Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
The Milton City Council has scheduled a meeting for Monday to approve a city manager.
The city has only advertised for one candidate, Billy Preston Beckett of Peachtree City.
Beckett, a 30-year veteran of government administration, has served as Fayette County administrator, Riverdale city manager. He also served as a manager in Raleigh County, W.Va.; Franklin County, Va.; and Collier County in southwest Florida.
Beckett joined Fayette County in 1985, and served for 15 years —eons in the world of county administration.
Since then he has worked as executive director of the Coosa Valley Regional Development Center, and as city manager of Safety Harbor in Florida.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Milton - With a large crowd of people coming for dinner, The Mad Italian Restaurant had it's hands full at this past Thursday's Milton Nights... From meeting new people to the encouragement of friendships generated from time's past; this evening had it all. Mad Italian owner Tom Brown donated 10% of the evenings proceeds to the Milton Police & Fire Depts. Many thanks to all those that came out in support!!!
To find out more about Milton's Mad Italian Restaurant, click here=>http://www.accessmilton.com/Advertisers/MadItalian.php
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The Time: 6pm - 10pm
The Location: The Mad Italian Restaurant
5310 Windward Pkwy Milton, GA 30004
(Next to Home Depot!)
Looking To Meet Your Milton Neighbors? Need A Local Networking Source? Want To Make New Memories With Old Friends?
Then Head On Over To The Mad Italian Off Of Windward Parkway This Upcoming Thursday, March 27th At 6pm For Food, Fun, & Family!
Tom Brown, owner of the Mad Italian restaurant on Windward Parkway in Milton has always been a part of his local community, whether he is selling sandwiches at opening day at the local ball fields, sponsoring a high school lacrosse team or celebrating at the Milton Birthday bash. Of course, he jumped at the chance to host the next Milton Nights...
Tom says, "It's an honor to sponsor the next 'Milton Nights' because it provides the Milton community with a great opportunity to come together as family and neighbors and get to know our community leaders in a casual, relaxed environment."
Tom has chosen to donate 10% of proceeds during Milton Night to the City of Milton Fire and Police Departments. He hopes that you will join him at The Mad Italian, try out "the best cheese steak south of Philly" (or one of his other signature items, like the spicy sausage diavolo or delicious cheese steak pizza) and in the process help your local fire and police departments.
So Come On Out Thursday Night And MEET SOMEBODY!!!
Looking For A Mad Italian Menu? Click Here!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Close your eyes for just a moment and picture the tiny chocolate brown building facing Cogburn, just south of Francis Road. It sits behind a majestic oak tree guarding a home-built red barn. The sign reads: Tuesday and Thursday Open 7:00pm. You have probably passed it a thousand times during Milton’s rush hour and wondered what it is and who is inside. This is Mr. Charles Day’s barbershop. The barbershop, the barn and his home, which he shares with his beautiful wife Carolyn, were built by Mr. Day in 1961. Read more here=> www.miltonville.com
Monday, March 24, 2008
Milton -- Work crews building the Deerfield Place phase one shopping center hit two gas lines March 24, shutting down a portion of Ga. 9 in Milton.Traffic is being routed up Webb Road through Deerfield Parkway, then back to the clear part of Ga. 9.Lt. S. Cornett of the Milton Public Safety Department said the city has already notified the state to shut off the gas since Ga. 9 is a state route. The site has been evacuated, save for gas and public safety crews.Atlanta Gas Light officials on scene would not comment on when the main was hit.Cornett said there was no time line yet on when the portion of Ga. 9 would be reopened.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Their dappled backs help them to blendin with the rocks on the bottom. During the spring and summer spawning season,the darters "color up" adding turquoise blue andbrick red to their everyday attire, going from drab to dressy, as they try to get the attention of the females."Darters get their name because they move around the water in short quick bursts," said Freeman. "They can instantly burrow under the rocks when danger is present, or flit out into the open when they see a female coming along."The male courts a female and then she deposits an egg by attaching it to a rock or a little piece of wood.The Cherokee darter helps reduce the population of those pesky black flies by eating their larvae and midges, while the Etowah darters tend to dine on caddisflies and mayflies. All the while, the darters must avoid being eaten by the bigger sport and game fish.That is about as complicated as a darter's life get --hanging out in the stream, looking for food and a mate and trying not to get eaten by the bigger guys.The Etowah darter, however, is an endangered species and the Cherokee darter is threatened. Although both are listed as protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act, their habitats continue to disappear.Two essential attributes of the underwater world are critical to the darters' survival. The water must be moving and it must be clear. Instead, their streams are being degraded by incompatible agricultural practices,urbanization, sedimentation, just to name a few of the human impacts on the habitat.Because darters communicate by sight alone, clearwater is necessary for their survival. When the water becomes cloudy they cannot find insects for a meal,locate a mate, or avoid a predator."They also need flowing water. To dam up their stream or river would be a death sentence for themand their whole local population," Freeman said.
MILTON-- The completion of an important permit process for the city might have hit a stumbling block that could have unintended consequences for rural Milton.The permit, called the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES, is paramount for the city to receive state funding. The city has the permit contingent on passing two local ordinances: a litter control law and something called the conservation subdivision use ordinance.
The reason for those ordinances, City Attorney Angie Davis told City Council at its March 10 work session, is because Milton is part of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District. As such, Georgia law requires Milton to pass both ordinances.As it is written, the subdivision conservation law is meant to increase green space and reduce impact to local waterways. It has long been a part of the permit process.
