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Thursday, April 28, 2011

AM Flashback Repost - Milton Georgia - City of Hors....Schools?

By Tim Enloe; Accessmilton.com

Since 2005, Accessmilton.com has covered topics within Northwest Fulton and what is now Milton. To date, our achives have amassed over 3,000 news posts. To search for a particular topic via key words, please use the search window on the right margin.

Of interest was an editorial written by myself in November of 2009 discussing the issues of redistricting and the FCBOE. Due to this topic resurfacing, I thought this editorial might be worth a second look.

To view the original post along with comments, please go here=>

http://miltonga.blogspot.com/2009/11/milton-georgia-city-of-horsschools.html


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Signs Of Protest On The Bethany Bend Site - 11.09.09.


By Tim Enloe; Accessmilton.com

In a city which normally harbors topics along the line of sewer or equestrian related airs, one has to wonder if the Milton constituency has unknowingly taken their eye off the eight ball in the dark corner.

Come the fall of 2013, Milton will have a total of nine public schools within it's borders.

They are:

1. Summit Hill Elementary.

2. Birmingham Falls Elementary.

3. Crabapple Crossing Elementary.

4. Cogburn Woods Elementary.

5. Hopewell Middle School.

6. Freemanville Middle School (2013).

7. Northwestern Middle School.

8. Milton High School.

9. Bethany Bend High School (2012).

Currently, that is one less than the City of Alpharetta who holds a population of 49,903 as of 2008 and a square mileage of 21.4 according to wikipedia.org. Milton? A mere 15,156 heads and a square mileage of 39; almost twice that of the former yet less than half of their population...and in a few years we will carry the same amount of schools?

When Bethany Bend High School opens, there will be a major attendance shift with the majority of Milton kids going there while Milton High School will cater to the Roswell crowd.

Oh, and to my neighbors off of Cogburn, sell now or buy some ear protection and plastic bags. The noise will be horrendous and roadside trash will increase three fold.

I have heard the argument numerous times; Fulton doesn't consider school placement by city, it is by the county as a whole. This, in itself, is problematic.

Consider the City of Milton's Vision Statement for example, "Milton is a distinctive community embracing small-town life and heritage while preserving and enhancing our rural character." Right. Phrases such as "small town life" and "rural character" normally give one a feeling of little traffic, quiet, small population and the like. With the infamous FBOE at the wheel, more people will come into the city to attend public schools and not pay a dime for the city funded streets. Oh, you thought the wonderful clan at the FBOE shared in the cost of road improvements? Nope. Dangerous traffic and obnoxious noise will help to push out those whose properties give Milton it's unique feel. They, of course, will sell for the highest and best use just like you would. So forget the mission statement; under the current approach, it is not realistic.

In 2003, the FBOE actually helped kill some of our "rural character" when they kicked out seven families at the corner of Freemanville Road and Birmingham Highway for the "needed" new Milton High. Those families were in tears as board member Katie Reeves slept easy. The old Milton High wasn't fit for students in '03, but today it is ok for the inner city kids...even though no improvements have been made...

Then there are the countless hours given by not only our elected city officials, but also by unpaid city volunteers, from CPAC to the Design and Review Board along with other city apointed committees. All working diligently to insure what we should put where in our humble town to make it the best it can be. Does the FBOE have to follow our requirements or answer to us in any way? Hell no they don't. Can they place a school anywhere they want? Why, Hell yes they can.

I know what you are thinking, "The school board brings alot of money to our city!" Think again, they don't bring a single dime to any city in which they are located. With Milton, however, this is even more deterimental due to our having such little retail to cover the city's expenses. Did I mention that the FBOE is the largest land owner in Milton? Troubling, to say the least.

Mark my words; in less than ten years, you will see another high school built in Milton. This time it will be in the Birmingham Crossroads area.

As I close with this piece of brain fodder, I leave you with a few points. First, I appreciate the education I received from the FBOE thanks to taxpayers like you. I appreciate the teachers who helped make me who I am today - I wish you were paid more but the FBOE spends money like every day is Christmas and harbors zero accountability. I hold no ill will towards the future of America; these kids go where the system points them. However, in a free society, we all have to answer to someone, including the FBOE. The clock is ticking...

CPAC Letter Presented To Council

Courtesy Various Milton CPAC Members


To: Mayor and City Council

From: CPAC Members

Re: BOE School Redistricting

The undersigned members of Milton’s Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) oppose Plan C of the redistricting plan proposed by the Fulton County Board of Education. After spending the past three years in careful consideration of the land use plans as part of Milton’s Comprehensive Plan, we believe Plan C is in conflict with several of the basic goals of the Comprehensive Plan. We also believe Plan C is in conflict with the tenets of the Milton Transportation Plan and the Lew Oliver Crabapple Master Plan.

Plan C calls for the majority of the students that would attend the new high school on Bethany Bend to travel in an east/west traffic pattern. The primary feeder roads to this new High School are Birmingham Road, Redd Road, Bethany Bend and Providence. Each of these roads is already at or over capacity. The new student, family and bus traffic on these roads will destroy the fragile balance of cross-city commuter traffic from Cherokee County and the current Milton resident commuter traffic that already put these roads at capacity.

The BOE Plan C also calls for a majority of the future students at Milton High School to come from the current Roswell district. The primary feeder roads for the Roswell students traveling to Milton will be Crabapple Road through the Crabapple intersection and Bethany Road to Mayfield Road. These roads are at or over the capacity of the current infrastructure. The Crabapple Master Plan recently proposed by Lew Oliver calls for traffic calming measures for the already burdensome traffic volume and patterns. The traffic volume that would result from the significant student population coming through these crossroads as a part of Plan C will destroy any possibility for the new Crabapple plan being a success.

We respectfully request the Mayor and City Council formally oppose Plan C and ask the Board of Education to develop a redistricting plan that takes the traffic components of Plan A and B into consideration while considering the future plans of Milton. Please pass a Resolution that formally advises the BOE that the Mayor and City Council of Milton oppose Plan C and call for the creation of a new redistricting plan.

Members of CPAC:

George Ragsdale

Paul Moore

Curtis Mills

Tim Enloe

Kim Horne

Jennifer Fletcher

Marty Lock

Fred Edwards

Lynne Gregory

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Federal complaint filed over Gwinnett school shifts.

NOTE: While not taking place within Milton, we thought the following story might be of interest to Accessmilton.com readers due to the redistricting topic.
------------------
By D. Aileen Dodd

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Parents who allege that new attendance zones for Gwinnett County Schools unfairly target low income and minority students for redistricting have taken their complaint to a bigger stage.

Two complaints were filed with the federal Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, alleging that Gwinnett Schools is discriminating against the kids by rerouting them to campuses with fewer resources and more students from lower income homes.

About 505 students will move to empty seats in Duluth schools in August. The school board approved the moves last week, saying they will relieve overcrowding.

“The Board of Education and its planning department selected a group of minority children of low socio-economic status to move from a more affluent school district to an already overburdened one under the guise of saying they were trying to reduce overcrowding,” said Lynne Sycamore, a Duluth mom who is among a handful of parents who filed the complaints.

“Most of the children they selected came out of Mason Elementary, which is already under capacity,”
she said.

Nearly half of the affected students -- 241 -- are being moved from Mason Elementary, which is under capacity by 13. Peachtree Ridge High, a school of 3,226 that is over capacity by 426, will lose 158 teens. Hull Middle School, which has 2,409 students, is over capacity by 659 and will lose 106 students.

Gwinnett Schools’ spokeswoman Sloan Roach said the district has not been notified of the complaint.

Students are redistricted based on population figures, said school board member Mary Kay Murphy.

“We don’t use socio-economics,” she said. “Our core belief as a school system is that all students can learn at or above grade level. We would not have received the Broad Prize for closing the achievement gap if we weren’t serving all populations.”
Roach said the district also considers enrollment forecasts, student transportation and school locations.

Sycamore said Census data shows that families near Gwinnett Place Mall whose kids were rezoned were mostly minorities.

“That whole area is primarily minority children of Hispanic descent who are low income,” said Sycamore, who has two daughters from Guatemala. “I don’t think it’s right to pocket everybody into one place.”Sycamore’s complaint asks for the lines to be redrawn.

