U.S. National Debt is focus of Dawson County GOP meeting


DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Pepper Pettit shared some startling numbers regarding the U.S. national debt with those who attended the Dawson County Republican Party meeting Monday evening at the Bowen Center for the Arts.

According to the U.S. Debt Clock that informs the public of the financial condition of the United States, the nation’s debt is $23,095,871,671,554. An even more ominous number, Pettit said, is $127.1 trillion in the United States unfunded liabilities.

Unfortunately, the gloomy analysis does not end there. There are proposals in Congress that are likely to be passed if Democrats win the 2020 election that will add trillions to the national debt. According to Forbes, Bloomberg, the Washington Examiner and Fox News, the price tag for the Green New Deal, being pushed by Democrat presidential candidates is $36.1 trillion.

Another expensive program being pushed by Democrats is “Medicare for All,” with an estimated cost of $52 trillion. That does not take into consideration the loss of millions of U.S. jobs that would add another cost of $18 trillion to the economy.

The cost of a “Reparations” program that would be paid to descendants of Africans trafficked as slaves, is estimated to cost $97 trillion. The program has since been expanded to additional classes of Americans such as Native Americans, Gay and Hispanic Americans at an additional cost of $51 trillion. Total cost for the Green New Deal, Medicare for All and Reparations, if passed into law, would be in excess of $329 trillion.

BOC Chairperson Candidate Renee Duren speaks to Dawson County GOP Monday.

To pay for the programs, Pettit said, would require an increase in the payroll tax (32 percent), individual income tax (100 percent), corporate income tax (100 percent), income surtax (25 percent) and value added tax (42 percent).

In a more upbeat note, GOP Chairwoman Seanie Zappendorf introduced two Dawson County citizens who will run for public office in 2020.

Renee Duren, who announced her candidacy for Dawson County Commission Chairman in November, said what citizens want most is “to keep their quality of life, planned growth at a rate that doesn’t outpace our infrastructure and government that is honest, open and financially responsible.”

Marcus Sewell, a candidate for Dawson County Sheriff, told attendees there is a lack of leadership in the sheriff’s office and that the budget has been mismanaged.

“With my experience over the last 10 years as commander in the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office, I can bring leadership to that agency,” he said.

A longtime resident of Dawson County, Sewell began working in law enforcement in 2004. He worked in the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office from 2005 through 2009 before going to work in the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office where he advanced to the rank of captain and currently is in charge of investigations.



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Georgia GOP meeting tonight will attract Republicans from a dozen counties


CUMMING, Ga. — Candidates for Georgia Republican Party offices will be featured in a Meet & Greet at 6:30 p.m today at the 6140 Events facility at 6140 Hwy. 400 in Cumming.

Dawson County GOP Chairlady Ssanie Zappendorf

Dawson County Republican Party Chairlady Seanie Zappendorf has said Republicans are always talking about working together as Republicans. Tonight’s event offers a great opportunity to do just that.

The event brings together local Republican Party chapters from Dawson, Lumpin, Forsyth, Hall, Pickens, Gilmer, Stephens, Jackson, Gwinnett, Cherokee and Fayette counties.

Candidates for offices include: Bruce Azevedo, David Shafer, Scott Johnson, and Dr. Mary Kay Bacallao (Chairperson); Carolyn Hall Fisher (First Vice Chair); Rick Carithers, Brant Frost and Robert Lee (Second Vice Chair); Joseph Brannan and Nathaniel Darnell (Treasurer); Vikki Consiglio and Mansell McCord (Assistant Treasurer); Mike Welsh (Secretary); B.J. Van Gundy (Assistant Secretary).


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



City Council Addressed AMP-Related Issues


DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawsonville City Council was expected to render a decision on Atlanta Motorsports Park’s request to modify existing zoning stipulations at the track at Monday’s meeting but the applicant decided last week to withdraw the request.

Several related issues were on the agenda. An ethics complaint against former Downtown Development Authority member Seanie Zappendorf was rendered moot by her resignation. Zappendorf was accused of misrepresenting herself as a city employee.

City Attorney Dana Miles pointed out that the most an ethics committee could do would be to issue a letter of reprimand or direct counseling but since Zappendorf is no longer associated with the city, the issue should be considered moot. He recommend the board direct City Manager Bob Bolz to write a letter to the complainant explaining what had happened. Councilwoman Angie Smith made that motion and it passed unanimously.

Council was also expected to appoint an ethics committee but decided to postpone appointments until  the July meeting. The three-member committee is to be made up of one member appointed by the mayor, another appointed by the council and a third to be chosen by the mayor and city council together. That member must be a member of the Georgia Bar.

On May 1, council tabled a request by Len Reeves to modify existing zoning conditions on property located at 280 Maple Street zoned R-6, (residential multi-family) to await the results of a traffic study. But Planning Director Casey Majewski told council she had only received the study on the day of the council meeting and did not have time to review it. The request was tabled until the July meeting.


