Oconee County Observations II 


This web site was created to provide materials referred to in the blog, Oconee County Observations. For more information, go to that blog.

 

Farmers Market in Watkinsville

Barber Creek

Apalachee River 

Harris Shoals Park, Watkinsville 

 Elder Bridge over Rose Creek

**The Oconee County Land Use and Transportation Planning Committee has a policy on citizen comment.

Click here to see the agenda for Feb. 9, 2010, with the policy.

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**The Georgia River Network announced the winners of its 2010 River Celebration Awards on Feb. 4, 2010.

Click here for the news release.

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**The Oconee County Board of Commissioners reduced its funding for Keep Oconee County Beautiful Commission for fiscal year 2009-2010.

Click here to see budget requests made for KOCBC in FY 2009 and 2010.

Click here for budget summaries for KOCBC for the last four fiscal years.

Click here for the contract for the executive director of KOCBC.

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**Citizens were given the chance to comment on a draft of the FY 2010 - 2013 Transportation Improvement Program, prepared by MACORTS.

Click here to read those comments from the final report.

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**Oconee County has been debating an ordinance to reorganize the way the county government operates.

Click here for a letter from Daniell Haygood on salaries of commissioners.

Click here for the organizational ordinance passed on Aug. 4, 2009.

Click here for the organizational chart prior to Aug. 4, 2009.

Click here for the organizational chart approved on Aug. 4, 2009.

Click here for the time line created by John Daniell. 

Click here for the old administrative officer job description.

Click here for the 1998 enabling legislation.

Click here for the old finance director job description.

Click here for Melvin Davis' offered changes to the proposed ordinance.

Click here to see my rejected letter to the Enterprise.

Click here to see my correspondence with Johnathan McGinty.

Click here to see data on visitors to my blog in August.

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**The Oconee County Board of Education ran into opposition from State Representative Bob Smith when it tried to increase the salaries for its members, though Smith initially had supported the request.

Click here to see the state law setting salaries for school board members.

Click here to see the announcement of the proposed legislation.

Click here to see the enabling legislation for the Board of Commissioners.

Click here to see the Organization Chart for the Board of Commissioners.

Click here to see my open records request of 5 10 09.

Click here to see my open records request of 4 7 09.

Click here to see an email from Gina Lindsey on 5 14 09.

Click here to see an email from Melvin Davis on 11 14 08.

Click here to see an email from Melvin Davis on 11 8 08.

Click here to see an earlier email from Melvin Davis on 11 14 08.

Click here to see an email from Bob Smith on 4 13 09.

Click here to see the March 2 draft of legislation for Rep. Smith.

Click here to see the March 10 draft of legislation for Rep. Smith.

Click here to see an email from David Weeks of 3 11 09.

Click here to see an email from John Jackson on 3 11 09.

Click here to see an email from Tom Breedlove on 3 13 09.

Click here to see a second email from Tom Breedlove on 3 13 09.

Click here to see a proposed revised Organization Chart for the BOC. 

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**Oconee County Board of Commissioners agreed on Jan. 27, 2009, to move forward with study of a Transfer of Development Rights program for the county. I've written two stories about this on my blog.

Click here for a transcript of discussion at the Jan. 27, 2009, meeting.

Click here to see an entry from the AP Stylebook on quotes.

Click here to see a listing of citizen sources of news in the county.

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**I posed questions to Board of Education Post 5 candidates Tom Breedlove and Rich Clark after the Oct. 13 Candidate Forum.

Click here to see the questions and full responses.

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**Oconee County has agreed to follow the state's Open Meetings Law for the Drought Contingency Committee and other advisory commissees in the future.

Click here to see my email to the Attorney General on Sept. 9, 2008.

Click here to see a letter from the AG to the county on Sept. 17, 2008.

Click here to see a letter from the county to the AG on Sept. 18, 2008.

Click here to see a letter from the AG to the county on Oct. 15, 2008.

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**Oconee County will hold an election on March 17, 2009, on a proposed Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. I've assembled some documents here to help explain some of what is going on.

Click here to see a memo from Russ Page about Farmland Protection.

Click here for a questionnaire from Russ about Farmland Protection.

Click here for a petition from Russ about Farmland Protection.

Click here for a sample ballot for the Nov. 4 election.

Click here for Georgia Water Coalition advice on Amendments 1 & 3.

Click here for the schedule for meetings on the SPLOST.

Click here to see the final allocation of funds for the SPLOST.

Click here to see the statement on spending from the 2004 SPLOST.

