Fausett, Satterfield, Armstrong take oath of office

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Probate Court Judge Jennifer Burt administered the oath of office and the loyalty oath to three of Dawson County’s elected officials Thursday.

Burt has been the county’s probate judge for nearly a quarter of a century.

“I’m looking forward to what 2019 has to offer,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of great things coming up for the New Year. We have a great group of commissioners and one great one (Jimmy Hamby) who will be leaving us. We’re going to miss him. He’s done a wonderful job.”

Tim Satterfield is the new member of the Board of Commissioners. He is certainly no stranger to Dawson County. Tim was elected following a stellar 41-year career as firefighter and in emergency services. He was accompanied by his mother Reba Satterfield. Who held the Bible that he placed his hand on while being sworn in.

District 1 Commissioner Sharon Fausett took the oath of office for the second time and she was accompanied by her grandson Blake Fausett. “This is why I do what I do,” Fausett said, speaking of her grandson.

District 3 School Board member Karen Armstrong was also sworn in for her second term.

School Board Chairman Will Wade was scheduled to be sworn in Thursday, but he and his family were out of town for the holidays, so he was administered the oath of office earlier.

 

 

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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Hamby, Headley honored for outstanding achievement during Thursday work session

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Board of Commissioners had a busy work session agenda Thursday, but took time out to honor two individuals for very special accomplishments – County Manager David Headley and District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby.

Hamby will be retiring from the Board at the end of the month following eight years in office. The Board presented him a plaque in honor of his dedicated service to Dawson County and held a reception for him following the meeting.

County Manager David Headley was named as the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission Appointed Official of the Year recently. The region covers 13 counties and 51 municipalities. “We’re proud of David and his recognition as Official of the Year,” said Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond.

Public Works Director David McKee addressed the Board on several issues. The first was a course aggregate contract bid submitted by Vulcan Materials in the amount of $161,664. The current contract has expired and all renewal year options have been exhausted. The department has a full-time paving crew on staff to perform the Local Maintenance Improvement Grant work and several miles of other road work and parking lot repairs.

The current contract to purchase hot asphaltic mix has also exhausted all renewal years and Mckee asked the Board to accept contracts with Baldwin Paving, Blunt Construction and CW Matthews Contracting to provide the product. Each company offered the low bids on the various items required.

Mckee brought another long-standing issue of the intersection of Lumpkin Campground Road and SR 53 before the Board. He pointed out the county has partnered with Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to install a right-hand turn lane along the Lumpkin Campground mainline. SR 53 traffic will not be changed. Upon completion, GDOT will adjust all traffic signals. The project qualifies for SPLOST VI funds, Impact Fee funds or General Fund.

Commissioners also discussed a highway beautification project. The county has been looking for ways to landscape areas along the GA 400 Corridor that are within the GDOT right-of-way for 10 years. The project requires special encroachment permits, and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the long-term maintenance of this corridor. In September, the project was bid and two bids were received with a total bid cost was $116,246.85, which is $69,556.85 over the total grant amount. The project is not SPLOST VI eligible, and additional funding will have to come from another source such as the general fund. McKee asked the Board for direction on the project.

GEBCorp Regional Client Manager Ryan Reynolds presented commissioners with options for a county employee retirement plan

Planning & Development Director Jameson Kinley presented a review of the 2018 comprehensive plan.

The purpose of the plan to provide guidance for everyday decision making by local government officials and other community leaders. It represents the efforts of the government, the residents and various stakeholders by identifying the critical issues and goals for the communy. The plan has been approved by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The Board can amend the plan at any time.

Commissioners unanimously approved a request by Kinley to add a summer intern to work on Geographic Information System issues within Planning and Development. The position is fully funded by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia.

Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson asked for Board approval to apply for the annual Georgia Forestry Commission 50/50 grant program. The maximum allowed on this grant is $10,000.00. Thompson said the grant is needed to purchase replacement fire hoses, nozzles and scene lights. This grant will not be awarded until spring of 2019.

Commissioners unanimously approved Thompson’s request to apply for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) Injury Prevention Program. The program is designed to provide funding to public safety agencies in Georgia. DPH provides Dawson Fire/EMS with six convertible and four high-back booster child safety seats monthly to issue to citizens. The grant requires no county match.

Senior Services Director Dawn Pruett asked the Board to approve the annual contract with Deanna Specialty Transportation, Inc. to provide specialty transportation within the county. The company reimburses the county for senior client rides.

Commissioners also discussed the following board appointments/reappointments:  Tax Assessor Board, Jim Perdue; Department of Family and Children Services Board, Nancy Stites replacing Vickie Porter; Planning Commission John Dooley Chairman, Jason Hamby, John Maloney, Tim Bennett and Neil Hornsey.

