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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pedestrian-Friendly Development On The MInds Of Urban Planners

By DAVID PENDERED wew.ajc.com

The effort in North Fulton to shape future developments into places that are easier to walk around is in line with trends urban planners are discussing at a national convention in Las Vegas.
Suburbs across the country are trying to shake off development patterns that required a car trip to get to work, school or a store, said Dena Belzer, an urban economist, after speaking Monday at the American Planning Association's convention.
Recent headlines:

The old patterns worked when most people who lived in the suburbs were concerned mainly with good public schools for their kids and easy access to the amenities of the central city, without the perceived downsides of urban living, Belzer said.

But demographic patterns are changing, she said. And a rising proportion of suburban residents want to be able to easily walk to their destinations or get there on a bus, Belzer said.
"Everybody agrees that households with children have particular things they're looking for —proximity to cultural amenities and good schools," Belzer said.

"But studies of the coming demographics, the baby boomers, show they want to live in more compact neighborhoods with access to transit," Belzer said. "Most of the opportunities, over time, to create those kinds of communities will be in the suburbs, not the central city."
Belzer specializes in connecting growth trends with real estate development and local development regulations. She's a principal with Strategic Economics, in Berkeley, Ca.

Local leaders from Sandy Springs to Milton and Johns Creek are crafting plans to encourage future developments to be places where people can live, work and play without having to drive from one destination to the next. North Fulton today is filled with separate clusters of homes, shops and offices that are designed to be accessed mainly by a car.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Local Restaurant Owner Works Hard To Fight Leukemia.

Foster's Grille Owner Michael O'Keefe continues to works hard through his participation in Team In Training; a group which focuses on raising money to fight Leukimia through fund raising Marathons. One of our readers was kind enough to forward the following email from Michael. Times like these continue to confirm that Milton is a wonderful place to live, work, and play due to the fantastic folks that make up this city's dynamic; both residents and businesse owners alike. By the way, if you are looking for the best burgers in town, check out your local Foster's Grille by clicking here=>


"I finished the County Music 1/2 Marathon in Nashville this past Saturday. As a group, the 800 plus Team in Training participants raised over $2.5 Million for the event. I raised almost $3,000 as of today for the event, thanks to the local community and the support of Northwestern Middle School.

Overall, I finished in 1:49:57, which was 2024 out of 21,398 which would put me in the top 10% of all runners.As you can see from the attached photo’s, I ran in honor of my mother and Northwestern Middle School who lost a student in January to Leukemia. It is their memory, and the good the fundraising does to fight Leukemia that is what this effort is all about. I will be choosing another event to compete in later this year, and hope to be the top fundraiser for that event.Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks - Michael O'Keefe
O'Keefe Holding Group LLC
Foster's Grille of Alpharetta & Crabapple"


Monday, April 28, 2008

One Person...For One Cawz.


by Tim Enloe; Magnolia Media, LLC

It is amazing to me the power that one person can have. A simple soul doing a simple act and with that positive act so many can benefit. Such is the instance of Milton's very own Lizbeth Grall; the founder of the "Pawz For A Cawz" adoption extraganza held at Wills Park this past Saturday. Numerous adoption / rescue groups were part of this wonderful doggie day and many breeds were represented, from Greyhounds to German Shepherds and everything in between.


Thanks to Lizbeth's many long months and late nights of preperation, dogs whose lives would have been cut short due to over crowding and lack of interest are now in the loving arms of their new families. If you haven't had the chance to meet Lizbeth, you are truly missing out. You can see her passion within minutes of meeting her and Milton, Georgia is lucky to have her as a resident.


