BLUE RIDGE, GA – The Board of Commissioners urged citizens of Fannin County to educate themselves about domestic violence by recognizing the epidemic in the month of Oct.
“Domestic violence affects people of all races, ages, income levels, genders, and religious backgrounds. It is an intolerable violent crime that affects the public health for victims, survivors, as well as family members, partners, neighbors, or peers,” read Chairman Stan Helton from the proclamation.
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence by a partner every year.
Approximately every nine seconds a woman in the United States is abused by her current or ex-significant other. One in four men are also victims of domestic violence.
“We serve Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens counties,” North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network Director Kim O’Neal stated, “We offer [people who need the services] shelter and coordinate with them when they are in crisis.”
Additionally, women are 70 times more likely to be killed during the first several weeks after leaving an abusive situation than any other time according to the Domestic Violence Intervention program.
Conversely, five percent of men are killed each year at the hands of a significant other.
The cycle of violence often includes isolation of the victim as well as an emotional assault to the victim’s self-esteem, so he or she believe that they have nowhere else to go. It includes the “honeymoon phase” when the abuser abstains from violence and expresses love and affection to keep the victim close. However, this period is short-lived before the violence begins again.
The event evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in Oct. 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. It soon became “Unity Week.” In 1989, Congress passed Public Law 101-112, officially designating Oct. as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
BLUE RIDGE, GA – The Board of Commissioners held their second reading of changes to county legislation on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.
The current county legislation strictly lays out the protocol for the sale of county equipment. It states that to sell the equipment it must first be listed in a local newspaper and then it is opened up to bids from that publication.
County Chairman Stan Helton says that this process is “pretty cumbersome.” He added in regards to the new legislation, “This is a chance to get us out of, for lack of a better term, the horse and buggy days of auction and get in on something that is more in tune with what is happening in the U.S. marketplace.”
The proposed change would give the county the option of listing the equipment online or accepting real time bids. Helton thinks this would give the county an opportunity to acquire more bids and possibly receive greater monetary value for the used equipment.
The second piece of legislation up for change regards the county budget. As it stands, the Board of Commissioners must vote to pass next year’s budget at the first public meeting held in December.
The change would allow for Commissioners to pass the budget sooner than the set December meeting. This modification was met with opposition.
During public commentary, resident Joe Webb stated about the current legislation,” Right now the public knows when the budget will be passed.” He feared that with the change, “If we have bad communications, then the public will not know when you have the meeting to approve the budget.”
Voting on the legislation change is expected to take place at the last regular meeting of the month. This meeting is set to take place on Tuesday, October 24, 2017.
Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution to allow for the county to move forward with grant writing for the walking paths at Horseshoe Bend Park. There is currently five and half acres of land at the park where the commissioners would like to see this grant used.
The grant amount is $200,000 with the County having to fund 20% of that total. If awarded the maximum sum of the grant, the county would have to pay $40,000 for improvements.
Not only would Horseshoe Bend Park see new walking trails, but the grant also provides provisions for other upgrades, such as new restroom facilities.
County Commissioner Post One Earl Johnson feels that being awarded the grant would be a “good deal.” He stated that Horseshoe Bend is “one of the jewels of Fannin County.”
County Commissioner Post Two Larry Joe Sosebee agreed stating “I’ve had a lot of people calling…they’re excited about it.”
The North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network (NGMCN) was present to bring recognition to Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
NGMCN has been providing services to Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens counties since 1986. Part of their mission is to provide community awareness and education to help break the cycle of violence.
The Commissioners signed a Proclamation declaring the month of October Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Fannin County.
As part of Awareness Month, NGMCN will host a movie night Fannin County Family Connection located on Fannin Industrial Park. The showing of “Sleeping with the Enemy” will begin at 5:00 P.M. on Thursday, October 19.
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