Unfortunately, it's generally meant for more urban areas than Milton and could force developers in the city to increase their density to meet its requirements. In addition, it supersedes Milton's existing zoning laws that guard against high density development.Luckily, Davis said Milton doesn't have to pass the exact ordinance that's on the books, only something "substantially similar." So that leaves some wiggle room for the city to argue its case against the potential of higher density."I think the purpose [of the law] is to encourage lots of green space ... and I think in the city of Milton we do that a whole lot with our land classifications as we have them," she said.However, she admits it's not going to be easy to convince the Georgia Environmental Protection Division that Milton is doing enough on its own.
"They have their little box, and we don't fit in that box," she said.Council agreed to look at the proposed law and provide insight into what Davis and Community Development Director Tom Wilson can create to fulfill the requirements.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
MILTON-- After receiving 6,000 pages of e-mail correspondence by her fellow Milton City Council members, Karen Thurman said it is clear to her she has been left out of the decision-making process.Filed in late February, Thurman's inquiry was largest open records request in Milton's short history.It asked for "all e-mail correspondence between the City Council members and/or mayor and city staff and/or city attorney for 2008," according to her request.The result of digging through the e-mails, according to Thurman?"It clearly confirmed my belief that there were discussions taking place on items that were on our agendas prior to them coming forward for the whole council discussion," she said. "There were back room discussions."
She said council members would address an e-mail to Mayor Joe Lockwood or City Manager Chris Lagerbloom, then discuss the question with each other in forwarded e-mails. However, the e-mails were never sent to her or Lusk.Because the e-mails were only sent to the mayor and city manager in the first round, "Chris and Joe probably didn't know," she said."Sometimes I feel like I show up to council meetings and everybody else has information I don't," she said.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Second, the regions would then ask their citizens to vote on a list of projects that the sales tax would fund and the timeframe for that funding. Each region would get back all of the funding it generates for its own transportation projects.
Citizens finally have a chance to be heard on this issue.
Please take a few minutes today to contact your House Representative and urge that they vote “Yes” on the House Transportation Committee's substitute to SR 845.
Find your Representative here
Thank you for helping metro Atlanta’s economic prosperity and quality of life.
The Atlanta Regional Commission is a member of the Get Georgia Moving coalition, which represents more than 50 groups, including Georgia and metro Atlanta businesses, government leaders, transit advocates, road builders and environmentalists, who gathered together to advocate for transportation funding solutions in the 2008 legislative session. The coalition supports a referendum-based effort to generate funding to relieve congestion, ensure our air quality and promote economic development.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Time: Approx: 6pm
Location: Bethany Road Between Mayfield & Providence.
Offense: A black Lexus 470 / Fulton Tag# AHS 7302 was seen driving in a wreckless manner going north on Bethany Road. The offending vehicle passed a north bound vehicle on a double yellow line (which means no passing!) in front of the Trotter's Ridge Subdivision. Witnesses state that they were driving about 40mph when the vehicle passed. It is estimated that speed driven by this individual is roughly 60mph. Driver continued north and turn right onto Bethany Way.
Please keep your eye out for this individual. He is taking the lives of all of our Milton residents for granted! This vehicle has been reported to the Milton Police dept.
Milton tailback Toney Williams picked up his sixth scholarship offer on Friday when N.C. State gave the 6-foot-1, 230-pound junior an opportunity to play college football in Raleigh.
With a recruiting portfolio that already included offers from Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kentucky, Rutgers and Tennessee, the Wolfpack might be considered a longshot at best to land the talented Williams, who is a native of the Volunteer state.
“He went to Georgia Tech last week and met with Coach [Paul] Johnson,” Milton coach **Scott Walker said. “He’s visited Tennessee and Kentucky and he’s going to Georgia on the 22nd [for junior day].
“N.C. State just offered him, but he’ll still try to make it up there for a visit.”
Several other programs have made inquiries on Williams, who possesses 4.6-second speed in the 40.
“I just sent film to Alabama last week,” Walker said. “And schools like Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt, Clemson and pretty much everybody in the ACC seems interested in him.”
Georgia has expressed interest in Williams. But with less than 15 scholarships available to the class of 2009, the Dogs may be hard pressed to find room for Williams.“I actually spoke with two of [Georgia’s] coaches about Toney,” Walker said. “If they recruit him, they’ll recruit him as an H-back or fullback type. I think they’ve got, or will have, five bon-a-fide blue chip tailbacks on campus."
“They told me they really like him, but it’s going to come down to their numbers.”
Williams, who will be a four-year letterman at Milton, has the flexibility to line up nearly anywhere in the offensive backfield.
“He’s exactly what he looks like,” Walker said. “Everybody is recruiting him because they think he can do a lot of things. “Georgia Tech is wanting him to play B-back, which is their fullback. Kentucky is recruiting him strictly as a tailback. Tennessee is recruiting him as both.
“He can be a big guy tailback. And he has great hands.”
One of our residents is missing a member of the family; their cat Stella. If folks could keep their eyes out for this little lady, we would really appreciate it! Stella's family lives off of New Providence Road. Please contact: Robin Shane at 404-797-4170 if you have seen Stella!
This is a friendly reminder regarding important upcoming meetings this week both in Milton and at our borders. Monday, March 17th Mayor and City Council meeting includes three requests for rezoning, some of which are requesting withdrawal. Please note while an applicant can request withdrawal once the case has been advertised the public hearing will be held.
