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Thursday, February 28, 2008

You Tube Video On Water Protection.

The following video was sent to us from Milton Resident Melissa. Within the last year, we have all witnessed how precious our water resource is.

http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail;jsessionid=9CB928174CC416F3EC75015B0ADC3B5B?contentId=5883955&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1&sflg=1

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Milton News From Julie Zahner Bailey

Dear Milton Friends, Neighbors and Citizens,

There is much activity underway within your community and surrounding jurisdictions. Everything from a proposed sewerage treatment plant just north of Milton and the now scheduled March 18th EPD hearing, to the recent Equestrian Fire Safety and Emergency Readiness Seminar for our awesome equestrian community members, to upcoming rezonings, recent resolutions to ask Fulton County to reconsider the 140 ft. water tower scheduled for Freemanville Rd. north of Birmingham Road, current State Legislator activities at the Capital, to the on-going Comprehensive Land Use Plan Update process and so much more. It is important that you are aware of all the issues we face collectively as well as the positive events that are taking place all around Milton. Some recent activities that deserve highlighting include the community's response to a call to action tied to the potential for a sewerage treatment facility just north of our Milton borders in Cherokee County.

According to the AJC on February 22, 2008 the EPD received over 250 letters and emails asking for a public hearing on this proposed sewer facility. The result is the EPD has now scheduled a public hearing on March 18, 2008 at 7pm to be held at Canton City Hall. Citizens of Cherokee County and Milton came together to voice concerns. The collective effort has resulted in a more public and open process.

It is now incumbent on everyone who has concerns with a new sewerage treatment plant being proposed to write additional letters to the EPD by March 10 and to attend this public hearing. Regardless of jurisdiction, the potential building of a net new sewerage treatment facility in Northeast Cherokee County, just north of Milton, would have a dramatic impact on rural Milton and the rural areas of Cherokee to our north.

Please take 2 minutes and send the letter included at the bottom of this release asking for denial of this permit and attend the EPD hearing. Please scroll down for more details.Beyond Cherokee County and this proposed sewer treatment plant, is the continued dialogue and evaluation by Milton staff and certain Council members as to what the "no sewer" policies of Milton mean to our community and how they should be languaged in our legally adopted policies. My position on the long standing no sewer policies for this unique area of the region have not changed. I believe these policies mean no sewer expansion regardless of the basin in which the parcels lie.

However, I am but one Council member and it is important that citizens of Milton make it clear as to your expectations for this area and what you believe these policies to be historically and going forward. The issue of sewer expansion is not dead. It remains the responsibility of all citizens to weigh in on this important issue. Whether it be this issue or others we face as a community, emails and letters to the Mayor, Council and staff as well as attendance at public hearings and work sessions are the best way to ensure your elected representatives and the staff of your community are clear as to what you want for your community. Your voice matters today as much as ever. The Comprehensive Land Use Planning update process continues and your involvement in this process is critical. A citizen survey will be coming in the mail this week and I urge you to fill this out and mail it in before the March 15th deadline. It will be used as a basis for determining what citizens want for the Milton community.

Please do not miss the chance to have your voice counted in this process. Additionally, the City of Milton website has the ability to accept comments and input. Use this link to submit comments. Arguably this could be one of the most important initiatives of the year and it will either define a future roadmap that is in line with your expectations or not, and you can make all the difference. We have a wonderful community as demonstrated by the increasing numbers of citizens that are making an effort to be more informed and involved in all the issues and opportunities we face. I hope you find this news release helpful and informative. Please feel free to pass it along to others that you know who have similar concerns regarding the future of this area. Also, please encourage your friends and neighbors to provide their email address or that of their HOA so more citizens receive these updates directly. An informed community is the best community. I consider it an honor to represent you and your interests.

Your direct involvement allows me to be even more effective on your behalf.
Julie Zahner BaileyMilton City Council
770-664-5529 (h)
404-310-6344 (c)
Julie4Milton@mindspring.com
Julie4Milton

_______________________________________________
Cherokee Sewerage Treatment Facility - EPD Grants a Public Hearing thanks to Letters from Citizens

We face an issue that could forever change this area. A sewer plant is proposed in Cherokee County. According to the Metro North Georgia Water Planning District's long-term wastewater management plan, "Treatment for wastewater produced in the Etowah Basin portions of Forsyth and Fulton Counties may be provided within Cherokee County to effect regionalization."
The plan allocates a flow of 3 million gallons of wastewater per day from Fulton County to the Cherokee County NE Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant by the year 2030. This allocation could allow up to 15,000 new homes in Milton.
In addition to the risk of sewer is the risk of high density development that will bring more students to our schools, drive up traffic counts, increase storm water run-off and negatively impact our already impaired waterways within the COOSA basin. Do we have enough water for this explosive growth?

This is a perfect example of where we need to be aware and involved in what happens at our borders to ensure this unique region maintains its rural character. Many in Milton and Cherokee County believe that the introduction of sewer in rural areas may be detrimental to the infrastructure and to our way of life and do not want it brought to our rural areas. You have a chance to help stop this plant from further polluting our water and becoming a springboard to unbridled growth, but only if you act by March 10, 2008. Please join your Cherokee neighbors in asking the EPD to deny this permit!
What can you do to help?

1. Sign the letter below & print your name and address. Please have all members of your family, 18 years of age or older, sign this. All letters should be returned to Cherokee Coalition for Responsible Growth (CCRG) and they will deliver them to EPD at the public hearing. Please return signed letters by e-mail, fax or mail to: To Scan & E-Mail: lflory@tds.net, fax to:770-735-1774Mail to: CCRG at: 6175 Hickory Flat Hwy., Ste 110-324 Canton, GA 30115 2. Plan to Attend the Public Hearing, It will be held at Canton City Hall, located at 151 Elizabeth Street, Downtown Canton, 30114, on Tuesday, March 18th at 7:00 PM. Directions:372 North to Hwy 20. Turn left and stay on Hwy 20 straight into the city of Canton. This becomes N. Main St. Stay in the left lane. It's a one way street so you'll have to U-turn just past the firestation to head up the other side which is W. Main Street. Turn right onto S.Church Street (across from the gazebo) and then turn right onto Elizabeth Street. Parking in rear and all along side streets.

__________________________________

Letter to EPD

Dr. Carol Couch, Director
Environmental Protection Division, Department of Natural Resources
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Suite 1152 S.E., Floyd Towers East
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

Re: NPDES Permit No. GA0038989 - Public Hearing Comments

Dear Dr. Couch,

I am a resident of the city of Milton and I would like to express my concerns regarding NPDES Permit No. GA0038989. I respectfully request that EPD deny this permit.

This plant would discharge to the Etowah River which flows into Lake Allatoona. Sections of the Etowah River and Lake Allatoona are in violation of the Federal Clean Waters Act. The Georgia Water Quality Control Act declares that the water resources of the state shall be utilized prudently for the maximum benefit of the people. I do not feel that it is beneficial to the people of the Etowah River Watershed for EPD to seek back doors to open by looking at the entire basin to see if there is room for additional pollutants. We do not expect that EPD will cave to the special interest groups and allow further decline to our lake. All Citizens deserve clean water as well as safe and healthy water related recreational opportunities, - regardless of the level of pollution elsewhere in the basin. CCWSA currently holds permits with allocations totaling 11,096 pounds of phosphorus to be discharged each year from their existing wastewater treatment plants at Rose Creek and Fitzgerald. CCWSA should be held to higher standards of treatment which would allow portions of their existing allocation to be transferred for a new facility. Additional allocations should not be granted for discharge to the Etowah River or Lake Allatoona.

With Non-Point Source now reported to be 96.2% of the pollutants, How can EPD grant this permit which will allow an additional 81,750 lbs. of pollution to our watershed each year? The non-point pollutants cannot be ignored when considering this permit.

CCWSA reported 13 incidents of unpermitted discharge/spills to waters of the State in 2006, resulting in 186,000 gallons of raw sewerage dumped into our watershed with only 24,015 customers. This equates to 7.8 gallons of raw sewerage dumped into Lake Allatoona from each home connected to sewer. Until this record is improved, Cherokee Water & Sewer Authority should not be allowed any new treatment facilities.