 

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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County budget approval postponed two weeks

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Approval of Dawson County’s $27.1 million FY 2019 budget will have wait a few more weeks after commissioners made several recommendations, including the elimination of one new position in the fire department, hiring the position of public information officer and extending library hours during Thursday’s third public hearing.

Commissioners voted to table budget approval while Chief Financial Officer Vickie Neikirk calculates the impact the recommendations will have on the final budget.

Chris Gaines

The proposed budget called for hiring a new fire training officer at a cost of approximately $61,000 annually. District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines recommended that current personnel provide the training in addition to their normal roles. He also proposed awarding the department an additional $15,000 of overtime pay to compensate officers for the additional responsibilities. The savings would be approximately $46,000.

“By allocating those resources, it would be a little more efficient,” Gaines said.

The county is attempting to address important needs that have existed for a long time but could not be addressed due to the recession and recovering economy.

Julie Hughes-Nix

“We’re trying to plug as many holes as possible and still be responsible with the citizens’ money,” Gaines said. “My goal and my desire is to go into next year’s budget with the mentality of how can we not ask more of the citizens when it comes to property taxes.”

County commissioners have long felt the need to improve communications with the public and District 4 Commissioner Julie Hughes-Nix recommended the county hire a public information officer to perform those responsibilities.

District 1 Commissioner Sharon Fausett asked for a breakdown of cost to provide extended hours for the Dawson County Library’s satellite office on Hwy. 53. “I don’t think it speaks very well of us when people come and it is closed,” she said.

Shron Fausett

The satellite office is currently opened on Mondays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and Thursdays from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

No citizen rose to speak in opposition to or in favor of the budget.

Commissioners voted 3-1, with Dist. 2 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby opposed, to postpone several requests for annexation of property into the city of Dawsonville for two weeks.

Commissioners unanimously approved:

  • A request to accept a 2019 Victims of Crime Act Grant funds in the amount of $74,088.84. No county match is required;
  • A request to apply for a Department of Natural Resources Land & Water Conservation Fund Grant to repair/replace the fishing pier at War Hill Park. The minimum fund grant that can be applied for is $25,000. The maximum grant if $100,000 and the county will have to provide a 50 percent match;
  • A request to hire a legal assistant. The position is already included in the 2019 budget, but the request is to fill the position this year at an additional cost of $6,956.20 for five pay periods through the end of December;
  • A Service Delivery Strategy Agreement;
  • A request by Michael Turner, executor for the estate of Kenneth K. Turner to have property located at the intersection of Perimeter Road and Allen Street annexed into the City of Dawsonville. The Dawsonville Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the issue on Oct. 8. The Dawsonville City Council will hold a public hearing on Oct. 22 and the annexation could be awarded final approval on Nov. 5;
  • A request by Board of Tax Appraisers Chief Appraiser Elaine Garrett to approve a contract for the services of an additional appraiser for the current year and next tax year.

 

 

 

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

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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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Fausett will return for second term on Board of Commissioners

Election 2018

Sharon Fausett

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Qualifying ended at noon today (Friday, March 9). The field is now set for the May 22 General Primary election.

District 1 Dawson County Commissioner Sharon Fausett and Will Wade, the at-large commissioner on the Board of Education, can breathe a little easier today. Both candidates were assured of a return to their respective positions today when no other candidate qualified.

Tim Satterfield

The County Commission District 3 post, where incumbent commissioner Jimmy Hamby chose not to seek another term, will have two candidates, however. Former Deputy Fire Chief Tim Satterfield will campaign for the post. He will face Scott Allen.

District 3 Board of Education member Karen Armstrong will also face a challenge from Joe Stapp, a psychotherapist who is running for the first time.

The state level race has incumbent District 9 State Representative Kevin Tanner (R), of Dawsonville, pitted against Mark Hajduk, of Cumming.

Scott Allen

 

 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. 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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Board of Commissioners overturns setback variance approval

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Commissioner Jimmy Hamby

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – In a rare occurrence Thursday, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners reversed a decision by Planning and Development Director Jason Streetman to grant a setback variance for a convenience store located at the intersection of Hwy. 53 and War Hill Park Road.

Business owner Dipikaben Patel requested a 10-foot front setback variance along Hwy. 53 and a five-foot side variance along War Hill Road to allow the construction of a gas tank canopy. Streetman granted the variance, but several area residents spoke in opposition to the variance at the appeal during Thursday’s meeting and Commissioners Jimmy Hamby, Julie Nix and Sharon Fausett voted to deny it.

Hamby questioned why the owner couldn’t extend a canopy closer to the store rather than the right of way. An engineer speaking on behalf of the owner said it would be impractical since it would limit available parking space.