I have seen first hand her acts of compassion; most notably that of Leo aka "Superdog", who was days away from euthinasia in late 2007. To see the before and after pictures of this wonderful fellow would make even the toughest guys well up. Leo was last seen this past Sunday at Alpharetta's Corner Deli patio giving out some wonderful kisses and love!
She plans on having the "Pawz For A Cawz" event annually. So grab your calendars for spring '09 and make a note to come and hang out with man's best friend.
The following is a video of the first of many "Pawz For A Cawz" events to come!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

***Near Miss On Bethany Road***


A silver BMW with tinted windows was driving south on Bethany Road at a very high rate of speed at roughly 7:45pm on Sunday evening. Witnesses estimated the driver was going 90 plus miles per hour. A resident's daughter pulled out of their driveway onto Bethany headed south towards Mayfield Road with her children. The BMW came up on them so fast that a loud screech could be heard all up and down the neighborhood as the offending driver slammed on his brakes. The vehicle then went up on the shoulder of the road to keep from hitting the Honda and narrowly missed the fire hydrant. The BMW is believed to be a late model two or four door model and was last seen pulling into a yellow house off of Green Road before Arnold Mill.
Milton Officer A. Kelton responded to the 911 call and wrote up a report. After which, he headed towards the area of Green Road. Additional city officials have been contacted regarding this incident.
Remember, our two land roads are home to many of Milton's residents. Treat these neighborhoods as you would treat your own!
Do you have a speeding issue in your neighborhood? Then contact us at tenloe@magnoliamedias.com and we would be happy to share your report!

City of Milton, Georgia | Comprehensive Plan Status.

Tom Wilson of the City of Milton recently released the following letter regarding Milton's Comprehensive Plan:

On behalf of the Mayor Joe Lockwood and the Milton City Council, I would like to welcome you to the Milton Comprehensive Plan interactive Web site area and extend an opportunity for you and your neighbors to be involved in helping chart a path for the City of Milton’s future.
The
Milton Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) will oversee the planning process for the city in developing priorities that incorporate the values of the majority of the residency and shape these objectives into a desirable implementation program. The Milton City Council has enlisted the expertise of a private consulting firm to manage the overall comprehensive planning process through 2008 in an effort to meet with area residents in creating a truly interactive public involvement program that meets the needs of an evolving municipal economy.

This interactive Web site area includes an online form that allows Milton citizens a continuous opportunity to provide public input as part of the ongoing Comprehensive Plan process. The Milton CPAC includes the members of the Planning Commission, Chairperson of the Board of Zoning Appeals, Chairperson of the Design Review Board, and the seven citizen appointments of the Milton Mayor and City Council membership. The CPAC Chairman, George Ragsdale, also sits on the City’s Planning Commission.

Consultants for the Milton Comprehensive Plan will develop an exciting program that will last over a 12-month period, utilizing the Georgia Department of Community Affairs minimum standards as the underlying foundation in the performance schedule.

The City of Milton is currently operating under the Focus Fulton County 2025 Comprehensive Plan Update, originally adopted by the Fulton County Commission in November 2005.
The city’s staff will continuously monitor and update this Web site with associated informational files attached to the Milton Comprehensive Plan site to serve as educational tools for Milton residents to review and provide public involvement comments.


The Milton Mayor and City Council has viewed the Comprehensive Plan process as one of the most important goals in the list of priorities for our new municipality, where we are both proud and excited to bring this involved process on behalf of the Community Development Department to the citizens of Milton.

Submit your comments onthe Comprehensive Plan

Sincerely,

Tom Wilson,
Community Development Director

To find out more, please visit the City of Milton Web site found here=>http://www.cityofmiltonga.us/

Friday, April 25, 2008

Greening Up Milton, Georgia!

Milton -

It was a beautiful Friday in Milton with a few scattered clouds as city and staff leaders came together in celebration of Arbor Day. To mark the event, a Princeton American Elm tree was planted by the play ground at Bell Memorial Park. Many local children listened in as council person Tina D'Aversa shared some education on trees and the benefits they provide.

Milton To Celebrate Arbor Day With Tree Planting At Bell Memorial Park

4 p.m. TODAY!

On Friday, April 25, the City of Milton will recognize National Arbor Day with a special tree planting event. The ceremony, which will begin at 4 p.m. at Bell Memorial Park, will include the planting of a "Princeton' American Elm tree donated by Tommy Nobis, Jr. of Buck Jones and Associates.

