City of Blue Ridge receives safety, liability grants

News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The city of Blue Ridge were the recipients of two Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) grants Friday, Jan. 26. The city received a Safety Grant in the amount of $1,987.16 and a Liability Grant in the amount of $4,574.95 for the purchases of employees rain jackets, a Stream Light portable scene light and portable walk-through metal detector.

Regarding the grants, Eileen Thomas, marketing field manager for GMA, stated, “This program allows each city to stretch their budget dollars and provide a safer work environment for their employees.”

Introduced in 2000, the GMA Safety and Liability Management Grant program provides a financial incentive to assist members in improving their employee safety and general public liability loss efforts through training and the purchase of equipment or services. Over 130 cities have received over 500 grants totaling almost $1.5 million to fund items such as bulletproof vests, training videos, confined space entry equipment, reflective safety vests, fire department turnout gear, and police department in-vehicle video systems.

Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and consulting services to over 500 member cities.

 

[Featured image: GMA Workers Compensation Claims Manager and Liason Brenda Black, City Clerk Kelsey Ledford, Director of Water and Utilities Becky Harkins, City Councilwoman Robbie Cornelius, Mayor Donna Whitener, and City Court Clerk Barbie Gerald.]

 

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Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Supreme Court of Georgia Denies Jane Whaley’s Request

Election, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – After a long fought battle to defend her residency and continue to run for Blue Ridge City Council Post One, Jane Whaley received news that her appeal filed with the Supreme Court of Georgia has been denied.FetchYourNews, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County, Election, City Council, Jane Whaley

In a hearing held Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, Whaley, along with lawyer Frank Moore, defended her residency within the city of Blue Ridge. Ultimately, Election Supervisor Barbie Gerald decided Whaley did not meet qualifications to run for City Council.

In an official letter, Gerald states:

As noted previously, Section 2.10(b) of the City Charter requires that in order for a person to be eligible to serve as a Councilmember upon the City Council of the City of Blue Ridge, the person must have been a resident of the City for 12 months immediately preceding the election of the Councilmember. Under Mrs. Whaley’s own testimony, she did not reside within the city for 12 month period, and therefore does not meet this qualification requirement to be a candidate of the Post One seat upon the Blue Ridge City Council in the 2017 General Election to be held on Nov. 7, 2017.

Whaley appealed Gerald’s decision on Oct. 13. Judge Richard Winegarden resided over the four-hour hearing.

Winegarden upheld the decision made by Gerald regarding Whaley’s candidacy. He found “that the determining of the Election Superintendent should be affirmed.”

Moore, Whaley’s attorney, filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Georgia and asked for a stay of the election.

The Supreme Court of Georgia sent notification today that all Justices concurred and a discretionary review along with the stay of the election is denied.

Addressing the decision, Moore stated, “Needless to say, we are very disappointed.”

 

 

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

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Whaley plans to Appeal to Georgia Supreme Court

Election, News, Politics

BLUE RIDGE, GA – Judge Winegarden denied the first appeal on behalf of Jane Whaley and the decision to disqualify her as candidate for Blue Ridge City Council Post One.

On Friday, October, 13, 2017, an appeal hearing was held at the Fannin County Courthouse. The case was heard by Judge Richard Winegarden due to the recusal of the Superior Court Judges who serve in the Appalachian Judicial Circuit which includes Fannin County Superior Court.

City Council Post One Candidate Jane Whaley was found ineligible to run after a hearing questioning her residence was held on Monday, September 25, 2017.

Election Superintendent Barbie Gerald was tasked with this initial decision, and decided to disqualify Whaley based on evidence presented. Gerald stated in a letter explaining the decision, “Under Mrs. Whaley’s own testimony, she did not reside within the city for the 12 month period.”

Whaley publicly stated shortly after the decision, “I believe I am a legitimate candidate, and I am going to appeal this decision.”

Whaley’s attorney Frank Moore filed an appeal on the decision to disqualify Whaley reciting that Georgia is a domicile state, and under that definition intent to dwell qualifies as residency.

The hearing on October 13, began at 5:00 P.M. and lasted until 9:00 P.M. Judge Winegarden heard arguments from both sides, Moore representing on Whaley’s behalf and City Attorney David Syfan representing the decision made by Gerald.

After hearing the evidence presented, Winegarden denied the appeal. He found “that the determining of the Election Superintendent should be affirmed.”

Moore requested a stay on Winegarden’s decision at that time. This would allow Whaley’s name to continue to be on November 7, 2017, election ballots, and give time for the Georgia Supreme Court to hear the case.

Winegarden did not grant this request, but Moore is hopeful that the Georgia Supreme Court will issue a stay if granted a hearing on the appeal.

Moore is preparing a request for an appeal of the decision to the Georgia Supreme Court. He expects to have this request entered by Tuesday or Wednesday, October 17th / 18th.

Campaign signs supporting the candidacy of Jane Whaley have recently been removed from the City of Blue Ridge. Moore also sent a request that these signs be put back up while Whaley continues her appeal process.

VIDEO: Is it Possible a High Rolling Gambler is Running in Blue Ridge?