A 2003 "State of the Lake" report warned that due to excessive pollution, Lake Allatoona could be on a path that is not conducive for economic stability for this region. Monitoring reports show that Chlorophyll A levels dramatically increased in 2007, far exceeding acceptable limits especially at the Etowah River, Little River, and Allatoona Creek. EPD should act to protect this vital natural resource. EPD should deny this permit and prevent further decline of Lake Allatoona. Until the Total Maximum Daily Load's (TMDL) are finalized in 2009, how can EPD guarantee this discharge and the subsequent non-point pollutants will not destroy Lake Allatoona?

No other aquatic region of North America has a higher percentage of endemic species than does the upper Coosa River basin. Fully 30 aquatic species of fishes, mussels, snails, and crayfishes call the streams within this system -and nowhere else-home. Encouraging high density development in an area that has been designated rural to the year 2030, will open the gates for more sediment to pour into our creeks, streams and the Etowah River. This permit will also enable heavily forested areas to be replaced with clear cut, heavily fertilized landscapes bringing more non-point source pollutants to our watershed. Can you assure the people of the Coosa Basin that the 15 species currently listed as Federally Endangered or Federally Threatened, will survive with this added pollution?

This permit should not be considered until such time as Lake Allatoona, the receiving body of water is no longer in violation of the Federal Clean Water Act. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

_____________________________________________ _______________________________________________
Signature Signature

Print Print
Name ________________________________________ Name__________________________________________

Street Street
Address ______________________________________ Address ________________________________________

Sunday, February 24, 2008

State House Update - Tax Reform.

Friends and Neighbors-

I want to share information on tax reform legislation being debated in the Georgia General Assembly. The proposal, formerly called the GREAT plan, has changed considerably since Speaker Glenn Richardson introduced it last year. The present version would provide local school property and vehicle ad valorem tax relief through the state sales tax. It would also freeze property tax reassessments and limit local government (property tax) growth.

I encourage you to scan down to 3 examples that show one view of how the tax proposal could affect you.


My intent is to offer an abbreviated explanation, not to comprehensively address advantages or concerns expressed about the tax reform package. The legislature is also considering numerous other tax proposals involving sales, income or property taxes. I can't predict which measure or package will gain final passage before session ends. I expect some form of state tax reform or tax relief to pass. But rarely does a significant proposal on any matter complete the tortuous legislative process intact. I'm confident the varied perspectives and needs of Georgia will be entered into the final equation - just as they should be.


Like me, most legislators are grappling with what would be best for their district and Georgia as we ask questions, sift through data and offer modifications. In part, I'm supplying this information to provide you a (inadequate, but earnest) glimpse of how I'm evaluating all tax proposals. Keep in mind, major tax reform proposals would require a statewide November voter referendum.

I will say this: Most Fulton County taxpayers feel they are overburdened with combined local, state and federal taxes. I agree. Whether a final compromise means overall tax reform or incremental change, I'm hopeful it will help create a more vibrant Georgia with less overall government.


Thank you for the opportunity to serve House District 46.

Best-

Jan Jones

State Representative - District 46
(Serving northwest Fulton, including Roswell, Milton, Alpharetta and Mountain Park)

Proposed Georgia tax reform

Some ramifications for replacing local school property and vehicle ad valorem revenues with a state sales tax

What would this mean to a homeowner in north Fulton?

This proposed tax reform package would result in a significant net tax cut for many residents in House District 46 because of the combination of property values, vehicle values and millage rates. The examples below utilize the 17.825 Fulton County school millage rate ($17.825 per $1000 of home value)

Example 1

$300,000 Appraised value of north Fulton homeowner's residence
$120,000 Assessed value of residence ($300,000 x 40 percent)
$2,139 School property tax amount ($120,000 x 17.825 mills
$496 County/school/city tax on vehicles (2 cars; $18,000 value; 34.441 mills)
$2635 Total school and vehicle tax amount

$1,818 Total school and vehicle tax amount after federal/state 31% income tax deduction ($2,635 x 69%)

$45,000 Breakeven - This homeowner would receive a net tax cut if he spends $45,000 or less (after-income tax/social security dollars) per year on grocery-food items and the newly-taxed services, which are explained further below. The spending that will be subject to the new tax does NOT include the homeowner's spending on mortgage and car payments; education and daycare expenses; health and medical costs; new construction/additions to home; and all other items currently subject to the state sales tax like clothing, toiletries, cars, furniture and electronics. Calculation: 4 percent state sales tax X $45,000 = $1800

Example 2

$500,000 Appraised value of residence
$200,000 Assessed value of residence
$3,565 School property tax amount
$827 County/school/city tax on vehicles (2 cars; $30,000 each)
$4,392 Total school and vehicle tax amount

$2,679 Total school and vehicle tax amount after federal/state 39% deduction

$67,000 Breakeven - This homeowner would receive a net tax cut if he spends $67,000 or less (after-tax/social security dollars) per year on grocery-food items and newly-taxed services.

Example 3

$800,000 Appraised value of residence
$320,000 Assessed value of residence
$5,704 School property tax amount
$1102 County, school and city ad valorem tax on vehicles (2 cars; $40,000 each)
$6,806 Total school and vehicle tax amount

$4,016 Total school and vehicle tax amount after federal/state 41% deduction

$100,000 Breakeven - This homeowner would receive a net tax cut if he spends $100,000 or less (after-tax/social security dollars) per year on grocery-food items and newly-taxed services.


How would the 4 percent state sales tax be expanded to reimburse local governments for school property and vehicle ad valorem tax revenues?

The state sales tax would be expanded to:

- Food items such as Chiquita bananas and Oscar Mayer hotdogs. Fulton County, the FC School Board and the cities already divide up 3 percent in local sales tax revenues on food items. Non-food grocery products such as Kleenex and Pert shampoo are already subject to 3 percent local sales taxes and a 4 percent state sales tax. Low income Georgians would receive a credit on their income tax returns.

- Many services, such as haircuts and car washes. No more than $10,000 would be taxed for any single vender (example - lawyer fees for a divorce). This limits the tax liability to no more than $400 for high-ticket services that cost more than $10,000.

- Excluded from the 4 percent state sales tax would be health-related and medical services; educational services, such as tutoring and tuition for college or private school; daycare; services related to new construction of, or additions to, a home; business-to-business transactions. Prescriptions would continue to be excluded from the state sales tax.

Would a homeowner's entire local school property tax be paid through state sales tax revenues?

The sales tax would pay 98 percent. The Fulton County School Board property tax has two components, which are levied on property and automobiles. The first, 17.825 mills, funds maintenance and operations (M & O) for the school system. State sales taxes would replace the M & O amount. The "amount due" appearing on the yearly tax bill for your home and automobiles would show as "zero," and the state would pay directly to the school system the amount for all homes and personal automobiles that would otherwise have been paid by the homeowner.

The second portion, .282 mills, would remain on taxpayers' bills. This portion of the total millage rate was approved earlier in a local referendum to pay bonds for long-term building projects. This tax will expire in several years. The state sales tax would not pay this amount. This amount represents 2 percent of the total millage rate for Fulton school taxes.

What is the thinking behind the proposal to pay local public education costs with a 4 percent state sales tax?

Everyone benefits from having a strong public education system and an educated population, but homeowners often bear a disproportionate share of the financial burden. School property taxes can add considerably to the cost of home ownership. Some say that you never really own your home because the "rent" is due each year in the form of a property tax.

Proponents say this proposed tax plan would spread out the tax burden for public education so ALL Georgians (including non-citizens and non-residents) would more evenly pay the cost. Opponents say sales taxes move up and down with the economy and fear the tax revenues would not be as dependable as property taxes.

School systems would continue to create their own budgets. School systems would receive an amount from the state equal to the total property tax collections they would have received directly from home and car owners. Currently, the state pays a portion of Georgia public education costs through state income and sales taxes, and local school boards make up the remainder with property taxes.

A similar precedent exists today in which the state pays a portion of local property taxes. The state funds an additional $10,000 homestead exemption through the "Homeowner Tax Relief Grant." The state sends each county a check equal to the value of this homestead exemption for all homeowners within that county. Homeowners receive the credit on their property tax bills.