Tuesday, March 18th at 7pm at the Canton City Hall in downtown Canton the Georgia State Environmental Protection Division, (EPD) is holding a public hearing on the proposed sewerage treatment plant north of Milton's borders. This public hearing is in response to hundreds of letters received from Cherokee residents and Milton citizens. As noted in earlier releases and as reported by the news this proposed plant would bring increased density, greater stormwater run off thereby negatively impacting the rural character of this region. As you may have read in the newspapers, Cherokee Water and Sewerage Authority has denied its intent to bring sewer service into Milton. Please remember that there is sewer service within a half-mile of Milton in Cherokee County. An earlier document from the Metro North Georgia Water Planning District also notes additional sewerage capacity coming from Cherokee to serve North Fulton for a regionalized approach. If you have not sent a letter expressing your opinion about this proposed sewerage treatment plan please do so. Your opinion still matters. Both letters and attendance at the EPD hearing are critical. A copy of the sample EPD letter for your reference may be found using this link.
Equally important you should have received your Milton Citizens Survey in the mail. It is critical that this survey be completed and mailed in by Friday, March 21st. I appreciate you taking the time to provide your opinion to the Mayor, City Council, Staff and the CPAC. This survey is vital to the Comprehensive Land Use Planning Update process.Also, on Wednesday, March 19th in Forsyth County, a Community Public Information Meeting is being held regarding a proposed development on the borders of Milton and Forsyth, near Bethany Bend Road and McGinnis Ferry. There is a proposal for 87+ acres at this location to become a continuous care facility. The Forsyth County Government Center is at 110 East Main St. Cumming, GA 30040.
Your direct involvement allows me to be even more effective on your behalf.
Julie Zahner Bailey
Milton City Council
Monday, March 17, 2008
DATE: April 12th 2008
10 Roswell St Ste 120Alpharetta, GA 30004Phone: (678) 566-0576
MORE: Please let me know of an alternate date if this date does not work as I would like to get the majority of us together well before this event to plan logistics, etc...
670 Chantress Ct
Alpharetta, Georgia 30004
Sunday, March 16, 2008
It was one of the largest open records request ever received by the city clerk of Milton. Karen Thurman recently asked for, and received, months of e-mails involving City Council members. She said she simply wants to know what is going on in the city.
What makes this request so extraordinary? Thurman is a member of the City Council.
Saying she felt out of the loop, Thurman filed an open records request with the city for e-mails among city senior staff and other council members going back to Jan. 1."I know that this will be a significant number of e-mails but feel it is necessary for me to get a handle on what is happening within the city," she wrote in a Feb. 26 e-mail to the city clerk.
On March 7, the city provided her with 6,000 pages of e-mails on a computer disc, which she read over the next two days.She said her review confirmed instances where she and Councilman Bill Lusk had been left out of the loop by other council members. For example, she said she was caught flatfooted by the City Council's decision to move the meeting date from Thursdays to Mondays, which is a bad time for her. She said e-mails indicate that other council members were aware of the proposal.
Thurman said none of the issues where she was omitted was major, but she finds it disturbing, nonetheless."It's political," she said.Last year, Thurman and Lusk were often part of a bloc of four votes, but two of their allies were defeated in the fall election. Since the city was founded Dec. 1, 2006, it had been riven with political dissension, prompting the council last year to call an organizational psychologist to help them deal with conflict.
Amy Henderson, spokeswoman for the Georgia Municipal Association, said Thurman's open records request was an unusual move."It's rare for anybody to ask for city council e-mails, but it's even more uncommon when it's coming from a member of the City Council," Henderson said.
Thurman said the freedom of information act request was justified. She said that, sometimes, threads of discussions from City Manager Chris Lagerbloom and Mayor Joe Lockwood would be discussed online among council members — minus Thurman and Lusk. She said Lagerbloom and Lockwood probably weren't even aware it was going on."She gets the same e-mails that everyone else gets, at least from me," Lockwood said. "Everything that has to do with the decisions of the city, I send to everyone. Everyone is in the loop."
Lagerbloom said Thurman is being charged for the research but said doesn't know how much it will cost.Lusk said it's disconcerting to be excluded from discussions. Thurman shared some of the e-mails with him."If you're part of a team and it's time to go into a huddle and everyone gets asked except for two players, I don't know how you win, how to play when you've been marginalized," Lusk said. "It's frustrating."
Lusk said he might have voted differently on some things if had had the same information as everyone else, but he said he couldn't name any specifics off the top of his head."We're supposed to come together here since the city has been taken back," Lusk said, referring to campaign slogans last fall that said it was time to take back Milton.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Courtesy: Cherokee Ledger News Tom Brooks
A public hearing on an environmental permit sought for a proposed wastewater treatment facility that would serve northeastern Cherokee County is scheduled for March 18.
The plans for the Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority (CCWSA) plant has drawn opposition from area residents who say the facility would threaten water quality and lead to high-density development in rural areas of northeastern Cherokee and in the region.
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has scheduled the public hearing for Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Canton City Hall, 151 Elizabeth St. in downtown Canton.
Tuesday’s public hearing is part of the regulatory process for the development of a draft permit known as the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Draft NPDES permits are presented to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EDA) for review before state approval.
The CCWSA is seeking approval for a permit to allow for treatment of up to 8 million gallons of sewerage per day, with plans for the initial phase of the plant to have a capacity for 2 million gallons per day, said CCWSA Environmental Affairs Manager David Kubala.
Construction of the facility near the Coker’s Chapel Road water plant off East Cherokee Drive would take about one year to 18 months after the project is started, and the construction for the full capacity would be years later in the future, Kubala said.
The proposed plant has drawn opposition from residents of the city of Milton in northern Fulton County who have advocated for a “no sewer” policy to keep development at rural levels.
Milton City Councilwoman Julie Zahner Bailey stated in a Web blog last month that the proposed treatment plant would allow for the North Georgia Water Planning District’s long-term plan for “regionalization” of water treatment in the Etowah River Basin with a plant in Cherokee that would allow for service in neighboring Forsyth and Fulton counties.
