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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Appointed Milton Residents To Discuss mayor's powers and term.

By Accessmilton.com

A charter commission was established in December of 2011 to discuss the powers and terms of Milton's Mayoral Position.

Meetings will be ongoing.


Members include Ron Wallace, Gordon Hunter, George Ragsdale, David Shannon, Chris Lagerbloom, Robert Myers, and City Attorney Ken Jarrard.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Historic Sunset Legislation Passes the Senate.

Courtesy Senate Press Office
Natalie Dale, Director
Shawna Mercer, Sr. Communications Specialist
Shawna.Mercer@Senate.ga.gov
404.656.0028


ATLANTA (January 30, 2012) – The Georgia Senate today passed SB 223 with a vote of 37 to 12, showing tremendous bipartisan support for the measure. Sponsored by William Ligon (R-Waverly), this legislation provides a mechanism for government oversight and accountability.

“During these challenging economic times, it is imperative to streamline government operations and reduce the size and scope of state government,” said Sen. Ligon. “The passage of SB 223 was a step in the right direction toward reducing government waste and ensuring that state government runs efficiently while maximizing every taxpayer dollar.”
SB 223, also known as the Georgia Government Accountability Act, will determine the continued need and existence of state-run programs and agencies. In recent years, several states such as Alabama , Florida , Tennessee and Texas have enacted similar legislation known as Sunset Reviews to evaluate the overall productivity of state agencies and entities.

In 2011, Georgia legislators introduced legislation calling for comparable measures through the creation of a Joint Legislative Sunset Advisory Committee. The committee is to be composed of seven members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House and seven members of the Senate Government Oversight Committee appointed by the President of the Senate. The members must serve two-year terms concurrent with their terms as members of the General Assembly. Co-chairpersons must be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate.

The Committee must consider certain criteria in determining whether a public need exists for the continuation of a state agency or agency function: the efficiency with which the agency operates; the extent to which the jurisdiction of the agency and the programs administered by the agency overlap or duplicate those of other agencies and the extent to which the programs administered by the agency can be consolidated with the programs of other agencies; and the extent to which the agency accurately reports performance measures used to justify state spending on each of its activities, services, and programs.

In addition, the Committee may review all state agencies, including all boards, departments, advisory committees, authorities, bureaus, offices, and any other state entity of the executive branch of state government regardless of its designation. The Committee may also request information and hold hearings to examine the relevance of government priorities and consider ways to help the agency become more efficient.

As part of its functions, the Joint Legislative Sunset Advisory Committee can only recommend legislative action. Abolishment of a state entity can only be issued through a Joint Resolution by the Georgia General Assembly. After this recommendation, the General Assembly will then access whether the laws the agency is responsible for implementing or enforcing have been repealed, revised, or reassigned to another remaining agency.

The passage of SB 223 also enables the Joint Legislative Sunset Advisory Committee to issue recommendations to privatize, consolidate or eliminate a state program or agency.

SB 223 has received overwhelming support from members of the Senate including co-sponsors Sen. Chip Rogers of the 21st, Sen. Judson Hill of the 32nd, Sen. Frank Ginn of the 47th and Sen. John Albers of the 56th. Introduced last year, the bill passed both the House and the Senate, but was held in the Senate Conference Committee due to a House amendment.

Key supporters of SB 223 offered up the following statements:

“Passage of today’s Sunset legislation may be one of the top five most important accomplishments and most historical acts of the Georgia Legislature,” said Sen. Judson Hill. “Many of us have been working to pass this important legislation for years. Now more than ever, we must reduce the size of government to fit our revenues not increase our revenues to fit the size of government. The Sunset Bill is needed to make this principle a reality not only for today but for generations to come.”
“This legislation plays a critical role in promoting government transparency while also examining the way state government does business,” said Sen. John Albers. “The passage of this legislation is a shining example of how efficient government should operate and ensures greater accountability across all areas of government.”
“I applaud the Senate’s decision to pass SB 223, the Georgia Government and Accountability Act,” said Sen. Cecil Staton. “The passage of this bill reflects the Majority Caucus’ bold vision of limited government and ensures that every taxpayer dollar is put to good use.”
To further discuss the importance of this landmark legislation, Senator William Ligon held a press conference today with several supporters of SB 223 including Sen. Judson Hill, Sen. John Albers, Sen. Barry Loudermilk, Sen. Steve Gooch, Sen. Buddy Carter, Sen. Bill Heath and Sen. Chip Rogers.

During the press conference, Sen. William Ligon and Sen. Judson Hill further highlighted the Majority Caucus’ main priorities of creating a more streamlined and efficient state government.

Judge rules for Alpharetta in mosque lawsuit.

By Patrick Fox
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A federal judge has ruled in favor of Alpharetta in its decision to deny the Islamic Center of North Fulton permission to expand its facility on Rucker Road.

Federal District Judge J. Owen Forrester dismissed claims this week by the center that the 2010 action places a substantial burden on the center's ability to exercise religion. He ruled the city's action created no such burden on the center, at least no burden it could not have anticipated when it bought the property in 1998.

"The mere fact that a church, mosque or synagogue has outgrown its current facilities does not mean that it is substantially burdened under [the federal law]," Forrester wrote. "If it were otherwise, there would be no practical limit on such growth, regardless of the surrounding land uses."
The case has drawn the interest of the U.S. Justice Department, which confirmed Friday it will continue its own investigation under a federal law that requires local governments to prove decisions made in zoning cases are not discriminatory and serve public need.

The Alpharetta City Council voted 6-0 in May 2010 to reject plans by the center to tear down its 2,500-square-foot worship house and construct two buildings: a 1,900-square-foot multipurpose facility and a 12,000-square-foot, two-story main building. Council members said they were concerned that the worship center was backing out of previous agreements not to expand, made before Alpharetta annexed the property from Fulton County in 2005.

The judge's ruling does not address claims that could be considered in a state court, only those that deal with federal discrimination laws.

Andrea Jones, attorney for the Islamic Center, said no decisions have been made on whether to appeal the ruling or to pursue the case in a state court.

"Obviously, we're not pleased, but we need to think through how to proceed," she said. "We should know something fairly soon."
Alpharetta City Attorney Sam Thomas said many of the elements the judge ruled on could be applied in a local court, so he feels confident the city's case will hold up at any level.

"I think the key to the case was convincing the court that there was no evidence to suggest that the city based its decision on religion," Thomas said.

Alpharetta's fate is in stark contrast to the outcome in a similar case involving a mosque in Lilburn. Facing a formal complaint from the Justice Department last August, the city capitulated to Dar-E-Abbas' requests for rezoning to build a mosque on its property on Hood Road.

The DOJ found the city's original denial to have been based on the "religious bias of city officials and to appease members of the public who opposed the construction of a mosque because of religious bias," said a press release from the DOJ.

Milton Fire-Rescue Department holds first awards.



On Saturday, Jan. 28, the Milton Fire Rescue Department held its inaugural Fire Awards ceremony at Atlanta National Country Club.

The entirely donor-funded event celebrated the hard work and dedication of Milton’s fire fighters throughout their first five years of service to the city.

During the awards ceremony, Battalion Chief Roth Hutcheson, pictured right, was named the first Firefighter of the Year. Additionally, the members of engine 42 C shift, Captain Clay Barnette, Fire Apparatus Operator Alex Fortner, firefighter Mark Slyman and firefighter Mark Haskins, were named Fire Company of the Year.