AMP Owner Called for Zappendorf Resignation


AMP owner Jeremy Porter

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Atlanta Motorsports Park owner Jeremy Porter said he suggested Seanie Zappendorf step down as a member of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) as soon as he learned about the complaint filed against her by Carlita Parks.

Parks’ complaint to City Manager Bob Bolz that Zappendorf misrepresented herself as a city employee is the basis for a formal ethics complaint. Zappendorf is not a city employee, but was a member of the DDA when she questioned Parks about her complaints against AMP.

The race track was involved in a controversial zoning issue at the time and Zappendorf’s questioning of Parks could be seen as a conflict of interest since she and her husband, Ron, own Discover Parts, a racing parts store that leases property at the track.

An email obtained from city officials confirms that Porter wrote City Councilwoman Angie Smith on May 2 stating:

“I wanted to bring an issue to your attention that affects both AMP and the City of Dawsonville in the hope that we can work together to find a resolution.

“Please find attached a copy of a letter that was sent to Bob Boltz (sic) by Carita Parks who is a nearby resident of the AMP track. In her letter, Mrs. Parks describes the actions of one of our tenants, Seanie Zappendorf, who appears to have interfered in both City of Dawsonville and AMP business while making false claims to be acting in an official capacity for both parties. (Giving Mrs. Parks a card with city of Dawsonville on it, when in reality it is the DDA / Stating she is an investor in AMP). I am not certain her actions were malicious, however I believe it does require action on our part.

“Mrs. Zappendorf is not an AMP investor, nor has she been given permission to act on our behalf in any way under any circumstances.

“I am extremely alarmed that any local resident should feel as if they are being given a ‘warning’ by a representative of AMP or the DDA. I would like to, with your permission, inform Mrs. Parks that Mrs. Zappendorf is not an AMP investor and that her actions are not endorsed by us. I would also urge you to use this opportunity to provide reassurance to Mrs. Parks that Mrs. Zappendorf does not have any authority with the City of Dawsonville when it comes to assessing sound levels.

“My suggestion is to ask that Mrs. Zappendorf step down from the DDA. However, I would welcome your feedback on how to directly address this resident’s complaint and Mrs. Zappendorf’s actions.

“I would also be interested to discuss ways in which we can work together to ensure that this does not happen again.”

Zappendorf resigned from DDA six days later and AMP has withdrawn its request for modifications to its zoning stipulations.

City Council is expected to appoint a three-member ethics commission Monday to hear the complaint.


Ethics Hearing Raises Dark Cloud Over Request by Atlanta Motorsports Park to Relax Restrictions


Former DDA member Seanie Zappendorf resigns following an ethics complaint.

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – On Monday, the same Dawsonville City Council that once appointed Seanie Zappendorf to the Downtown Development Authority will appoint a commission to hear an ethics complaint against her.

Zappendorf  is accused of misrepresenting herself as a city employee while lobbying on behalf of Atlanta Motorsports Park (AMP), a company in which she and her husband have a business interest.

DDA Chairman Jeremy Porter

Seanie and Ron Zappendorf own Discovery Parts, a racing parts store located inside AMP. The facility is seeking to have city council relax sound, lighting and hours of operation restrictions at the facility. Track owner Jeremy Porter is chairman of the DDA on which Zappendorf served until her resignation May 8.

Her resignation follows a letter of complaint sent from Carlita Parks to City Manager Bob Bolz on April 27 in which Mrs. Parks says Zappendorf told her she works for the City. Members of the DDA are not city employees.

Parks wrote: “My husband and I were working in our yard on 4/15/2017 when Mrs. Seanie Zappendorf approached me in her vehicle. Mrs. Zappendorf inquired about my opinions on AMP and asked if I had any complaints about the noise. During the discussion, I voiced my concern about the highly noticeable noises that frequently occurred because of the AMP. Mrs. Zappendorf gave me her “City of Dawsonville” business card and asked me to contact her if we had any further complaints about the noise. She did say that she works for the city but didn’t state working for the city council (although Mrs. Zappendorf is an investor at AMP).”

Parks said she did as requested and called Zappendorf on April 18 to complain about the public address system and was told, “If the few people who are against AMP speak up about their opposition, the people who support AMP will become afraid their homes will be vandalized.”

In her complaint, Parks added, “I am a registered nurse who has been devoted to caring for others for years, and for it to be heavily insinuated that I would be one of the few who would go around vandalizing other’s homes is unacceptable. Mrs. Zappendorf’s statements were spoken in a way that implied a warning to me.”

Following the appointment of an ethics commission, council will appoint someone to replace Zappendorf on the DDA, then hold a second public hearing on the relaxation of stipulations requested by Porter and AMP.

The complaint raises questions about Porter as chairman of the DDA and what he knew about Zappendorf’s alleged lobbying on behalf of his race track and whether or not he should resign as well.

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 www.fetchyournews.com





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