The Princeton American Elm is a wonderful shade tree with large, leathery foliage that turns yellow in the Fall. The hardy tree can grow three to six feet a year during its early development, and can eventually reach 80 to 100 feet in height. Princeton American Elm trees were selected by the National Park Service to line all three blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

Who: Milton City Council Members, Citizens and Students
What: Tree Planting in recognition of National Arbor Day
Where: Bell Memorial Park, between the playground and
the Pavilion
When: Today, Friday, April 25 at 4:00 p.m.

In Milton, Regular Folks To Police Code Violations

By DOUG NURSE www.ajc.com

Milton could have 20,000 code enforcement officers.
But that's unlikely since the entire city isn't expected to turn out for a Citizens Code Enforcement Training Program being offered at 1 p.m. Saturday.

But the city will have more eyes and ears to help make developers toe the line, keep the community neat and in compliance with city laws. Homeowners' association leaders are encouraged to send at least one person.

Topics will include the city's sign ordinance, tree preservation ordinance, erosion control practices and the state water conservation policy.The program will focus on identifying common code violations and acceptable techniques to remedying violations, according to the city Web site.

After attending the class, citizen officers can serve as a volunteer citizen deputy, the city Web site says.

The session will be conducted at City Hall Court Room (Suite G).

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Milton Manager Gets $137k Salary, Referee Time.

By DOUG NURSE www.ajc.com

The contract for Milton's newly hired city manager, Billy Preston Beckett, has the standard stuff. Including: a $137,000 salary, $600 car allowance, 12 months severance pay, a 401(k) plan.
Then there's a perk you don't see everyday: Beckett will be allowed to take vacation time during the Arena Football League season to travel as a referee.

"As long as he gets his city manager job done, I'm OK with it," said Mayor Joe Lockwood.
Eight months after its first city manager departed, the Milton City Council hired Beckett, former Riverdale city manager and longtime Fayette County administrator.

Beckett said in an earlier interview his priorities for now are pretty basic — get to know the city staff members; get up to speed for projects already in the pipeline, and familiarize himself with the contract with CH2M Hill-OMI, which was hired by the city to provide day-to-day services.
Becket served as Riverdale city manager from 2000-04, and as Fayette County administrator from 1985-2000.

Before coming to Georgia, Beckett worked in Raleigh County, W. Va.; Franklin County, Va.; and Collier County in southwest Florida.

Beckett, 59, holds a Master of Urban Affairs, Public Management from Virginia Tech, and has completed all work except the thesis for Master of Urban and Regional Planning.

Most recently, he was a city manager in Florida. He also served in the U.S. Army from 1970-72.

Just An Eighth Grade Education?

Accessmilton.com has some great readers. Many times, we receive points and topics of interest with a request to share. Take a look at the following piece sent to us by Miltonian Abbe Laboda.

Remember when our grandparents, great-grandparents, and such stated that they only had an 8th grade education? This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, KS. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS and reprinted by the Salina Journal. Check this out. How well would you have done when you were in the 8th grade? How well would you do today?

1895 8th GRADE FINAL EXAM

Grammar (Time, one hour)

1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no Modifications.
3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of lie, lay and run.
5. Define Case; Illustrate each Case.
6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
7. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold? 3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cents/bushel, deducting 1050 lbs.for tare?
4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $1.20 per meter?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U. S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour)

1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, and syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, sub-vocals, diphthong, cognate letters, and linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u'.
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)

1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall & Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

Also notice that the exam took five hours to complete. Gives the saying "he only had an 8th grade education" a whole new meaning, doesn't it? What happened to us? It is kind of humbling, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hungry?

Then head on over to The Mad Italian off of Windward Parkway for some great italian food! Some great items from the menu include:

Mad Mozza Bread $3.99 - Bread baked with garlic, spices, and mozzarella cheese, served with The Mad Italian's perfect sauce!

Poppers $5.89 - Halved jalapeno peppers and cheddar cheese, served with ranch dip or our tomato sauce.