In a very emotional moment, the members of engine 42 B shift, Captain Ryan James, firefighter Eric Sprouse and firefighter Thomas Mickens, engine 43 B shift, Fire Apparatus Operator Don Patterson, Fire Apparatus Operator Joe Champion and firefighter Christopher Seay and Battalion Chief Bill Bourn were given lifesaving awards for saving Whit and Krystal Lofty’s daughter, Kinley, from drowning.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Announcing The Second Annual Road To Safety Event!



Wednesday, February 1st, from 6-8pm at the Alpharetta High School Auditorium! Over 20 videos are competing!



Admission is FREE!



Event includes: Music, Guest Speakers, Videos, and Awards Presentation!



The Road to Safety Program is a video competition between students in Fulton County High Schools, designed for students to raise the awareness of the dangers teens face as new and inexperienced drivers. The program goals are to raise awareness and save lives!



Many thanks to the families and local sponsors for their support of this program.

http://www.road2safety.com/

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sen. Albers and Sen. Majority Leader Rogers to Host Town Hall Meeting in Alpharetta/Milton.

ATLANTA (January 27, 2012) – Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) and Sen. Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R- Woodstock) will host a Town Hall meeting in Alpharetta on Saturday, January 28, to discuss legislative updates and priorities. Attendees will then have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session. All residents are invited to attend.


WHEN: Saturday, January 28, 2012
10:30 a.m.



WHERE: Alpharetta City Hall

2 S. Main Street
Alpharetta, GA 30099

Sen. John Albers represents the 56th Senate District, which includes portions of North Fulton County. He may be reached at his office at 404.463.8055 or by email at john.albers@senate.ga.gov .

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Canine Assistants founder to speak at City Hall Feb. 9.

Jennifer Arnold to discuss work, writings, documentary.

MILTON, Ga., Jan. 24, 2012 - Jennifer Arnold, founder and executive director of Canine Assistants and New York Times bestselling author of "In a Dog's Heart" and "Through a Dog's Eyes," will speak at Milton's City Hall 7 p.m. Feb. 9 as part of the Milton Disability Awareness Committee (MDAC) Community Link series.

Arnold's talk will take place in City Council Chambers at Milton's City Hall, 13000 Deerfield Parkway, Suite 107E. Everyone is invited, and there is no RSVP required.

"We are extremely honored and thrilled to have Jennifer speak about her work, books and the recent documentary about Milton's own Canine Assistants," said Kennard Woods, MDAC chairman. "Her work and mission are a great source of pride for Milton, and I can't wait to help spread her message."
For more information on this program, contact MDAC at mdac@cityofmiltonga.us. For more information on Canine Assistants, visit its Web site, www.canineassistants.org.

ABOUT JENNIFER ARNOLD
Arnold is founder and executive director of Canine Assistants. Founded in 1991, Canine Assistants is a non-profit organization that teaches service dogs to assist children and adults who have physical disabilities, seizure conditions, or other special needs.

She is the creator of Choice Teaching, a positive reinforcement methodology based on creating a special bond that allows dogs and their human partners to trust and understand one another.

Canine Assistants has now placed over 1,000 service dogs with recipients from 48 states and 5 countries and continuously has more than 120 dogs in various stages of teaching in an effort to accommodate the more than 2,200 people on its waiting list.

Arnold is also the New York Times bestselling author of "Through a Dog's Eyes," published by Random House in 2010, and the subject of a PBS Special of the same name. Her second book, "In a Dog's Heart," was released to critical acclaim in October 2011. She has been featured in The New York Times, London Times, People, Mademoiselle, Family Circle, Atlanta Magazine and various other publications and has been seen on numerous television programs.

Arnold has been profiled on CNN's HLN Leaders with Heart, awarded the Jefferson Award for Community Service, WTBS's Super Citizen Award, Buckhead Woman of the Year, MS Society of Georgia's Woman on the Move 2011, Atlanta Magazine's Women Making a Mark, and the Greater Atlanta Veterinary Medical Association's Humanitarian of the Year Award, amongst other recognitions.

This year she was invited to participate as one of 50 Amazing Women in the UN's International Year of Youth. She and her husband, Dr. Kent Bruner, and their son, Chase, live in Milton.

Post January 23 City Council meeting wrap-up.

ZONING AGENDA

1. ZM11-03 - 12792 Donegal Lane (Lot #39) Vickery Crest Subdivision - Gerald E. Hudgins requests to modify Condition 3.a. of RZ05-135 to reduce the Minimum Rear Yard from 50 feet to 10 feet along the west property line.

(Agenda Item No. 11-271)

(First Presentation at the December 5, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)

(Deferred at the December 19, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)

(Kathleen Field, Community Development Director)

Approved 7-0



2. RZ11-19/VC11-05 - 15260 Hopewell Road, Applicant: Reunion Park. A request to rezone from AG-1 (Agricultural) to C-1 (Community Business) and AG-1 (Agricultural) for an existing 1,180 square foot building for general retail uses and an existing 1,835 square foot single family residence to remain with the following four-part concurrent variance:

1) To reduce the 50 foot undisturbed buffer and 10 foot improvement setback to a 10 foot landscape strip along the south zoning line of Parcel 1 intersecting with Hopewell Road and running North 68 degrees 21 minutes 12 seconds West a distance of 89.69 feet (Sec 64-1141(3)(a));

2) To reduce the 50 foot buffer and 10 foot improvement setback to a minimum 40 foot buffer along the south zoning line of Parcel 1 (parallel to Thompson Road), running from the corner of an existing driveway North 80 degrees 44 minutes 27 seconds West 190.43 feet to the westerly 10 foot improvement setback line (Sec 64-1141(3)(a));

3) To delete the 50 foot buffer and 10 foot improvement setback along the southwest zoning line of Parcel 1 running from Hopewell Road North 68 degrees 10 minutes 12 seconds West 89.69 feet and North 21 degrees 34 minutes 48 seconds West 35.46 feet to the northerly line of an existing driveway for Parcel 2 (Sec 64- 1141(3)(a));

4) To reduce the 25 foot setback for parking adjacent to residentially used property to 10 feet along the south zoning line (Sec. 64-1433(f)(1)).

(Agenda Item No. 12-011)

(First Presentation at the January 9, 2012 Regular Meeting)

(Kathleen Field, Community Development Director)

Motion to allow applicant to withdraw request without prejudice approved 7-0


3. RZ11-17 - To Amend Article XVI of the Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 64 of the City Code) - Signs.

(Agenda Item No. 12-012)

(First Presentation at the January 9, 2012 Regular Council Meeting)

(Kathleen Field, Community Development Director)

Motion to defer until first presentation during the Feb. 6 City Council meeting approved 7-0



UNFINISHED BUSINESS

1. Approval of the Adoption of an Ordinance of the Mayor and City Council of the City of Milton, Georgia to Amend Chapter 2 - Administration, Article VI - Financial Management Program, of the City of Milton Code of Ordinances to Include Division 13 - Fund Balance Policy.

(Agenda Item No. 12-010)

(First Presentation at the January 9, 2012 Regular Council Meeting)

(Stacey Inglis, Finance Director)

Approved 7-0


NEW BUSINESS

1. Approval of a Resolution for the City of Milton to Partner with Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections to Participate in the Voter Education and Outreach Program (VEOP) to Educate, Register and Increase Voter Participation.