The fiscal note, a professional tax analysis that shows how much revenue tax legislation would generate or give up, shows the proposed state sales tax on some services and food would generate a similar amount to what local homeowner and automobile school property taxes generate. The fiscal note shows an overall modest state tax revenue reduction; others say it will bring in a surplus. The legislation requires that any future surpluses generated by the expanded sales tax be applied to further property tax relief for Georgia citizens to prevent the plan from increasing the size of state government.

Would school boards increase their millage rates if state tax collections pay school property taxes?

No. The legislation would also freeze property tax reassessments on homes and commercial properties for school boards, counties and cities. Home reassessments could increase yearly up to 2 percent and commercial reassessments up to 3 percent. Fulton County (and the city of Sandy Springs) and a number of other Georgia counties already have similar freezes in place.

The legislation would additionally restrict increases in local government property tax spending to no more than the inflation rate plus the value of new construction. This cap could be increased by local referendum and funded locally.

School boards rely expressly on property taxes for the local portion of education funding, except for capital construction paid through a one- cent sales tax. Cities and counties have a variety of revenue sources, including property taxes, one-cent sales tax, fees and fines. Many cities and counties derive about one-third of their overall budget from property tax revenues.

More details on this proposed comprehensive tax reform plan:
The plan includes several measures: HR 1246, a constitutional amendment, and HB 979, the enabling legislation and another listed below. You may read the bills at www.legis.state.ga.us
* Effective Jan. 1, 2009, Georgians no longer would pay ad valorem taxes on their personal cars and trucks. The state would reimburse counties for the revenue they lose.
* Effective Jan. 1, 2010, Georgia homeowners no longer would pay school ad valorem taxes. School systems would continue to set millage rates and bills would be issued, but the state would reimburse them penny-for-penny for the amount they otherwise would have collected from homeowners.
To fund all of that, here's what also would happen:
* In 2009, Georgians will start paying state taxes again on groceries, and lottery tickets would be taxed.
* In 2010, consumers will start paying sales taxes on services they use, most of which are not now taxed. There will be no sales tax on services like medical, education, child care and business-to-business transactions.
There is an additional part of the package: SR 796. It does two things:
* It freezes property assessments at the 2008 level, but would allow annual increases of no more than 2 percent for residential property and 3 percent for commercial.
* Effective Jan. 1, 2009 it also would cap local government spending. Unless local governments specifically requested and got voter approval to go higher than this, they could spend no more in one year than they had received the previous year, plus the government inflation rate and the value of new construction added to the local property digest.

A Special Message For Rowdy!

Access Milton has been asked to post this "Special Message for Rowdy" from Patti at Miltonville:

"No you couldn't call Jesse a babe in the woods
He's just weak in self-defense'Cause he's so thin skinned
He can't take a joke at his expense
"You're a push down window" says Rowdy Yates
"I can run you up and downAnytime I want
I can make you my dancin'My dancin' clown!"

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Milton City Hall Hiring.

Interested in working for the City of Milton? If so, click on the link below to find out more!

http://www.job.com/my.job/search/page=jobview/key=15606129/pt=2/qs=10/c=12/r=84/ns=1/f=60/rpp=20/us=467/jsOn=1/

Friday, February 22, 2008

After Milton Complained, State Will Hold Hearing On Sewer Plant Slated For Cherokee


By DOUG NURSE The Atlanta Journal-Constitution http://www.ajc.com/

Milton residents' hostility to sewer does not end at the city limits.

Concerned about a proposed 2 million-gallon-per-day sewer plant planned in neighboring Cherokee County, Milton community leaders mounted an email and letter-writing campaign. They demanded that the state Environmental Protection Division conduct a public hearing before deciding whether to issue a permit for the plant.

After receiving 250 letters and emails, the state relented and scheduled a hearing for March 18 at 7 p.m. at Canton City Hall."Usually we don't hold hearings on draft permits," said David Bullard of the EDP Watershed Management Branch. "When we started getting letters asking us to hold a public hearing, we decided to do it."

Bullard said the hearing will focus on water quality issues, not zoning and land use questions. The latter, he said, should be addressed by the applicant, the Cherokee County Water and Sewage Authority or to the Cherokee County Commission.

Many Milton residents argue sewer brings density, which they say would detract from the community's country feel.

"This is a perfect example of where we need to be aware and involved in what happens at our borders to ensure this unique region maintains its rural character," City Councilwoman Julie Zahner Bailey wrote in a recent email to supporters. Zahner Bailey is a staunch opponent of sewer in Milton."If approved this could potentially bring sewer to our backdoor," she wrote. "In addition to the risk of sewer is the risk of high density development that will drive up traffic counts, increase storm water run-off and negatively impact our already impaired waterways within the Coosa [River] basin."

Zahner Bailey wrote that the concern is shared by Cherokee County residents as well.
"Many in Cherokee County believe that the introduction of sewer in rural areas may be detrimental to the infrastructure and to their way of life and do not want it brought to the northeastern area of Cherokee," she wrote.

The facility, called the Northeast Plant, has been in the works for about two years.
Tom Heard, general manager of the Cherokee County Water and Sewer Authority, was a little taken aback by Milton residents' desire to intervene in the permitting process with the state, especially considering that the plant will be in Ball Ground, 10 miles from Milton."I was a little surprised that Milton folks would do that," Heard said. "The closest the sewer would come is about five miles from the border. It's in the Etowah River Basin, and Milton is in the Little River Basin. There's a lot of misinformation out there, and it's being treated as gospel."

The plant is being built to treat sewage from the industrial I-575 corridor, as well as a 2,000-acre development and a 600-acre development.Heard said there are no plans to bring sewer near Milton.

He said if the state kills the Northeast Plant, then much of the county will develop on septic, which he said would be a bad thing."There's a huge amount of land yet to be developed in Cherokee County," Heard said. "If you look out 50 years, it would be bad for the environment because septic tanks fail. They don't have the same level of treatment as sewer. And they consume water and don't return it back to the river. Our goal is to return all of the water to the river."

Heard argued that sewer systems aren't necessarily incongruous with rural life.
"It doesn't have to lead to density," Heard said. "It's up to the city's master plan."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Milton Demands Fulton Abandon Water Tower Plans

County has plans to construct a 140-foot tower within the city

By DOUG NURSE The Atlanta Journal-Constitution http://www.ajc.com/

Published on: 02/21/08

The Milton City Council has a looming problem with Fulton County.

Many residents of this newly founded city are upset that the county plans to construct a 140-foot water tower near their homes, and have enlisted the city to help plead their case. The tower sits on county land inside the city limits near Freemanville Road.

The residents object to the tower because it would be visible over their homes. And they say it isn't necessary because a consortium of developers are installing a major pump to improve water pressure.

"It's big and it's ugly and it's not needed," said resident Wayne Super.

On Wednesday, the city council unanimously approved a resolution calling on the county to abandon its plans.

The resolution noted that a 40-foot water tower is in the area, but that the city has required it be hidden by trees and plants to preserve the rural character of the community.

"... The proposed water tank will defeat the city's purposes of the vegetative screening requirements as a water tower at the proposed height will be incapable of screening and may threaten the rural nature of the community," the resolution states.

Super acknowledged the resolution carries no legal weight, but said he hopes that the city council's stance will help convince the county commission to reconsider building the tower.

The county has argued that the tower is needed to improve water pressure for safety and convenience to nearby subdivisions that are being constructed in the southern end of the city. They also want to provide more reliable source of water for the area.

The tower would cost about $3.75 million and would be constructed this year.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

BHA Newsletter



Fulton County BOE New High School Update

The BHA has had a significant number of questions and concerns about the Fulton County Board of Education proposed site for the new High School on Freemanville Road and based on the information currently available the Board of Directors opposes the site for environmental reasons. We will continue to follow the new and upcoming facts. Additional updates are also available on the Protect Milton website.