The Office for Civil Rights will first determine if it has jurisdiction, said Jim Bradshaw, a U.S. Department of Education spokesman. “If a district is found to be in non-compliance with our civil rights laws, then we work with the district to help it come into compliance . . . In virtually all cases, we’re able to work with districts short of moving to enforcement. “

Two meetings tomorrow at Milton City Hall.

Intersection improvements and Strategic Plan discussed Thursday.


By Accessmilton.com

MILTON, Ga., April 27, 2011 - If you've ever wanted to get more involved in your community but couldn't find the right time, tomorrow at Milton City Hall there will be two meetings on topics vital to the community - intersection improvements and the city's Strategic Plan.

5 to 7 p.m.: Intersection improvements open house. The City of Milton Public Works Department will hold an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, April 28, in the Executive Conference Room at City Hall to discuss and take public comment on the improvements planned for the intersection of Hopewell, Francis and Cogburn roads.

The open house will be informal, and no presentation will be made. Instead, plans and experts will be available and the public is asked to stop in.

The busy intersection was identified in the Milton Comprehensive Transportation Plan as a key improvement for the city. Both traditional improvements, such as turn lanes and signals, and nontraditional improvements, such as a roundabout, may be appropriate.

You may also keep up-to-date with this and other Milton intersection projects at www.miltonintersectionprojects.com.

The Executive Conference Room is located in Suite 107G of City Hall (click here for a map). Click here for directions to City Hall.

7 to 8:15 p.m.: Strategic Plan citizen meeting
Residents are also invited to City Council Chambers, Suite 107E, Thursday from 7 to 8:15 p.m. to provide input on the city's first Strategic Plan, a three-year "road map" for city accomplishments.

Participants will be given the city's draft Strategic Plan, which represents the efforts of city staff and members of Milton's equestrian, business, residential and educational communities. It includes the overall vision, mission and strategies of what of the City of Milton would like to accomplish over the next three years.

Residents will be asked to review the draft Strategic Plan to ensure it captures the spirit of what is important to Milton. The meeting will be moderated by a group of Milton staffers, resident representatives and consultants brought in for this project.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Second Milton People's Forum Coming Up This Fall.


By Accessmilton.com

Milton's third city council election is coming up this Fall with Districts 2, 4, and 6 up for grabs.

Once again, the Milton People's Forum will take place as well. This time around, however, Accessmilton.com will be partnering with the city's official newspaper, the Milton Herald, to help insure a successful event takes place.

Expect some engaging questions covering numerous topics.

If you or someone you know would like to be a part of The Milton People's Forum as a volunteer or sponsor, please email Tim Enloe at tmenloe@aol.com of Accessmilton.com or Jonathan Copsey at jcopsey@northfulton.com of the Milton Herald.

More information will be announced in the upcoming months.

Drive To Milton High School.

By Accessmilton.com

Residents have put together a plan to showcase how traffic will be impacted due to the redistricting. To find out more, click the link below=>

http://new.evite.com/?utm_source=aol_mail&utm_medium=email&utm_content=text&utm_campaign=invite#view_invite:eid=00C9AAQZXGK5ZYKBGEPAN5OK4LLDKQ&gid=00C9AAPMTMDWJMKN6EPAOAG6NA344Y

CPAC Members Submit Letter Regarding Redistricting.

By Accessmilton.com

At last nights city council meeting 4/25/2011, several residents spoke out in regard to Milton's traffic plan and how the latest redistricting map went against the recommended north south traffic flow for the entire city.

The last comment read into the record by the clerk of court was a letter from some members of CPAC.

CPAC consists of the planning commission and appointed citizens by each council person and mayor. Members of CPAC signed the letter opposing the recent Fulton County map.

Along with 5 citizens at public comment CPAC requested a resolution from Milton council asking for an alternative plan in line with Milton traffic plan.

The mayors comments at the end of public comment was, "whatever plan the BOE chooses, know your city council will work hard at making it work for Milton".

Accessmilton.com is requesting the letter and will bring it to you right here as soon as possible.

Post April 25 City Council meeting wrap-up

By Accessmilton.com
PUBLIC HEARING
ALCOHOL BEVERAGE LICENSE APPLICATIONS
1. Approval of the Issuance of an Alcohol Beverage License to Cosmo Foods, LLC d/b/a Paradise Biryani Pointe located at 5310 Windward Parkway, Suite D, Milton, Georgia 30004. The Applicant is Pavan Bandi for Consumption on Premises - Wine and Malt Beverages.
(Agenda Item No. 11-084)
(Stacey Inglis, Finance Director)
Approved 6-0
Note: Councilman Joe Longoria was absent

ZONING AGENDA
1. RZ11-02 - Requested by Ashton Atlanta Residential, LLC Located at State Route 9 (south side) just west of Sunfish Bend to Rezone from C-1 (Community Business) to TR (Townhouse Residential) to Develop 43 Single Family Lots on 8.26 Acres for an Overall Density of 5.21 Units Per Acre.
(Agenda Item No. 11-067)
(First Presentation at April 11, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)
Approved 6-0 with conditions

2. U11-01/VC11-01 - Requested by Union Primitive Baptist Church Located at 335 Cox Road to Increase the Size of the Existing Fellowship Hall 2,060 Square Feet to 3,000 Square Feet and a Concurrent Variance to Delete the 50-foot Undisturbed Buffer and 10-foot Improvement Setback along the West Property Lines to Allow the encroachment of the Existing Driveway, Basketball Court, Portion of the Fellowship Hall and the Cemetery. [Sec. 64-1141(3)a.]
(Agenda Item No. 11-068)
(First Presentation at April 11, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)
Approved 6-0

3. ZM11-01 - Requested by Charles Feyt Located at Lot #9 - Atlanta National Subdivision (Crooked Stick Drive) to Modify Condition 1.e. (RZ85-181) to Reduce the 100 foot Building Setback Along the South Property Lines to 50 feet and to Reduce the 100 foot Building Setback Along the West Property Line to 40 Feet.
(Agenda Item No. 11-069)
(First Presentation at April 11, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)
Motion to defer until May 16 council meeting approved 6-0.

4. RZ11-03 - To Amend Chapter 64, Article VII, Division 5 (State Route 9 Overlay District).
(Agenda Item No. 11-070)
(First Presentation at April 11, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)
(Discussed at April 18, 2011 Work Session)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)
Approved 6-0 with revisions

5. RZ11-04 - To Amend Chapter 64, Article VIII, Divisions 1 and 2 (Off-Street Parking and Loading).
(Agenda Item No. 11-071)
(First Presentation at April 11, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)
(Discussed at April 18, 2011 Work Session)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)
Approved 6-0

6. RZ11-05 - To Amend Chapter 64, Article XVII, Section 64-2453 (Creation of a Historic Preservation Commission).
(Agenda Item No. 11-072)
(First Presentation at April 11, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)
(Discussed at April 18, 2011 Work Session)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)
Approved 6-0

NEW BUSINESS
1. Approval of a Resolution Amending Resolution Nos. 10-12-165, 10-09-155, and 10-08-68 Appointing Members of the Historic Preservation Commission for the City of Milton Pursuant to Ordinance No. 10-06-65, Chapter 64, Article XVII, Section 64-2453.
(Agenda Item No. 11-085)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)

Approved 6-0

2. Ratification of a Purchase and Sale Agreement between the City of Milton, Georgia and Branch Banking and Trust Company for the purchase of Property at 15690 Hopewell Road, Milton, Georgia 30004.
(Agenda Item No. 11-086)
(Presented by Chris Lagerbloom, City Manager)
Approved 6-0

Monday, April 25, 2011

"The Beacon" No More.

By Accessmilton.com

What was once promised to be a cutting edge news paper for North Fulton has now officially closed it's doors.

Beaconcast.com or "The Beacon" as it came to be known in it's paper form, relished in "shock and awe" media coverage. Going after and, according to some, responsible for igniting political chaos in Milton, Roswell, and Alpharetta via it's aggressive reporting.

In addition, some stories were published with incorrect information, angering those affected.


Residential newspaper delivery was also sporatic, showing up week after week and then nothing for months.

There are many rumors that have persisted regarding the demise of this once promising media outlet. However, with the internet now being the primary source for news coverage, it is no wonder so many other newspapers have ceased to exist as well.

We wish those at "The Beacon" the best in their future endeavors.

Hopewell/Francis/Cogburn open house set for April 28.