(Agenda Item No. 12-027)

(Presented by Mayor Joe Lockwood)

Approved 7-0

Public input sought on Milton Highway 9 study.

By Patrick Fox
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Milton will host the second of four public meetings at 6 p.m. Thursday to discuss development of the Highway 9 District, the city's most populated area. The meetings are being conducted as part of the Ga. 9 Livable Centers Initiative study funded with a $100,000 grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission.

The LCI grant program funds small area studies to determine strategies that link transportation improvements with land-use development.

The meeting is at City Hall, 13000 Deerfield Parkway.

Information: 678-242-2538 or michele.mcintosh-ross@cityofmiltonga.us.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fulton's lobbyists will keep fighting re-creation of Milton County.

By Johnny Edwards


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Fulton commission has given marching orders to its lobbyists working at the state Capitol, and the team will again ask lawmakers to "aggressively oppose" any bill allowing the breakaway of Milton County. The county budgeted $677,600 for its intergovernmental affairs office this year, which includes payments to lobbyists.

Other lobbying efforts: oppose limiting the county government's powers, oppose delaying delinquent tax collections, support giving Local Option Sales Tax proceeds to unincorporated south Fulton and support finding more funds for Grady Memorial Hospital and MARTA.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 23 City Council meeting notice.

Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 Regular Council Meeting Agenda 6:00 p.m.

INVOCATION - Pastor Ollie Wagner, Alpharetta Presbyterian Church


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. 12-020)



4) PUBLIC COMMENT



5) CONSENT AGENDA

1. Approval of the January 9, 2011 Regular Council Minutes.

(Agenda Item No. 12-021)

(Sudie Gordon, City Clerk)


2. Approval of Financial Statements for the Period Ending August, 2011.

(Agenda Item No. 12-022)

(Stacey Inglis, Finance Director)


3. Approval of Preliminary Financial Statements for the Period Ending September, 2011.

(Agenda Item No. 12-023)

(Stacey Inglis, Finance Director)


4. Approval of a Contract between Rick Pruetz, FAICP and The City of Milton for the Purpose of Providing Professional Planning Services for a Transfer of Development rights Feasibility Study.

(Agenda Item No. 12-024)

(Kathleen Field, Community Development Director)


5. Approval of a Hosted Application Services Agreement between Guardian Tracking, LLC and The City of Milton.

(Agenda Item No. 12-025)

(Deborah Harrell, Chief of Police)


6. Approval of a Professional Services Agreement between the City of Milton and Kittelson & Associates for Hopewell/Francis/Cogburn Roundabout Peer Review.

(Agenda Item No. 12-026)

(Carter Lucas, Public Works Director)



6) REPORTS AND PRESENTATIONS

1. A Proclamation Recognizing Milton's Cuisine and Cocktails Being Named a Top 100 Restaurant.

(Presented by Mayor Joe Lockwood)


2. A Proclamation Naming February "Have A Heart for North Fulton Community Charities".

(Presented by Mayor Joe Lockwood)



7) FIRST PRESENTATION (None)



8) PUBLIC HEARING (None)



9) ZONING AGENDA

1. ZM11-03 - 12792 Donegal Lane (Lot #39) Vickery Crest Subdivision - Gerald E. Hudgins requests to modify Condition 3.a. of RZ05-135 to reduce the Minimum Rear Yard from 50 feet to 10 feet along the west property line.

(Agenda Item No. 11-271)

(First Presentation at the December 5, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)

(Deferred at the December 19, 2011 Regular Council Meeting)

(Kathleen Field, Community Development Director)


2. RZ11-19/VC11-05 - 15260 Hopewell Road, Applicant: Reunion Park. A request to rezone from AG-1 (Agricultural) to C-1 (Community Business) and AG-1 (Agricultural) for an existing 1,180 square foot building for general retail uses and an existing 1,835 square foot single family residence to remain with the following four-part concurrent variance:

1) To reduce the 50 foot undisturbed buffer and 10 foot improvement setback to a 10 foot landscape strip along the south zoning line of Parcel 1 intersecting with Hopewell Road and running North 68 degrees 21 minutes 12 seconds West a distance of 89.69 feet (Sec 64-1141(3)(a));

2) To reduce the 50 foot buffer and 10 foot improvement setback to a minimum 40 foot buffer along the south zoning line of Parcel 1 (parallel to Thompson Road), running from the corner of an existing driveway North 80 degrees 44 minutes 27 seconds West 190.43 feet to the westerly 10 foot improvement setback line (Sec 64-1141(3)(a));

3) To delete the 50 foot buffer and10 foot improvement setback along the southwest zoning line of Parcel 1 running from Hopewell Road North 68 degrees 10 minutes 12 seconds West 89.69 feet and North 21 degrees 34 minutes 48 seconds West 35.46 feet to the northerly line of an existing driveway for Parcel 2 (Sec 64- 1141(3)(a));

4) To reduce the 25 foot setback for parking adjacent to residentially used property to 10 feet along the south zoning line (Sec. 64-1433(f)(1)).

(Agenda Item No. 12-011)

(First Presentation at the January 9, 2012 Regular Meeting)

(Kathleen Field, Community Development Director)


3. RZ11-17 - To Amend Article XVI of the Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 64 of the City Code) - Signs.

(Agenda Item No. 12-012)

(First Presentation at the January 9, 2012 Regular Council Meeting)

(Kathleen Field, Community Development Director)



10) UNFINISHED BUSINESS

1. Approval of the Adoption of an Ordinance of the Mayor and City Council of the City of Milton, Georgia to Amend Chapter 2 - Administration, Article VI - Financial Management Program, of the City of Milton Code of Ordinances to Include Division 13 - Fund Balance Policy.

(Agenda Item No. 12-010)

(First Presentation at the January 9, 2012 Regular Council Meeting)

(Stacey Inglis, Finance Director)



11) NEW BUSINESS

1. Approval of a Resolution for the City of Milton to Partner with Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections to Participate in the Voter Education and Outreach Program (VEOP) to Educate, Register and Increase Voter Participation.

(Agenda Item No. 12-027)

(Presented by Mayor Joe Lockwood)



12) MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS



13) STAFF REPORTS



14) EXECUTIVE SESSION (if needed)



15) ADJOURNMENT

(Agenda Item No. 12-028)

Time To Laugh-Two Dogs Dining!

Friday, January 20, 2012

State says Fulton Science Academy is violating rules.

By D. Aileen Dodd
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Fulton Science Academy Middle School has been notified it is in violation of state education rules by beginning construction on a new campus without first getting state approval of its plans.

Enlarge photo Johnny Crawford, jcrawford@ajc.com Tatyana Manogin,12, plays the guitar in music class at Fulton Science Academy Middle on Wednesday, November 30, 2011. Fulton Science Academy is Georgia's first charter school to win the national Blue Ribbon for academic excellence.

The nationally acclaimed charter school with more than 500 students was advised late last week by facilities officials at the state Department of Education that its construction application for a new 44-acre campus in Alpharetta was incomplete and had not been approved.

This week bulldozers continued to move red clay to clear a path for the school.

Fulton Science entered into a loan agreement of more than $18 million to build a shared campus with Fulton Sunshine Academy and Fulton Science Academy High School, its sister schools. The schools sought revenue bonds through the city of Alpharetta Development Authority to fund the project.