To find out more about one the best restaurants in Milton, Georgia, click here->
http://www.accessmilton.com/Advertisers/MadItalian.php

Pawz For Cawz Gears Up This Weekend!

Looking to adopt a new pup? Then come out to "The Pawz For A Cawz" Extravaganza this Saturday at the Wills Park Equestrian Center from 9am to 5pm. Click on the link below for a video on man's best friend!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wreck At Cogburn & Bethany Bend.

All:

As beautiful as our open road neighborhoods are, they have become very dangerous. Much like the reader below, I commend our Fire & Police departments for their quick action today. In closing, please remember that the majority of our two lane roads have families that live on them. Treat them as you would treat your own; obey the speed limit and be aware. Many thanks to this Miltonian for sharing this story with us.


- Tim Enloe / Magnolia Media, LLC

"I witnessed a bad accident today at the intersection of Bethany Bend and Cogburn Road. One car broadsided another going through the intersection almost rolling the vehicle that was hit so hard from the impact. I have to commend the Milton Police, Alpharetta Fire Dept. and Paramedics! The Milton Police were on the scene seconds after I hung up with 911, and immediately the ambulance and Alpharetta Fire department followed. Both parties were injured and tended to immediately. That was the fastest response I have ever witnessed let alone heard of. They handled the traffic at the intersection quickly and cleared the vehicles with tow trucks in a matter of minutes. I commend all those public servants today that took care of those two hurt individuals!

Thankful Milton Resident!"

Friday, April 18, 2008

Milton To Hire Former Riverdale Manager.

By DOUG NURSE www.ajc.com

The Milton City Council is scheduled to approve a contract Monday with city manager candidate, Billy Beckett, former Riverdale city manager and former Fayette County administrator.
Terms of the contract won't be disclosed until the contract is approved, said Mayor Joe Lockwood.

Beckett, a 30-year veteran of government administration, also has served a manager in Raleigh County, W.Va.; Franklin County, Va.; and Collier County in southwest Florida. Milton received about 25 applications for the job.

Beckett joined Fayette County in 1985, and served for 15 years.Then, he was Riverdale city manager from 2001 to 2004. Since then he has worked as executive director of the Coosa Valley Regional Development Center, and as city manager of Safety Harbor in Florida.

Milton has been without a permanent city manager since August when Aaron Bovos resigned under fire over missing a deadline to collect about $900,000 in taxes. Since then, Public Safety Director Chris Lagerbloom has been acting city manager.

***SPAM ALERT!***

All:

Please be advised that all of our Access sites are currently being hit with various types of SPAM emails. They are typically loaded in the comments section and are set up as follows:"Want to see something really interesting? Click here"


Please DO NOT click on these type of posts as they can lead you to sites with questionable material or a virus.


We are currently working on rectifying this problem and apologize for any inconvenience that might have occurred.


Thank you,

Tim Enloe / Magnolia Media, LLC

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Milton Gardening Club Has Second Meeting At Scottsdale Farms.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Milton Gardening Club continued to grow as the second monthly meeting was held this past Wednesday at Scottsdale Farms in Milton. An estimated thirty plus residents showed up
at the relaxed event.

The cool evening offered quite a bit of information from Club President Sharon Murphy regarding the focus, goals, and enjoyment that the group planned to bring. Tim & Ginger Enloe of Accessmilton.com also shared their work to date regarding exposure for the club via the net.

The workshop was handled wonderfully by Scottsdale Farms employees Sarah, Lara, and Diana. Topics of interest included the proper ways to water, drought resistant plants, as well as the protocal required in cultivation of certain species of plants such as Azaleas.

To find out more information on The Milton Gardening Club, please click on the following link=> http://www.accessmilton.com/MiltonGardenClub.php

Please Enjoy The Pictures From The Event Below!










Parks Section Activated on Accessmilton.com.