“My position on the long standing no sewer policies for this unique area of the region has not changed,” she stated.“I believe these policies mean no sewer expansion regardless of the basin in which the parcels lie.”
Outcry over the proposed plant from Milton residents reportedly prompted the EPD to schedule the Canton hearing, which its official announcement states is to focus on water quality issues, and avoid land-use and other issues not part of the permit process.
Kubala said the plant is far beyond the service area for Milton and would require support of local officials in the city and Fulton County to conceivably lead to tie-ins with the city.
Opponents of the treatment plant are misinterpreting the “regionalization” language in the water planning district plan, Kubala said.“I know of no way currently that the city of Milton will be served by the Northeast Cherokee treatment plant,” Kubala said.
Northeastern Cherokee resident Linda Flory, an opponent of the treatment plant, said the treatment plant would pose a threat to water quality for the Etowah River and Lake Allatoona.
The long-term challenge of maintaining sewerage lines would eventually lead to failures similar to the city of Atlanta’s strained sewerage infrastructure, she said.
Flory, a board member of Cherokee Citizens for Responsible Growth, an organization that has opposed large housing developments in the county, said the treatment plant would lead to burdens on local infrastructure beyond sewerage as new growth of thousands of homes would ultimately follow its development.
“There has been widespread opposition from Cherokee County residents,” Flory said.
The treatment plant has been planned in recent years by the CCWSA to provide service for new development in northeastern Cherokee that has already garnered approval. Among the projects is a large housing development near the Etowah River, he added.
CCWSA officials are prepared for public input on the treatment plant project, Kubala said.
“We look forward to hearing what the public has to say,” Kubala said.
Friday, March 14, 2008
On March 27th, King’s Ridge School is spear-heading a service project to fill a U-haul with food, clothing and other badly needed items to take to Rattle Snake Ridge, in southeastern Kentucky. Rattlesnake Ridge is home to Integrated Community Ministries http://www.ky-icm.org/home.html (ICM), a non-profit organization serving McCreary County, whose claim to fame is that is that it is one of the three poorest counties in Kentucky. Rattlesnake Ridge is a community within McCreary, home to those whose fathers and grandfathers worked the coal mines for script, lived on company own land and bought food from the company owned stores. The coal industry disappeared in the 1970’s…. leaving the people of McCreary County without jobs, without land, without money and without hope.
The problem with small, remote, communities like McCreary, which is the only county in Kentucky without an incorporated city, is that there are few if any social services. And because almost no one has much to give, there’s little in the way of local charity. The problems for the people on the Ridge are compounded by their isolationism. The western part of this county (where Rattlesnake Ridge is located) is uneffectionately known as No Man's Land. They are considered the poorest of the poor, physically separated from the rest of the county because they actually live on a mountain top, miles from, well everything. They are further removed due to their incredible poverty and inability to successfully interact within the schools and within the community. They are alone, and bitter in their uniqueness. Consequently, many kids drop out of school and return to the Ridge, running away from the daily ridicule and prejudice that confronts them in the “mainstream” county culture. What they return to is a life of immense need, drug addiction and generational poverty with no end in sight – and no hope.
I thought the timing may be perfect, to submit the following to you for consideration: Cities often adopt “sister” cities from other parts of the country or other parts of the world. Here we are, Milton, a shiny, brand spanking new city. Wouldn’t it be cool for one of the richest cities in the world to adopt one of the poorest…… It could change a lot of lives both in McCreary and in Milton.
There has been a local, grass roots effort going on for the past 7 years to help support ICM through a community outreach program right here in Milton and Alpharetta. The founders and drivers of the “Appalachian Christmas Project” are Eva Buckingham and Lisa Beharelle from White Columns. Here are Eva, Lisa and Lisa’s daughter Kelsey (center) pausing for a photo last November as Christmas gifts are loaded on to the FOUR (4) U-hauls headed for Kentucky. This is just one of several trips that take place every year up to Rattlesnake Ridge. It’s an amazing thing to see as dozens of neighbors from the community load the trucks on a Thursday night – and off they go…. The number of kids in McCreary County who now get to have a real Christmas has grown from 40 (6) years ago to now 344 this past December.
I urge you to please watch this video. Check it out first hand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heGZqTj9zZY This is all going on right here in our community!! Like I mentioned, King’s Ridge is loading up a truck in a couple of weeks and it would be awesome to have your support and send along some good news from our great city, Milton, GA. I greatly appreciate your considering this idea.
Bill and Tracy Schellhorn
225 Orchard Bend Trail
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Legislators have failed to resolve a stalemate between Atlanta and Fulton County over the water supply for growing north Fulton.
The failure of HB 1145 late Tuesday leaves the two governments at odds over the allocation of the 90 million gallons of water produced each day from a plant the two own jointly in north Fulton County — and legislators fearing that the dispute could stop economic development north of Atlanta.
Fulton already is using its 45 million gallons per day, while Atlanta has excess capacity it wants to sell to the county at a wholesale rate of $1.10 per 1,000 gallons. Fulton, however, doesn't want to pay what Atlanta wants to charge.
Fulton officials would like to expand the plant to increase their capacity. But they cannot expand the plan without Atlanta's consent. And Atlanta will not agree to an expansion while it has water to sell.
"I don't think it's reached a crisis yet," said Angela Parker, director of public works for Fulton County. "But we certainly need to address it. If we were to get an agreement on some of their capacity, it seems they should get some return on their investment. The question is what's reasonable."
To get past the dispute, powerful lawmakers from north Fulton have been trying to give the local governments there an edge with legislation that would allow them to band together to form a joint water authority and produce their own drinking water. Last year, a local bill by state Sen. David Shafer (R-Duluth) died in the state House of Representatives because of opposition by Democratic lawmakers from Atlanta.