"The process is that we look over plans before construction is to be done," said Matt Cardoza, spokesman for the state Department of Education. "It's a safety issue. There are codes to follow. Ultimately they are a public school."

Fulton Science officials, however, say they have done nothing wrong and that charter schools have the freedom to build first and get site approval before students move in.

"You have to have fire alarms, you have to have extinguishers. Other than that, charter schools are flexible," said Ali Ozer, executive director of Fulton Science Academy.

A Jan. 12 letter from the state Facilities Unit says otherwise. It notified the school that it did not submit all of the documentation necessary for site approval or construction plans approval to state architects. The letter also questioned financing for the project and whether the school followed state law in advertising bid proposals for jobs. It also stated that the school's application did not mention that an elementary and high school would be located on the property.

Cardoza said Fulton Science is not exempt from state protocol and failing to follow it could cost them.

"They are getting public dollars and they fall under the same state board rules,” Cardoza said. “You have to do a hazards assessment. There are issues about the location of a school in proximity to places that sell alcohol. ... There could certainly be extra expenses to correct those issues if they have to end up retrofitting something we wouldn't have approved."

Cardoza said the state education department doesn’t have the authority to issue a “cease and desist” on construction, however.

Ozer said Fulton Science has updated its construction application to include details of the other two schools that will locate on the site. Ozer added that the project has financing and followed state procurement law. He said 12 proposals for the job were considered before Winter Construction was chosen.

Meanwhile, as a new school is built, Fulton Science continues to operate on a charter contract that will expire on June 30. Its application to continue as a Fulton County Schools charter campus was denied in December. Fulton Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa this week rejected a request by Fulton Science to have the state mediate a reconsideration of that rejection.

Members of the Fulton County legislative delegation had asked Fulton County Schools to reconsider Fulton Science's application.

Avossa said mediation would be “inappropriate” due to the school's numerous issues, including violating state rules on construction. “This pattern of reckless, premature actions ... constitutes additional breaches of their charter contract and has also now endangered the financial health of its FSA sister schools," Avossa said in a state letter.

Fulton Science is currently applying to become a state charter school, a designation which would result in a loss of half of its funding if approved. School supporters have donated more than $245,000 to help offset the loss.

Worried About Milton Roads? Check Out This Picture!

Milton police arrest suspected "Felony Lane" member.

Courtesy Milton Police Department

MILTON, Ga., Jan. 20, 2012 - Milton police arrested a 43-year-old Pompano Beach, Fla., woman accused of being part of the national "Felony Lane Gang" Jan. 13 after she allegedly tried to cash a stolen check at a local bank.

Milton police said Kelly Marie Mazon-Perez was arrested at the RBC Bank on Ga. 9 while allegedly trying to fraudulently use the farthest drive-through teller lane, or "felony lane" in law enforcement parlance, to conceal her identity from the teller.

She reportedly had stolen checks from Miami Beach, Fla., a stolen driver's license from Chapel Hill, N.C. and was wearing a red wig to try and match the victim's photo on the ID.

While being interviewed by detectives, Mazon-Perez reportedly admitted to officers she was responsible for similar crimes in the metro Atlanta area under the tutelage of "handlers." She also allegedly confirmed her and their membership in the national Felony Lane Gang theft ring, which has seen members arrested or wanted in Henry County, Naperville, Ill. and McKinney, Texas. Additionally, Mazon-Perez reportedly made specific mention to similar activities in Trenton, N.J. and Philadelphia.

Based on Mazon-Perez's information, Secret Service agents were able to track the unidentified "handlers" to a hotel near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, said Detective Stephen Hewitt.

Hewitt said members of the Felony Lane Gang break into cars at day care centers and parks looking for checks, credit cards and driver's licenses belonging to suburban women. They then recruit women to cash the stolen checks, giving them rented cars and wigs to make it difficult to identify the suspects in multiple crimes. Hewitt said the handler always tags along in a different car to make sure the operation goes smoothly.

Mazon-Perez remains in Fulton County Jail on a $13,000 bond charged with six crimes, including first-degree forgery.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Milton receives erosion control issuing authority status.

By Accessmilton.com

The City of Milton now has the authority to review erosion control plans and issue permits for land disturbance without concurrent approval from the state, said Plan Review Engineer Jimmy Sanders.

It's all thanks to a memorandum of agreement with the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission and the Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District that shows Milton has the resources and capability to comply with the requirements of the Clean Water Act.

"With permits issued solely by us without outside intervention, the typical 35-day process for applicants - if everything was perfect - now drops to 14," said Sanders. "So while the requirements will be as stringent, the process as a whole should be simpler for those looking to build responsibly in the City of Milton."

Second Highway 9 planning meeting set for Jan. 26.

By Accessmilton.com

Planning for the future of Milton’s most populated district will continue Thursday, Jan. 26 at Milton’s City Hall as part of the Ga. 9 Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) study.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m., said City Planner Michelle McIntosh-Ross.
“We’ve had good public turnout and response from this process so far, and we hope to see many more people at this meeting, too,” said McIntosh-Ross. “Milton and Alpharetta residents obviously care about the future of Ga. 9 and want it to develop into something unique and beautiful.”

This is the second of four public meetings held as part of a planning study of the Ga. 9 area from Bethany Bend in Milton to Mayfield Road in Alpharetta and the areas east of Ga. 9 to Ga. 400, which includes Deerfield Parkway. The study is funded by a $100,000 LCI grant awarded to Milton by the Atlanta Regional Commission in February 2011.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Poll Up - Old Poll Results.


All:

We have a new poll up.

It asks "Is Milton better with the recent council seat changes or worse?" Have your say today in the right margin.

The most recent poll results are located in the image above.

City Hall Closed Jan. 16.


Milton’s City Hall will be closed Jan. 16 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It will reopen Jan. 17 at 8:30 a.m.

Jobs In Milton.

Teller - Birmingham Village Store, 20 hour position - Milton, GA

Job Description
Under direct supervision, processes customer transactions within established guidelines. Identifies and makes sales referrals, recommends alternate channels, cross-sells bank services and products for Wells Fargo partners, provides excellent customer service. Duties may include safe deposit, merchant/vault, ATM processing, bonds and coupons, foreign currency and night drop.

Basic Qualifications: 1+ years experience interacting with people or customers

Minimum Qualifications: Demonstrated skill in use of computers. Demonstrated ability to achieve individual and team goals. Positive approach in interactions with customers and team members. Reliable attendance. Good communication skills. Ability to work a schedule that includes working weekends and some holidays.

Preferred Skills: Previous experience selling products and services, Previous experience meeting customer satisfaction goals, Previous experience working in a fast paced environment, Ability to stand for extended periods of time, Multilingual speakers are encouraged to apply

Company Description

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC)is a diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 10,000 Wells Fargo and Wachovia stores, 12,000 Wells Fargo and Wachovia ATMs, the internet and other distribution channels across North America and internationally.

We're headquartered in San Francisco, but being decentralized, every local Wells Fargo store is a headquarters for satisfying all our customers' financial needs and helping them succeed financially.

Wells Fargo has $1.3 trillion in assets and 282,000 team members across our 80+ businesses. We ranked fourth in assets and second in market value of our stock among our peers as of June 30, 2009.

Additional Information
Posted:January 13, 2012Type:Full-time Experience:Entry level Functions:Finance Industries:Banking, Financial Services, Retail Employer Job ID:3562718GAALPHARETTAJob ID:2400668

Find out more at www.wellsfargo.com or you can reach this location direct at
678-867-6857.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 18 City Council work session notice.