Elevated Water Tank Update

Last week Councilmember D'Aversa sponsored Wayne Super, Milton resident, Hal Weideman, Civil Engineer and Alec Rickenbacker, Pritchard Mountain, LLC to the Council's work session for a factual presentation opposing Fulton County's desire to build an elevated water tower in the City of Milton. The Mayor and City Council agreed to vote on adopting a resolution opposing the elevated water tank: favoring either a booster-pump-only solution or designing the elevated water tank in conformance with the area aesthetics and overall land use plan for Milton.Public comment and Council vote on this matter will occur at the City Council meeting on Wednesday, February, 20th at 6PM. The City's action will have an impact on the Fulton County Board of Commissioners.Please attend the City Council meeting as a show of support for the Council's affirmative vote. You will also have two opportunities to make a public statement during this meeting if you wish. Regardless, your attendance will greatly matter and influence how the Council votes.

Sewer Plant in NE Cherokee

We face an issue that could forever change this area. A Sewer Plant is proposed in Cherokee County to provide sewer service to the Northeast Region of Cherokee County and areas of both Forsyth and Fulton Counties. Many of you participated in an earlier letter writing campaign which caused the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to grant a public hearing in March. In a very short period of time Milton residents generated 145 letters. THANK YOU!!But our work is not finished. We must now generate thousands of letters asking for this plant to be denied. Please read the following which contains information you will need to fax, e-mail or mail your signed letters. Brief Description of the Permit ApplicationCherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority (CCWSA) has requested a permit from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to construct a $25 Million sewage treatment plant on Cokers Chapel Road, off E. Cherokee Drive. This plant would provide sewer service to the Northeast region of Cherokee County and potentially Forsyth and Fulton Counties. According to the Metro North Georgia Water Planning District Plan, this plant will also provide treatment for wastewater produced in the Etowah Basin portions of Forsyth and Fulton Counties to effect regionalization. They will pipe raw sewerage from both of these counties all over NE Cherokee County to be brought to the plant off E. Cherokee Drive. What happens in NE Cherokee County will have a direct impact on rural Milton.In addition to the risk of sewer is the risk of high density development that will bring more students to our schools, drive up traffic counts, increase storm water run-off and negatively impact our already impaired waterways within the COOSA basin. Do we have enough water for this explosive growth?This is a perfect example of where we need to be aware and involved in what happens at our borders to ensure this unique region maintains its rural character. Many in Milton and Cherokee County believe that the introduction of sewer in rural areas may be detrimental to the infrastructure and to our way of life and do not want it brought to our rural areas. You have a chance to help stop this plant from further polluting our water and becoming a springboard to unbridled growth, but only if you act by March 2, 2008. 1. Sign the letter and print your name and address. Please have all members of your family, 18 years of age or older, sign the letter available on the BHA website. We need to have all letters returned to CCRG by 3/2/08 they will deliver them to EPD at the public hearing.

Please return signed letters by e-mail, fax or mail to:
To Scan & E-Mail:lflory@tds.net, Fax to: 770-735-1774

Mail to-CCRG at:

6175 Hickory Flat Hwy.,
Ste 110-324
Canton, Georgia 301152.

Plan to Attend the Public Hearing, it will be held at Canton City Hall, located at 151 Elizabeth Street, Downtown Canton, 30114, on Tuesday, March 18th. At 7:00 PM Directions: 372 North to Hwy 20. Turn left and stay on Hwy 20 straight into the city of Canton. This becomes N. Main St. Stay in the left lane. It's a one way street so you'll have to U-turn just past the firestation to head up the other side which is W. Main Street. Turn right onto S.Church Street (across from the gazebo) and then turn right onto Elizabeth Street. Parking in rear and all along side streets.

Upcoming Rezonings-

Review Site Plans at the Community Zoning Information Meeting, Wednesday, 2/27 at 7PM, Details

U08-002 / VC08-002 - Stars Soccer 14295 Birmingham Highway JRM Soccer

To increase the number of soccer fields from five to six, allow practice area, four tennis courts, soccer maintenance shed, the lighting of three soccer fields, and building to house gymnasium, pool, indoor soccer field, indoor multi-purpose field, showers, cafeteria and accessory uses. The applicant is also requesting a four-part concurrent variance:1) Increase building setback from 30' to 1,250' (Article 12.H.3.5.C.2.)2) Increase building size from 25,000 square feet to 49,500 square feet (Article 12.H.3.5.A.2.)3) Reduce 75' buffer and 10' improvement setback on south, east, and north property lines (Article 12.H.3.5.A.2.)4) Allow parking between the building and street (Article 12.H.3.5.F.3.)

U08-003NEC Cogburn and Bethany Bend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints To request a use permit for a 16,558 square feet church with 352 seats, at a density of 2,759.6 square feet per acre on approximately 6.01 acres.

Protect Milton - Freemanville School Site Opposition Meeting

Protect Milton Group is holding a meeting this Friday, February 22nd with our Professional Team, for individuals in our community who are serious in helping and supporting our efforts in opposing this particular site for a new High School. For more information on this meeting and/or to make a donation towards this cause please email protectmilton@aol.com with your name and contact information.

For more information on who we are and why we are opposing this site for a highschool and possible middle school please visit the
Protect Milton Website: www.freewebs.com/protectmilton for the latest February update and how to get involved.

Regards.
Lisa Cauley - Chair

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Summary of Fire Safety Initiative Held February 16,2008

By Laura Bentley

The City of Milton Fire Department, Dr. Ken Marcella DVM, and the Georgia Hunter Jumper Association (GHJA) sponsored a Fire Safety and Emergency Readiness seminar for the equestrian community this past weekend. Prior to the seminar, all City of Milton fire fighters had the opportunity to halter, handle and learn basic safety measures while in the company of horses. This training has been initiated to enhance communication between horse owners and the City of Milton in an effort to be better prepared for equine emergencies. Milton is home to 13 GHJA training facilities and well over 100 GHJA members. Many equestrians have farms in the area and horse trailers on Milton’s roadways are very common. The dialog during the seminar focused on different emergency scenarios. As a result of this forum, several action items have been noted:

· The City of Milton Fire Department can better serve the horse community if farm owners provide key information such as security gate codes, equine evacuation plans and farm to fire hydrant locations.
· The City of Milton fire Department would like to be provided a contact list of local equine vets and citizen “horse experts”. These contacts could provide advice and/or equipment i.e. horse trailers in the case of an equine emergency.
· The Georgia Hunter Jumper Association will provide an equine sling and training to the City of Milton Fire Department. Halters and lead ropes along with other equine emergency materials will be provided for each fire truck.
· In an effort to continue the dialog between the City of Milton and the equestrian community and to provide further educational opportunities, Laura Bentley has agreed to serve as a liaison between to two groups. Her contact number is 770.355.0502.
In closing, thanks go out to the City of Milton Fire Department for their willingness to take this important “first step”, Dr. Ken Marcella for providing a lecture packed with valuable information and the Georgia Hunter Jumper Association for their commitment to providing a much needed equine sling for this area.

To see video coverage; click here->http://www.cbs46.com/video/15325909/detail.html

Monday, February 18, 2008

State House Update - Amended Budget

Friends and Neighbors-

The following highlights the budgeting process in the Georgia General Assembly, and more specifically, the Amended state budget.

It contains more detail than a normal person would want. Perhaps a quick skim (with your eyes half-squinted) will illuminate how your hard-earned state tax dollars are spent.

You can tell what's important to a family - and a state - by how it spends its money. To me, working on Appropriations means an opportunity to influence lower taxes so Georgians can meet their own needs at home and at work; provide a true safety net, but not a hammock; and create educational opportunities for Georgians and their children.

Later, I'll send out information putting historical state revenues into perspective with inflation, population growth, health care and public education expenditures. Thank you for the opportunity to serve House District 46.

Best-

Representative Jan Jones
Chair of Appropriations - Education, including Pre-K, K-12, state and teacher retirement and other related agencies


The 2008 Amended Budget

What is the Amended budget?

Every year, the Georgia General Assembly passes an Amended budget to revise the budget constructed the previous year. It also passes a second, "Big" budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Amended budget "trues" up cost projections made the previous year to what actually happened. By state constitution, budget and tax bills must originate in the House.

What time period does the budget cover?

The Georgia budget does not follow the standard calendar year (January to December), but rather a fiscal year. The Georgia fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.

What's behind finalizing the Amended budget?

The House recently passed the 2008 Amended budget to revise the "Big" budget it had approved last session. The 2008 budget ends June 30. As you can imagine, a number of projections made 12 months ago need adjusting to what actually happened and is needed. Now, the House is working on the Big 2009 budget, which entails more work.

