attention of the commissioners with Helton asking Cochran to clarify and if she had made both sets of books available to the county’s CFO Gazaway.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Board of Commissioners, Chairman, Post 1 Commissioner, Post 2 Commissioner, Stan Helton, Earl Johnson, Larry Joe Sosebee, Tax Assessors, Board of Assessors, Chief Appraiser, Dawn Cochran, Troy Junnier, Budget, Line Item, Maps, Aerials, GMASS, Georgia Mass Appraisals and Services

Post 1 Commissioner Earl Johnson would like to see clearer lines of communication be established between departments and the Board of Commissioners.

Cochran replied that she does keep two sets of books and had made them available. Gazaway, however, stated that she had never seen the second set of books.

Post 1 Commissioner Earl Johnson questioned, “Your board is upset. Which set of books are they upset over?”

Later, Board of Assessors board member Troy Junnier would clarify Cochran’s statements, “Dawn brings up a spreadsheet. It’s not a separate set of books or anything like that.”

Junnier also stood behind Cochran’s questioning, “It looks bad on our department because we’re showing a negative line item when we’re really not.”

Helton explained that the negative line item would be amended at the end of the year budget review and that all of this could have been explained by Gazaway at one of the Board of Assessors meetings had she been invited to a meeting to discuss.

Post 2 Commissioner Larry Joe Sosebee pointed out that the BOC is more concerned with a department’s overall budget, “You’re concerned over a line item and your overall budget is right where it should be.”

“I understand why,” Johnson expanded on government accounting,”and if we all three (commissioners) understand why, you don’t have a problem because at the end of the year, as was said earlier, we’re going to vote to amend the budget, if you are over budget.”

Johnson added that there needs to more face to face interaction with the BOC and the departments when issues arise. Johnson’s reasoning is that interacting face to face and in public meetings would help to eliminate miscommunication and misinformation being spread through media outlets.

“Stop the emailing. If there is a problem come to a meeting. If there is a problem, handle it at your meetings,” Johnson said to Cochran expressing his frustration with the current lines of communication. “I for one am sick of friction between the Board of Assessors and the Board of Commissioners. I’m tired of reading stuff in the papers before you even come here.”

“Before your accuse the county and the Board of Commissioners of essentially not knowing what they’re doing, you might ought to come here first,” Johnson added.

Cochran replied to Johnson saying, “I can’t help how the media takes things and what they do with it.”

“It seems like there is an effort to discredit this board and our CFO,” Helton expressed his feelings on the matter. “It needs to stop. We are doing things accurately.”

Junnier replied to the BOC, “We didn’t come to try to make it seem like we were trying to discredit anybody.”

“I was concerned that it (negative line item) would come back not only just the department head or the department itself, but also on the assessors board,” Junnier added.

In the end Junnier thanked the BOC for fully explaining the accounting practices of the county, and for addressing the negative line item in the Board of Assessor’s budget.

After Junnier and Cochran took their seats, Chairman Helton spoke with the commissioners about a possible way to lower the budget of the Tax Assessors department.

“You know I’ve expressed a concern for sometime about our budget in our Tax Assessors department,” Helton said proposing an alternative way to structure the department, “and I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at the other counties. There’s some counties out there and their budget is just a fraction of ours.”

Helton presented the board with a 3 year contract proposed by independent appraisal company Georgia Mass Appraisal Solutions & Services (GMASS). In this contract, GMASS offers to appraise a third of the counties parcels each year for three years.

The cost of this outsourcing would be approximately $223,000 for the first two years and $338,000 for the final year. The total of this proposal would be $784,000 over three years.

Johnson pointed out that the total in the proposal for three years of service is less than the current budget of the Tax Assessors department for a single year.

“I’m for anything that saves money,” Johnson said addressing the current money being spent by the county in this area. ” I know I asked two or three years ago if our money would ever come back down and I was told no. After we came back into compliance, that it would never go back down.”

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.”

Chief Appraiser Dawn Cochran did confirm that her department already outsources rural parcels and had planned on asking for help with approximately 13,000 parcels, a little under half the county’s total parcels, in 2019.

The BOC agreed to look over the possibility of outsourcing appraisals and would address their findings and concerns at a later date.

 

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Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Fannin County and State Election Results 2018

Election 2018

UPDATED MAY 22, 2018 @ 10:15 p.m.

The May General Primary came to a close in Fannin County. As many had predicted some races locally will now be voted on in the General Primary Runoff.

Republican candidates will now choose between challenger Glenn Patterson and incumbent Larry Joe Sosebee for the seat of Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner. Patterson received 1678 votes totaling 47.77 percent and Sosesbee received 1100 votes totaling 31.31 percent. Democrat Dixie Carter will face the winner of this race in the Nov. General Election.