State Rep. Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs) and Speaker Pro Tem Mark Burkhalter (R-Alpharetta) came back this session with a statewide measure, House Bill 1145, that did not have to go through the local delegation.
It would allow local jurisdictions to create their own water and sewer authorities by resolution rather than coming to the General Assembly. However, it ran into its own problems Tuesday night, and Willard and Burkhalter pulled the bill before a vote.
Willard contends that Atlanta is "holding north Fulton hostage" and potentially blocking growth by trying to charge an exorbitant price for its water.
"It all boils down to fairness," Willard said. "Somehow, this has got to be resolved."
Atlanta officials say that Willard, Shafer and Burkhalter are being unfair.
"We are willing to let [Fulton] expand as long as they use our water first," said Rob Hunter, Atlanta's commissioner for watershed management. "I don't think we are being unreasonable in our request. It's a fair rate. No one's being gouged."
City leaders contend that the purpose of the bills is to give the authority the ability to seize Atlanta's share of the treatment plant and the pipe network it has invested millions in over the past century. The city's retail water network expands outside the city through Sandy Springs and much of south Fulton County.
"It could be a grab of our assets that the city has paid for for decades," said Megan Middleton, a lobbyist for the city of Atlanta. "That could put us behind on paying for the bonds on the consent decree."
The city has been so concerned about the bill that it has created a fact sheet on its potential negative impacts. And Mayor Shirley Franklin issued her own statement explaining why legislators should kill the bill.
"H.B. 1145 is bad news for the City of Atlanta," the mayor's statement reads. "It is a not-so-veiled attempt to allow the creation of a water authority that would have the power to take North Fulton water and sewer infrastructure that the City owns and its residents paid for."
Willard complained that Atlanta is either distorting or misreading his legislation and that no takeover is planned.
"There is no way we can condemn property owned by another government," he said.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
The streets of the 600-plus home Crooked Creek subdivision in Milton are being used as cut-through routes, and the residents are tired of it.
On Monday, members of the subdivision's homeowners association asked the City Council to give them back the streets so they can become a gated community.
The council seemed willing, but doing so might require some changes in current city policy. One of those, requiring approval from 100 percent of the residents, was inherited from Fulton County.
City Attorney Ken Jarrard said the County Commission probably set the standard high because of concern there could be an epidemic of groups all over the county wanting the commission to abandon streets and then saddling unwilling residents with the costs of maintaining the streets.
The council held off on committing to the change, but asked Jarrard to meet with the Crooked Creek attorney to explore various options.
The Milton Gardening Club is open to everyone in the city of Milton who is interested in or has a passion for gardening. All ability levels from novice to professional are welcome. Our focus will be on member education, philanthropy, and community outreach.
WHEN: March 20th 12:30 p.m. (First day of Spring!)
WHERE: Home of Sharon Murphy
1720 Windsor Cove
Highland Manor Subdivision,
Monday, March 10, 2008
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Saturday, March 08, 2008
State Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine says he has $900,000 that belongs to the city of Milton.
Milton, incorporated 15 months ago, is eager to have it.
But one stumbling block remains: Fulton County, the would-be middleman in the transaction, says it would be illegal to give Milton the cash. Fulton officials say they will be glad to take the money from Oxendine, but that they can't pass it along.
"That's not fair," Oxendine said. "It should be spent in Milton."Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood is trying to find a solution to the sticky problem."We've got our city attorneys working on it," Lockwood said. "It makes you realize the frustration people have with government. When it's so black and white, it's frustrating that people can't make a good decision and do the right thing."
The problem began last year when Milton officials missed a deadline to claim the tax money its residents paid on insurance premiums. The oversight came a month after Milton became a city, Dec. 1, 2006.
After the mistake became public in July, the City Council conducted 20 hours of closed-door sessions to discuss "personnel matters." A few days later, city manager Aaron Bovos resigned.
City officials have been pleading with Oxendine to help them recover the money. But Oxendine said he can't give it directly to Milton.
But he thinks he's found a loophole, which could allow him to get the funds to the city via Fulton County.
Oxendine contends that Milton's filing with his office in March 2007 was the first indication he had that the city officially existed. Hence, it could be argued that, as far as he's concerned, the city didn't exist on Jan. 1, the deadline to file paperwork allowing Milton to collect the money. So, in theory, a case could be made that the city didn't miss the deadline.
"I'm willing to pretend," Oxendine said. "It's a stretch, but I'm willing to do it to help. I can only do it for a brand new city."So, Oxendine says his office could send the money to Fulton County, which could make it available to Milton.
But there's a snag.Fulton County Commissioner Lynne Riley said the county attorney's office tells her that by law, Fulton County can only spend money in unincorporated parts of the county. So, if Oxendine did give Milton's money to Fulton County, it would have to be spent in south Fulton County, the only area of the county not incorporated."It's a legal issue, not a political one," she said. "The county's hands are tied by state law."
Milton had hoped for a legislative solution, but state Rep. Jan Jones (R-Milton) said she and the state Legislative Counsel's office researched whether there was any way to pass a law or tweak an old one to help Milton recoup the money, but to no avail."There is no legislative remedy that is constitutional," Jones said.
Oxendine said his lawyers tell him he can't rebate the money to the individuals who paid it. And even if he could, it's not practical because insurance companies pay it in a statewide lump sum.
All this makes Milton Councilwoman Tina D'Aversa a bit crazy.
"It was an administrative error," she said. "We were a new city. We're never going to be in that situation again. That money belongs to the people of Milton. This just exacerbates the error."
In March 2007, the city filed appropriate paperwork, which automatically renews itself annually.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
By DOUG NURSE www.ajc.com.
