Advanced voting is under way in Dawson County

News, Politics

Brad Raffensperger

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Just when you thought you had escaped the political season, early voting is underway once again with two statewide races at stake in the Dec. 4 General Election.

In the race for Secretary of State, Republican Brad Raffensperger is running against Democrat John Barrow. Raffensperger received 49.09 percent of the vote in the Nov. 6 General Election to Barrow’s 48.67 percent. Libertarian Smythe Duval won 2.23 percent of the vote, spoiling either candidate’s chances of winning without a runoff.

Republican Chuck Eaton faces Democrat Lindy Miller in the race for Public Service Commissioner. Eaton won the Nov. 6 General Election with 49.7 percent of the vote to Miller’s 47.6 percent. Once again, a Libertarian candidate, Ryan Graham, prevented a win by either candidate by receiving 2.67 percent.

Lindy Miller

The one-week advanced voting period started Monday, Nov. 26 and will end Friday Nov. 30. Voting hours are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. All advanced voting will take place at the Dawson County Board of Elections Office, 96 Academy Avenue.

All precincts will be open on Election Day, Dec. 4 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Dawson County Director of Elections and Registration Glenda Ferguson reports that 247 voters cast ballots on the first day of the runoff.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

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Dawson Co. casts 7,036 votes during early voting

News, Politics

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Pollsters say high turnouts in Georgia’s rural counties will benefit Secretary of State Brian Kemp in his campaign against Democrat Stacey Abrams to become the state’s next governor. Early voting ended Friday and if Dawson County is a barometer, the Republican is in great shape.

Dawson County Chief Voter Registrar Glenda Ferguson reported more than 4,000 new voters have registered since the last midterm election in 2014 and 7,036 voted during the three-day, in-person advanced voting period this year, compared to only 3,264 in 2014.

The two candidates are setting fundraising records, with Kemp reporting nearly $21 million compared to Abrams. However, as of Oct. 25, Abrams had $4.2 million remaining, compared to Abrams $3.9 million. That could be a significant in a race that most say, at this point, is too close to call.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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Early-voting turnout triples 2014 midterm election

Election 2018, News

Glenda Ferguson

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Voters all across Georgia raced to polling places in what appears to be record numbers during the first week of in-person, early voting last week and Dawson County was no exception.

Statewide, nearly three times as many people (482,435) voted last week compared with the last midterm election according to a report by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

Dawson County Director of Elections and Registration Glenda Ferguson said 560 voters turned out Friday, closing out a week in which 2,328 voters cast early ballots compared to only 725 during the first week of the 2014 midterm election.

It is difficult to say whether Dawson County voters are more motivated by what appears to be a very close and increasingly bitter race between Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams for governor or national issues like control of the U.S. House and Senate, illegal immigration and the farcical hearing for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

In-person early voting in Georgia will continue for two more weeks until Nov. 2, including at least one Saturday Oct. 27. Election Day is Nov. 6 when polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The website Georgia Votes reports that about 61 percent of early voters so far are white and 29 percent are black. Almost 30 percent of early voters didn’t cast a ballot in 2014.

Despite the large number of voters, Ferguson said voting went smoothly all five days with very few glitches.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

 

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Coroner seeks increase to cover morgue expense

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Coroner Ted Bearden will request an additional $8,000 for his 2018 budget to cover morgue expenses and $3,876 to cover the fourth-quarter salary and benefits package for a deputy coroner when the Dawson County Board of Commissioners meets for a Thursday work session at 4 p.m.

Bearden says his office was budgeted $25,900 for morgue expenses in 2017 but that was reduced to $19,000 this year.

The coroner also said he was forced to hire a deputy coroner this year in order to maintain an immediate response to cases, but has paid the additional expense out of his own pocket. He is budgeted for the position in 2019 but is asking commissioners to cover the cost for the next three months.