Public invited to view plans, ask questions, make comment.

by Jonathan Copsey / Appen Newspapers

April 22, 2011
Milton, Ga. — The Milton Public Works Department will hold an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 28 in the executive conference room at City Hall to discuss and take public comment on improvements planned for the intersection of Hopewell, Francis and Cogburn roads.

"We are looking at several alternatives for improving this problematic intersection," said Sara Leaders, Milton's transportation engineer. "First, though, we want to hear the public's opinions and determine the solution supported by the community before we proceed with the design process."
Leaders said the open house will be informal, and no presentation will be made. Instead, plans and experts will be available, and the public is asked to stop in.

The busy intersection was identified in the Milton Comprehensive Transportation Plan as a key improvement for the city, said Leaders. Both traditional improvements, such as turn lanes and signals, and nontraditional improvements, such as a roundabout, may be appropriate.

Residents may also keep up-to-date with this and other Milton intersection projects at www.miltonintersectionprojects.com.

The executive conference room is located in Suite 107G of City Hall.

April 18 named Patriots Day in Milton.

By Accessmilton.com



At its last meeting, Milton’s City Council was joined by the Sons of the American Revolution, Piedmont Chapter, in proclaiming Monday, April 18 “Patriots Day.”


The designation honored the brave patriots of April 12, 1775, who rode their horses through the Massachusetts countryside to warm fellow colonists British troops were coming.

For more information on the proclamation, including a quick history lesson on explanation of the City of Milton’s namesake, John Milton, click here.

City Crash Data 2006 to 2008

By Accessmilton.com

With discussions continuing among the Milton citizenry about the "Plan C" option regarding the redistricting issue, many have expressed concerns about safety and an increased likelihood of accidents.

"Active Milton Citizen" has once again donated their time and sent over the following link showcasing wrecks that have taken place throughout the city from 2006 to 2008.

http://cityofmiltonga.us/vertical/Sites/%7BABDC6828-BCD1-4EB9-8063-A52F3C899020%7D/uploads/%7BAD75D6C0-430E-420D-A161-C11B5354827E%7D.PDF

Hopefully, this information will prove valuable to Accessmilton.com readers.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

By The Numbers.


NOTE: We would like to thank "Active Milton Citizen" for providing the following information to Accessmilton.com

--------------

Elementary Schools

Johns Creek - 9

Abbotts Hill

Barnewell

Dolvin

Findley Oaks

Medlock Br. Ocee

Shakerag

State Bridge Crossing

Wilson Creek


Alpharetta - 5


Alpharetta Elem

Creekview

Lake Winward

Manning Oaks

New Prospect


Milton - 4


Birmingham

Cogburn

Crapapple

Summit Hill


Roswell - 9


Hembree

Hillside

Jackson/Esther

Mimosa

Northwood

River Eues

Roswell North

Sweetapple


Middle Schools:



Johns Creek - 2

Autrey Mill

River Trail

Alpharetta - 3

Haynes Bridge

Holcomb Br

Webb Br.


Roswell - 2


Crabapple MS

Elkins Point

Milton - 3

Hopewell

Northwestern

Freemanville (not built yet but in the plans)


High Schools:


Johns Creek - 2

Chattahoochee

Johns Creek HS


Alpharetta - 1


Alpharetta HS


Roswell - 2



Centenial

Roswell HS


Milton - 2



Milton HS

New Bethany HS under Construction


So altogether we have this:


Johnscreek - 13

Alpharetta - 10

Milton - 8

Roswell - 13


Now lets look at the square miles for each city:


Alpharetta 23 square miles

Milton 40 square miles

Johns Creek 32 square miles

Roswell 38.6 square miles.


Now lets look at the population for each city: Wikipedia has from 2008: ( I have not been able to find 2010 census numbers yet)


Alpharetta 49,203

Milton 30,180

Roswell 87,657

Johns Creek 70,050.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Petition Set Up Regarding Redistricting.

All:

Some residents have set up an online petition regarding the redistricting issue. To view the petition, please click here=>

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/milton-petition-to-fcss/

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gas Prices Friday.


Courtesy Gasbuddy.com


1. Sams Club / Mansell: $3.64


2. Costco / Windward: $3.64


3. Racetrac / McFarland: $3.67

Redistricting Meeting 4/19/2011 Crabapple Crossing ES

By Accessmilton.com
Double Click To Enlarge Screen.

April 25 City Council meeting notice.

By Accessmilton.com


Monday, April 25, 2011 Regular Council Meeting Agenda 6:00 p.m.

INVOCATION - Reverend Robert Wood, St. Aiden's Episcopal Church, Alpharetta, Georgia.

CALL TO ORDER

1) ROLL CALL


2) PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE (Led by the Mayor)

3) APPROVAL OF MEETING AGENDA (Add or remove items from the agenda)
(Agenda Item No. 11-075)

4) PUBLIC COMMENT

5) CONSENT AGENDA
1. Approval of the March 21, 2011 Regular Council Meeting.
(Agenda Item No. 11- 076)
(Sudie Gordon, City Clerk)


2. Approval of a Professional Services Agreement between the City of Milton and Stewart- Cooper-Newell Architects, PA, to Provide Site Planning for the Proposed Public Safety Facility on Highway 9 in the Amount of $ 5,000.00.
(Agenda Item No. 11- 077)
(Carter Lucas, Public Works Director)

3. Approval of a Professional Services Agreement between the City of Milton and Breedlove Land Planning, Inc., to Provide Conceptual Engineering Plans for the Proposed Public Safety Facility on Highway 9 in the Amount of $5,500.00
(Agenda Item No. 11- 078)
(Carter Lucas, Public Works Director)

4. Approval of a Change Order for Engineering Services Agreement between the City of Milton, Georgia and A&R Engineering for Intersection Improvements at Cogburn Road and Bethany Bend in the Amount of $4,225.00.
(Agenda Item No. 11 - 079)
(Carter Lucas, Public Works Director)

5. Approval of Engineering Services Agreement between the City of Milton, Georgia and Universal Engineering Sciences, Inc for a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment for the 15690 Hopewell Road Property in the Amount of $1,500.00.
(Agenda Item No. 11 - 080)
(Carter Lucas, Public Works Director)

6. Approval of a Contract in an Amount not to Exceed $510,170.00 for a City-wide Road Patching and Repair Contract with Blount Construction Company, Inc.
(Agenda Item No. 11 - 081)
(Carter Lucas, Public Works Director)

7. Approval of a Contract between The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (C.A.L.E.A.) and the City of Milton.
(Agenda Item No. 11 - 082)
(Deborah Harrell, Police Chief)


8. Approval of a Contract between the Atlanta Regional Commission and the City of Milton to Commence a Livable Centers Initiative Study Project.
(Agenda Item No. 11 - 083)
(Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)

6) REPORTS AND PRESENTATIONS
1. Presentation of the City of Milton FY 2010 Annual Audit.
(Presented by Adam M. Fraley, CPA, Mauldin and Jenkins)

2. May is Older Americans Month Proclamation.
(Presented by Mayor Joe Lockwood)

7) FIRST PRESENTATION (None)

8) PUBLIC HEARING
ALCOHOL BEVERAGE LICENSE APPLICATIONS
1. Approval of the Issuance of an Alcohol Beverage License to Cosmo Foods, LLC d/b/a Paradise Biryani Pointe located at 5310 Windward Parkway, Suite D, Milton, Georgia 30004. The Applicant is Pavan Bandi for Consumption on Premises - Wine and Malt Beverages.
(Agenda Item No. 11-084)
(Stacey Inglis, Finance Director)

9) ZONING AGENDA
1. RZ11-02 - Requested by Ashton Atlanta Residential, LLC Located at State Route 9 (south side) just west of Sunfish Bend to Rezone from C-1 (Community Business) to TR (Townhouse Residential) to Develop 43 Single Family Lots on 8.26 Acres for an Overall Density of 5.21 Units Per Acre.
(Agenda Item No. 11-067)
(First Presentation at April 11, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)

2. U11-01/VC11-01 - Requested by Union Primitive Baptist Church Located at 335 Cox Road to Increase the Size of the Existing Fellowship Hall 2,060 Square Feet to 3,000 Square Feet and a Concurrent Variance to Delete the 50-foot Undisturbed Buffer and 10-foot Improvement Setback along the West Property Lines to Allow the encroachment of the Existing Driveway, Basketball Court, Portion of the Fellowship Hall and the Cemetery. [Sec. 64-1141(3)a.]
(Agenda Item No. 11-068)
(First Presentation at April 11, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)

