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9-9-05 Citizens for Oconee’s Future Report on BOC Meeting of 9-6-05

In a few years, Oconee will have gone from a debt-free, cash on hand government to one that is straining to pay the overhead much less improve and keep the roads passable. 

AVOC

 

September 8, 2005

 

Citizens for Oconee’s Future Report on BOC Meeting

 

By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.

 

It is apparent from COF’s report that the Oconee Commissioners are tone deaf to citizens.   An Achilles Hill of a public official is that they only hear from each other, friends and sycophants wanting something.  It can make some egos feel all-powerful.

 

In my opinion, the BOC is taking this county down a road that has dark clouds.  We are losing the county and community that many of us love.

 

In a few years, Oconee will have gone from a debt-free, cash on hand government to one that is straining to pay the overhead much less improve and keep the roads passable. 

 

Schools will be built all over the place- all on two lane country roads.  This is really disappointing and disgusting to some of us who worked for years to have a self-sufficient community with a great quality of life.  It does not take many years to ruin the image.

 

Chairman Davis and  Commissioners Norris and Hale have been doing it for several years now.  Many are disappointed that the two new commissioners have gotten “in bed” with the spendthrifts.   The next election must bring some real leadership to Oconee County.

 

                         

MELVIN DAVIS                  DONALD NORRIS        MARGARET HALE

 


 

Citizens for Oconee’s Future, Inc.

P O Box 1301

Watkinsville, GA  30677

http://www.oconeesfuture.com/index.html

 

September 8, 2005

 

Subject: Summary of Results BOC meeting 9/6/05


Charles Baugh, President  


The Board ignored the concerns of the County Planning Staff and the citizens who spoke and approved the rezone on Hog Mountain Road 4-0. 

 

                   Rezone is at Right of this Picture at Daniells Bridge & Hog Mountain Road

 

This Board continues to spot zone commercial into residential and agricultural areas.  Another 3 years of this and we may as well do away with zoning, eliminate the county planning staff and let favored developers drop commercial wherever they want.  As it is now the system favors a few developers while making it difficult for those not favored.  With this Board locked in for another 3 years, the best we can hope for is to alert as many people to what is happening as possible and go for changes in the next election.  All or some of these Commissioners will run again and an informed citizenry will be able to hold them accountable.

The contract for partial work on phase 1 of the park was pulled from the Consent Agenda and discussed in more detail.  When Chairman Davis announced this, I had high hopes they would discuss ways to save money in order to reduce the huge cost overruns.  What a disappointment!  The entire discussion was about how to find more money to spend in order to cover the escalating costs.  That discussion was lead by Hale and Horton.  Approval was 4-0.  It is becoming painfully apparent the cost estimates used to sell the park to the few voters who voted in the last SPLOST vote were substantially understated.  All this and no one has talked about what the operating costs will be which will be paid from the general fund (read property taxes). 

The Board approved letting the contract for $.364M plus $50,000 for a maintenance building and negotiating with the contractor to complete the youth activities fields using $.3M from the 2004 SPLOST and excess funds collected from the 2000 SPLOST. 
Keep in mind most of the $.363M came from bonds which must be repaid and we are about to start construction of a jail that is currently estimated to cost in excess of $M.  Considering how far off the estimates were on the park and the escalating cost of construction we can expect at least a 20% overrun on that construction.

It was good to see several citizens speak out on the Hog Mountain rezone.  This Board must be frequently reminded that a lot of good people care about the county and are willing to pay attention to what is being done.  At some point one or two or three Commissioners will remember they will be held accountable and may actually pay attention.


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