Public Works Director David McKee will ask that commissioners grant a professional exemption to Wakefield Beasley and Associates in an amount not to exceed $53,915 to complete the design, plans and specifications necessary to complete the renovation project at the Veterans Memorial Park.

The company was the original firm involved in the design to move dirt from the ball field across from the Senior Center and begin a plan on a necessary storm water management design of a new Senior Center Building. This new project is directly related and correlates with the Senior Center project.

McKee said the exemption would relieve the county of the expense for a new firm to become familiar with the site, draw up preliminary plans, and create the complete plans/specifications for an IFB for construction services.

Commissioners will discuss the proposed 2019 Board of Commissioners meeting calendar which will include a couple of changes to accommodate Independence Day and Thanksgiving, which fall on Thursday. Those meetings will be held on Tuesday. The proposed calendar also accommodates the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) Annual Conference in April. Additionally, no meetings are scheduled for the weeks of New Year’s and Christmas.

Commissioners will also consider the reappointment of Chief Voter Registrar Glenda Ferguson to Chairman of the Board of Elections & Registration.

Items discussed during work sessions can be voted on at the next regular meeting.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

 

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BOC continues to hear budget requests

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – On the second day of county budget hearings, it was time for the public defender’s office, elections and voter registration, extension service, finance department and public works to present their requests.

Director of Elections and Registration Glenda Ferguson requested a decrease of $9,875 since 2018 is a non-election year and fewer part-time personnel will be needed.

Extension Agent Clark MacAllister asked for a slight increase of about $5,000 to replace an antiquated analog phone system and a copier and fax machine.

Brad Morris in the Public Defender’s office requested an increase of $17,638 primarily to fund the hiring of two additional personnel.

Commissioner Sharon Fausett wanted to know if defendants are required to prove that they are indigent before they receive taxpayer funded legal representation.

Morris said there is a standardized state form defendants are required to complete to determine if they qualify as indigent.

“Is it that they don’t pay anything at all,” Fausett asked.

Morris explained the defendant must pay $50 for an interview and there is some payback through probation fees. “The judge can also order them to pay some attorney fees,” he said.

Finance Director Vickie Neikirk’s budget request was for an additional $33,000, most of which was to pay for the Board of Commissioners-approved county employee pay raise combined with an increase in group insurance.

Public Works Director David McKee asked for the largest total increase, but it would be spread over several diverse functions that fall under the Public Works Department umbrella – Administration, GIS, Roads, and the Transfer Station. An increase in his administrative budget comes from the movement of the stormwater management position from the planning and development department to public works. It is more of a shifting of funds than an actual increase for the county.

If approved, the transfer station would get an increase of $122,052 but that does not affect the general fund budget since it is covered by the revenue-bearing solid waste fund which currently has a balance of $1,796,130.

Roads department would get an increase of $74,907 while administration would receive an additional $63,397. The GIS/Engineering budget would be reduced by $9,875.

McKee requested the addition of two new positions in the roads department and that three part-time positions be combined into two full-time positions to create a four-man mowing crew. The crew’s responsibility would be mowing 40 hours a week during the growing season then switch to cutting back limbs and assisting in cleaning the county right of ways. McKee said a full-time mowing crew could help transform public works from being reactive to proactive.

“For example, this week, we were paving, finishing up some LMIG (local maintenance improvement grant) work and getting ready to move over to Biscayne subdivision,” he explained. “Yesterday, I received eight mowing calls and seven were substantiated. What do we do? We pull somebody off a crew and send them over to mow or I go do it or we take somebody who needs to be hauling solid waste and we go do that.”

Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond welcomed the addition of a full-time mowing crew. He pointed out the crew would be beneficial since it would allow other public works crews to get more road work done and reduce the need to bid road work out.

McKee also asked for one new position to work at the transfer station.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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Scott Allen withdraws from District 3 commissioners race, Tim Satterfield will take office in January

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Scott Allen, who qualified to run for the District 3 seat on the Dawson County Board of Commissioners, announced this week that he is no longer a candidate.