A seat with the Fannin County Board of Education will also be seen on the General Primary Runoff ballot. Incumbent Steve Stanley will face challenger Mike Cole. Stanley received 1440 votes totaling 42.04% and Cole received 875 totaling 25.55%. The winner of this race will run against Democrat Susan DeMoura in the Nov. General Election.

Incumbent Bobby Bearden beat out challenger Marvin Allen in the closest local race for the Republican nomination. Bearden will now run for a seat on the Fannin County Board of Education against Democratic challenger Jeff DePaola.

The General Primary Runoff will be held on July 24, 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. Statewide results can be viewed at : http://fetchyournews.com/election/election-and-politics/ga-state-election-results-2018/

FANNIN COUNTY POST 2 COMMISSIONER

Glenn Patterson (R)  –              47.77%       1678 votes    (Challenger in General Primary Runoff)

Larry Joe Sosebee (R) –            31.31%       1100 votes    (Incumbent in General Primary Runoff)

William “Tripp” Ritchie (R) –     20.92%      735 votes

Dixie Carter (D) –                        100%         408 votes       (Moves forward to General Election)

 

FANNIN COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

Bobby Bearden (R) –      52.29%      1782 votes          (Primary Winner : Moves forward to General Election)

Marvin Allen (R)  –         47.71%       1626 votes

Jeff DePaola (D) –          100%           371 of votes          (Moves forward to General Election)

 

FANNIN COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

Steve Stanley (R) –           42.04%      1440 votes          (Incumbent in General Primary Runoff)

Mike Cole (R) –                 25.55%       875 votes            (Challenger in General Primary Runoff)

Ron Bolin (R)  –                17.69%       606 votes

Mike Sullivan (R) –           14.72%      504 votes

Susan DeMoura (D) –       100%        395 votes             (Moves forward to General Election)

 

GEORGIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 7 

David Ralston (R) – Totals –  75.10%      3,529 votes     (Primary Winner : Moves forward to General Election)

Results by County:

Gilmer:       70.80%     536 votes

Fannin:       75.99%      2674 votes

Dawson:     75.41%       319 votes

 

Margaret Williamson (R) – Totals –  24.90%      1,170 votes

Results by County:

Gilmer:      29.19%       221 votes

Fannin:      24.01%      845 votes

Dawson:     24.59%      104 votes

 

Rick Day (D) – Totals –  100%      570 votes      (Moves forward to General Election)

Results by County:

Gilmer:         100%     92 votes

Fannin:         100%      373 votes

Dawson:       100%      105 votes

 

2018 Georgia Primary Election Results 

GOVERNOR CANDIDATES:

Casey Cagle (R) –            38.03%      1351 votes

Brian Kemp (R) –            27.79%        987 votes

Hunter Hill (R) –             16.13%        573 votes

Clay Tippins (R) –            9.99%       355 votes

Michael Williams (R) –   7.07%       251 votes

Eddie Hayes (R)  –           0.68%       24 votes

Marc Urbach (R) –           0.31%        11 votes

 

Stacey Abrams (D) –       61.37%      286 votes

Stacey Evans (D) –          38.63%      180 votes

 

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CANDIDATES:

David Shafer (R) –      47.14%      1475 votes

Geoff Duncan (R) –    27.13%      849 votes

Rick Jeffares (R) –     25.73%      805 votes

 

Sarah Riggs Amico (D) –          77.98%      340 votes

Triana Arnold James (D) –      22.02%      96 votes      

 

SECRETARY OF STATE CANDIDATES:

Brad Raffensperger (R) –      37.95%      1109 votes

David Belle Isle (R) –             30.56%      893 votes       

Buzz Brockway (R) –              15.85%      463 votes

Josh McKoon (R) –                15.64%      457 votes      

 

John Barrow (D) –                      52.33%      225 votes

Dee Dawkins-Haigler (D) –      34.65%      149 votes

R.J. Hadley (D) –                         13.02%      56 votes

 

Smythe Duval (I) –                      N/A

 

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER CANDIDATES:

Jim Beck (R) –            62.95%      1886 votes

Tracy Jordan (R) –     18.86%      565 votes

Jay Florence (R) –      18.19%      545 votes

 

Cindy Zeldin (D) –       54.57%       221 votes

Janice Laws (D) –        45.43%       184 votes

 

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONER CANDIDATES:

District 3 – 

Chuck Eaton (R) –        100%        2580 votes

 

Lindy Miller (D)  –       67.47%      280 votes       

John Noel (D)  –           24.10%      100 votes

Johnny White (D)  –    8.43%        35 votes     

District 5 – 

Tricia Pridemore (R)  –      52.39%      1559 votes

John Hitchins III (R)  –     47.61%       1417 votes

 

Dawn Randolph (D) –         76.53%      313 votes

Doug Stoner (D) –               23.47%      96 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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