3. ZM11-01 - Requested by Charles Feyt Located at Lot #9 - Atlanta National Subdivision (Crooked Stick Drive) to Modify Condition 1.e. (RZ85-181) to Reduce the 100 foot Building Setback Along the South Property Lines to 50 feet and to Reduce the 100 foot Building Setback Along the West Property Line to 40 Feet.
(Agenda Item No. 11-069)
(First Presentation at April 11, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)

4. RZ11-03 - To Amend Chapter 64, Article VII, Division 5 (State Route 9 Overlay District).
(Agenda Item No. 11-070)
(First Presentation at April 11, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)
(Discussed at April 18, 2011 Work Session)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)

5. RZ11-04 - To Amend Chapter 64, Article VIII, Divisions 1 and 2 (Off-Street Parking and Loading).
(Agenda Item No. 11-071)
(First Presentation at April 11, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)
(Discussed at April 18, 2011 Work Session)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)

6. RZ11-05 - To Amend Chapter 64, Article XVII, Section 64-2453 (Creation of a Historic Preservation Commission).
(Agenda Item No. 11-072)
(First Presentation at April 11, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)
(Discussed at April 18, 2011 Work Session)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)

10) UNFINISHED BUSINESS (None)


11) NEW BUSINESS
1. Approval of a Resolution Amending Resolution Nos. 10-12-165, 10-09-155, and 10-08-68 Appointing Members of the Historic Preservation Commission for the City of Milton Pursuant to Ordinance No. 10-06-65, Chapter 64, Article XVII, Section 64-2453.
(Agenda Item No. 11-085)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)


2. Ratification of a Purchase and Sale Agreement between the City of Milton, Georgia and Branch Banking and Trust Company for the purchase of Property at 15690 Hopewell Road, Milton, Georgia 30004.
(Agenda Item No. 11-086)
(Presented by Chris Lagerbloom, City Manager)

12) MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS

13) STAFF REPORTS (None)


14) EXECUTIVE SESSION (None)


15) ADJOURNMENT
(Agenda Item No. 11-087)

City Council To Take The Fall For Redistricting Controversy?


Another Milton City Council election will take place this Fall.

By Accessmilton.com

The redistricting issue has almost been as talked about as any recent Milton City Council election with "pros" and "cons" being all over the board. This person leans this way; the other the exact opposite.

Talks of consequences and assumptions abound regarding traffic, gas prices, and even claims of racism.

Some have called on the Milton City Council to speak out regarding Fulton County School Board's approach to shuffling students. Mayor Joe Lockwood was actually called a "bigot" in a comment left on Accessmilton.com regarding his vocalization of support for a particular plan.

However, the city's elected officials have no jurisdiction regarding public school placement as the FCBOE is not required by law to follow city lines or listen to the city's governing body.

Regardless, many citizens are still quite bothered stating they want to "vote them all out" this upcoming Fall due to their assumed lack of action.

With all that in mind, what do you think? Do you find Milton's City Council at some fault regarding the redistricting issue or do you believe their hands are tied? Do you believe that city councils should have discretion on school placement or should it all continue to be left up to the Fulton County Board of Education?

Have your say in the comments section below.

Divided schools seek boundary balance.

NOTE:

While not taking place in Milton, we thought the following story might be of interest in light of the redistricting issue.

---------------------


By D. Aileen Dodd
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The meandering school boundary lines drawn nearly a decade ago divided allegiances in Duluth, sinking PTA budgets, stifling community sports programs, making rivals out of old neighbors.

It was the biggest physical rift in the city since the railroad came to town in 1871. The memory for some still stings.

Back then, much of the country club set was moved from Duluth High School to populate a new school in Suwanee. The aftermath is being measured today in taffeta and test scores. Student poverty has risen in Duluth, graduation rates have softened and the PTA’s largest fundraiser, the Miss Duluth pageant, barely broke even this year.

Today, when the Gwinnett County school board votes to again rewrite school attendance zones, Duluth neighbors don't want history repeating itself.

Duluth could inherit more low-income areas without also taking in more of the business and homeowner base Duluth parents say is needed to balance out the impact. Property values and confidence in Duluth High's ability to remain a high-achieving school could be at stake. Parents have spoken out by the hundreds.

"If the table tips a little more it’s going to topple," said Rae Saidman, a PTA leader in the county. "More families are going to get discouraged and move away. We want to bring Duluth families back to Duluth.”
Gwinnett Schools is redistricting to relieve overcrowding at Peachtree Ridge High, which has 3,226 students, but room for only 2,800. Hull Middle, which is 700 students over capacity, has reached an enrollment of 2,409 – more than many small colleges.

The district's initial plan to balance enrollment sent some of Peachtree Ridge’s poorest neighborhoods, in the shadows of Gwinnett Place Mall, to Duluth schools.

“I don’t think the original split 10 years ago was done in a way that would balance the demographics,” said Mayor Nancy Harris who served as principal of Harris Elementary, a school in Duluth named after her father. “It caused Duluth High to really have to regroup.” About half of Duluth High students qualify for free or discounted lunch compared to 32 percent of Peachtree Ridge High students. Duluth feeder schools have a Title I campus that receives federal aid, Chesney Elementary with an 81 percent poverty rate. No Peachtree Ridge feeder schools have that designation. Yet 290 of Peachtree Ridge's Mason Elementary students are slated to be moved to Chesney, a poorer, slightly lower performing school. Mason is only 13 students over capacity, according to Gwinnett Schools.

Like most metro Atlanta school distrcts, Gwinnett does not consider socio-economics when school boundary lines are drawn to relieve overcrowding.

“We don’t sort students,”
said Mary Kay Murphy, the board member who represents Duluth and parts of Peachtree Ridge.

But national experts say that socio-economics should play a role.

“It creates a burden on resources on a school when you have a greater population of poor students ... than others in a community," said Michael Zuba, a senior planner with Milone & MacBroom consultants which advise schools on redistricting. "You want to spread it out a bit.”
The drain of wealth from Duluth has led to flight and disparities in school programs, though academically Peachtree Ridge and Duluth feeder schools meet and exceed academic expectations on standardized tests and rank among Newsweek magazine's top 1,000 high schools. Duluth High's average SAT score is 1556 compared to 1549 for Peachtree Ridge. Peachtree Ridge has a 92 percent graduation rate compared to the Duluth's 88 percent.

Participation in the Duluth High band dropped from about 100 members to 60 members since the split. "The dues are $500 a student, people can't afford it like they used to," said band parent David Lowry.

The annual scholarship pageant almost didn't happen. “The last two years we almost had to cancel it because we didn’t have enough girls,” said Dianne Ogden, a PTA volunteer. This year 22 girls competed. Ogden helped some find discount gowns. At Peachtree Ridge, there were 51 girls, sellout crowds and a $1,000 prize for the winner.

A revised boundary map could bring back Duluth’s loyal Buford Highway business base and the half million dollar homes in the 30097 zip code. That's where the median family income is more than $106,000 and almost half of the houses have at least nine rooms. But some of those parents, now zoned for Peachtree Ridge, don't want to go to Duluth High.

Peachtree Ridge is what drew Adeola Umusu to her neighborhood. Some of her neighbors might be happy Umusu's Cresswell subdivision could be rezoned the the Duluth cluster, she was blindsided. Neighbors have been circulating a petition looking for a way out of being shifted to Duluth.

“We paid $414,000 for our home to go to Peachtree Ridge schools,”
Umusu said. “It’s not fair."

Staff Writer Nancy Badertscher contributed to this report.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Superintendent candidate tells Northside parents he's committed to long stay.


ROTC cadet Jody Middle welcomes Robert Avossa, candidate for Fulton County school superintendent, to Westlake High School on Tuesday to meet parents and teachers.

By Nancy Badertscher
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Robert Avossa told parents on Wednesday night he plans to end the revolving door on the office of Fulton County school superintendent.

Avossa said he's hoping to "plant roots" and become "part of the community," where he's been asked to become the seventh school superintendent in 14 years.

"What I need from you is a commitment that we can work together to solve problems," Avossa told parents and teachers at a community meet-and-greet session at Centennial High School in Roswell, where he fielded questions about charter schools, the school system's culture and testing.