Accessmilton.com is pleased to present our new Milton Parks section. While a work in progress, our goal is to eventually have all parks listed as well as a seperate blog to connect residents with a passion for out door recreation. To preview our first parks profile, click here->

http://www.accessmilton.com/Parks/BellMemorialPark.php

Monday, April 14, 2008

Another Milton Garage Sale!

Garage Sale - Milton - Benefit Heart for Africa Mission. Highland Manor - 1 5945 Milton Point, off Birmingham Rd., Friday 4/18 and 4/19 8:00-3:00, Household items, lamps, art, rugs, clothing, toys, jewelry, accessories, etc.

Friday, April 11, 2008

****Milton Dog Missing!****

All:

Please keep an eye out for the Newell's missing yellow lab. Goes by the name "Buck". Should have a shock collar on. Family lives on Bethany Road between Mayfield and Providence (Bethany Farms) . Went missing early Friday. If you find him, please contact:

The Beechums: 770 634 2531
The Allens: 678 296 8812
The Enloes: 770 653 0552

Many thanks!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Milton Garage Sale This Weekend.

Looking for some treasure? Then head out to the next Milton, Georgia garage sale scheduled for this Saturday & Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

Address: 13050 Bethany Road / Bethany Farms Open Road Neighborhood
Milton, GA 30004

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Milton Will Honor Veterans With Roadside Markers

By DOUG NURSE http://www.ajc.com/

This Memorial Day, the city of Milton is planning to honor deceased veterans from Milton with white roadside markers.

The city is asking residents to notify officials of any soldiers, sailors, air personnel, Marines or Coast Guard from Milton families from World War I to present.

The program honors veterans related to Milton residents, past and current. The veterans need not have been killed in combat or served overseas to qualify.

The program is similar to those in Duluth and Lilburn and other cities where they erect small crosses that bear the names of the veterans and conflict in which they served.

The markers will be placed on major roadways on Memorial Days and Veterans Days.

"Memorial Day is not just about barbecues and waving the flag. It's about remembering the heroic actions of those who serve our country, and, especially, those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom," said Milton City Councilman Bill Lusk, a Vietnam veteran. "Through our celebrations and markers, we are honored to pay this small but deserved tribute to those who gave of themselves for all of us."

Residents can submit veterans' information via an online form on the city's web site at www.cityofmiltonga.us/veterans.html or at City Hall.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

$8 Million Coming to Johns Creek, Milton

By DOUG NURSE www.ajc.com

City leaders in Milton and Johns Creek breathed a sigh of relief last week when, in the 11th hour, the General Assembly passed a measure worth millions of dollars to the young municipalities.

The closely watched legislation will transfer from Fulton County to Johns Creek and Milton money that was collected from residents prior to incorporation.

The money — $8 million — could be released to the cities in a matter of weeks.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Jan Jones (R-Milton), was imperiled with an explosive amendment. But as the close of the session loomed, Jones used a parliamentary maneuver to get the transfer of money approved.

"She's a smart woman," said Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker. "It looked like her bill was dead, but she figured out a way to get it done."

Milton could use the money, said a grateful Mayor Joe Lockwood.

"It will provide a lot of opportunities for Milton to use for improvements, parks and whatever else the citizens want, what the council thinks is necessary and desirable," Lockwood said. "I want to thank Jan Jones and [House Speaker Pro Tem] Mark Burkhalter [R-Johns Creek] for their hard work."

Jones' bill called for Fulton County to turn over leftover taxes collected in 2006 from the Milton and Johns Creek areas.

Milton was owed $5.5 million – a hefty sum for a city with a $15 million budget. Johns Creek would receive $3 million to add to its $45 million budget.

Fulton County was willing to hand over the money but said there was no legal way to do so, hence the need for Jones' bill.

If the bill failed, the money would remain in accounting limbo.

State Sen. Dan Weber (R-Dunwoody) slapped on an amendment on Jones' bill. The amendment basically would require counties to give fire stations, parks and other public assets to newly incorporated cities.

The proposed city of Dunwoody had been approved by the Legislature days earlier, and some voiced concern that DeKalb County might not play nice with the new city.