Community, FYNTV, GMFTO, Politics

How important is it to know how our candidates live their lives outside of politics?

Paraphrased from GMFTO on FYNTV:

Would you want a City Council Member that was a high roller?

Would you vote for a candidate that REGULARLY gambled hundreds of thousands of dollars?

I don’t know yet, but I understand it is possible that a candidate is a casino regular, maybe not just a regular, but possibly a high roller?

The source can’t be revealed, and it isn’t 100% verified, but this is a source that would KNOW!

 

Author

Major Development in Blue Ridge Council Qualifications

Election
Blue Ridge

BKP reacts to the latest breaking news on the selectivity of the investigations regarding residency requirements in Blue Ridge. To read our official report on this breaking story click here.

Paraphrased Transcript:

There is a letter to Barbie Gerald from Frank Moore, who represents Cindy Trimble. The letter suggests that Mr. C David Stuart may not be qualified to run for BR City Council, his place of residence is not the commercial body shop he owns. Also mentioned in the letter, N Brendan Doyle, owner of The Boro Pub. Doyle stated under oath that his residence is 150 W Main St., which is the Boro Pub.

Moore attached pictures of the properties and tax records of the zoning. There is only a certain amount of time to challenge it. However, recent precedent suggests Barbie Gerald must investigate.

Obviously there was some picking and choosing going on. Who talked these people into running? Maybe it was Johnny Searcy or Angie Arp? After all, Angie Arp does own the land surrounding The Boro. She was seen on multiple occasions going in and out of The Boro. Maybe she was the one who convinced him to run?

It seems to me that one candidate stood out. One candidate that didn’t fit the mold that Angie Arp, Barbie Gerald, and others wanted.

But there is a proof, for a fact, that people were ordered to sit outside Jane Whaley’s apartment to take pictures all day. To see if there are lights on at night. To see if there are people in and out during the day.

A judge will be the one to decide whether or not Jane Whaley can run for office. Yet, there are still many questions to ask of Ms. Gerald.

Why wasn’t the residence of Brendan Doyle investigated?
Why wasn’t the residence of David Stuart investigated?
Who put pressure on Barbie Gerald to investigate Jane Whaley?

Only time will tell…

Author

JOURNALISTIC Malpractice

Citizens Speak, Letters to Editor
Dear Mr. Harbison,
I am offended, shocked, and stunned – but not surprised – at the continuing lack of objectivity and fairness of the News Observer.  I have been a subscriber for more than a decade and a reader for multiple decades.  You are objective and fair with SPORTS reporting, but your paper clearly has a bias –  if not agenda –  in your POLITICAL reporting.  Your front page article in the October 4th edition regarding my wife Jane’s candidacy for City Council treated each allegation and argument of Ms. Barbie Gerald and Mr. Syfan as gospel truth, and made my wife look evasive and untruthful.  Everyone who knows her, knows full well that Jane DOES NOT LIE OR EXAGGERATE, nor did she when signing her qualification affidavit UNDER OATH stating that she was a resident of the City of Blue Ridge qualified to run for a seat on the City Council.  That, sir, is TRUE, and the Superior Court will so rule.
What you didn’t report was the bombshell evidence at the “hearing” that Mr. Syfan represented Angie Arp personally.  Yes, to deprive Jane of her constitutional right to run for public office, Mr. Syfan ginned up a challenge to Jane’s residency and held a so-called “hearing.”   What was clear as a bell (and your reporter knows it because he was there) was that Ms. Gerald was unqualified to be an Election Superintendent thereby allowing her to be exactly what they wanted her to be – a mere pawn and shill for Mr. Syfan and his block of City Council members who have had a choke hold on the City Council for the past 4-8 years.  The resulting dysfunction (to put it charitably) of that controlled council has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds from the City and put them into the pockets of none other than Mr. Syfan.  Indeed, he profits from mayhem, confusion, and dissent!  And this election chicanery is just the latest example because it, too, will end up costing the City as it continues to pay for the bad and self-interested advice of a hopelessly conflicted  counselor – Mr. Syfan.
Also newsworthy, but ignored by your paper, was that the delayed occupancy of our home at Sycamore Crossing was DUE TO “THE CITY” which forced us to stop work on our apartment on the second floor over Sycamore Crossing thereby delaying our expected April 2016 move-in.  By the way, Sycamore Crossing is now recognized as the “meeting place” and landmark property in the City of Blue Ridge – and all because of a person who Mr. Syfan and Angie Arp have thrown off the ballot.  Not qualified to run? Garbage!
Look also at page A7 “CANDIDATES SPEAK—”  where you carry photos of eight (8) candidates that chose to attend, participate, speak and answer questions at the only public community forum for the city council election.  Notably, HOWEVER, there were nine (9) candidates there – the ninth being JANE WHALEY who garnered loud applause for her candor, honesty and commitment to Blue Ridge – while her opponent didn’t even do the only thing he has done for the City in his eight (8) years on the council – show up.  Where was your fairness and objectivity on page 7.  Jane will be ordered back onto the ballot, and she will run and win a seat on the City Council.  That is when you will start to truly see a Better Blue Ridge!
Sincerely,
Bill Whaley M.D.
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