The Fulton School Board announced last week that it had picked Avossa, the chief strategy and accountability officer for the 135,000-student Charlotte-Mecklenberg, N.C., school district, to replace School Superintendent Cindy Loe. Loe was hired in 2008 after a series of short-term superintendents, but announced early this year that she would retire at the end of the school year to spend more time with family.

Avossa, who won't officially be offered the Fulton job until next week, spent Tuesday and Wednesday nights on a county tour that included stops at six schools and two meet-and-greet sessions, the first at the Southside's Westlake High School.

One of the first questions dealt with a regimen of 52 tests that Avossa helped develop that some parents and teachers have criticized as a waste of time and money. Avossa told the crowd at Centennial that testing has its place, but that the plan inacted in Charlotte was "very aggressive," and likely too fast-paced.

He called the idea of a charter school system, which Fulton is considering, intriguing. He said he'll spent the first 30 to 60 days of his administration getting to know the district and its challenges.

He pointed out that in Charlotte principals participated in an anonymous survey that rated central office staff members on how responsive they were. The results were part of the central office staffer's evaluation, Avossa said.

In Charlotte, he said he developed a metric so that the community could judge where it was getting a good return on its investment in each school.

"You've got to find a perfect balance between pressure and support," Avossa said.

Redistricting options draw ire of parents.

By Rachel Kellogg
Neighbor Newspapers


Fulton County School System operational planning director Yngrid Huff was met with cheers and applause last week when she told a room full of parents that the redistricting map they were seeing would not be the final version.

At the third and final redistricting meeting for the new high school at Bethany Bend, which opens fall of 2012, Huff said the school board is still attempting to get feedback for the final version of the map.

Though she said she realized many parents were unhappy with the map, she stressed the importance of gaining well-rounded perspectives.

“It is equally important to hear what you do like,” she said.

But several community members and parents say they are having a hard time finding anything to like about the map, which would send the northeastern section of Roswell High School’s zone, including the Edenwilde Subdivision, to Milton High School and the northern half of Milton High’s zone to the new school.

“I’m seeing communities torn apart. I don’t think anyone is happy [with the map],” said Mike Nyden, head of The Roswell Organizing Committee. But Nyden said simply tweaking the map is not a viable option. He said the problem lies within the school system’s redistricting process.

“The process is broken, and it needs to be fixed,” he said.

Nyden said the location of the new school was poorly chosen, considering that most of the overcrowding issues are with Roswell High.

“What you have is a new high school where the kids aren’t,” he said.

In a letter sent to several elected officials and news organizations, parents Kimberly McCool and Melissa Thomas-Dubois outlined their concerns about the map, first noting that many children will be sent to schools which are not the closet to them.

“The current Plan C moves many students farther away from their home high school, not only causing chaos and inconvenience, but as gas prices approach $5 a gallon, significant transportation costs for the [board of education],” the letter said.

Though all changes will take effect in August of next year, the recommended redistricting map will be presented to the school board in May and will be voted on in June.

Know Your Milton - The Yellow Jacket!


By Accessmilton.com

With Spring upon us in Milton, insects are coming out of their long winter hibernation. From spiders, to butterflies, to bees - all are back and active.

Residents are also working in their yards more...

One aggressive resident, the Yellow Jacket wasp or "Yellow Jacket" as it is locally refered to, can be very dangerous and possibly fatal. To find out what happens when you disturb a nest, view the video below.

Double click to enlarge screen.


The Yellow Jacket or yellow-jacket is the common name in North America and Milton Georgia for the predatory wasps of the genera Vespula and Dolichovespul. Members of these genera are known simply as "wasps" in other English-speaking countries. Most of these are black and yellow; some are black and white, while others may have the abdomen background color red instead of black. They can be identified by their distinctive markings, small size (similar to a honey bee), their occurence only in colonies, and a characteristic, rapid, side to side flight pattern prior to landing. All females are capable of stinging which can cause pain to the person that has been stung. Yellowjackets are important predators of pest insects

IDENTIFICATION

A typical yellowjacket worker is about 12mm (0.5 in) long, with alternating bands on the abdomen while the queen is larger, about 19 mm (0.75 in) long (the different patterns on the abdomen help separate various species.) Workers are sometimes confused with honey bees, especially when flying in and out of their nests. Yellowjackets, in contrast to honey bees, are not covered with tan-brown dense hair on their bodies and lack the flattened hairy hind legs used to carry polen. Yellow jackets have a lance-like stinger with small barbs and typically sting repeatedly, though occasionally the sting becomes lodged and pulls free of the wasp's body; the venom, like most bee/wasp venoms, is primarily only dangerous to those who are allergic, unless a victim receives a large number of stings. All species have yellow or white on the face. Mouthparts are well-developed for capturing and chewing insects, with a proboscis for sucking nectar, fruit, and other juices. Nest are built in trees, shrubs, or in protected places such as inside human-made structures (attics, hollow walls or flooring, in sheds, under porches, and eaves of houses), or in soil cavities, mouse burrows, etc. Nests are made from wood fiber chewed into a paper-like pulp.


Yellow jackets' closest relatives, the hornets, closely resemble them but have a much bigger head, seen especially in the large distance from the eyes to the back of the head.

LIFE CYCLE AND HABITS

Yellowjackets are social hunters living in colonies containing workers, queens, and males. Colonies are annual with only inseminated queens overwintering. Fertilized queens occur in protected places such as hollow logs, in stumps, under bark, in leaf litter, in soil cavities, and human-made structures. Queens emerge during the warm days of late spring or early summer, select a nest site, and build a small paper nest in which eggs are laid. After eggs hatch from the 30 to 50 brood cells, the queen feeds the young larvae for about 18 to 20 days. Larvae pupate, emerging later as small, infertile females called workers. By mid-summer, the first adult workers emerge and assume the tasks of nest expansion, foraging for food, care of the queen, and colony defense.

From this time until her death in the autumn, the queen remains inside the nest laying eggs. The colony the expands rapidly reaching a maximum size of 4,000 and 5,000 workers and a nest of 10,000 and 15,000 cells in late summer. At peak size, reproductive cells are built with new males and queens produced. Adult reproductives remain in the nest fed by the workers. New queens build up fat reserves to overwinter. Adult reproductives leave the parent colony to mate. After mating, males quickly die while fertilized queens seek protected places to overwinter. Parent colony workers dwindle, usually leaving the nest and die, as does the foundress queen. Abandoned nests rapidly decompose and disintegrate during the winter. They can persist as long as they are kept dry but are rarely used again. In the spring, the cycle is repeated (weather in the spring is the most important factor in colony establishment.)Although adults feed primarily on items rich in sugars and carbohydrates (fruits, flower nectar, and tree sap), the larvae feed on proteins (insects, meats, fish, etc.) Adult workers chew and condition the meat fed to the larvae. Larvae in return secrete a sugar material relished by the adults. This exchange is known as trophallaxis. In late summer, foraging workers change their food preferences from meats to ripe, decaying fruits or scavenge human garbage, sodas, picnics, etc., since larvae in the nest fail to meet requirements as a source of sugar. This is why yellowjackets are known largely as pests that are capable of ruining picnics. Although they lack the pollen-carrying structures of bees, yellowjackets can be minor pollinators when visiting flowers.

In Milton Georgia, yellowjackets are primarily found in ground. Thus, be sure to walk an area prior to clearing or cutting the grass.

If stung, call 911 and / or seek Doctor attention immediately!

Milton to hold open house on road improvements.

By Staff / Milton Neighbor

The city of Milton Public Works Department will hold an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. April 28 in the Executive Conference Room at City Hall to discuss and take public comment on the improvements planned for the intersection of Hopewell, Francis and Cogburn roads.

“We are looking at several alternatives for improving this problematic intersection,” Sara Leaders, Milton’s transportation engineer, said in a statement.

“First, though, we want to hear the public’s opinions and determine the solution supported by the community before we proceed with the design process.”

Leaders said the open house will be informal, and no presentation will be made. Instead, plans and experts will be available and the public is asked to stop in.

The busy intersection was identified in the Milton Comprehensive Transportation Plan as a key improvement for the city, said Leaders. Both traditional improvements, such as turn lanes and signals, and nontraditional improvements, such as a roundabout, may be appropriate.