In recessions, we make additional reductions in state agencies to adjust for lower income and sales tax collections. Georgia cannot run a deficit by state constitution (nor should it) unlike the federal government. The state's tax collections mimic the state's economy just as most citizens' wages do. That means tightening the state's belt when Georgians have done the same.

What happened with projected tax revenues and actual revenues in the Amended 2008 budget?

With only a few months remaining in the current fiscal year (ending June 30), Georgia is on target to bring in $330 million more, or 1.6 percent more than was allocated. That's pretty close when you consider all the factors in the state's economy that affect tax revenues.

Georgia derives most of its tax revenues from the 4 percent sales tax and 6 percent personal income tax. All other sources of tax revenue account for 10 percent of the state's budget (cigarette/liquor/fees/1/4 mill property/etc).

A 1.6 percent increase means that the total of income tax collections on the combined paychecks of every Georgian AND sales tax collections on all Kleenex, John Deere tractors and other items came really, really close to the budget that the Governor and the legislature cobbled together one year ago.

Sometimes, we best-guess incorrectly and citizens do not consume as much - or more - of a line item (service) that we thought they would. And sometimes, citizens do not spend as much or earn as much as we expected, which affects tax revenues.

Does the legislature make a lot of changes in the Amended budget?

Not a lot, or at least it shouldn't.

Most of the line items that were approved the previous year have been paid out, or will be shortly, for services already rendered. Most changes from the previous year reflect a disparity between what we thought would be consumed and what was actually consumed. For example, the Pre-K budget (paid for through lottery ticket purchases) may need adjusting upward or downward depending on how many 4-year-olds showed up for class in August.

More students took classes online through the state virtual school* than previous information indicated they would. The House version of the budget pays for 1165 additional class segments (as utilized currently by students statewide) for a cost of $722,999. Medicaid patients entitled by state law to services may have consumed more or less, and so on.

*The state virtual school is run by the Georgia Department of Education (DOE). It offers 78 different online classes to high school students. Oftentimes, the local school system does not offer particular classes. Public, private and homeschool students are eligible to take classes.

How does the House propose to spend the $330 million net revenues that exceed the original 2008 budget?

The House Appropriations Committee and the Governor proposed reducing, increasing and eliminating funding for a number of programs. Fewer changes were made than in previous years.

The following list includes the more significant items in the Amended budget recently approved by the House:

- $111 million - pay for 19,811 additional public school students that showed up for school in classes K through 12. The money will be distributed according to existing state law through a per-student funding formula to 180 school systems. The rise in public education students was lower than in recent years.

- $68 million - funding for roads and bridges. The legislature must expend these revenues in this manner. The state constitution requires revenues generated by the state gasoline taxes to be appropriated to the Department of Transportation (DOT). These revenues increased because of higher gasoline prices. The funds are allocated equally to the 13 congressional districts per current state law.

- $40 million - In the budget offered to the legislature, Governor Perdue proposed to plan for and begin construction of reservoirs to allow the state to prepare for future water needs as highlighted by the 2007 drought.

- $30 million - Governor Perdue proposed to allocate $24 per public education student for technology needs in the classroom. In the 90s, public schools received regular funding for technology upgrades through the lottery proceeds. In more recent years, rising Pre-K enrollment and increased HOPE scholarship usage have crowded out technology for public schools. The funding will partially offset costs to local school systems to integrate technology into the classroom as the Internet has become more relevant and necessary.

- $53 million - Governor Perdue proposed shoring up the statewide trauma care network with a one-time injection of funding.

- $30 million - The House chose to fund a 2009 Budget shortfall in the Equalization grant formula for the 2009 fiscal year as spelled out in existing state law. The Equalization grant allocates funds to school systems that cannot fund students adequately due to relatively lower property digests and higher student populations. All 16 school systems that will receive extra funds in this appropriation rank below the state average in overall per student funding.

- $3.5 million - Governor Perdue proposed funding a limited number of new school buses for local school systems. The House agreed, although it tweaked the manner in which the buses would be funded. The House substituted 10-year bonds for $25 million in cash. This will give school systems more time to come up with the $15,000 balance required for each new bus. The 500 school buses (partially funded at $50,000 each) would be allocated according to a House-generated formula using property wealth and route miles as factors. Identified school systems that do not need new buses would not receive them. Higher gasoline costs have eaten up a greater share of transportation funding resulting in aging, and less safe, school buses.

Some other items in the Amended budget approved by the House (proposed by the Governor or House) include:

- Reduce Medicaid funding to reflect actual expenditures ($81 million)

- Eliminate funding for items previously line-item vetoed by the Governor ($5.6 million)

- Various other reductions to agencies ($ millions)

- Increase Homeowner Tax Relief grant funding to reflect actual homeowners' claims - $2.6 million

- Increase funding to address deficit in Child Welfare Services for actual services rendered - $14 million

- Replace 34 high mileage state trooper vehicles (over 135,000 miles) - $1.2 million

- Maintenance funding for 20 watershed dams highlighted because of the 2007 drought - $500,000

- Fund actual obligations for institutional foster care for children with special needs - $5.3 million

- Additional funding for state mental hospitals to improve less-than-acceptable conditions - $13.1 million

- Pay state's share for indigent care for 38 private hospitals to facilitate 60/40 federal match - $6 million

What's next?

The Senate is further editing the Amended budget. A conference committee of three House and three Senate members will be appointed by the Speaker of the House and the Lt. Governor of the Senate to finalize the Amended budget before session ends in (hopefully) late March. Sometimes the Amended budget gains final passage quickly, and sometimes it's passed in the last minutes of the last day of session (whew). The latter occurred in 2003 when I first was elected.

Georgia is fortunate to have a rigorous budget process that includes the Governor (providing a statewide perspective), a 180-member House (of the common folk) elected closest to the People and the 56-member Senate. Perfect? Not at all. It can and should continue to be honed and improved.

Almost half of the House serves on the Appropriations Committee comprised of 8 subcommittees. It's an awesome responsibility - and one that reflects our state's policy priorities.

2009 Big Budget

The real Appropriations work has begun in the House as the subcommittees refine the Governor's proposed 2009 budget. We will utilize more recent or different information and consider legislative priorities. This is where I will spend the bulk of my time and efforts for the remainder of the legislative session.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Premier One-Stop Canine Facilty Expands to Claim Title of Metro-Atlanta's Only Full-Service Training, Sports, Recreation and Day Car Facility.

From Off-Leash Socialization to Top Level Training, North Georgia Dog Owners Can Now Enjoy Amenities Previously Reserved for Police K9 Units, Service Dogs and World Class Competitors.
Alpharetta, GA, February 16, 2008 --(PR.com)-- Situated on 12 acres of both fenced and non-fenced plush grassland, and two-thousand feet of Sandy Cooper Creek bordering the park, WolfBrook is a complete resource for the dog enthusiast and they've just become even better. WolfBrook is now expanding their offerings to become metro-Atlanta's only full-service dog training, socialization and day-care facility. In addition, they are now placing specialty-trained German Shepherds in estate homes-making it one of only a few businesses in the United States to provide that service.The club features 4 separate fenced areas for off-leash play, sports and training as well as open fields bordering the creek. The clubhouse has a 1500 square foot heated and air-conditioned gathering and training room along with a full bathroom and kitchen.

Members enjoy use of the dog park, as well as the clubhouse, and complimentary use of the indoor dog wash station. They also receive priority placement and discounted rates on training and daycare. All potential new members are evaluated by the trainers at WolfBrook and space is limited.The membership is a close knit community, which was the goal from the outset. "We know each other and our dogs know each other, it makes for a relaxing and fun experience every time we come," says one of the club's founding members "my dog starts whining with excitement as soon as we turn onto the driveway."