"On the 39th day of the 40-day session, it was clear my bill was in peril," Jones said.

Jones said she asked Weber to take off the amendment. He refused.

While supportive of Weber's cause, Jones wasn't sure her bill would pass with his amendment.

Jones abandoned her bill and made the rebate plan an amendment to a noncontroversial law sponsored by the Forsyth County delegation.

With a scant three hours remaining to vote on the last day, lawmakers passed the Forsyth County bill with Jones' amendment intact.

Her original hijacked legislation was the last bill considered by the House.

At 11:56 p.m. Friday, it died.

Milton's BZA Removes Chairwoman

by Jason Wright / www.northfulton.com
\
Milton -- Milton's Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) took the unprecedented step of removing its chairwoman from her role at a special called meeting March 27.Heidi Sowder resigned from the BZA the next morning, calling the board's actions "excessive.""I was surprised," she said.

Sowder was demoted by a vote of 4-1, with herself and board member Todd Chernik abstaining. The vote came after five of the seven member group expressed serious trust concerns following Sowder's decision to speak on BZA issues at a March 10 City Council work session.The one vote to keep Sowder as chairwoman was cast by board member Scott Kilgore, who also attended the council work session.Board member Gary Willis made the motion to remove the chairwoman. He said when Sowder brought her concerns about procedural issues in the appeals' filing process to council she did not make it clear she was acting as a private citizen and not the designee of the board."You can't go to a board [as just a citizen]," he said. "Your job is to represent the BZA."

The members who voted to remove Sowder expressed similar concerns, namely that they heard council thought she spoke for the whole board on issues about which they were not aware were up for discussion."What you and Scott did lost a lot of our trust," said Willis.

Sowder stayed on the defensive most of the meeting, insisting she was not trying to "sneak" anything past the rest of the board. She said she'd brought up her concerns in prior meetings and felt only she and Kilgore shared an opinion. Thus, they were the only two who went to council.

At the council work session, Sowder insisted she had only voiced her own opinions, not the board's. Further, she said she did not feel it was incumbent upon her to alert the board if she had personal concerns and also said it was not her fault council didn't ask her whether she was speaking as a citizen or head of the BZA."I'm not the secretary of this board," she said. "I didn't realize what a snowball it would have become."

Further muddying the waters of the argument was the fact that City Council discussed a number of issues while Kilgore and Sowder were before them, including taking away oversight on contentious stream buffer variances.Most of the board seemed suspicious the topics would be brought up without urging.

They were also surprised neither Kilgore nor Sowder mentioned the discussions at the next BZA meeting, leading board member Sandy Jones to wonder if it was an intentional omission."What I wanted to talk about and what they talked about were different," said Sowder.

As such, the board also voted 7-0 to ask council not to make any binding decisions on the issues discussed at the work session for 60 days.For his part, Kilgore apologized for not alerting the rest of the board to his or Sowder's actions.Sowder, however, remained defiant and combative throughout the meeting. Before the vote was called to remove her, board member Walt Rekuc asked Sowder if she could lead the board amid the concerns she'd heard that night."It depends on if everyone can forgive someone who was being honest," she replied.After resigning Sowder said it was "best for the board if I were not on it."She said the seven years she has spent working on local issues has taken time away from her family, and she intends to get it back."A lot of times I just don't think it was worth it," she said.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Magnolia Media Rolls Out Another Community Site.

For Immediate Release -

The internet company of Magnolia Media has added another chapter in it's ever growing foray of community focused web sites. http://www.accesssalpharetta.com/ went live on Friday, April 11th, 2008.


"It is a very exciting time for us," Co-Founder Ginger Enloe relayed. "We plan on grooming Accessalpharetta.com in the same manner as our previous sites to date."

Co-Founder and SEO Analyst Scott Thompson agreed, "With any Magnolia Media community site, our goal is to leave no stone unturned within that particular market; be it content or search. Our Alpharetta focus will be no different."Mr. Thompson went on to relay that the company will have twenty seven community sites active before year's end.