Residents may also keep up-to-date with this and other Milton intersection projects at www.miltonintersectionprojects.com.

The Executive Conference Room is located in Suite 107G of City Hall, at 13000 Deerfield Pkwy.

Milton council honors Principal Bill Thompson.

By Accessmilton.com

Milton’s City Council honored at its April 11 meeting retiring Hopewell Middle School Principal Bill Thompson for his 39 years of teaching.


Thompson, who helped launch Hopewell Middle School in 2004 and served as its principal for four years, oversaw Hopewell when it was named a Governor’s Office of Student Achievement 2007 Platinum Award-winning school, the highest level of recognition in the category from the Georgia Department of Education.


Click here to see the proclamation given to Thompson.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Time To Laugh...


Double Click To Enlarge Screen.

Milton settles lawsuit with Fulton County.

Agrees to pay $110k settlement.


by Jonathan Copsey
Appen Newspapers
April 18, 2011

MILTON, Ga. - The city has settled a lawsuit brought against it by Fulton County, dating back to the 2009 incorporation, by paying the county $110,000.

Fulton County filed the lawsuit against Milton June 30, 2009, claiming the city broke its contract with the county during the five-month transition period. During that time, Milton would pay for the county to provide "sufficient" police protection every day of the week. That was where the discrepancy occurred.

"The city did an audit of the terms of the agreement,"
explained City Manager Chris Lagerbloom. "We felt they were owed $65,000. They felt as though we owed them more."The county filed the lawsuit seeking $324,615.02 from the fledgling Milton. In response, Milton filed a counter-suit claiming the county had not provided adequate staffing during the transition. The argument was finally settled with the $110,000 sum.

Lagerbloom was content with the settlement.

"Even if you think you have a good case, you never now what's going to happen [in court]," he said. "It would have cost more than $45,000 to litigate."
He added the settlement was smaller than what it would have cost for the city to go to trial.

Fulton County has similar lawsuits still pending with the cities of Johns Creek and Sandy Springs.

North Fulton cities explore girls sofball league.

By Patrick Fox

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Roswell and Sandy Springs are exploring a regional, recreational-level girls slow-pitch softball program. Under the plan, teams would practice at home parks and play home and away games against teams throughout North Fulton County.

April 17-23 is Georgia Cities Week.


By Accessmilton.com

April 17-23 is Georgia Cities Week, and the City of Milton is proud to take part and show off all the great things local government accomplishes.


During this week, residents, school groups and service organizations are encouraged to stop by City Hall and request a tour or attend a meeting. To schedule a tour of City Hall, e-mail Communications Manager Jason Wright by clicking here. You may also click here to view a full calendar of City Events.


As part of Milton's efforts to raise awareness of local government in the community, Milton High schoolers from Jackie Angel's AP Government class held a Mock Council meeting in March. Click here for more information.


Now in its 12th year, the Georgia Municipal Association's Georgia Cities Week is part of an ongoing effort to raise public awareness about the services cities perform and educate the public on how city government works.

BREAKING NEWS: Council Makes Statement On Redistricting.


By Accessmilton.com


Milton City Council has made a statement on the redistricting issue. To view the complete video, please click here and turn your volume up=>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRTCE0Vo7LA

Monday, April 18, 2011

Meet-and-greet opportunities are Tuesday and Wednesday for Fulton superintendent finalist.



Courtesy Fulton County Schools.


Next Tuesday and Wednesday, Fulton County Schools students, staff and parents, as well as business leaders, elected officials and other Fulton residents, are invited to meet superintendent finalist Robert Avossa at special meet-and-greet opportunities. Avossa will share his educational philosophies and personal background at the forums as well as engage in a Q&A session.

The meetings are part of a 14-day public comment period held before the school board can formally tender the position to Avossa. In addition to sharing feedback at these forums, citizens can email their comments to superintendent@fultonschools.org by April 22. Forums also will be videotaped and posted afterwards to the district's web site for viewing.

Tuesday, April 19 - Westlake High School
Reception 6:30 p.m.
Community Meeting 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 20 - Centennial High School
Reception 6:30 p.m.
Community Meeting 7:00 p.m.


Both meetings will be held in the schools' auditoriums. Westlake High School is located at 2400 Union Road SW in Atlanta and Centennial High School is located at 9310 Scott Road in Roswell.

About the Finalist

The Fulton County Board of Education announced April 11 that Robert Avossa was its finalist for the position of Fulton County School System superintendent.

"Robert Avossa's educational philosophy has been shaped by his personal and professional experiences. He is a strong coalition builder who believes that every child can learn," said Linda Schultz, Fulton County School Board president. "Robert has worked in systems that are as large or larger than Fulton and he knows how to include all stakeholders in the educational process. He has particular expertise leveraging data-driven accountability programs and demonstrated results in raising the bar and closing the gap. He will bring his vision and his skill to help us improve on what has been started in Fulton."
Avossa currently serves as Chief Strategy and Accountability Officer for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) in North Carolina. CMS is one of the largest systems in the country with more than 135,000 students. In this role, Avossa has led the district in driving key performance management initiatives. The accountability group managed district and state testing, conducted independent research on student and teacher performance, and developed a platform and formative assessments for the district's 2014 strategic plan.

"I am honored at the prospect of joining the Fulton County School System,"
Avossa said. "Fulton has a well-deserved reputation for excellence and education innovation. In particular, the school board has made student achievement its highest priority and I look forward to working with them as well as school leaders and the community in making this happen."
Before assuming his current role in 2009, Avossa served as the area superintendent of the district's South Learning Community and as Chief of Staff to the superintendent. He joined CMS in 2006 after more than a decade in Florida schools as a teacher and principal.

Avossa has a diversity of experience with key roles at the elementary, middle and high school levels. He has been a teacher in middle and high schools, principal of a large Title I elementary school, and the principal of a comprehensive high school with more than 3,250 students. His work in these positions earned Avossa the designation as Young Educator of the Year in 2003. In addition to his educational leadership, he was active with the community and was a member of the Leadership Charlotte Class of 2008.

Avossa holds a bachelor's degree in exceptional education and behavior disorders as well as a master's degree in special education, both from the University of South Florida. He also holds a specialist's degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He is a doctoral candidate at Wingate University with an expected graduation date of summer 2011.

He and his wife, Kellee, have two school-aged children.

About the Fulton County School System. The Fulton County School System is the fourth largest school system in Georgia. More than 92,000 students attend 101 schools in the cities of Alpharetta, Chattahoochee Hills, College Park, East Point, Fairburn, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, Palmetto, Roswell, Sandy Springs and Union City. The district also serves students in unincorporated Fulton County.

PLEASE ATTEND TUES AM KATIE REEVES MTG @CCES

Courtesy FDB

PLEASE CHECK YOUR CALENDAR NOW AND PLAN TO ATTEND THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED KATIE REEVES DISTRICT TWO COMMUNITY MEETING, WEARING MILTON RED; MEETING WILL BE HELD TUESDAY, APRIL 19th @ 9:30am, CRABAPPLE CROSSINGELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

As I am sure you are aware by now, there are redistricting decisions being made by FCSS that affect our Milton cluster. Unfortunately, we arrived rather late "in the game" as some communities who have previously been affected by such decisions were ready with their arguments, plans, and matching t-shirts. Though it was unexpected, it turns out that the latest proposed map will have a major impact on the high school beginning Fall 2012 but extending far into the future. We need to communicate to the board and superintendent (who decide the final map with their vote) that we have significant concerns. Katie Reeves is our district's representative and her regularly scheduled community meeting happens to be this Tuesday at 9:30am at Crabapple Crossing Elementary School. Please plan to attend so that you can hear information firsthand from Ms. Reeves and show support for Milton.

Previous experience with such meetings leads me to caution you that respectful and informed dialogue are best heard. You may not feel conversant enough with the complex issues to speak up, and there may not be time for all who want to speak to do so. YOUR PRESENCE ALONE, WEARING RED, WILL DEMONSTRATE YOUR CONCERNS AND SUPPORT.

You have likely already seen one petition and there will be at least one other. If you agree with the content of these documents, please sign and send along so that the board hears our "Milton Voice." Last, please forward this email to those you know who share that voice. Thank you!

Earth Day Festival 2011 Photos.







All Photos Courtesy Of Accessmilton.com

Letters To The Editor.

