Monday, November 26, 2018

Oconee County Commissioners Told 2004 And 2009 Unspent SPLOST Funds Soon To Be Used

***Courthouse Expansion With 2004 Funds***

Oconee County soon will deplete money currently sitting in the 2004 and 2009 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax accounts and then will be dependent solely on revenue coming from the 2015 tax, county Finance Director Wes Geddings reported earlier this month.

The 2004 SPLOST account currently has $2.5 million in unspent funds, while the 2009 SPLOST account has $0.4 million, Geddings told the Board of Commissioners as part of his financial update for the first quarter of the 2019 Fiscal Year.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Early Voting Starts Tomorrow For Secretary Of State, Public Service Commission Runoffs

Turnout Likely To Be Light

Early voting for the Dec. 4 runoff election begins at 8 a.m. tomorrow at the Office of Elections and Registration, 10 Court Street, across from the Courthouse in Watkinsville.

Early voting will continue through Friday, with the Office open each day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday is the last day to mail absentee ballots.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Analysis Of Oconee County Vote On Nov. 6 Suggests Most Voters Did Not Cross Party Lines

***No Evidence Of Party Shift***

Oconee County voting on Nov. 6 showed little variation by election contest, suggesting that most ballots were cast along party lines.

No Republican got more than 74.6 percent of the vote or less than 66.8 percent in Oconee County, and no Democrat got more than 30.7 percent of the vote or less than 25.4 percent, an analysis of the certified results shows.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Parent Says Oconee County Board Of Education Not Responsive To Issues Of Mold And Mildew At Elementary School

***Board Disagrees***

Brandi Herndon told the Oconee County Board of Education on Monday evening that she doesn’t think it has been responsive to her concerns about mold at Oconee County Elementary School, which her child attends.

The Board disagreed, with member Amy Parrish saying she had confidence in the school staff and is convinced the problem had been adequately addressed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Apalachee River Intake For Hard Labor Creek Reservoir Makes Georgia’s Dirty Dozen List

***Georgia Water Coalition Report***

The Georgia Water Coalition this (Tuesday) morning named the planned withdrawal of water from the Apalachee River for an expanded Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir to its 2018 Georgia’s Dirty Dozen list.

The Coalition labeled the proposed Apalachee River water intake “an exercise in overbuilding” and called on the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to turn down the current requests for the intake.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Oconee County Voters Had Disproportionate Influence On Outcomes Of Local Races For Georgia General Assembly

***High Turnout The Explanation***

In terms of number of registered voters, Oconee County is smaller that all four of the counties with which it shares legislative districts for the General Assembly in Atlanta.

In last Tuesday’s elections, however, a higher percentage of Oconee County voters cast a ballot than in any of those other four counties.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Oconee County Board Of Education Told Testing In Schools Is A Concern Of Parents And Community

***Researchers Summarize Findings***

Parents and community members are concerned about how Oconee County Schools assess student performance and see a need for greater support services in the schools to help with mental health, stress, and social skills issues.

That was one of the key findings of researchers for the Georgia School Boards Association, who examined responses to an online survey and input from a community engagement meeting last month.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Republicans Reclaim Oconee County's Two House Seats

***Also Hold Senate***

Republicans Tuesday reclaimed House District 117 and House District 119, held by Democrats since a special election a year ago.

Republican Houston Gaines defeated incumbent Democrat Deborah Gonzalez in House District 117 and Republican Marcus Wiedower defeated incumbent Jonathan Wallace in House District 119.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Incumbents Win Oconee County Board Of Education And Watkinsville Council Races

***Turnout Lower Than 2016***

Republican incumbents today easily defeated their Democratic challengers in the two Oconee County Board of Education races, and incumbents in the three nonpartisan Watkinsville City Council races held off challengers as well.

Oconee County voters favored Republicans in statewide races, with 69.8 percent selecting Republican Brian Kemp for governor versus 29.0 percent voting for Democrat Stacey Abrams and 1.2 percent selecting Libertarian Ted Metz.

Hard Labor Creek Reservoir Board Purchases Land On Apalachee River At High Shoals For Intake Facility

***Hydroelectric Plant To Close***

The Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Management Board last week agreed to purchase 3.48 acres on the Apalachee River at High Shoals for an intake facility and pump station for future expansion of the reservoir in southeastern Walton County.

The Walton County Water and Sewer Authority, meeting with the Management Board, also approved the $1.3 million purchase agreement with Victoria Bracewell Presley that includes both temporary and permanent easements at the site as well as water rights.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Republicans In Oconee County House And Senate Races Report Spending Nearly Twice What Democrats Spent In October

***Raised Twice As Much As Well***

The three Republican candidates seeking to be elected tomorrow to represent Oconee County in the Georgia General Assembly in January spent nearly twice as much as their Democratic counterparts in the crucial first 25 days of October.

The three Republicans also raised nearly twice as much money as the three Democrats during that time period.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Four In Ten Oconee County Voters Cast A Ballot In Early Voting

***Turnout Likely To Match 2016***

At the end of early voting on Friday, 11,709 Oconee County residents had cast a ballot, representing 42.5 percent of the county’s 27,530 active, registered voters.

Four years ago at the end of early voting, only 24.4 percent of the county’s then 22,526 active registered voters had participated, indicating final turnout for Tuesday’s election almost certainly will exceed by a considerable amount turnout four years ago.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Human Trafficking Forum In Oconee County Focuses On Problems Of Awareness

***Speakers Make Common Point***

It could be your daughter or your son, and you might not even know it.

That theme permeated the entire evening of the Human Trafficking Awareness Forum organized by the North Oconee Rotary Club and held last week at the Oconee County Civic Center.