Wednesday, January 18, 2011 Work Session Agenda 6:00 p.m.

1. Discussion of Project Overview of Milton Parks Comprehensive Master Plan, Trails Update Master Plan and Birmingham Park Master Plan.

(Presented by John Rebar, Parks & Recreation Director)



2. Update and Discussion of the Moratorium of Issuing Business Licenses to New Pain Management Clinics within the City of Milton.

(Presented by Ken Jarrard, City Attorney)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Great Volunteers; Sponsors Step Forward for "Road To Safety" Program.



By Accessmilton.com

The Road to Safety Program continues to grow with two more fantastic sponsors jumping on board!

Shane's Rib Shack has generously offered to donate catering for the participants, parents, sponsors, judges, and invited guests before the event starts. In addition, Music Matters in Milton is also participating; plus two bands in association with the company will be opening the event at Alpharetta High School.



A special Guest of Honor will announce the winners and hand out the awards to the students.

Community leaders have been invited to the event which include city mayors, council members and local area Georgia Legislative members. The Road To Safety program appreciates their willingness to step forward in helping raise awareness for safe driving for our young people.

To give you a sneak at how the evening will flow, the event will open with great band performances followed by a half hour or so to premiere all the videos submitted. This fantastic night will end with the annnouncement of the winners and awarding prizes.



This is turning out to be a fun informative event. We encourage students from each school to make the drive to Alpharetta HS to come and see what this is all about.

Students from local high schools are encouraged to join us for a very exciting and informative evening. There is no fee involved.



Other local sponsors of this program are: Bloor Dentistry, Leslie Harper, Realtor - BHG Metro Brokers, Johns Creek Driving School and Drive Smart Georgia. If you are interested in making a donation or becoming a sponsor of this event please email Access Milton for more information.

The Road to Safety Program was established in 2010 and is fully supported by the Fulton County Board of Education. The RTS Program is a 100% non profitable program and all donations and proceeds go to the students.

The student video entry deadline is January 23rd and the Awards Event and Video Premiere is February 1st, Wednesday, from 6-8 pm at Alpharetta High School Auditorium.

Milton joins Fulton voter registration push.

by Accessmilton.com

The City of Milton has joined Fulton County’s Department of Registration and Elections to increase voter education, registration and participation in North Fulton County.

As part of that effort, on Jan. 11 seven Milton employees attended training at the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce to allow them to register voters at Milton’s City Hall and help hold voter registration drives. Additionally, Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood participated in and spoke at the event.

Christmas vandals caught, sentenced.


By Accessmilton.com

Juveniles must apologize, pay for damage, serve 25 hours of comm. service.


MILTON, Ga., Jan. 12, 2012 - Three local high school students have been sentenced for the Dec. 10 Christmas vandalism incidents at Gates Mill subdivision, said Milton Police Capt. Shawn McCarty.

Because of state law barring information for suspects under 17, their identities will not be released.

According to Milton police, the three youths were detained after Sgt. C.S. Barstow was able to identify a black Jeep Wrangler seen in the neighborhood between midnight and 3 a.m., when the three homes were vandalized. The victims told police they awoke that morning to find their Christmas decorations, among other indignities, beheaded and hung.

Barstow was then able to ascertain the identity of the driver, one of the youths sentenced. The suspect voluntarily cooperated with police, which led to the other two co-conspirators. One lived in the neighborhood, the other two did not.

All three were served with subpoenas that detailed charges of second degree criminal damage to property, criminal trespass, theft by taking and being unruly juveniles.

At their Jan. 6 Milton Municipal Court Hearing, all three were sentenced to restitution, or paying back the homeowners for the damage done, 25 hours of community service each and a formal written apology to the Gates Mill subdivision.

Many thanks for the Milton Police department catching those responsible.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New councilmen sworn in.


Lance Large is sworn into office.


Matt Kunz is sworn into office.


By Accessmilton.com

At the Jan. 9, 2012 meeting, new councilmen Matt Kunz (District 2) and Lance Large (District 6) joined incumbent councilman Burt Hewitt (District 4) in being sworn in for a four-year term.

Additionally, each councilman made appointments to the Board of Zoning Appeals, Design Review Board, Historic Preservation Commission, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and Planning Commission.

To view those appointments, please click here.

Post January 9 City Council meeting wrap-up.

Post January 9 City Council meeting wrap-up

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

1. Approval of An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 2, Article VI, Division 11, Purchasing Policies, Section 2-621.

(Agenda Item No. 11-283)

(First Presentation on December 19, 2011)

(Chris Lagerbloom, City Manager)

Approved 7-0


NEW BUSINESS

1. Approval of a Resolution Amending Resolution No. 11-06-177, A Resolution Appointing or Reappointing Members for Districts 2, 4 and 6 to The City of Milton Board of Zoning Appeals.

(Agenda Item No. 12-013)

(Presented by Mayor Joe Lockwood)

Chris Bloor (District 2), Todd Chernick (District 4) and Rita Young (District 6) all approved unanimously

2. Approval of a Resolution Amending Resolution No. 11-11-196, A Resolution Appointing or Reappointing Members for Districts 2, 4 and 6 to The City of Milton Design Review Board.

(Agenda Item No. 12-014)

(Presented by Mayor Joe Lockwood)

Perry Mason (District 2), Karl Hasse (District 4) and Tim Bryan (District 6) all approved unanimously

3. Approval of a Resolution Amending Resolution No. 11-04-174, A Resolution Appointing or Reappointing Members for Districts 2, 4 and 6 to The City of Milton Historic Preservation Commission.

(Agenda Item No. 12-015)

(Presented by Mayor Joe Lockwood)

Pam Gillig (District 2), Ken Sisson (District 4) and Alison Byrnes (District 6) all approved unanimously

4. Approval of a Resolution Amending Resolution No. 11-03-173, A Resolution Appointing or Reappointing Members for Districts 2, 4 and 6 to The City of Milton Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

(Agenda Item No. 12-016)

(Presented by Mayor Joe Lockwood)

Dave Duley (District 2), Wallace Britton (District 4) and Ronald Hill (District 6) all approved unanimously

5. Approval of a Resolution Amending Resolution No. 10-01-127, A Resolution Appointing or Reappointing Members for Districts 2, 4 and 6 to The City of Milton Planning Commission.

(Agenda Item No. 12-017)

(Presented by Mayor Joe Lockwood)

Mark Bittner (District 2), Fred Edwards (District 4) and Gariel Burchett (District 6) all approved unanimously

6. Approval of A Resolution Establishing Issues to be Reviewed by the City of Milton Charter Commission.

(Agenda Item No. 12-018)

(Discussed at December 12, 2011 Work Session)

(Chris Lagerbloom, City Manager)

Approved 7-0

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Road To Safety Program Ready To Roll!



Premiere All Video Entries From All North Fulton High Schools!

Winners Will Be Announced & Awards Will Be Presented!

Contestants Must Be Present To Win!

Event Held In AHS Auditorium!

(This program is non-profit and supported by the FCBOE)

January 9 City Council meeting notice.

Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 Regular Council Meeting Agenda 6:00 p.m.

