Tag: Newton County

Newton County taxpayers face property tax hike

Post authored by Elizabeth Christian Allen, a Newton County resident and a taxpayer concerned about a proposed property tax increase. If you live in Newton County and would like to reach out to the Board of Commissioners, you can call Chairman Keith Ellis  at 770-401-6801, Commissioner Levie Maddox at 770-595-3179, Commissioner Nancy Shultz at 678-625-1202, and Commissioner Lanier Sims at 770-787-7876. 

At this point everyone pretty much knows what to expect of Washington D.C. politicians, polarize an issue, write legislation that is hundreds and sometimes thousands of pages long and present it within hours of pushing it to a vote with no way possible of actually reading what is in it and then passing it.  Their rationale is they must “pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”  Also, it has become the norm in D.C. to function without a budget for years and pass continuing resolutions in order to continue to spend the taxpayer’s money.

While we expect this type of behavior by the big government politicians in D.C., we do not typically expect this type of behavior by our local officials.  It appears however, the majority of the Newton County BOC has decided to take a page out of Nancy Pelosi’s playbook and attempt this locally!  I know for some (including myself), local politics can be very boring but it is very necessary and can definitely affect your wallet, so bare with me and definitely hang in there to the end of this post as you will find a very ironic piece of information regarding one of our BOC members.

The latest proposed budget, which we the people have yet been able to obtain an actual copy of, as it has “not been ready” at each attempt to obtain, proposes to raise the Millage rate from 10.91 to 11.59 according to a local newspaper article.  The only budget available to the people so far for review was published in a local paper and was in a little box at the bottom of the page.  When you fit $45,952, 201 in a little box at the bottom of a page in a newspaper, you don’t get many details.  Read more

Newton GOP doesn’t want my vote

On Friday, I spoke to a friend running for local office about his and other races that will be on the ballot in the fall. Because of how local politics has been here in Newton County and seeing as how they are no Libertarian candidates running, I plan on pulling a Republican ballot during the primary, so naturally, I want to learn more about the people for whom I may cast a ballot. My friend advised me to come to a meet-and-greet at the Newton GOP office in Covington the next day to meet some of the folks running.

After speaking to my state senator, Rick Jeffares, when I arrived yesterday, I took a seat to listen to the Newton GOP chairwoman, Delia Fleming, talk about their new office and some of the things going on in the local party. After a few moments, Mrs. Fleming started ripping on the “Ron Paul supporters and libertarians trying to take over the Republican Party” and proceeded to slam them in every way possible. She pointed to some things that went on at the state GOP convention. Of course, I wasn’t there, and I’ve only heard second-hand accounts from friends from both those sides — more establishment-leaning Republicans and Ron Paul supporters.

Keep in mind that I didn’t know most of the people in the room, and I walked in realizing that I was probably not going to be welcome should I let people know my political leanings. However, I wanted to observe and discuss issues with some candidates, particularly those running for BOC chair and Sheriff; the latter being very important to me since my home was burglarized twice — once in December and again in January.

While I’ll admit that there are Ron Paul supporters who are not very good representatives of the Liberty Movement and obviously don’t paint the rest of us in very good light, I get that, though it’s not like shady things haven’t gone down inside the Republican Party; however, it’s a mistake to cast every libertarian with a broad brush. I tried to keep my best poker face, but my friends in the room could see that I was disappointed.

Unlike many of my friends in the Libertarian Party, I didn’t get involved in the local parties and the delegate process, nor was I even involved in Ron Paul’s campaign here in Georgia. I did vote for him in the presidential primary, but that was about it. But yet, I was essentially told yesterday, because of my political viewpoints, that my vote in these local races wasn’t wanted.

Douglas to seek Newton County Commission seat

The Covington News reports that Newton County Commissioner Mort Ewing (R-District 1) will not run for re-election this fall and former State Sen. John Douglas (R-Social Circle) will run to replace him:

“Please allow me this opportunity to advise you that I will not seek re-election as District One Commissioner for the Newton County Board of Commissioners,” Ewing said in a letter he gave to fellow commissioners after Tuesday’s board meeting. He also mailed the letter out to constituents Tuesday.

“On Dec. 31, 2012 I will complete my 12th year as a district commissioner. I have made every effort to be a team player and to make decisions that were in the best interest of Newton County. My personal goal has always been to represent the citizens of Newton County in good faith as an honest public servant.”
Former state Sen. John Douglas announced that he would be running for the vacated District 1 seat on his Facebook page Wednesday night. Douglas has also previously served on the Newton County Board of Education and said he had been looking to get back into local politics.

“I knew Mort was considering not running, and I saw this as an opportunity to continue to serve Newton County and to build on a lot of the initiatives he has championed,” Douglas said Thursday morning from Tennessee. He was traveling back from Iowa, where he had been working phones for Newt Gingrich’s campaign.

Douglas ran unsuccessfully for the Public Service Commission in 2010. He had previously supported Perry in the presidential race, but switched to Gingrich shortly before his numbers took off.

Sunday sales on the ballot in Covington

The Covington City Council has approved a measure to appear on the ballot this fall that, if approved by voters, would allow Sunday sales of alcohol (registration required):

Covington residents will have a chance in the November General Election to vote on Sunday alcohol package sales.

The Covington City Council agreed Monday to place a measure on the ballot regarding package sales of malt beverages, wine and distilled spirits on Sundays.

“Personally, I feel that the decision should be up to the taxpayers,” Councilman Chris Smith said Wednesday.

The Sunday alcohol package sales could bring extra money to the city, an effect Smith welcomes.

“I hope that through taxes we can generate more revenue,” Smith said.

I don’t live in the city, but close enough to hope this passes.

Sunday sales could be on the ballot in Covington

A referendum that would allow Sunday alcohol sales could be on the ballot in the City of Covington in November:

Sunday alcohol sales could come to Covington this year, as the city considers including a referendum on sales with the Nov. 8 city council election.

The Georgia General Assembly recently passed a bill allowing Sunday package sales in Georgia at the discretion of local governments, and Gov. Nathan Deal has said he will sign the bill into law.
Mayor Kim Carter said she is in favor of a public vote on the issue and City Attorney Ed Crudup is researching the process. The council will have to approve a resolution to put the issue on the ballot.

“I am always in favor of letting the voters decide on issues and, thus, I am 100 percent in favor of passing a resolution to allow the issue to be placed on the ballot,” Carter said in a Tuesday email. “From a public safety perspective, people that choose to drink on Sunday are already allowed to do so in restaurants. It will be much safer to allow folks to purchase alcohol in the form of package sales on Sunday and consume it at home instead of driving after drinking.”

Councilman Chris Smith also said Tuesday he supported letting the taxpayers vote on Sunday package sales.

Carter said she had not heard from any business owners, but residents had expressed support for a referendum.

Porterdale may also consider Sunday sales before this year’s municipal election. No doubt the demagogues will be telling us how this is going to cause more accidents in Newton County; a point that has been refuted thoroughly.