Click here to see annual data on LOST and SPLOST revenues.

Click here to see detailed data on LOST and SPLOST revenues.

Click here for updated detailed data on LOST and SPLOST revenues.

Click here for the ballot language for the 2009 SPLOST vote.

Click here for the SPLOST budget summary through 12/31/08.

Click here for the SPLOST budget for fiscal year 2009.

Click here to see part of the SPLOST resolution.

Click here to see SPLOST revenue growth rates.

Click here to see turnout results by precinct.

Click here to see Oconee's voting history on local sales tax issues.

Click here to see final 2003 SPLOST collections.

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**Oconee County has submitted a consent order to settle a suit filed against it by landowners denied a rezone for an office building on Daniells Bridge Road.

Click here to see a copy of the consent order and related documents.

Click here to see the planning staff report (P1-3) for the project.

Click here to see the planning staff report (P4-5) for the project.

Click here to see a conceptual map of part of the roadway in the area.

Click here to see a concept map for the site with the Right of Way.

Click here to see what a driver will see looking right at the western exit.

Click here to see a Planning Department map of the area.

The Oconee Enterprise "reported" on the BOC meeting of 11/4/08.

Click here to see the concept plan for Daniells Bridge Road improvements.

Click here for an e-mail exchange about Daniells Bridge Road.

Click here to see the staff report for QuikTrip variance requests.

Click here for diagram of the QuikTrip Oconee Connector entrance.

Click here for diagram of the QuikTrip Daniells Bridge Road entrance.

Click here for the beer and wine ordinance serving area for QuikTrip.

Click here to see a zoning map for the Daniells Bridge Road area.

Click here to see a draft of the full loop road prepared by Emil Beshara.

Click here to see a part of the 1972 GDOT map of Daniells Bridge Road.

Click here for email correspondence from Emil Beshara of Dec. 3, 2008. 

Click here to see the MACORTS map for Daniells Bridge Road Extension.

Click here for the July 29, 2009, letter that played a role in the Extension.

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**Oconee County increased water rates on April 1, 2008. Here are documents that explain the background of that "conservation" pricing increase.

Click here to read the Moody's Investor report on the increase.

Click here to see what the county told its citizens.

Click here to see my open records request of 5/13/08.

Click here to see an email message from Melvin Davis on 12/31/07.

Click here to see an email message from Alan Theriault on 12/31/07.

Click here to see an email message from Jane Greathouse on 2/5/08.

Click here to see an email message from Alan Theriault on 2/5/08.

Click here to see an email message from Alan Theriault early on 2/20/08.

Click here to see an email message from Alan Theriault later on 2/20/08.

Click here to see hand-written notes on the meeting of 2/19/08.

Click here to see a Utility Department letter of 1/9/07.

Click here to see a Utility Department letter of 9/10/07.

Click here to see calculations of water rates.

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**Oconee County is considering zoning changes for a major regional shopping center on Epps Bridge Parkway behind the current development already present there.

Click here for the Oconee County planning staff report.

Click here for the conceptual site plan.

Click here for a map showing the wetlands on site.

Click here the NEGRDC Developments of Regional Impact Findings.

Click here for the NEGRDC Regional Review Notification.

Click here for the audio file of Mike Maxey's comments.

Click here for the audio file 1 of Bruce MacPherson.

Click here for audio file 2 of Bruce MacPherson.

Click here for the audio file of Travis Marshall.

Click here to watch the entire Planning Commission Meeting.

Click here to see a sketch of the completed Oconee Connector.

Click here for 9/17/2008 email from Frank Bishop to Brad Callender. 

Click here for the 2004 map of the Oconee Connector Extension.

Click here for tax maps for the site owned by Oconee 316 Associates.

Click here for picture of the stream from Corps permit application.

Click here for listing of parking from a concept plan map.

Click here for a traffic map showing turns onto Epps Bridge Parkway.

Click here for an email message of 10/6/08 from the Corps of Engineers.

Click here to see a here from Fish and Wildlife Service about the project.

Click here to see a letter from the Corps project manager.

Click here to see letter to Corps project manager in response.

Click here to a revised map of the wetlands on the site.

Click here to see Georgia EPD Regulations on Stream Buffers.

Click here to see the Georgia EPD Call for Public Comment.

Click here to see a letter to the EPD from Georgia River Network.

Click here to see a letter from Athens-Clarke County to the EPD.

Click here to see a resolution presented to the Oconee BOC.

Click here to see an abstract for the BOC resolution.

Click here to see the bids GDOT received for migitation on the site.