NOTE: Accessmilton.com has been and always will be a portal for the voice of the people. We encourage opinions to be shared with our audience at any time. Should you wish to share your thoughts on this topic or others that are affecting the Milton community, feel free to email them to tmenloe@aol.com /Subject line: Accessmilton.com Editorial.

ACCESSMILTON.COM- WHERE YOU CHOOSE THE NEWS!


Fulton County BOE redistricting plan does not work

While most of the input for the proposed Plan C North Fulton redistricting has already been received, we wanted to wait until gathering further information before voicing our concerns. We believe the current plan does not adequately meeting the criteria stated by the BOE. Specifically, it appears that:

1) The FCBOE would rather invest in gas than curriculum support.

The past year has seen shrinking budgets across the board with decreased school days, teacher furloughs and the canceling of several enrichment programs. The current Plan C moves many students FARTHER away from their home high school, not only causing chaos and inconvenience, but as gas prices approach $5 a gallon, significant transportation costs for the BOE.

As an example (and there are many worse under the current plan):

From my subdivision (Enniskerry) to Milton HS: 1 left turn, 2.6 miles, 5 minutes (a north-south route)

From my subdivision to Bethany Bend HS: 4 left turns, through 1 school zone, 4 stop signs, 2 lights, 5.0 miles and 12 minutes (an east-west route)

Moreover, it is clear that North Fulton is organized along state and local roads that run north to south (Arnold Mill Road, Birmingham Highway, Freemanville Road, Bethany Road and Hopewell Road). However, rather than following these north to south arteries your plan requires parents, students and buses to drive east to west on mostly one lane back roads with no shoulder, no guardrails and lined with trees close to the road to get to a school that is in many cases 10 miles away rather than 3 miles away from their home. This will be a traffic nightmare.

We find it incredulous that transportation would NOT be a consideration for redistricting.

2) Future growth is unfairly distributed.

Current projects show that the majority of growth is in the uppermost part of Fulton County. Rather than distributing that growth between Milton and Bethany Bend and follow the north south main roads, ALL of these newly constructed neighborhoods will attend the new Bethany Bend High School. The Milton area, which is far more developed, will be virtually landlocked and its census numbers kept so low that it will be difficult for it to support the AP course offerings needed to keep it a top performing school, not to mention the effect it will have on its ability to earn drama, music, arts instructors, and coaches.

2) The objective is to stay on schedule, regardless of the efficacy of the outcome

It appears that the only objective is to get numbers to work in a spreadsheet.

We believe that the BOE is better than that. Just because the “numbers work” does NOT mean that the plan works. Presenting a plan that affects hundreds of families in a negative manner just to get it done before the next board meeting does a disservice to North Fulton families and the planning process.

We implore you to reconsider Plan C and make it BETTER for all.

Respectfully,

Kimberly McCool
Melissa Thomas-Dubois
Birmingham Falls Foundation Board Member
Northwester Middle School LSAC Member

Beverage Depot Wishes You A Happy Easter!

To find out more about Beverage Depot, Click Here=> http://www.accessmilton.com/Advertisers/BeverageDepot.php

Interested in a girls slow-pitch softball program?

By Accessmilton.com

Five North Fulton cities exploring regional league

MILTON, Ga., April 18, 2011 - The five cities of North Fulton -- Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Roswell and Sandy Springs -- are exploring the opportunity of offering a regional, recreational-level girls slow-pitch softball program and need your input.

The concept, said representatives from the cities' recreation departments, is that teams would practice at home parks and play home and away games against teams throughout North Fulton.

Each city would like feedback from residents regarding their interest in having this prospective program available in their respective city. To do this, a quick, 10-question online survey has been created. Please visit www.surveymonkey.com/northfultonsoftball or click here to take this survey. It is also available at the City of Milton's Web site, www.cityofmiltonga.us, under "Your Government" > "Parks and Recreation" > "North Fulton girls slow-pitch softball questionnaire."

All feedback collected will only be used by the respective parks and recreation departments in their determination of whether to undertake this program. The deadline for completing surveys is May 31.

For more information, contact your city's representative:

Alpharetta: Lisa Cherry, lcherry@alpharetta.ga.us or 678-297-6162 or Jim Cregge, creggej@bellsouth.net
Johns Creek: Kirk Franz, kirk.franz@johnscreekga.gov or 678-512-3200
Milton: Tom Gilliam, tom.gilliam@cityofmiltonga.us or 678-242-2519
Roswell: Joel St. Vrain, jstvrain@roswellgov.com or 770-594-6134
Sandy Springs: Trevor Ramos, trevor.ramos@sandyspringsga.org or 678-787-5059

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Redistricting Round 3 Community On-line Feedback deadline April 18 at 8am & Library Feedback.


Courtesy Julie Zahner Bailey.


Dear Milton Residents, Neighbors and Citizens,

It has been a busy week in Milton as it has included a presentation from Lew Oliver regarding possible ideas for Crabapple, Council meetings which included a proclamation acknowledging the commitment of Principal Bill Thompson to students and communities, to the third redistricting meeting for our local schools and those throughout North Fulton as well as the Earth Day Festival planned for today, Saturday, April 16th from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. The rain has passed and the City of Milton and the Milton Grows Green committee has a fantastic Festival at Birmingham Park planned for today. I hope you will find some time in your busy Saturdays to stop by and enjoy the free activities for your families.

The primary reasons for this email release are to: 1) encourage you to provide input regarding the Library to be built somewhere in Milton (to be announced sometime in the near future according to the Library Board and Fulton County), and 2) to inform you of the continued opportunities to provide input directly to the Fulton County Board of Education (FCBOE) regarding the current High School and Middle School redistricting and attendance zone process.

Library Input

The Fulton County Library system is asking for our individual and collective input regarding the Library to be located in Milton. While we do not have a specific site selection yet from Fulton County, they are seeking specific input regarding functionality, building type and look, environmental considerations and programming. Please go to the following link to provide input to the surveys being collected. Your direct input will have a lasting impact on the eventual library in Milton regarding how it looks, feels and functions for you and your family. Thank you for weighing in on this important topic as it will have a forever impact on our community.

High School and Middle School Redistricting Process - Update

Many of you know the Fulton County Board of Education (FCBOE) came out with a revised map earlier this week. On Wednesday, April 13th, the third and final community meeting was held with break out sessions intended to gain additional community input on the redistricting process. The FCBOE is continuing to seek input on the latest plan via their website until Monday, April 18 at 8 a.m.

The primary and secondary criteria used for determining redistricting maps, and therefore any comments - either pro or con - are asked by the FCBOE to be focused on the following:

Geographic Proximity
Capacity
Residential Development
Safety/Traffic Concerns
Multiple/Previous Rezonings
School Feeder Pattern
Neighborhoods Groupings


I appreciate the input of all citizens and respect all opinions. I have heard from those in favor of the latest plan as well as those opposed. As noted by those who favor the current plan, positives include the numeric balancing of school populations and keeping some Milton areas grouped together. Meanwhile, concerns noted with the current plan include east-west traffic patterns and feeder school alignments. I respect all citizens and their opinions on this issue; I encourage all Milton residents to be respectful of the varying perspectives on this sometimes complex issue.

A redistricting of this magnitude naturally has various opinions based on varying perspectives and areas. What might be important to one area, can present an issue for another. My hope is that all citizens from all areas provide input and that all perspectives can be considered. The great news is that both high schools will be wonderful. The more community input the better. Again, thank you for sharing your opinions.

Thank you, too, for caring enough about this place we all call home to be involved and engaged. I am truly thankful to live, work and volunteer in such a wonderful community that is made most special by the respect and care extended between neighbors.

Take care,

Julie Zahner Bailey
404-310-6344 (cell)
770-664-5529 (home)
Julie4Milton@mindspring.com
www.Julie4Milton.com
Baileyfarmandgardens@mindspring.com
www.baileyfarmandgardens.com

Beyond the on-line link to the FCBOE, the following contact information can be utilized for providing additional comments to those involved directly and on the periphery:

Yngrid Huff
Executive Director of Operational Planning

and

Lauren Blake
Professional Assistant

planning@fultonschools.org
(404) 763-5540
FAX (404) 763-5547

Fulton County Board of Education Board Members:

Linda Schultz

schultzl@fultonschools.org

Katie Reeves

reevesk@fultonschools.org

Gail Dean

deang@fultonschools.org

Linda Bryant

bryantlp@fultonschools.org

Linda McCain

McCainL@fultonschools.org

Catherine Maddox

maddoxc@fultonschools.org

Julia Bernath

bernath@fultonschools.org

Cindy Loe

loec@fultonschools.org

City of Milton Council

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Letter To The Editor.