INVOCATION - Chaplain Remco Brommett, Chaplain for City of Milton Police and Fire


CALL TO ORDER


1) ADMINISTER OATH OF OFFICE TO ELECTED OFFICIALS

(Judge Zimmerman and Judge Bruggink)


2) ROLL CALL


3) PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE (Led by the Mayor)


4) APPROVAL OF MEETING AGENDA (Add or remove items from the agenda)

(Agenda Item No. 12-001)


5) PUBLIC COMMENT


6) CONSENT AGENDA

1. Approval of the December 19, 2011 Regular Council Minutes.

(Agenda Item No. 12-002)

(Sudie Gordon, City Clerk)


2. Approval of Financial Statements for the Period Ending June, 2011.

(Agenda Item No. 12-003)

(Stacey Inglis, Finance Director)


3. Approval of Financial Statements for the Period Ending July, 2011.

(Agenda Item No.12-004)

(Stacey Inglis, Finance Director)


4. Approval of a Task Order with Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. for Design for SR 372 Crabapple Intersection Improvements.

(Agenda Item No. 12-005)

(Carter Lucas, Public Works Director)


5. Approval of a Construction Services Agreement between Martin-Robbins Fence Company, Inc. and The City of Milton for Guardrail Replacement on Hopewell Road.

(Agenda Item No. 12-006)

(Carter Lucas, Public Works Director)


6. Approval of a Memorandum of Agreement between the Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District and The City of Milton of Fulton County, Georgia.

(Agenda Item No. 12-007)

(Kathleen Field, Community Development Director)


7. Approval of a Professional Services Agreement between Davenport & Company, LLC and the City of Milton for the Purpose of Providing Financial Advisory Services.

(Agenda Item No. 12-008)

(Stacey Inglis, Finance Director)


8. Approval of a First Amendment to the Granicus Services Agreement between Granicus, Inc. and the City of Milton, Georgia.

(Agenda Item No. 12-009)

(Sudie Gordon, City Clerk)


7) REPORTS AND PRESENTATIONS (None)


8) FIRST PRESENTATION

1. Approval of the Adoption of an Ordinance of the Mayor and City Council of the City of Milton, Georgia to Amend Chapter 2 - Administration, Article VI - Financial Management Program, of the City of Milton Code of Ordinances to Include Division 13 - Fund Balance Policy.

(Agenda Item No. 12-010)

(Stacey Inglis, Finance Director)


2. RZ11-19/VC11-05 - 15260 Hopewell Road, Applicant: Reunion Park. A request to rezone from AG-1 (Agricultural) to C-1 (Community Business) and AG-1 (Agricultural) for an existing 1,180 square foot building for general retail uses and an existing 1,835 square foot single family residence to remain with the following four-part concurrent variance:

1) To reduce the 50 foot undisturbed buffer and 10 foot improvement setback to a 10 foot landscape strip along the south zoning line of Parcel 1 intersecting with Hopewell Road and running North 68 degrees 21 minutes 12 seconds West a distance of 89.69 feet (Sec 64-1141(3)(a));

2) To reduce the 50 foot buffer and 10 foot improvement setback to a minimum 40 foot buffer along the south zoning line of Parcel 1 (parallel to Thompson Road), running from the corner of an existing driveway North 80 degrees 44 minutes 27 seconds West 190.43 feet to the westerly 10 foot improvement setback line (Sec 64-1141(3)(a));

3) To delete the 50 foot buffer and10 foot improvement setback along the southwest zoning line of Parcel 1 running from Hopewell Road North 68 degrees 10 minutes 12 seconds West 89.69 feet and North 21 degrees 34 minutes 48 seconds West 35.46 feet to the northerly line of an existing driveway for Parcel 2 (Sec 64- 1141(3)(a));

4) To reduce the 25 foot setback for parking adjacent to residentially used property to 10 feet along the south zoning line (Sec. 64-1433(f)(1)).

(Agenda Item No. 12-011)

(Kathleen Field, Community Development Director)


2. RZ11-17 - To Amend Article XVI of the Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 64 of the City Code) - Signs.

(Agenda Item No. 12-012)

(Kathleen Field, Community Development Director)


8) PUBLIC HEARING (None)


9) ZONING AGENDA (None)


10) UNFINISHED BUSINESS

1. Approval of An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 2, Article VI, Division 11, Purchasing Policies, Section 2-621.

(Agenda Item No. 11-283)

(First Presentation on December 19, 2011)

(Chris Lagerbloom, City Manager)


11) NEW BUSINESS

1. Approval of a Resolution Amending Resolution No. 11-06-177, A Resolution Appointing or Reappointing Members for Districts 2, 4 and 6 to The City of Milton Board of Zoning Appeals.

(Agenda Item No. 12-013)

(Presented by Mayor Joe Lockwood)


2. Approval of a Resolution Amending Resolution No. 11-11-196, A Resolution Appointing or Reappointing Members for Districts 2, 4 and 6 to The City of Milton Design Review Board.

(Agenda Item No. 12-014)

(Presented by Mayor Joe Lockwood)


3. Approval of a Resolution Amending Resolution No. 11-04-174, A Resolution Appointing or Reappointing Members for Districts 2, 4 and 6 to The City of Milton Historic Preservation Commission.

(Agenda Item No. 12-015)

(Presented by Mayor Joe Lockwood)


4. Approval of a Resolution Amending Resolution No. 11-03-173, A Resolution Appointing or Reappointing Members for Districts 2, 4 and 6 to The City of Milton Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

(Agenda Item No. 12-016)

(Presented by Mayor Joe Lockwood)


5. Approval of a Resolution Amending Resolution No. 10-01-127, A Resolution Appointing or Reappointing Members for Districts 2, 4 and 6 to The City of Milton Planning Commission.

(Agenda Item No. 12-017)

(Presented by Mayor Joe Lockwood)


6. Approval of A Resolution Establishing Issues to be Reviewed by the City of Milton Charter Commission.

(Agenda Item No. 12-018)

(Discussed at December 12, 2011 Work Session)

(Chris Lagerbloom, City Manager)


12) MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS


13) STAFF REPORTS


14) EXECUTIVE SESSION (if needed)


15) ADJOURNMENT

(Agenda Item No. 12-019)

Working toward a better community.

Each year around this time, I’m asked to take a look into the future and report on what the City of Milton will be up to throughout 2012.

In municipal government, goal setting exercises are especially important, because these guideposts help chart the path of a large organization responsible to taxpayers.

And this upcoming year looks good: Just days before I was asked to write this letter, Milton was recognized as having the best quality of life in the state and ninth in the South by Business Journals, Inc. I suspect that quality of life will only increase, because after a few tough years, the economy seems to be picking up, both here in Milton and across the United States.

With that in mind, here’s what you can expect from the City of Milton government over the next 12 months:

** Georgia 9 Livable Communities Grant Initiative: In February 2011, the Atlanta Regional Commission awarded Milton $100,000 for a land development and transportation planning study of the Ga. 9 area from Bethany Bend to Mayfield Road and the areas east of Ga. 9 to Ga. 400, which includes Deerfield Parkway. You’ve already seen online visual survey portion of this process.

This study will be complete and turned into ARC by April, 2012. Due to the work, this area will now be eligible for additional money to implement the transportation projects identified in the study.

** Recreation and Parks Master Plan: The Parks and Recreation Master Plan, for which there have been four public meetings covering the plan as a whole and the trails and Birmingham Park update components, will be delivered to City Council from consultants Moreland Altobelli Associates in early 2102.