To further the community aspect, the club's website has a forum for members to ask questions, get training tips, post pictures and organize get-togethers with club buddies.Offering as many training classes, temperament tests, dog sports and entertaining activities as they can garner support for, WolfBrook is devoted to providing the best solutions to the challenges faced by its members. The test for any activity at WolfBrook is whether or not it will reinforce the relationship between the Club's canine and human members.WolfBrook offers the placement of trained family estate dogs. Previously importing working dogs for police departments and world class competitors, they are pleased to announce they are now placing dogs for home and family companionship. W

olfBrook is one of the few businesses in the United States in the position of placing the specialty and Schutzhund trained German Shepherds.WolfBrook, LLC was founded by veteran trainers and husband and wife team, Mike and Annette Holbrook in 1996. WolfBrook is located at 13665 New Providence Road, Alpharetta GA 30004, in the new City of Milton.For more information on WolfBrook, please call 770-772-0440, or visit www.wolfbrook.com.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Faces & Places On Milton's Thompson Road.

by Patti Silva and Abbe Laboda / http://www.northfulton.com/ / Milton Herald

Look around you. Milton, our beautiful newborn city, is a sight to behold. Barns of all colors entice us. Old homes, exuberant with character, seem to hold all the unknown mysteries of our small town. Grandmothers and grandfathers driving in a well-worn Chevy or Ford elude us as we drive to the next activity.We have found that within our city limits' acreage and beyond, two, three and four generations co-exist on these unpaved and newly paved roads. Whether we wrap our arms around our differences or choose to bicker about it, is up to each one of us. The way we look at it, our generation has a lot to learn from the older generations.They are the folks who plowed the land, raised their horses, fed their cattle and opened their general stores. These are the same people we drive by today and wonder who are they? What used to happen here?One day we stopped wondering and starting listening. We stopped to talk with the folks that we see and listened to their stories. Milton is overflowing with stories. Each story led to another, and then another, and well, you get the idea.We have much to learn as new Miltonians. After all, it is the original Miltonian's love for the area and its preservation thereof that has made Milton what it is today: A place we all have chosen to make our home.We have uncovered so much history in our gem of a city and found that colorful stories are glowing everywhere. And everywhere we go people are asking for more.We hope you enjoy Milton's Faces and Places.

Hazel and Dorris WhiteFor four years Patti Silva drove by a man and his dog sitting on his front porch on Thompson Road and wondered about his story. Finally, last year, she stopped her car and said hello. Their curious conversation led to something very near and dear to their hearts: Milton, and of what will become of our new city.Patti and Dorris White hope that the barns, in all their rustic beauty, the majestic horses and grazing cows don't disappear. Patti thought how lucky he was to have grown up with such beauty surrounding him in such a tight community. He agreed.White was born in 1938 in Milton and passed away a few weeks after our eye-opening conversation in April 2007. One of White's fondest memories of Milton was to walk up and down the road "without being run over." Like most roads at the time, Thompson Road was dirt and gravel. The residents like it that way.White farmed while attending school, which was a sign of the times. He plowed with a mule until the age of 20, when he saved enough money to buy a tractor.

He said parents of that generation kept their children busy with family chores "to keep the kids out of meanness.""Today parents don't plan enough chores for their kids. I think you need to talk about this," White said.Different from our children-chauffeuring, Publix-running, e-mailing life of today, White's generation of families were self-sustaining. They grew their own vegetables, made their own bread and fixed their own tractors.Almost everyone in Milton knew a trade. It was a humble and friendly place. Most people didn't have much of an income, but no one went hungry. They looked after each other, as White explained.Recognize the beautiful and tattered building on the corner of Hopewell and Thompson? That was the original "White's Grocery Store" owned by White's father, Ernest White. It was the only place to buy gas in the area for quite a while."We sold gas for 10 or 15 cents a gallon," said White. "We sold it on credit. The whole time the store was open for business only one person didn't pay."They closed the business in 1949.
Young love
At 17, White married a 15-year-old beauty named Hazel. They made the old storehouse their first home as teenagers. Afterward a local mechanic used it.Today, the family uses it for storage. Mr. White told us, "One day I saw a truck parked outside of the storehouse and a man sitting on the ground leaning against his truck tire. He had something in his lap and he kept looking up and then back down again. The man was painting the old storehouse."It's a beautiful building in its own right. It whispers charm with its repairs and muted colors, a rustic taste of Milton's past."It's a keepsake now", Hazel said.Behind it is the Mill House almost historically preserved. The house next to the mill belonged to Alma Phillips."My people, the Phillips (of the Hopewell community), gave the land for the church," White said.That would be Hopewell Baptist Church on Hopewell Road. White also lent the land to Fulton County to build the fire station next door to his home.
More information on fire station and his involvement can be found in the October 4, 2007 issue of the Milton Herald, The Heroes of Thompson Road. We asked White and Hazel to share more memories."As a youngster I had no bike, but at about 8 or 9 years old I got one. Daddy couldn't afford it, no peddles, no chain, but I put it on top of the hill and rode it all the way down," Mr. White said with a smile.He added, "I just love the country. I've been a lot of places and I ain't seen nowhere I like better than here. Somethin' about it I like."Hazel said, "He'll sit on the front porch all day."We asked them what they wanted the next generation to know. White said, "Get along with the 'old nobheads' that's here and find out what went on in their day so they can follow in their footsteps."Not bad advice for an experienced original Miltonian.When you pass someone, remember to wave.

Adopt A Milton Road Meeting

There will be a meeting of all participants and any interested participants of the Milton Adopt-A-Road program at Milton City Hall on Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. We will be discussing the signage for all adopted roads. Thank you.

Linda M. Blow
Project Coordinator
City of Milton, Georgia
13000 Deerfield Parkway, Building 100
Suite 107B
Milton, Georgia 30004
678-242-2489 Direct
http://www.cityofmiltonga.us/

Milton Ethics Board Member Resigns

By DOUG NURSE The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / http://www.ajc.com/

A member of the Milton Ethics Board has resigned amid suggestions of wrongdoing among city council members.Susan Campbell said in her resignation letter that the board is being misused. In the 14 months of its existence, the Milton Ethics Board has fielded more complaints than Roswell has in the last 10 years. Campbell e-mailed her resignation Thursday, saying: "I do not believe this board has been a productive function of our new city. We are continually used as pawns in a political game that I no longer feel like being involved in."

City councilwoman Karen Thurman, who appointed Campbell, said she hopes Campbell will reconsider."Susan takes this very seriously," Thurman said. "She has worked very hard to understand rules and principles of ethics in government." Campbell's resignation came after a Milton City Council member said the board should investigate the election-related behavior of the entire council.
The current flare-up started when Thurman wrote the board in January to say that Mayor Joe Lockwood and Councilwoman Tina D'Aversa had violated the city code of ethics by endorsing city council candidates last fall. Thurman argued that to clear up any misunderstanding, the ordinance should be revised to explicitly state that city council members may not use their titles in endorsing council candidates or issues.

Thurman said she only mentioned Lockwood's and D'Aversa's violations because the code of ethics requires council members to report wrongdoing. But, she said, it wasn't meant to be an official complaint. The Ethics Board is scheduled to consider whether to pursue Thurman's report at its next meeting, Feb. 25.

D'Aversa on Thursday asked that the Ethics Board review the behavior of the entire council during the last election, including Thurman whom she said backed candidates in newspaper articles. D'Aversa said it would be unfair for the Ethics Board to focus on just her and the mayor.
"I agree that our ordinance violates our constitutional rights to free speech but want to make sure that Mayor Lockwood and myself are not singled out by council member Thurman," D'Aversa wrote.

The ethics board has stayed busy since Milton became an incorporated city on Dec. 1, 2006.
Ethics complaints have filed against four council members and an ethics board member. Concerned that the ethics board was being used as a political weapon, the council overhauled the ethics ordinance in September.

Roswell, on the other hand, has received no complaints to its ethics board since it was established 10 years ago.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Republican Party To Hold Precinct Mass Meetings

courtesy: www.beaconcast.com.

On Saturday, February 16, 2008 at 10:00AM the Fulton County Republican Party will convene House District Precinct Mass Meetings to elect Delegates and Alternate Delegates to the Fulton County Republican Party Convention.