Founded in the Fall of 2005, Magnolia Media is based in Milton, Georgia. The company prides itself on affordable localized advertising with strict detail in each market.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Milton's Christopher Seay To Represent City in "Climb Atlanta" Firefighter Challenge

Unique Fundraiser to benefit American Lung Association

On April 19, Milton Firefighter Christopher Seay will represent the City of Milton in the "Climb Atlanta" Firefighter's Challenge. During this unique event, Seay will attempt to climb 55 floors to the top of the BentleyForbes-Bank of America Plaza building in downtown Atlanta, the tallest high rise in the southeast. Making the challenge more difficult, Seay will be outfitted in full firefighter's turn-out gear, including helmet, coat, pants, gloves, boots and liner -- weighing approximately 75 pounds.

Seay is participating in the Firefighter's Challenge to help raise funds for the American Lung Association. His goal is to raise $1378 -- a dollar for each step climbed. In 2007, Seay was a member of the DeKalb County Fire Department team, which was named the Firefighter Challenge Fastest Team. One thousand participants are expected, including firefighters, runners, health & fitness enthusiasts and individuals affected with lung disease.

If you would like to help Seay reach his fundraising goal, you can sign up as a sponsor by visiting http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0011gJjTjS4EIVkeV7rVk275pgWmMXwEnlGc74VrtOEF88B1Jm6OerbMhFwCdVSDHZyW7CciiIK0BTxCMOgUjsCgEfxcOm9GuiluVGD1kR3JarJ_71ilplZnA==. Click on the "Donate" link near the bottom left, and then click on "Sponsor a Climber" on the left side of the new page. Type in Christopher Seay's full name to donate directly to his fund.

The "Climb Atlanta" race begins at 9 a.m. on April 19, at the North Avenue stairwell street entrance of the BentleyForbes-Bank of America Plaza building, with the award ceremony following at 12:30 p.m. on the North Avenue balcony. To learn more about the event, visit http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0011gJjTjS4EIVkeV7rVk275pgWmMXwEnlGc74VrtOEF88B1Jm6OerbMhFwCdVSDHZyW7CciiIK0BTxCMOgUjsCgEfxcOm9GuiluVGD1kR3JarJ_71ilplZnA==.

Friday, April 04, 2008

A New Family Begins.


Lost Pup Finds New Home With Local Family.

For a few weeks now, and email has been swirling around the Milton Community in the hopes of finding the little beagle pictured above a new family. Prior to that, the D'Aversa family's beloved mixed beagle JJ went missing. Well, it appears as though there is now a "new" family in the City Of Milton. The email below captured this feeling of our beloved city the best.

"I wanted to let everyone know that the beagle has a new home!!!!!

Tina D'Aversa & family adopted the dog.

It really has to make you smile at how just forwarding E-mails can put the right people in touch with each other.

If you remember, a few months ago an E-mail was sent out about how Tina's family lost J.J. (her little Beagle). I know that so many of us were so upset for the heartbreak that Tina and her family were going through. It is so nice to see now that a lost Beagle (Bella) has a new home and though we know J.J. can never be replaced, there is now a beagle back in Tina's household easing their loss a bit.

To me, this is what living is a small community like Milton is all about!!!!!!!"

Many thanks to Tara Chambers and Patti Silva of www.miltonville.com for getting the word out.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Milton To Receive Federal Funds For New Firefighters

By DOUG NURSE www.ajc.com

The city of Milton will receive $316,000 in federal assistance to hire new firefighters, said Congressman Tom Price."Sometimes good things happen up here," Price said with a laugh. "The purpose of the grant is to make sure that certain jurisdictions have money and training they need. Milton put together a good proposal."

The grant allows the city's fire department to proceed with plans to hire 12 additional people, which will allow it to use all of its trucks. A fire engine was mothballed about four months ago, and its crew was shifted to a newly acquired ladder truck. The extra staffing will enable the fire department to put the engine to use as well. The new hires would bring the department to 56 firefighters.