Once adopted City Council will begin discussing possible funding strategies for the improvements outlined in the plan. Based on a number of factors, including a cost of services study (discussed below) we will move forward with the expressed goal of creating a robust inventory of parks and recreation options for residents.

** Crabapple Overlay District Form Based Code Project: Stakeholders began meeting on this project in December and will continue throughout the new year. At the end of this process, City Council will vote on adopting the resulting zoning code regulations, which could include visual standards for development in Crabapple and a mechanism for transfer of development rights to protect Milton’s agrarian land from density and development. This effort is a direct result of the Crabapple Visioning study from earlier this year conducted by Lew Oliver Wholetown Solutions, Inc. and is expected to be complete in June, 2012.

** Cost of Service Study: There has been a dialogue since Milton’s birth regarding how to balance expected levels of service with available tax funds. In an effort to define several strategies both for City Council and voters, City Manager Chris Lagerbloom and Finance Director Stacey Inglis have embarked on a process by which we will be able to create several possible models for government and the resulting impact on city budgets.

** Web based reporting for Strategic Plan objectives: This year Milton created its first three-year strategic plan to guide budgeting. But what good is this document if the goals and objectives it establishes aren’t easily checked by residents? That’s why this year you’ll see a whole new section of the city’s Web site where each objective is explained and given a current score for level of completion.

Of course, there are more projects in the pipeline, including paving more roads in 2012 than we ever have before, a video-on-demand citizens’ government academy and a Newcomer’s Guide for new residents. My sincere hope is that you’ll be with us every step of the way and let us know what you think.

I’m always available to talk, and City Hall’s doors are always open. Please stop by sometime.

Sincerely,
Mayor Joe Lockwood

Crabapple stakeholder meeting Jan. 19.

By Accessmilton.com

The second meeting of the Crabapple Overlay Zoning District Form Based Code Project stakeholders will be held Thursday, Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m. in City Council chambers.

This meeting will be spent learning about the concept of transfer of development rights (TDR) and how it might be used in Crabapple as well as other selected locations in Milton.

The presenter/consultant for this presentation will be Rick Pruetz, a national expert on this topic. Our goal, as we develop the Crabapple Overlay Zone, will be explore the feasibility of incorporating the TDR concept into it.

For more information on this process, contact Milton Community Development Director Kathleen Field at 678-242-2555 or kathleen.field@cityofmiltonga.us.

Schools invited to Evergreen meeting Jan. 19.

Courtesy City of Milton

Milton public and private schools are invited to participate in the Evergreen School Program and all interested teachers, administrators and parents may attend free informational seminars (five meetings per year with different topics).

The next meeting will be held Jan. 19 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Johns Creek Environmental Campus, 8100 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell GA 30022. The program topic is "Utilizing Art in Environmental Education."

For more information, please contact Kathy Johnson, chairwoman of the environmental education committee for Milton Grows Green at mgg@cityofmiltonga.us.

Registration continues for youth volleyball league.



By Accessmilton.com

Online registration continues for a co-ed recreational volleyball league for children ages 6 to 18.

To sign up at Overkill Volleyball's Web site, click here. After filling out the registration, click here to pay online. For more information on the program, click here.

This program will take place at Hopewell Middle School thanks to an intergovernmental agreement with the Fulton County School System. Cost for residents is $150 and $225 for non-residents. That price includes a uniform and 90 minute, once-weekly practices and games for a six-game season, plus an end-of-season participation award.

Evaluations will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 (by age group - times posted Feb. 1) and practices begin Feb. 20. The first game will be held Feb. 25, with the season finishing up March 31. Please be advised that dates are subject to change.

For more information about this program, visit Overkill Volleyball's Web site, www.overkillvolleyball.org or e-mail info@overkillvolleyball.org.

HMS student wins prestigious Beta Club award.


Nico Leis, center, with Erin Bolling, left, and Stephanie Sosebee, right.

By Accessmilton.com

Hopewell Middle School student and Jr. Beta Club President Nico Leis recently won the John W. Harris Leadership award after being nominated by his two Jr. Beta sponsor teachers, Erin Bolling and Stephanie Sosebee. Click here to read their nomination essay.

He was one of just 25 Jr. Betas out of 420,000 members. He also received a full tuition scholarship to attend the Broyhill Leadership academy held every summer by the Beta National Association.

Leis received the award in front of 5,000 Georgia Jr. Betas Nov. 18 at the Georgia Jr. Beta Convention in Macon, Georgia. It was presented to him by Judy Cummings, the National Jr. Beta Sponsor.

Leis said he is most excited about the recognition because it has brought attention to his current charitable drive for the Family Haven Shelter in Cumming. He is collecting paper towels, toilet paper, diapers of all sizes and laundry detergent.

To donate, e-mail familyhavendrive@gmail.com.

Earth Day Festival set for April 21.


Courtesy City of Milton

Sure, April 22 is the "official" date that Earth Day is celebrated around the globe. But here in Milton we will host the third annual Earth Day Festival Saturday, April 21.

Once again, the celebration will be held at pristine Birmingham Park, located at 750 Hickory Flat Road behind Fire Station No. 43.

"This will be an opportunity for the community to come together and enjoy this beautiful 200 acre park and to check out the latest ideas for environmental sustainability," said Jack Lindon, co-chairman of Milton Grows Green (MGG), the city's environmental citizens committee.

Last year the event boasted an animal show, Easter egg hunt, entertainment, kids activity area, vendors showcasing environmental products and services, a horse drawn carriage ride and free food samples.

"Our plan is to enhance the vendor area of the event, with the objective of bringing Milton residents the latest information on making their homes and businesses more environmentally sustainable," said Jon McPhail, co chair of MGG.

There are many ways to be involved in this annual event which last year drew 500 visitors: businesses may sign up for sponsorship and advertising benefits beginning at $250; companies with an environmental product or service to offer may obtain booth space; restaurants can showcase their favorite food samples; and groups can volunteer to help in many aspects, including planning, which begins immediately.

For more information, please contact Cindy Eade, sustainability coordinator for the City of Milton at cindy.eade@cityofmiltonga.us or call 678-242-2509.

Monthly crime prevention tip: Share the Road.

By Capt. Shawn McCarty, Milton Police Department

On any given day with good weather you can find a large portion of the city's population outside enjoying nature. One of the most visible events is bike riding.

Many times the interaction of bicycle and motorist creates annoying reactions from one to the other. The motoring public is annoyed by the unnecessary delay that is created by the cyclist, while the cyclist becomes irate of how the motoring public is oblivious to his or her presence or safety. To help mitigate some of these problems, the Milton police would like to take this opportunity to talk about changes to state law and reminders to the both the motoring public and cyclists.

For motorists: On July 1, 2011 Gov. Nathan Deal signed the "Better Bicycling Bill" which added a provision that motorists shall yield to a person operating a bicycle in a bicycle lane. Additionally, when feasible, the operator of a motor vehicle, when overtaking and passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction on the roadway, by law shall leave a safe distance (no less than 3 feet) between the vehicle and the bicycle and shall maintain that distance until safely past the overtaken bicycle.

Be patient and wait till it is safe to pass. Do not honk your horn or harass a cyclist in any way.

For cyclists: All traffic laws apply to cyclists. Make sure you obey them and always signal all turns. Ride as close to the right side of the road as possible, never more than two abreast. Always wear a helmet, and remember any cyclist under 16 is required to wear a helmet when riding on any public street or sidewalk.