All Fulton County residents who are legally registered to vote and believe in the principles of the Republican Party are urged to participate in this process.
Registration is without charge and will open at 9:00AM on February 16, 2008 at the following locations:

House District 44 - Cross Creek Cafe,1221 Cross Creek Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30327
House District 46 - Villages of Devinshire, 13100 Deerfield Parkway, Milton, GA 30004
House District 47 - Security Bank, 2380 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30004
House District 48 - Roswell City Hall, 38 Hill Street, Roswell, GA 30075
House District 49 - Horseshoe Bend Country Club, 2100 Steeplechase Lane, Roswell, GA 30076
House District 50 - Integrity Bank, 11140 State Bridge Rd, Alpharetta, GA 30022
House District 51 - contact Fulton County Republican Party Headquarters
House District 52 - Riverwood High School, Sandy Springs, GA 30328
House Districts 53, 55 - Cross Creek Café 1221 Cross Creek Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30327
House District 54 - Garden Hills Recreation Center, 307 Pine Tree Drive, Atlanta, GA 30305
House Districts 56, 57, 58, 59 - Park Central Condominiums,1101 Juniper Street, Atlanta, GA 30309
House Districts 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66 - Ben Hill Recreation Center, 2405 Fairburn Road, Atlanta, GA 30331

The Fulton County Republican Party Convention will convene at 10:00 a.m. on March 15, 2008, at a location to be determined, to elect Delegates and Alternates to the 5th, 6th, & 13th Congressional District Conventions.

The Congressional District Conventions for those covering parts of Fulton County will convene at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 19, 2008, at the following locations
5th Congressional District- Academy of Medicine, 875 W Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30309.
6th Congressional District - Roswell City Hall, 38 Hill Street in Roswell, Georgia, 30075.
13th Congressional District – contact Fulton County Republican Party Headquarters.

The District Conventions will elect three Delegates and three Alternates to the 2008 Republican National Convention to be held in St. Paul, Minnesota, beginning September 1, 2008.
The Georgia Republican Party State Convention will convene on Friday, May 16, 2008 in Columbus, Georgia and will elect 30 Delegates and 30 Alternates at Large to the 2008 Republican National Convention.

Registration and participation at House District Precinct Mass Meetings, County Convention, District Convention, or State Convention is not allowed after the event’s 10:00 a.m. designated start time.

Council Woman Argues Milton's Ethics Code Is Messed Up

By DOUG NURSE The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / http://www.ajc.com/

Is it unethical for an elected official to endorse a candidate for office? It appears to be an open question in the City of Milton.City Councilwoman Karen Thurman said that the Mayor Joe Lockwood and fellow Councilwoman Tina D'Aversa violated the city ethics code by making public endorsements of council candidates in the November election.

But, Thurman said, it's the code that's messed up, not the mayor or D'Aversa. In an e-mail to the Milton Ethics Board in late January, Thurman wrote, "My interpretation of [the ethics code] would lead me to conclude that I as a council person cannot endorse any candidate for not only the City of Milton elections but for any election . . . Personally, I believe that I should be able to publicly endorse a candidate using my title as a Milton City Council member..."

Thurman said the purpose of the letter was to point out a defect in the ethics code, and to ask the ethics board to revisit the ordinance.

She wrote that Lockwood violated the ordinance with an advertisement in a local newspaper endorsing a slate of candidates in November. She also wrote that D'Aversa ran afoul of the law by making automated telephone calls to voters urging them to vote for specific candidates. She said she only mentioned it because the ethics ordinance requires council members to report any possible ethics violations.

Thurman emphasized in a follow-up e-mail Monday that the original e-mail was not intended as an official complaint. However, by mentioning it at all, she started the complaint process. The report by Thurman doesn't obligate the ethics board to launch an investigation or formal proceedings, but it will appear on a Feb. 25 agenda of the board, which will decide then whether to pursue it, said city attorney Ken Jarrard.

Lost Dog. Please Help!!!

Please help one of our Milton Neighbors find JJ! Last seen in Champions View off of Cogburn Road this past Monday. A reward is offered in bringing this little pup home. Please call
678 457 0677.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The History Of Valentine's Day

Every February, across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday? The history of Valentine's Day -- and its patron saint -- is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl -- who may have been his jailor's daughter -- who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial -- which probably occurred around 270 A.D -- others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to 'christianize' celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would then sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification.

The boys then sliced the goat's hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city's bachelors would then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage. Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day around 498 A.D. The Roman 'lottery' system for romantic pairing was deemed un-Christian and outlawed. Later, during the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds' mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of February -- Valentine's Day -- should be a day for romance. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. The greeting, which was written in 1415, is part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England. Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

In Great Britain, Valentine's Day began to be popularly celebrated around the seventeenth century. By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one's feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine's Day greetings. Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began to sell the first mass-produced valentines in America.

According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.)

Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women. In addition to the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. The first commercial Valentine's Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap".

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

North Fulton Cities Get Creative When It Comes To Jail.

By MARCUS K. GARNER http://www.ajc.com/

When north Fulton County's three newest cities each began creating their own police departments, one major question loomed: Where do you put the people you arrest?
For Sandy Springs, Milton and Johns Creek, the solutions came from locations near and far,
from 20 minutes away to 200 miles.

"Prisoner housing was a big concern," said Milton public safety director Chris Lagerbloom. "It's something you have to do." The 22-member Milton police worked a deal with the Fulton County Sheriff's Department to house the criminals in the Alpharetta-North Fulton Jail Annex, where sheriff's deputies run the Alpharetta facility.

"The sheriff maintains three beds for us," Lagerbloom said. "If we go over, we pay $65 per prisoner per day."

But that has yet to happen in the sprawling new community of roughly 20,000, he said. And transport rarely calls for more than a 20-minute drive.

For the more populous Johns Creek and Sandy Springs, the options require more drive time.
The quick start up for the Sandy Springs police department meant there wasn't time to incorporate even a holding cell. Johns Creek has limited holding space and prefers to out-source overnight jail stays.

Both cities have intergovernmental agreements to keep short-term detainees, like DUI and traffic offenders or misdemeanor miscreants, at Doraville's city jail.More serious lawbreakers who require longer stays are transported to the Irwin County Jail in Ocilla, nearly four hours south of Metro Atlanta.

"They transport prisoners to and from their facility and handle minor medical needs for us," said Sandy Springs police Lt. Steve Rose of the Irwin County Sheriff's staff. Sandy Springs pays Doraville and Irwin County $45 per prisoner per night, Rose said. Last year's bill came to more than $233,000, he said."That's a good deal for us," Rose said, comparing that rate to others that charge as much as $75 per prisoner.

When Johns Creek police go online in April, they will operate from a converted office building, much like Milton and Sandy Springs. Do the plan to build their own jail? "No," Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker said.

Rose said Sandy Springs is looking to a different kind of cooperation."Because of all the new cities, we might look at a jail authority," he said. "Sharing with Milton and Johns Creek would be really cost effective."

The idea hasn't gone beyond informal discussion at this point, however. Although Bodker, who is also chair of the North Fulton Municipal Association, said the topic had been considered along with the idea of a joint 9-1-1 center."It would only make sense in terms of cost and convenience to consider a centrally located facility," he said.

Lagerbloom and Bodker pointed out that sharing would be inevitable, if talks of forming Milton County came to fruition.

"Does this decision make sense if we never got Milton County? Yes," Bodker said.
Without a new county, Lagerbloom said the City of Milton likely won't build a jail.
"That was not the business we wanted to be in," he said.

Milton Considers Moratorium In Growing Crabapple

By DOUG NURSEThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution www.ajc.com

Milton City Council is contemplating a 6-month moratorium on development in the booming Crabapple area in the southern part of the city.

The council is concerned that new projects may be proposed that will conflict with the comprehensive land-use plan currently being developed. The delay would give the city time to craft and approve a comprehensive plan that would govern and set standards for new development citywide, including Crabapple.

Community Development Director Tom Wilson said there are no new pending projects for Crabapple. The current development going on is the product of Fulton County Commission approvals before Milton became a city, Dec. 1, 2006, he said.

Crabapple used to be a sleeply crossroads, but John Weiland homes is building more than 100 residences plus some retail projects. Lodgestone Development is building about 20,000 square feet of retail and office space. About 10 recently finished buildings are now leasing to restaurants and shops.

For a moratorium to be enacted in a specific area, the city would need quantifiable evidence that proves an untenable situation exists, said City Attorney Angie Davis."Saying, 'There's a lot of traffic out there' isn't going to be good enough," she said at a council work session Monday. "It needs to be something like, 'There aren't any water lines.'"