City officials are mailing copies of its 2007 annual report to about 9,000 households this week, and they have tried to make it user-friendly, said Lisa Maggart, city spokeswoman.
Rather than just produce a financial spreadsheet, city staff simplified the financial aspects to two pages with graphs, and included contact names and numbers, the history of the city, a map of the city and a 2008 calendar.
"We wanted something people could hang on their wall and put down things like soccer dates so it would be useful all year," Maggart said.
The 38-page mailing is chock-full of photographs of residents at various citywide events, she said. The report came later than city officials would have liked —two months of the calendar are already passed— but that's because of problems with a vendor and an unavoidable late start in putting it together, Maggart said.
The report lists the old City Council but that was deliberate, she said. Because this is the inaugural report, it made sense to have the inaugural City Council depicted, Maggart said. The annual report also is available at City Hall, 13000 Deerfield Parkway, and will be posted online today or tomorrow at
The cost of the $20,000 annual report was born by CH2M Hill-OMI, a private firm hired by the city to provide day-to-day services.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
When: Saturday March 8, 2008 3:30 – 6:30pm
Where: Crabapple Estates. The neighborhood is located on Freemanville Road between Mayfield and Providence Roads in Milton , ½ mile north of Milton HS.
Description: Bring your whole family to the Neighborhood Open House for Crabapple Estates this Saturday March 8th between 3:30 – 6:30. Enjoy food, drinks and activities for the kids while touring the beautiful homes available in Crabapple Estates. Whether you are in the market for a new home or looking for updating ideas, come discover the rich details and understated elegance of each home in Crabapple Estates.
To Find out more about this wonderful Milton Neighborhood, please click here=>
Do you have a loved one who's birthday is coming up? Let us know so that we can spread the wonderful word. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org / Subjectline: BIRTHDAY.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
By DOUG NURSE www.ajc.com
Poor and struggling, tiny Milton County embraced a novel solution to overcome the great Depression of the 1930s: Merge with Fulton County.The marriage, tying together a string of diverse communities stretching 70 miles, worked. Fulton — north and south — thrived.
Milton County Courthouse, seen in 1895, with men gathered on court day. Some in north Fulton want to resurrect Milton County.
But leaders from the old Milton region have a new message for Fulton: We want a divorce.
"Fulton County is too big to be responsive," said Sandy Springs City Councilman Rusty Paul. "You need a county big enough to get significant projects done, but still small enough to deliver personal services."
Roswell Mayor Jere Wood said a reconstituted Milton County is a popular idea with residents in the area.
"I believe if you had a referendum on it, 80 to 90 percent would support it," Wood said.
As envisioned, a newly re-formed Milton County would include Alpharetta, Roswell, Mountain Park and the recently formed cities of Sandy Springs, Milton and Johns Creek. Roswell, which was originally part of Cobb County, joined Fulton in 1932.
But the dream is a long way from reality. Re-creating Milton County would likely require an amendment to the state constitution because of an amendment that caps the number of counties at 159. There are practical obstacles as well as political ones, say officials on both sides of the issue.
Resurrecting Milton County may be on hold for this coming legislative session, said Rep. Jan Jones (R-Milton), one of the movement's primary backers. Jones said the General Assembly has plenty to do already, and state-funded studies on the topic probably won't be completed before the session ends in March.
The studies, under way by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia and the Fiscal Research Center at Georgia State University, are exploring the laws, the finances, and the mechanics of how Milton County would separate from Fulton County.
"It's complicated," Jones said. "Every time you peel back a layer there's another. They've found something like 35 to 40 laws that would be affected."
She said she believes it will be challenging but is feasible.
Speaker Pro Tem Mark Burkhalter (R-Johns Creek) has said he will push Milton County if the time seems right.
Other local officials, while acknowledging that residents of north Fulton might have legitimate concerns, don't believe divorce is the best solution.
"Creating a new county will be expensive and more complicated than most people think," said Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves. "I think the perception of Fulton County is different from the reality of Fulton County. We have good things going, and we have a strong economy. I say let's try to fix what we have and make it stronger rather than creating another government entity."
Frustration with Fulton County helped spur the creation of the new cities of Sandy Springs (2005), Milton (2006), and Johns Creek (2006) in the north and Chattahoochee Hill Country (2007) in the south.
But forming separate cities in north Fulton was only the first step envisioned by some residents.
"The saying was Johns Creek in '07 and Milton County in '09," said resident Mark Kopel. "The Fulton County Commission doesn't represent me. Milton County will offer a government that will take care of things and make sure taxes are spent where they need to be spent."
Many northsiders say Fulton County government is sluggish, bloated and doesn't share their priorities.
Paul, the Sandy Springs councilman, believes that sprawling Fulton County, with many factions requiring different kinds of services, is too big to be responsive and efficient. He says that while residents in the northern part of the county seek better roads, more parks, and lower taxes, residents in the southern part want more social services."Fulton County is unbelievably diverse," Paul said. "You can't reach a common vision about what needs to be done."
With the birth of the four new cities in the past few years, the population of unincorporated Fulton County has withered to about 40,000 people. But Milton County backers point out that while services they receive from Fulton have shrunk, their tax bills have not."They should be cutting our taxes quite a bit," said John Payne, a 51-year-old hotel developer from Alpharetta. "I think if you use services, you should pay for them; if you don't then you shouldn't pay for them."
Because the cities have taken over many of the services provided by Fulton County, Milton County would have to offer only a bare minimum of services.
"It's going to be a shell of a county," said Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker. "I believe Milton County will be able to operate with less tax money than Fulton County does."
But Fulton County Commissioner Emma Darnell said everyone would suffer in a divorce.