NOTE: Accessmilton.com has been and always will be a portal for the voice of the people. We encourage opinions to be shared with our audience at any time. Should you wish to share your thoughts on this topic or others that are affecting the Milton community, feel free to email them to tmenloe@aol.com /Subject line: Accessmilton.com Editorial.

ACCESSMILTON.COM- WHERE YOU CHOOSE THE NEWS!


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Letter in Opposition to the Final High School Redistricting Plan for Board Consideration.


Dr. Loe, Board Members and FCSS Administrators,


As you know we have been active in the FCSS and have tried to support the school system and our community over the last several years. With regard to the new Bethany Bend High School, we were two of three parents who wrote and spoke at a zoning meeting in support of the FCSS's construction of the new high school. We were later told that without community support from the three of us, the FCSS would have "crashed and burned". Moreover, we have tried to instill confidence in the FCSS redistricting process and confidence in the Board through conversations with parents and newspaper reporters. Perhaps that is why we find the final redistricting plan, as it relates to Milton High School, inconsistent with the FCSS criteria, unwise given the FCSS goal of creating schools of excellence and as though Milton is being sacrificed to appease surrounding schools.

The fact of the matter is that the FCSS mishandled this redistricting from the start with a pandora's box of potential maps and then caved to the "squeaky wheels" and those who even fought the construction of the new high school. To add insult to injury, this was done to the detriment of Milton High School. With this plan, the entire complexion of Milton High School will change from AP course offerings to the arts to music and sports. It quite simply guts Milton by removing some of the most committed, involved, invested, and active neighborhoods along Birmingham Highway and Freemanville Road (both of which border Milton High School), such as White Columns and Triple Crown, to name a few. Moreover, to move these neighborhoods to "quiet" those who objected to the very construction of the new Bethany Bend High School is beyond the pale. As a parent and community member it is difficult to watch Milton, which has a stellar track record and a principal, who was notably schooled at The Westminster School and University of St. Andrews in Scotland and who is committed to making it among the top high schools in the state, have the rug pulled out from under it. Instead, the FCSS has mishandled this from the start, is throwing away the opportunity to have several "gem" schools in the area and is seriously jeopardizing it's support for SPLOST IV in the process.

Based upon FCSS criteria, which appear to have been disregarded to appease others, we note the following:

1). TRAFFIC: It is undisputed that North Fulton is organized along state and local roads that run north to south and parallel to one another like a long row of vertical lines (Arnold Mill Road, Birmingham Highway, Freemanville Road, Bethany Road and Hopewell Road). However, rather than following these north to south arteries your plan requires parents, students and buses to drive east to west on mostly one lane back roads with no shoulder, no guardrails and lined with trees close to the road to get to a school that is in many cases 10 miles away rather than 3 miles away from their home. Additionally, this east west pattern for the high school traffic is inconsistent with the north south bus transportation pattern for the middle school redistricting and the City of Milton traffic planning and road construction plans. This will be a traffic nightmare.

2). FUTURE GROWTH: Based upon the two FCSS power points presented at a Board member community meeting and a Superintendent's Parents Council meeting, the overwhelming majority of projected growth is in the uppermost part of Fulton County. Rather than distributing that growth between Milton and Bethany Bend and follow the north south main roads, ALL of these newly constructed neighborhoods will attend the new Bethany Bend High School. The Milton area, which is far more developed, will be virtually landlocked and its census numbers kept so low that it will be difficult for it to support the AP course offerings needed to keep it a top performing school, not to mention the effect it will have on its ability to earn drama, music, arts instructors, and coaches.

3). COMMUNITY: It is undisputed that the neighborhoods along Birmingham Highway and Freemanville Road have invested time, money and effort working to make Milton the top performing school that it is today. Moreover, we are hearing that these communities OPPOSE the move to Bethany Bend because of concerns about: losing their investment in Milton through parent involvement; losing the high academic standards that are well established at Milton; having children from the same family attending different high schools; new FCSS rules limiting funding/debt for booster clubs(i.e., FCSS is currently requiring high school booster clubs to put down 80% in cash toward capital improvements); increased traffic; and fewer AP course offerings. Moreover, the number of people that will have to make this move against their will is overwhelming. While we have tried to see the FCSS and Board's perspective on issues such as the budget cuts, music funding, reductions in force, retirements, the reorganization of area superintendents and curriculum decisions, this redistricting process has challenged our confidence. On a personal level, it smacks of betrayal. Therefore, we are requesting that the Board reconsider the proposed final plan and retain the neighborhoods along Birmingham Highway and Freemanville Road within the Milton High School attendance zone.

Sincerely, Two Concerned Moms Submitted with permission

POSTSCRIP REQUESTED BY AUTHORS FOR ACCESSMILTON.COM SUBMISSION:

4). THIS PLAN IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE FCSS REDISTRICTING PROCESS: In keeping with the FCSS redistricting guidelines, residents were asked to provide online comments regarding the three proposed maps A, B and C. These comments were then organized as “pros” and “cons” as to each map so that the FCSS could make adjustments. However, the Round 2 comments had approximately twice as many negative comments for Map C as compared to Maps A and B. The approximate break-down is as follows: Map A – 12 pages of cons; Map B - 14 pages of cons; and Map C – 24 pages of cons. As such, the FCSS has adopted the general framework that was LEAST FAVORED by the residents who participated in the process.

Finally, it is important to note that the redistricting maps are prepared at FCSS Central Administration by Yngrid Huff and under the direction of Patrick Burke, COO. They are not prepared by the Board; rather, the Board has the final vote on the map. Our local Board member Katie Reeves has served our community well for 13 years and is our best ally. When speaking her, the Board and others at the FCSS, please be respectful. Our arguments are valid and strong. Personal attacks are unnecessary and not appropriate.

April 18 Work Session Notice.

By Accessmilton.com


Monday, April 18, 2011 Work Session Agenda 6:00 PM

1. Patriots Day Proclamation Presented to the Sons of the American Revolution.
(Presented by Councilmember Bill Lusk)


2. Discussion of City of Milton Strategic Planning Staff Overview, Vision and Mission Strategies.
(Presented by Chris Lagerbloom, City Manager)


3. Discussion of RZ11-03 - To Amend Chapter 64, Article VII, Division 5 (State Route 9 Overlay District).
(First Presentation on April 11, 2011)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)


4. Discussion of RZ11-04 - To Amend Chapter 64, Article VIII, Divisions 1 and 2 (Off Street Parking and Loading).
(First Presentation on April 11, 2011)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)


5. Discussion of RZ11-05 - To Amend Chapter 64, Article XVII, Section 64-245 (Creation of a Historic Preservation Commission).
(First Presentation on April 11, 2011)
(Presented by Lynn Tully, Community Development Director)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Earth Day Festival tomorrow, April 16.

By Accessmilton.com

Free family fun from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Birmingham Park


MILTON, Ga., April 15, 2011 - Don't forget that tomorrow, Saturday, April 16, the City of Milton and Milton Grows Green Committee (MGG) will host the 2nd Annual Milton Earth Day Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Attractions will include:

  • Human "Hamster Balls"
  • Wagon rides
  • Horse drawn carriage rides
  • Electric car rides
  • Live music by Airsoft 360
  • Arts, crafts and games for children
  • Live animals at 11 a.m.
  • "Green Egg" hunt with environmental goodies
  • Gardening demonstrations with free vegetable seeds
  • Farmers market
  • Local vendors including caricatures, animal rescue, environmentally friendly products and services, food for picnicking and more
  • Guided history lessons
  • Hiking trails
  • Shoe recycling courtesy of Recycle for a Cure

For more information, contact Milton Sustainability Coordinator Cindy Eade at 678-242-2509 or cindy.eade@cityofmiltonga.us.

About MGG MGG coordinates the efforts of individual volunteers and community-based organizations through the efforts of its own members, including Milton residents, business partners and those with an interest in the environment. For more information, e-mail mgg@cityofmiltonga.us.