His withdrawal from the race means that Tim Satterfield, a 41-year fire service veteran, will become the District 3 commissioner in January.

Allen made the announcement on his Facebook page, stating, “I have learned the job of Dawson County Commissioner needs 100 percent of me. At this time, I am unable to dedicate that much of my time to this office. So I am officially withdrawing from the race.”

Former Sheriff Billy Carlisle announced his intentions to run for the post, but he too withdrew after learning that Satterfield entered the race.

The District 3 post is held by Jimmy Hamby, who has decided not to seek a third term in office.

Elections Superintendent Glenda Ferguson said today that Allen filed an affadavit of withdrawal early enough that his name will not appear on the election ballot.

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Commissioners Review 2016 Audit Report Thursday

News

Dawson County Board of Commissioners

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Chris Hollifield, managing partner with Rushton and Company, will present the results of the 2016 Dawson County audit when the Dawson County Board of Commissioners meet in a work session at 4 p.m. Thursday.

The audit will show that the county’s General Fund revenue increased by 5.41 percent from 21,054,087 in 2015 to $22,183,220. At the same time expenditures rose by 6.73 percent from $20,186,557 to $21,734,253. Sales tax accounted for 40.86 percent of last year’s revenue while property taxes generated 32.3 percent.

The county has maintained a very healthy fund balance of $5,102,625 or 24.6 percent of expenditures. The Association of County Commissioners Georgia recommends not less than 15 percent.

The county’s aging voting machines are 16 years old and can’t be fixed, so commissioners will consider a request from Elections Supervisor Glenda Ferguson to purchase 65 voting machines from San Diego County at a cost of $39,194.90. The machines were used only once before the county decided to go to paper ballots.

The Board of Commissioners budgeted $35,000 this year for installation of a LED message board at the entrance to Veterans Memorial Park and Senior Services. The project came in under budget and Parks and Recreation is requesting approval of a contract with the low bidder Metro LED in the amount of $29,966.

The Magistrate Court is asking commissioners to add $1,000 to its current budget to pay for federally mandated interpreters. The amount budgeted for this year was expended in June.

Etowah Water and Sewer Authority (EWSA) will seek county approval to renew financing with Bank of the Ozarks for a joint project with the county in 1998 to provide a sanitary sewer facility to serve Georgia 400 retail/outlet. The loan has been paid down to about $1.4 million and the current note is now due. Though the note is in the name of EWSA, the County has indirect liability on the note

There also will be a discussion of the formation of a citizen committee to study commissioners’ compensation. It has been 12 years since the salaries were reviewed.

 

 

 

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Early Voter Turnout Smashes Previous Record

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Voters have turned out in record numbers in Dawson County to cast their votes in the 2016 Presidential Election.

Director of Elections and Registration Glenda Ferguson said Friday that more than 7,554 of the county’s 14,591 active registered voters had voted by close of business Thursday and the poll will remain open until 5 p.m. today.

“Voting has gone very smoothly,” she said. “We’ve had an excellent turnout and there has been very little waiting so far.”

The previous record for advanced, in-person voting was 6,612, set during the 2012 Presidential Election. “We had 486 who cast ballots Thursday and we expect at least that many today,” she said.

Ferguson reminds voters that the poll will remain open until 7 p.m. today and that they must have identification with them.

Voters are not allowed to wear shirts, caps or other apparel that advertises a candidate’s name.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8 when all Dawson County precincts will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Absentee ballots must be at the Board of Elections by time polls close on Tuesday.  Since it is so close to Election Day, if you haven’t mailed your ballot yet, the best way to make sure your vote is counted is to deliver it by hand to the Board of Elections.  Even if your ballot is postmarked by Nov. 8th, it will not be read if it arrives at the Board of Elections after Nov. 8th.

 

 

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