The Homeland Security-Federal Emergency Management Agency grant will hire three firefighters and pay part of their salaries for five years. The city will fill the other nine positions.
All the recruits should be on board by mid-April, said interim City Manager Chris Lagerbloom.
The firefighters bring a range of experience from rookie to veteran, he said."It's good to have some new blood, but you don't want it all to be new blood," Lagerbloom said.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Wonderful Cause From Your Local Foster's Grille!


Foster's Grille Steps Up To Help Man's Best Friend.

Rocy O'keefe sent us the following press release. Rocy, you have the floor!

"Thank you! The Event will be held at Foster's Grille in historic Crabapple on Saturday, April 12th. 10% of all the proceeds will go directly to Castaway Critters. Nona Case from New Creations jewelry will be there. Nona hand makes beautiful one of kind jewelry and donates 100% of the profits to charity. Her pieces are beautiful, all made with real semi precious stones in sterling silver / gold overlay and are very reasonably priced ($15 - $40). We will have animals for adoption in the center court area. We are also hoping to have a book signing by one of our volunteers who wrote a book about a stray. Castaway Critters are a registered non-profit so all donations are tax deductible!"

Great news Rocy! So if you aren't doing anything on that lazy Saturday, go by and see the folks at Foster's in Crabapple, enjoy a great meal, and find yourself a new best friend!

Senate Passes Bill Preventing New billboards In North Fulton Cities

By DOUG NURSE www.ajc.com

The state Senate voted 45-0 on legislation that would head off up to 75 billboards, primarily in the cities of Johns Creek, Milton, and Sandy Springs.All that remains is for Gov. Sonny Perdue to sign the bill, sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tem Mark Burkhalter (R-Johns Creek). The state House passed the legislation in February.

Despite assurances by senators, Burkhalter and leaders in the cities were growing anxious as the final week in the legislative session began Monday and the bill appeared stuck in a committee. Burkhalter publicly complained about the Senate's apparent inaction.
The bill would gut a key provision in a pending court settlement between Fulton County and billboard companies.

For years, Fulton County denied billboard companies permits for signs in the then-unincorporated parts of the county, including areas that are now the municipalities of Johns Creek, Milton and Sandy Springs.

Billboard companies challenged Fulton County's sign ordinance in Superior Court, saying it was unconstitutional. Ultimately, the state Supreme Court threw out the ordinance. The sign companies then argued the county had wrongfully denied them their permits and should give them the permits or pay them for lost revenue, conservatively estimated at $5 million.
The Fulton County Commission on Dec. 5 voted to settle the dispute with the companies by offering to backdate the permits to before the new cities were formed.

The cities were upset and asked their legislators to fix it, so Burkhalter drafted a bill to undo the settlement offer by outlawing the backdating of permits in other jurisdictions.

Milton Selects New City Manager

Former Riverdale city manager Billy Preston Beckett will take over reins, if negotiations are successful

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

The Milton City Council tentatively selected their new city manager Monday night, pending successful contract negotiations.

The council voted 7-0 to authorize Mayor Joe Lockwood to try to seal a deal with Billy Preston Beckett, a 30-year veteran of government management, including stints as Fayette County administrator and Riverdale city manager.

Councilwoman Karen Thurman said she hoped Beckett would be on board in a couple of weeks, while Councilwoman Julie Zahner Bailey was more cautious, saying it could be several weeks. Bailey emphasized it would inaccurate to say Beckett was hired until a contract was signed and approved.

But Beckett, who was not present, received universal accolades from the council.
"I think he can take all of our visions and make them a reality," said Councilman Alan Tart. "I think he's a good choice. He brings a lot of experience, and I think he'll be a steady force for the city."

"I feel really comfortable [with Beckett]," said Councilwoman Tina D'Aversa. "He's seems very grounded."

The city's first city manager, Aaron Bovos, resigned under fire last summer. The council was unhappy after learning the city might lose up to $900,000 in insurance taxes because appropriate paperwork wasn't sent to the state on time. Since then, Public Safety Director Chris Lagerbloom has been acting city manager.