Monday, November 28, 2011

Oconee County Commissioner Daniell Pushing for Changes in County’s Enabling Legislation

Dates Back to 1917

Oconee County Commissioner John Daniell plans to ask his colleagues tomorrow night to begin the process of changing the enabling legislation that defines the government structure in the county.

Daniell’s goals are limited.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Watkinsville Mayoral Race Boosted Turnout for Oconee County Education Tax, Precinct Analysis Shows

Bogart Not So

The mayoral race in Watkinsville produced a higher voter turnout for Oconee County’s Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum than would have been the case without it, an analysis of precinct votes for the Nov. 8 election indicates.

Overall, 10.1 percent of the county’s eligible voters cast a ballot on the education tax, putting the turnout just behind the 10.2 percent figure when the county voted on a general SPLOST issue in November of 2003. That year, as this, no other county-wide or state issues were on the ballot.

Monday, November 21, 2011

President Obama Signs Agriculture Bill That Lacks Funds for Watkinsville Research Station

Closing Date Not Released

Both Houses of Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed late last week an agriculture appropriations bill for the current fiscal year that presumes the closing of the J. Phil Campbell Sr. Natural Resource Conservation Center outside Watkinsville.

A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture confirmed today that plans are underway for the closing of the Agricultural Research Service facility but refused to provide any details about when or how that will take place.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oconee County Takes First Step Tomorrow In Effort to Turn Off Water and Sewer to Mobile Home Park

Jan. 13 Deadline

Oconee County Utility Department Director Chris Thomas said he is a bit concerned about a “show cause” hearing he is scheduled to conduct at 10 a.m. tomorrow in his office in the Government Annex on Greensboro Road in Watkinsville.

“There is a lot of interest in this,” he told me yesterday. He reminded me that his office isn’t very large.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Congressional Agreement on Agricultural Funding Makes Closure of Oconee County Research Facility Nearly Certain

University Likely To Get Land

A joint House-Senate Conference Committee last night agreed on an agricultural funding bill that makes closure of the J. Phil Campbell Sr. Natural Resource Conservation Center outside Watkinsville nearly certain and provides for conveyance of its property to a land grant institution such as the University of Georgia.

The bill includes less money for the Agriculture Research Service, of which the Campbell Center is part, than President Barack Obama requested.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fate of Oconee County’s Campbell Conservation Research Center in Hands of Conference Committee

Kingston Key

A joint Congressional House-Senate Conference Committee is expected to report out early this week its version of the appropriations bill that funds Agricultural Research Service facilities such as the J. Phil Campbell Sr. Natural Resource Conservation Center outside Watkinsville.

The bill is likely to seal the fate of the Center and determine the procedures for disposing of the property once ARS brings the operation at the Watkinsville research facility to a close.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Advanced Voting Turnout for Oconee County Education Tax Lower Than for Most Recent Tax Election

Bogart Will Have A Turman

Only 352 people, representing just 1.5 percent of those eligible, turned out during the 15 days of early voting that ended on Friday for the Oconee County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax ballot issue.

In March of 2009, the last time Oconee County had a tax issue on the ballot, a slightly higher 1.8 percent of registered voters cast ballots during the 21 days of early voting, and, ultimately 6.6 percent of those eligible decided the issue.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Oconee County Board of Education Chairman Explains Board Strategy On Sales Tax Vote

Responds to Criticism

Oconee County schools are behind other schools in the area in terms of technology, and passage of the Nov. 8 Education Special Purchase Local Option Sales Tax would help correct that.

Athletics are important to the development of the child, and the proposed athletic facilities at North Oconee High School that are part of the tax proposal will help meet the needs of students there.

The Oconee County Board of Education needs to borrow money now against future revenue from the proposed tax because state money could be available for the projects if the school system can demonstrate it has money in hand.

These are some of the arguments advanced by David Weeks, chairman of the Oconee County Board of Education, in the final days before voters decide whether to renew the one cent on the dollar sales tax to support education.