Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Little Response Heard From Encroachment Inquiry.

By Tim Enloe /

As with any topic that touches a nerve with the Milton citizenry, we do our best to find answers to questions asked by our readers.

One of which was in regards to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) decision to allow the Fulton County Board of Education to encroach into a stream buffer for another high school being built off of Bethany Bend and Cogburn Roads.

Not only did we email the city council, but all the BZA members as well TWICE. The responses were few and far between.

We did hear from Council member Hewitt relaying to us that his appointment (Todd Chernik) voted against the encroachment.

In addition. Council Member Tart responded as well as his appointment; John McRae. Mr. McRae voted against also.

Finally, we did hear from Council Member Zahner Bailey. She wrote " In short, my understanding is that there was a motion to defer the case given much data was missing. My appointment, Scott Kilgore, supported this request for deferral in order to get the necessary information, but the motion to defer failed. " Bailey went on to state that she was going to review the formal record.

We appreciate all of these individuals taking the time to respond to our questions on behalf of our readers; the citizens and voters of Milton.

On the other hand, it was disappointing that the majority of elected and appointed officials did not respond to our question which simply asked "How you ( or your appointment) voted on the stream encroachment and why?"

They include:

Council Members

Mayor Joe Lockwood
Council Member Lusk
Council Member Thurman
Council Member Longoria

BZA Appointees

Gary Willis (Mayor)
Marcia Parsons (District 1)
Scott Kilgore (District 2)
Walter S. Rekuc, Jr. (District 3)
Todd Chernik (District 4)
Nancy Plesnarski (District 5)

The encroachment was approved 5-2.

It is our hope that this negative trend of not responding to the public's questions does not become common place. After all, the lack of communication from Fulton County was one of the reasons citizens voted for incorporation in the first place.


Anonymous said...

AM, I'm sure some people are gasping at the way you call things out, but I do appreciate you bringing this up. After all the hoopla of Birmingham Hopewell Alliance and Protect Milton and all those other folks concerned about protecting our community, specifically the "environment", it's surprising and disappointing to watch it all unfold. The purpose was for all good, but as always politics seems to get in the way. And then, the town starts not to care.....

Keep us informed. It's nice to know you're out there.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that BHA and Protect Milton were adamant against the High School being built on Freemanville Road (as i was) and that the leaders of these groups were major reasons why the school site was changed to Cogburn. As I understand the variance request, it came at the behest of the City so the school could be also accessed from Hwy 9, which would alleviate traffic and provide a safer alternative.

We can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Whatever the status, it doesn't excuse the non-communication from the council and committee members. To me, not responding, says "I don't want to bother explaining my position on this subject, the elections are over and I can do what I want." It's always political my friends, I repeat ALWAYS. The Mayor has nothing to lose, he's in for the last time. This is just a sidebar for him, he has other fish to fry.

Travis Allen said...

What are you talking about?

Mayor Lockwood can run again.

He hasn't been elected to 2 full 4 year terms, only 1.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure?

Anonymous said...

To "whatever the status", so you are o.k. with the minor City requested variances for safety and traffic reasons and you are only upset that the Council hasn't stopped to communicate their thoughts on the matter that was out of their hands.

Anonymous said...

Maybe no one takes the time to respond to Tim because he acts like a lunatic and goes on his tirades against the boe? He has lost a lot of respect. Maybe OB sould have won then he would at least be out in the open rather than sliding around in the mud?

Anonymous said...

Don't put words in my mouth, I didn't say I was ok with anything, I just think it's important that those who were addressed should respond. Yes, it's very important since we elected them to represent us. It seems like a slap in the face to ignore an email from citizens regardless whether its accessmilton or others. I didn't realize the mayor could run again, are you sure? Anyway, don't assume things, I'm not an elected politician.

Travis Allen said...

Yes, I'm sure.

Each of the originally elected officials were not put in office for full 4 year terms.

Three of them were actually up for re-election after just one year, the remaining for were up after just 3 years. This was the election we just had this past November.

Each council person, and the Mayor, is currently serving in his or her first "full" term.

They will all be eligible to hold office for one more "full" term.

Anonymous said...

Tim does not strike me as the type that panders in order to get respect. He puts it out there the way it is. Like it or lump it.
I appreciate that.

Anonymous said...

The biggest concern, which seems to be getting overlooked, was the ease at which people are willing to support a stream buffer variance on this site!! Apparently all streams aren't created equal here in Milton. As an earlier post stated, it's all POLITICAL. BTW the BOE commented that it plans to submit a variance request to the Georgia EPD for encroachment into the state waters to pipe 99 feet of the stream! They want to do this to flip the EW facing practice field to face NS, "because it is the preferred configuration to avoid having athletes looking into the sun!" PLEASE!!! FYI - piping equals destruction of the stream and stream bank - so kiss the tree lined banks goodbye, too.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if any streams or stream buffers were compromised in the construction of Milton HS?

Anonymous said...

EPD -- that's another political organization. Don't expect that agency to protect the stream.