Speaking in opposition to the variance, Brandon Bennett said, “We do not need to have a traffic burden added to this dangerous intersection.” Bennett said the only way into the parcel is off Hwy. 53 and the only way out is onto War Hill Park Road. “We do not need a tractor trailer (carrying fuel) having to turn around at War Hill when the federal government won’t even let a fuel truck come down War Hill Road to fuel a helicopter for the Rangers.”

Also, commissioners approved a request by Brodie Allred, speaking on behalf of Norkot Financial, Inc. to rezone 46.73 acres on Moss Road from Residential Agriculture (RA) to Residential Sub-Rural (RSR) for a 30-lot single-family residential community. The vote was 3-1 with Fausett opposed.

The board took no action on several requests by residents of the Gold Creek community to have their property annexed into the city of Dawsonville, leaving the decision in the hands of the city, which is scheduled to hear the requests during the March meeting.

Commissioners unanimously approved a contract with SEI, Inc. to design the Blacks Mill Bridge replacement at a cost of $33,700 and the appointment of Angelia Brown to the Avita Community Partners.

 

 

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. 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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Tim Satterfield will run for county commission

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Tim Satterfield received the “Hero” award from Bill Kokaly, a representative of U.S. Congressman Doug Collins in September.

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Former Dawson County Deputy Emergency Services Chief Tim Satterfield announced today (Feb. 12) that he is a candidate for the District 3 seat on the Dawson County Board of Commissioners.

In a phone interview with FetchYourNews, Satterfield said, “I just feel like I have some more to give back to Dawson County. I have a passion and a desire to help create a safe, clean community for citizens to live, work and play in.”

Satterfield retired last month, following a stellar 41-year career. He gained national recognition while specializing in canine search and rescue and has taken part in more than 50 state- and federal-level missions, including water search, arson, bomb disaster search and work with missing and abducted children. He was state coordinator for the urban search and rescue team and was one of the first of 12 team members in the U.S. to be certified in child abduction response. His K-9 unit received the Marguerite Brock Rescue Award from the Emergency Management Association of Georgia.

In September, 9th District Congressman Doug Collins presented Satterfield the “Hero” award as “someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty during their career to help citizens in and around their communities.”

Satterfield said he recently viewed a television program that listed the safest communities in Georgia. “I believe Johns Creek was number one,” he said. “I would like to see Dawsonville and Dawson County on that list. I feel like if we have a clean, safe community where people can live, work and play, we will be able to attract more desirable type businesses.”

Satterfield believes the county can obtain grants to help accomplish those goals and reduce the cost to taxpayers. He stated, “I did some (grant writing) when I worked in fire services, and I believe my experience in that could be helpful.

When Satterfield retired in September, County Manager David Headley said, “Knowing Chief Satterfield, both on the job and in his personal life, his hand is always stretched out to serve others. He is someone who has given his life to something other than himself and truly is a hero.”

Satterfield will run for the position being vacated by Commissioner Jimmy Hamby who has announced he will retire at the end of his term.

 

 

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. 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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Billy Carlisle to run for county commission

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Veteran law enforcement officer Billy Carlisle announced today that he will run for the Dawson County Board of Commissioners this summer.

He will run for the District 3 seat. Dist. 3 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby has announced he will not seek a third term next year.

Carlisle, 56, began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer in 1987. During his time as sheriff, he was able to grow the department from 30 employees to 115. He was also instrumental in helping to bring several programs into the county, working with children. Through his leadership, many programs were developed for the senior citizens as well as the adults of Dawson County. He retired in December 2016 after 20 years as sheriff.

Asked why he wanted to get back into government after just one year in retirement, he said, “I still have a desire to serve the community and our citizens. I’ve always enjoyed helping people.”

Carlisle said the county is in good shape right now.

“I would like to help us grow in the right direction,” he said. “We need to attract more industry and more jobs. We have plenty of retail right now. I would like to see us stay up to date on technologically and attract more high tech jobs.”

Carlisle said the relationship between the sheriff’s office and county government is not good right now.

“Both sides need to understand it is a give and take relationship, and they need to work together for the benefit of the citizens,” Carlisle added.

The dispute between Dawson County and Sheriff Jeff Johnson heads to Superior Court on Tuesday, Jan. 30. Johnson claims the $8,273,080 budget approved by the Board of Commissioners is not adequate for him to perform his duties.

However, Carlisle said it is more expensive to run the sheriff’s office without using the county’s Purchasing Department. “The county has a very experienced purchasing office already in place. If the sheriff won’t use that department, he has to hire his own people to do that job and that is just an added expense.”

Carlisle said during his term as sheriff, he relied on the county’s Purchasing Department and procedures.

Qualifying for elected offices will take place in March with the election set for July.

Carlisle and his wife, Cathy, are members of Lighthouse Baptist Church where he is a member of the church’s security team and she serves in the children’s nursery.

 

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. 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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