"The best way to approach it is to work together to solve these problems," Darnell said. "When I hear statements from some north Fulton politicians about Fulton County's poor performance — and there's no real evidence to support it — either they have no proof or there's some other reason. North Fulton is one of the most desirable places to live in the country. Fulton County built north Fulton. We've come too far to go back to the time of race and class divisions."
Members of Alpharetta and Milton's high school bands will join the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for a performance of "Seventy-Six Trombones" in the opening celebration of the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park on Saturday, May 10.
The 320 high school students will perform the song with the ASO at the close of the first half of the concert, which is the inaugural concert at the new venue being built on Encore Parkway just west of Westside Parkway near Ga. 400 in Alpharetta.The concert will be led by Music Director Robert Spano, featuring the Marcus Roberts Trio performing Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, plus the final movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, "Ode to Joy" with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Also on the program are great Broadway works by Bernstein and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Soloists will be Christine Brewer, Elizabeth Bishop, Vinson Cole and Gordon Hawkins.Just two weeks later, some of those same students are likely to be on stage once again, but this time to graduate.
The Alpharetta High School Class of 2008 will hold its graduation at the amphitheatre Saturday, May 24.The ASO continues its six decades of community concerts with a free ASO Connects performance Thursday, Aug. 14 at the amphitheatre. In recent years, the ASO had scheduled this performance at the Wills Park Equestrian Center's covered arena. Assistant Conductor and League of American Orchestras Conducting Fellow Mei-Ann Chen will lead the orchestra"Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park exemplifies the Orchestra's overall mission as a performer, presenter, and educator" said Atlanta Symphony Orchestra President and Managing Director Allison Vulgamore. "We embrace this opportunity to extend our footprint into North Fulton County, expanding our audience through this new venue with classical performances, popular concerts, and community, educational, and family events."
"We are thrilled to align with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to play a key role in the building of this new, first-class, outdoor entertainment venue in the North Atlanta area," said Jeff Mango, president – Georgia/Alabama Region for Verizon Wireless. "With over 2,000 employees in the general vicinity of the amphitheater, it's a great location for us and we look forward to our growing presence in the community."
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park will feature concerts with the ASO, leading popular presentations, as well as an emphasis on community events – including high school graduations, local fund-raising events, and collaborations to create family-themed days, high school music concerts and competitions.
In addition to the May 10 opening, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will perform eight other concerts in the summer of 2008, most of which will be led by Music Director Robert Spano:Saturday, June 28, 8 p.m.: An all-Beethoven evening with Spano;Friday, July 4, 8 p.m.: An Independence Day concert featuring works by Copland, Bernstein, Christopher Theofanidis, Tchaikovsky, and Sousa with Spano;Saturday, July 12, 8 p.m.: An all-Tchaikovsky concert with violinist Robert McDuffie and Spano;Tuesday, July 22: A semi-staged performance of Puccini's La Bohème with Mr. Spano and sopranos Norah Amsellem and Georgia Jarman, tenor Marcus Haddock, baritones Fabio Capitanucci and Christopher Schaldenbrand, and basses Denis Sendov and Kevin Glavin — the same cast featured on the ASO's upcoming recording of the opera, which will be released by Telarc in advance of this concert;Friday, Aug. 8, 8 p.m.: A performance of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 with Garrick Ohlsson and Spano;Family eventsSaturday, Aug. 2, 8 p.m.: An evening with Julie Andrews;Saturday, Aug. 16, 8 p.m.: A musical evening featuring Turner Classic movies led by Richard Kauffman.
Monday, March 03, 2008
What makes this particularly disturbing to me is that this home had 2 cars in the garage and 3 cars in the driveway. There is no way they thought there was no one home – they just didn’t care. Very bold and scary.
- Tim Enloe; Accessmilton.com
The city of Mountain Park has learned to be creative. It doesn't have much choice.
How else could a city meet the needs of 540-or-so residents with the funds for only one full-time employee?
The novel solution: Get people to work for free.Don't laugh. The tiny town in the northwest corner of Fulton County has managed to keep afloat with the help of one crucial element —volunteers."We couldn't function any other way," 10-year resident Steve Goldsmith said. "We don't have the budget."
"It's a sense of accomplishment," said Gladney Cooper. "And it comes back to you."
The level of volunteerism in Mountain Park helps set it apart from its Metro Atlanta neighbors.
"You probably see this a lot less frequently in the Metro area, " said Amy Henderson, spokeswoman for the Georgia Municipal Association."A lot of small towns often have more opportunity to contract with the county to provide some services."
A day after heavy rains pummeled north Fulton County earlier this month, James Dame and Matthew Cox climbed onto the roof of one of the homes in town.The two, both members of the city's all-volunteer fire department, are part of a half dozen emergency responders dispatched that afternoon to patch a resident's leaky roof."Ben, don't walk backwards when you're on a roof," Fire Chief Jon Reeves shouted from the ground below.
The pair gingerly moved around the roof looking for soft spots that could be giving way to water. Then they put down canvas tarps, held down by sand bags, until professional roofers could make permanent repairs.Volunteer firefighters provide all of the emergency services, and then some.
"We get calls for all kind of things most larger departments wouldn't respond to," Reeves said, referring to the make-shift patch job underway. "We're lucky we're able to do this. If somebody needs us, we're going to help, however we can."
Mountain Park has the only all-volunteer fire department in the Metro area.
The tiny enclave is surrounded on three sides by Roswell to the east, and Cobb and Cherokee counties to the west, and has either automatic-aid or mutual-aid agreements with those nearby communities.
Aside from just giving their time, the members also pitched in to renovate the small firehouse. And they ponied up dollars to purchase an ambulance and an ATV.Karla Reeves, fire department lieutenant and Jon Reeves' wife, said no one hesitates to give of themselves.