The idea of a moratorium was first broached at a planning commission meeting last month.
At a Monday work session the City Council decided to hold off on a decision so the city attorney can research whether the city can focus the moratorium on Crabapple, or if it must apply the freeze across the board.

If the moratorium is enacted, but six months isn't long enough, the City Council could extend it, Davis said. The comprehensive plan should be finished by the end of the year.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New Poll Up.

A new poll is listed in the upper right of our news section. This month's survey ask:

"Should The City Of Milton Designate An Official "Equestrian Month"?

Fire Safety For Our Equestrian Friends.

Dr. Ken Marcella DVM, City of Milton Fire Safety Department and Georgia Hunter Jumper Association invite all those interested in learning key information that may save your horse's life.
What: Fire Safety and Emergency Readiness Seminar.

Date: February 16, 2008
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 pm
Place: Bethany Hall Farm
(2500 Bethany Church Road Milton, GA 30004)

Dr. Ken Marcella will speak about important safety measures to be taken given a fire or other possible disasters. The City of Milton Fire Department will review how to have a "fire safe barn." How can barn managers and owners help firefighters if you are faced with a burning barn? Come support GHJA Juniors as they try to raise money to purchase a much needed Equine Sling for our area. If you are responsible for the care of horses, you won't want to miss this! Admission is free.

Please contact Laura Bentley at rbent1@bellsouth.net for details.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Milton Moratorium for Crabapple In The Works?

by Jason Wright / http://www.northfulton.com/ /Milton Herald

MILTON -- As the mountains of dirt and scores of new buildings can attest, Crabapple is hot.Developers want in the area, which is undergoing a transformation from sleepy, historic crossroads to live/work community. But concerns about future development, traffic and how it will all be affected by the unfinished Comprehensive Land Use Plan update are consistent topics in City Hall.

So what is the city to do with new Crabapple development plans hanging in the balance?Planning Commission thinks it has an idea -- a moratorium on any new development until the plan is finished, which could be in about six months.The idea was brought forward by Commissioner George Ragsdale at the Jan. 29 meeting. He said the series of meetings in December and January looking at updating Crabapple's existing 2005 plan saw no significant or specific changes. The consensus from those meetings was that Crabapple should be included in Milton's overall land use plan to ensure a consistent philosophy across the city. And that takes time."Things may come before us that we don't want to approve after the comprehensive plan," he said.


Commission Chairman Paul Moore agreed, saying in the past Crabapple's development decisions were rushed by Fulton County and didn't consider the larger impact on Milton. Now was the opportunity to take their time, he said."We're best served by proceeding cautiously," he said. "We're doing the community a service by taking the rush out of the equation."


Those developments affected by the rush included a number of the new buildings going up in Crabapple, which Moore said were a "direct result of going to the wire before Milton became a city."The motion passed unanimously.Ragsdale will draft a letter to City Council to be signed by all seven members of the Planning Commission. It will then be up to council to decide the moratorium's fate.In other news, Planning Commission:• Deferred the hearing on the Alpharetta Methodist Christian Academy until Feb. 26. The applicant, Monticello Real Estate Investment LLC, requested the extra time to give the community more time to educate themselves about the proposed private school development on Hopewell Road.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Spring Events Coming Up In Milton, GA!

The City of Milton is planning a special event for the week of April 20, 2008 - culminating on Saturday, April 26, 2008 to celebrate:

Georgia Cities Week – April 20-26, 2008
Sponsored by the Georgia Municipal Association
To showcase and celebrate cities and the many
Services they provide.
Earth Day – April 22, 2008
A national demonstration of concern for the environment.
Every day is Earth Day!
National Arbor Day – April 26, 2008
Nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting.

If you are interested in helping to create this celebration, please attend the organizational meeting to be held at Milton City Hall on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. at the Milton City Hall, 13000 Deerfield Parkway, Suite 107, Milton, GA.

Linda M Blow
Linda.blow@cityofmiltonga.us
DD: 678-242-2489

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

NBA Legend Jerry Lucas, "Dr. Memory," To Speak.

NBA superstar Jerry Lucas will speak in the Sanctuary at Birmingham United Methodist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, on February 24 at the 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. worship services and will lecture at 6:30 p.m. in the evening as well as February 25 at 7:00 p.m. He will share the Lucas Learning System™ that makes the learning process easy, fun, and long-lasting, earning him the title of Doctor Memory™.

As a boy with a very active mind, Lucas challenged himself by inventing mental games to test his memory. At an early age, he realized that being a successful student took knowing not only HOW to learn but HOW TO RETAIN that learned information. He has authored more than sixty books in the field of memory training and learning systems. Doctor Memory™ is widely known and respected as an expert in developing the many methods that encompass his concept known as Learning That Lasts™. He has taught his system to millions of people through seminars and the sale of his books. He co-authored the New York Times best-seller, The Memory Book, and has dazzled audiences as a guest on countless television talk shows.

Jerry graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Ohio State University and was the only basketball player in collegiate history to lead the nation in field goal percentage and rebounding for three years, becoming the only three-time recipient of the Big Ten Player of the Year Award. He was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 1979 and was chosen as one of the five most outstanding college basketball players in the Twentieth Century by Sports Illustrated.

Birmingham United Methodist Church is located at 15770 Birmingham Highway, Alpharetta, Georgia 30004. Attendance is free. For directions or more information, contact Cathy Semeria or Elwynne Rotaru at 678.942.1600 or visit www.birminghamumc.org. * * *
15770 Birmingham Highway, Alpharetta, GA 30004 678.942.1600 Fax: 678.942.1616

Jamaican-Born Missionary Celebrates 100th In Milton.


Jamaican-born missionary and evangelist, Elsada Duncan, celebrated her 100th birthday on January 15 in the City of Milton/Alpharetta, an upscale suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.
Miss Duncan was born in Brainerd, St. Mary, on January 15, 1908 to local farmers, Charles and Grace-Ann Pinnock-Duncan. The seventh child of 13, she has outlived all her siblings.
Still sharp and witty, she told JIS News that when she was growing up she was very interested in educating herself, so she could help to take care of her younger siblings.

She began her schooling at the age of eight, but financial constraints meant she could not continue beyond age 15. However, undeterred by circumstances, her sense of ambition led her to learn a skill that would be her ticket out of her countryside village and into the city of Kingston.

In Kingston, she immediately joined a church and at age 17 gave her life to Christ and has not looked back since. She took up dressmaking and, true to her personality, gave it her all.
She supported herself, one of her nieces whom she adopted, her daughter, Norma McLaughlin, who was born in June1940, and two years later, adopted her niece's son. As a single mother living in Kingston, Elsie found it challenging raising a young adult and two children, while juggling a career at a busy manufacturing company. This, she said, led her to go into her own business, so that she could have more time for her family and "her God."

Miss Duncan and her children were active members of their church, Bethel Apostolic, in Jones Town. They would later join the Church of Jesus Christ -Apostolic, at 3 Oakland Road in Kingston, where she was appointed an Evangelist.

Migrating to the United States with her family in the early 1990s, Miss Duncan first settled in Stamford, Connecticut, then moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1995.

At 100 years old, she still maintains great health, and continues her evangelical work. She can be seen in the local shopping mall, grocery store or restaurant asking passers-by if they know the Lord or whether they would need prayer for anything. She attributes her long life to a strong faith in God, often proclaiming, "God preserves me."

Her biggest concern for people today is that they don't take proper care of themselves. They don't know how to "put on dem clothes properly," she said, and they don't take enough time to rest. This centenarian uses a walker to get around, but she is quick to point out that it's not because she's old, "but because of a broken hip in 1997 and a broken ankle in 1980." You will never hear her say that she's 100 years-old, instead she announces her age with a hearty, "I'm 100 years young."

To commemorate this milestone birthday, several events were planned for her. There was a visit to her great-grandson, Luke Hall's kindergarten class at Cogburn Woods Elementary School in Milton, Georgia, on January 23, and a personal visit to her home by the Mayor of the City of Milton/Alpharetta, Georgia, Joe Lockwood, on January 27.

The events will culminate with Thanksgiving celebration at her home on Saturday, March 15.