Click here to see the revised resolution drafted by Katie Sheehan.

Click here to see the "White Paper" circulated by Wayne Provost.

Click here to see other documents circulated by Wayne Provost.

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**Here are documents used to explain my analysis of the July 15, 2008, Oconee County election.

Click here to view a precinct map I created.

Click here to view the full set of charts I created for the precinct analysis.

Check here for Chart 1.

Check here for Chart 2.

Check here for Chart 3.

Check here for Chart 4.

Check here for Chart 5.

Check here for Chart 6.

Check here for Chart 7.

Check here for Chart 8.

Click here for added charts 9-11.

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**I've created a table to summarize and compare the results of the Coroner races on July 15 and Aug. 5.

Click here to see the table.

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**I asked both of the candidates for Coroner to answer seven questions.

Click here to view the answers of Ed Carson.

Click here to view the answers of Cathleen Quillian-Carr.

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**For my posting of July 13, 2008, on the Oconee County elections, I created a table summarizing the election results from 2004 and a scorecard for the candidates for 2008. See Oconee County Observations for details.

Click here to view the 2004 election summary.

Click here to view the scorecard

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**North Georgia Bancorp issued a proxy statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on April 17, 2008. The proxy statement asks the shareholders to approve a slate of seven directors of the company, which is the holding company for North Georgia Bank.

Click here to see the proxy statement.

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**On June 2, a consortium of citizen groups held a candidate forum for those running for members of the Board of Commission. During that forum, two questions about ethics were asked.

Click here to read the transcript of the second question and answers.

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**On May 6, 2008, four citizens, including me, asked the Oconee County Board of Commissioners to begin videocasting Commission meeting. One of our arguments is that the official minutes do not reflect what happens at meetings. The transcripts below were NOT covered in the official meeting minutes.

Click here to see my comments to the Board.

Click here to read a transcript from the Feb. 26, 2008, meeting.

Click here to read a transcript from the March 25, 2008 meeting.

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**In response to pressure from the development community, the Oconee County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 on April 8 to allow the sale of beer and wine in county restaurants. BOC Chairman Melvin Davis, who cast the tie-breaking vote, later told the Athens Banner-Herald he "put aside" some unspecified "personal convictions" in voting for beer and wine sale because it was "in the best interest of the county." None of the Commissioners explained her or his vote at the meeting.

Click here to view a video of the vote.

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**In the days before the March 4, 2008, meeting of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners, I exchanged email messages with Utility Department Director John Hatcher and Public Works Director Emil Beshara. Commissioners Chuck Horton and Jim Luke also commented.

Click here to read the correspondence.

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**I've collected below all the correspondence regarding my complaint to the Attorney General regarding closed meetings in Oconee County to review the bids for the Rocky Branch sewage plant upgrade, in reverse order by time.

Click here for the AG's Final Letter of 2 29 2008

Click here for my letter to the AG of 2 28 2008

Click here for my letter to the AG of 2 27 2008

Click here for the AG's Letter to me of 2 21 2008

Click here for my letter to the AG of 2 18 2008

Click here for AG's letter to Oconee County of 2 14 2008

Click here for AG's letter to me of 2 14 2008

Click here for Oconee County Letter to me and AG of 2 13 2008

Click here for my initial complaint to the AG of 1 17 2008

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**In September Oconee County released data on characteristics of the effluent from its Calls Creek sewage treatment plant that I've compared with the permitted levels of effluents for the upgraded Rocky Branch plant and a plant in Gwinnett County.

Click here to see the table.

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**Oconee County Administrative Officer Alan Theriault has offered some interesting explanations for the discrepancies in bidding procedures for the Rocky Branch sewage plant upgrade.

Click here to read them.

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**The Georgia Attorney General's office, as part of its mediation program to handle citizen complaints about issues related to the state's Open Records Act, has asked Oconee County to respond to my complaint regarding denial of access to a meeting and documents of the Selection Committee for evaluating the bids for the upgrade of the Rocky Branch sewage treatment plant.

The County also has written me a second letter denying me again access to a second meeting of the Selection Committee and to documents produced by that Committee.

Click here to see the letter from the AG office to Oconee County.

Click here to see the letter from the AG office to me about my complaint.

Click here to see a letter from Oconee County denying access.

Click here to see my letter to the County requesting access.

Click here to my complaint to the AG.

Click here to see the RFP Creating the Selection Committee.

Click here to see email correspondence from the Selection Committee.