"It's just what you do when you live here," she said.
Labor begets more labor
According to a report from the U.S. Labor Department., more than 26 percent of people in the nation volunteered in some capacity between September 2006 and September 2007.
Tallying Mountain Park's volunteer efforts isn't as precise, however."None of us keeps track," said Trish Hill, who built the city's Web site, http://www.mountainpark-ga.gov/."We just do what we do."
A non-scientific survey of residents found that most commit to at least 10 hours of volunteer work in a month. Many in the core of leadership, about 30 or so, can spend that much time in a week doing city work.
Jeffrey Johnson is with the Mountain Park Improvement Club, a loose collection of handymen and "hammer jockeys" who volunteer to build and refurbish many of the town's recreational structures.
After the core group devises plans —Johnson is an architect who donates work he would normally charge $75 an hour to do— they solicit help for the jobs.
"We try to bite off chunks of the work over a weekend," he said. "And we use that project to get people excited about the next one."
Johnson admits that sometimes volunteers need a bit more of a nudge to get involved.
"You have to just call people and ask them directly for help," he said.
Mayor Still said to ease the process of finding the best workers for a given job, he is building a database of residents' skills, talents and likes."That way we can better direct the interaction between us and the citizens when we need to get a task done," he said.
Gladney Cooper said that ultimately, the close bond residents share with one another in the small community spurs most to lend a hand when the city calls for help.
"We're neighbors and friends," she said. "You get a great sense of satisfaction, because you know the people on the receiving end."
A Braselton Police officer began following a Chevy Camaro just before 10 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Georgia highways 211 and 124 when the officer clocked the car traveling at 100 miles an hour in a 55-mile-per hour zone.
Braselton Assistant Police Chief Lou Solis says the driver of the car began passing other cars on the left. He says the officer slowed down because the car was traveling so fast and was about to radio in when the Camaro hit a Dodge Neon head-on at an intersection of Georgia 211 in Barrow County.
Authorities have not released the names of the people killed.
The Georgia State Patrol is helping the Braselton Police Department investigate the crash.
MILTON, Ga., February 29, 2008 -- The City of Milton's Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) is pleased to announce the distribution of a survey questionnaire that will be mailed on February 28th to households and businesses within the new City's jurisdiction. It is anticipated that the survey will be disseminated to more than 12,000 addresses around the City of Milton.
The City of Milton survey questionnaire is a critical component of the Community Participation Plan phase in the development of the City's first Comprehensive Plan. Input received from residents and the business community will help shape community-based priorities as we plan for Milton's future.
The survey is comprised of 10 demographic questions and 36 Milton-specific questions related to development trends, transportation, funding priorities and community services. The brief questionnaire is designed to take approximately five minutes to complete. Members of CPAC developed the survey instrument to address concerns within the City of Milton that have been vocalized by the public at-large as critical issues in developing a strong foundation for the new city. Adequate response is very important for successful planning of the City's future.
The CPAC asks that citizens return the questionnaire in the postage-paid envelope provided, postmarked no later than March 21, so that results can be compiled by the consultants for the Milton Comprehensive Plan. The CPAC will have a prize drawing no later than March 31 for those who submitted a completed survey questionnaire by the deadline. More than 100 prizes and gift certificates have been graciously donated by Milton- area businesses for the sponsored drawing, creating a significant opportunity for residents to win a prize. The winning ticket number will be posted on the City of Milton website.
Mayor Joe Lockwood, the Milton City Council and members of CPAC are excited to be involved in this history-making initiative to craft the first Comprehensive Plan for the City of Milton, and encourage all of residents and businesses owners to voice their opinion on what the City's priorities should be for the next 20 years.
Incorporated on December 1, 2006, the City of Milton is a distinctive community that embraces small-town life and heritage while preserving and enhancing the city's rural character. The City of Milton is committed to maintaining the unique quality of life for its constituents while efficiently delivering essential services to residents and businesses in an interactive community environment. For more information, visit www.cityofmiltonga.org
By Tracy Ringolsby, Rocky Mountain News
Originally published 12:45 a.m., March 1, 2008Updated 02:03 a.m., March 1, 2008
Ubaldo Jimenez pitched two innings against the Mexican National All-Stars, allowing no runs and striking out two.
Dexter Fowler could eventually become the Rockies' tribute to Larry Walker.
In the dark days of the franchise, when the Rockies were unloading salary and talking about building a foundation with an emphasis on developing their own talent, the skeptics moaned about the lack of commitment to winning.
caliber prospect. When he didn't go early in the draft, teams shied away because they knew with his options he wasn't going to sign cheap.The gamble paid off for the Rockies, but it took awhile.
There are no unrealistic dreams on Fowler's part. He's headed for Double-A Tulsa when the season opens, the next step in his progression to the big leagues. But he is soaking up every minute of major league camp.
That was evident his senior year in high school. Despite contacts from major universities, including Harvard, about playing basketball in college, he gave up the sport to concentrate on baseball.
For Fowler, it was a no-brainer.
So far, the approach has worked just fine.
City Council took a number of unprecedented steps Feb. 20 to ensure a local business owner received due process in her alcohol license hearing.The sticky case involves I Love New York Pizza, a restaurant at the Birmingham Crossroads. Owner Nereyda Blandon has never owned a business before, she said, and so she's had some missteps.Namely that the establishment has been caught twice allegedly "brown bagging" alcohol -- meaning customers bring their own wine, then a server pours it for a fee -- by Milton police, according to Interim City Manger Chris Lagerbloom. That's a big no-no in Milton and could cost the business its pouring permit, if it had one yet.