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**I have transcribed comments made by the members of the Board of Commissioners at its meeting of 1/29/2008 based on a digital recording made from the rear of the room. I've attached the original transcription and an annotated version contain comment and explanation.

Click here to view the original transcription.

Click here to view the transcription with annotation.

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**I read a statement to the Board of Commissioners at its meeting on February 5, 2008, explaining why it is so important for citizens to be able to see the bids for the Rocky Branch sewage plant upgrade.

Click here to see that statement.

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**Friends of Barber Creek inserted a statement into the record of the Board of Commissioners meeting of January 29, 2008, asking the Board not to take any action on the bids for the upgrade of the Rocky Branch sewage treatment plant until the public had had a chance to view them.

Click here to see that statement.

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**I have written to the Georgia Attorney General's Office and spoken with and exchanged email messages with the executive director of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation (GFAF) regarding the refusal of Oconee County to allow access to the bidding process for the upgrade of the Rocky Branch sewage plant.

Click here to see my letter to the AG Office.

Click here to see the letter from the GFAF to Oconee County officials.

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**I filed an open records request on January 7 to obtain access to the nine bids submitted for the Rocky Branch upgrade. The request was denied.

Click here to see the open records request.

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**The Oconee County Board of Commissioners refused to vote on the Georgia Water Coalition's draft resolution at its meeting of January 3, 2008.

Click here to see relevant documents.

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**The Oconee County Board of Commissioners met on December 7, 2007, in a "retreat" at the James Madison Inn & Conference Center in Madison, Georgia, to discuss a number of issues, including beer, wine and alcohol sales by the drink. The meeting was announced less than 24 hours before it took place.

Click here to see a list of documents from that meeting.

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**Oconee County Administrative Officer Alan Theriault thinks citizens may "taint" the bidding process for the upgrade to the Rocky Branch sewage plant, so he has decided to close the bids and not make known the meeting time and date when the bids will be reviewed.

Click here to see the correspondence.

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**Alan Theriault is administrative officer for Oconee County. In this e-mail exchange, he outlined how the County would rebid the Rocky Branch sewage plant upgrade.

Click here to see the correspondence.

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**On October 20, 2007, members of the Elder Family invited the public to tour family sites in Oconee County, including the Elder Mill, the W. Joe Elder Cemetery, and the David Elder Cemetery.

Click here to see a map of the sites and pictures.

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**Georgia is developing its first-ever statewide water plan. Obviously, with the state in a crisis as a result of the drought, such a plan takes on special meaning. April Ingle, executive director of the Georgia River Network, has prepared background documents on the plan and on the Georgia Water Coalition. The Coalition is made up of more than 150 Georgia organizations concerned about water issues in Georgia. Friends of Barber Creek is one of those organizations.

Click here to see the background document.

Click here to see see the document on the Council.

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**Elder Covered Bridge crosses Rose Creek, off SR15 south of Watkinsville. The historic area is not protected from development.

Click here to see pictures.

Click here to read Oconee County Observations posting of 10/17/2007.

Click here to see a concept plan for the proposed Elder Mill Park.

Click here to see the overlay district for the Elder Mill Bridge area.

Click here to see a 2007 letter from John Gentry to the BOC.

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**Charlie Baugh, President of Citizens for Oconee's Future, has written an analysis of the costs for the bond sales for phase I of the Hard Labor Creek Reservoir.

Click here to see the article.

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**Sam M. Hay III of Newton County is trying to block the sale of bonds to finance the construction of the Hard Labor Creek reservoir in Walton County. Oconee County is a partner in the project.

Click here to see the brief Hay filed in Walton County Superior Court.

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**Jordon Jones & Goulding submitted a bid for the engineering work to upgrade Rocky Branch sewage plant.

Click here to view.

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**Lee Becker, president of Friends of Barber Creek, addressed the Board of Commissioners on 9/4/2007 on behalf of the Friends of Barber Creek. Included was a PowerPoint presentation.

Click here to download.

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**Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis Rejected a Request for a Meeting on the Rocky Branch Upgrade.

Here are details.

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**Five persons evaluated the three bids for the upgrade of the Rocky Branch sewage plant.

See how they were scored.

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**The Board of Directors of the Friends of Barber Creek has asked the Oconee County Board of Commissioners to do three things if it decides to expand the Rocky Branch Sewage Treatment Plant. Here is what the Board has asked.

Here is what the Board wants from the Board of Commissioners.

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 **The Board of Directors of Friends of Barber Creek has elaborated on each of these requests to explain why they are important and how they can be met. Here is that elaboration.

Justification for Requests.

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