The Milton Police Department wants everyone to enjoy our city and all it has to offer. As always, we are here to assist and will provide updates as needed on topics that affect the safety and security of our residents and visitors.

Click here for information on becoming a part of the MPACT program.

Monthly fitness tip: Fitness resolutions.

Courtesy City of Milton

By Kolleen Riddick, CorePhysique founder

It is that time of year when I start hearing from numerous people ready to start their fitness resolutions. They are ready to commit to a new and improved body. They want to know how they can start exercising regularly and eating healthy. Everyone wants to look and feel better and this is the time of the year when everyone gets another chance.

The best way to start a fitness resolution is to be realistic: Understand that it takes about 12 weeks for you to notice a difference in your body. Eating a proper diet will also be a big factor in losing those extra pounds. Start by writing down a daily food journal. This is always a great learning tool.

Schedule your workouts into your calendar. Pick classes or times that fit with your schedule. Be careful not to over schedule your workouts. One of the biggest mistakes I see my clients make is that they say that they are going to work out every day, and when they can't meet that goal, they fall off the band wagon and give up completely. Start with three days a week for anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

Find a support system. Workout with a buddy or find a class where the instructor holds you accountable. At City of Milton/Core Physique camps we are committed to our clients and follow up with weekly emails and texts. We hold monthly contests that take attendance into account in order to qualify as a winner. And for all newcomers, we're offering a week of free camps. There's never been a better time to give it a try.

Most importantly, have fun! Be sure to pick a program that works for you. Commit to something that you look forward to doing three days a week: biking, swimming, running, boot camps, the list can go on and on. Pick what works for you. The best part of exercise is that it can be free. Enjoy it, and you'll find yourself coming back to it again and again.

Monthly new business report.

By Accessmilton.com

This list is compiled from business license records kept by the city's Community Development Department. If a new business receives a license within the month proceeding the newsletter, it will be listed.

The appearance of a business on this page is not intended, nor should it be construed, as the City of Milton's or Milton City Council's endorsement, sanction, promotion or advertisement of any particular business. Identification of businesses on this list is for informational purposes only. Citizens interested in retaining or conducting business with any of the companies or agencies listed in this item should conduct their own review and investigation of that business.

Off Broadway Expressions 2969 Commonwealth Circle Milton, GA 30004
Green Acres Realtors 980 Birmingham Road Suite 606 Milton, GA 30004
Tags & Titles Inc 13010 Morris Road Bldg 1 Suite 600 Milton, GA 30004
Grace Finance Consulting 3204 Chipping Wood Court Milton, GA 30004
Plastic Solutions Inc 15800 Birmingham Hwy Bldg 500 Milton, GA 30004
Changing Faces & Places in the Community 14116 Triple Crown Drive Milton, GA 30004

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Homeowner pushes for horse ordinance

Courtesy www.wsbtv.com

Here is the video segement on the proposed ordiance to protect horses.

Homeowner pushes for horse ordinance

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Gnats linger in warm fall temps.

Courtesy wsbtv.com

To view the complete video segement, please click here=>
http://www.wsbtv.com/videos/news/gnats-linger-in-warm-fall-temps/vFcxz/

Man seeks law to protect horse owners in Milton.

By David Ibata
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A man who says he’s trying to protect Milton’s reputation as an equestrian-friendly community is working on a city ordinance that essentially would create quiet zones around people’s horse pastures.

Tim Enloe, known around town as the local blogger, cites incidents in which people allegedly set off fireworks, revved motorcycles and otherwise made a racket around “Liberty,” his mother’s 29-year-old mix Arabian. Like others of its kind, the animal is made skittish by loud noises.

“There’s really no ordinance on the books to protect … horses against such abuses,” Enloe told Channel 2 Action News.

Someone also has shot paint balls at Liberty.

"The horse had residue all up on her eyes and down her neck where the welts were,” Enloe said.

In a follow-up phone interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Enloe said his family has complained to authorities of the North Fulton city, to no avail.

Meanwhile, due to the harassment, “our horse won’t graze without company. And we have to purchase extra grain and hay because she will only graze close to our house,” he said.

“My 74-year-old mother shouldn’t have to ride a mower out to a pasture like she’s walking a dog to get her horse to graze.”


Enloe said he’s working to draft an ordinance that he’d call “Liberty’s Law.” He hopes to have it introduced in the Milton City Council before the end of the month.

“We’re thinking honestly of having ‘Horse Zones’ – if you have property near horses, please, no shotguns, please, no loud noise except at certain times of year, New Year’s Eve and July 4th,” Enloe said. “I wish to goodness this wasn’t even needed … but I believe we need to have laws in place to protect this type of lifestyle.”

Consequences for ordinance violators could start with warnings and end in fines. Enloe said he did not know what fines would be appropriate, as he is still researching the matter and trying to contact horse-ownership organizations for guidance.

Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood told Channel 2 that he’d be happy to discuss the proposed ordinance with Enloe.

New Poll Up - Old Poll Results.



All:

We have new poll up. It asks:

Should students outside of the Milton school district be allowed to participate in school sports?


Have you say today.

Results from the previous poll about the possible change of the city's borrowed horse logo are listed in the image above.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Ga. 9 to get $3.5 million upgrade through heart of north Fulton.

By Patrick Fox
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A $3.5 million plan to upgrade traffic signals along Ga. 9 could spell relief for thousands of drivers frustrated by sluggish stop-and-go commutes through north Fulton County.

Traffic engineers in Alpharetta, Roswell and Sandy Springs won't promise the moon, but they say the plan, set to begin early next year, could cut travel times and provide a more reliable commute along the route, which parallels the heavily traveled Ga. 400.

The project calls for signals fed by a series of roadway sensors that can adjust their timing immediately to accommodate high-volume traffic. Construction is fully funded through the Federal Highway Administration and is being administered through the Georgia DOT. The cities paid a total of $500,000 in design costs, each responsible for the share of road in their jurisdiction.

"I think this is a very good system," said Alpharetta resident Don Nahser who drives Ga. 9 frequently. "Economically speaking, it's a great advantage because it saves gas and time. It should work fine if drivers obey the speed limits."
Many of the signals along the 18-mile stretch from the Forsyth County line south to Abernathy Road in Sandy Springs are already connected on a timing system to help coordinate traffic flow, said Eric Graves, city traffic engineer for Alpharetta.

"This project is going to take care of some of the gaps in that system ," Graves said. New sensors will then be able to feed traffic information instantly to the system and allow heavier volumes more time through signals, he said.

In addition to the timing sensors, the project will also include:

-- Additional closed circuit television cameras for traffic flow monitoring and incidence response

-- Permanent traffic count stations to help study patterns and understand overall growth and seasonal variations

-- Driver information systems to update drivers about the status of the corridor

Alpharetta averages about 21,000 vehicles a day on its portion of Ga. 9, but traffic really picks up in Roswell and Sandy Springs, where the daily number climbs to more than 45,000 in spots.

Roswell Transportation Director Steve Acenbrak said motorists will not only benefit with state-of-the-art adaptive signal timing, but will also see improved response to traffic incidents.

Sandy Springs is the coordinating agency for the project and will deal directly with the Georgia DOT as work begins sometime in early 2012. The project has a 16-month construction schedule.

"This is a very legitimate effort to develop a regional traffic system, one that crosses borders," said Bill Andrews who operates Sandy Springs' traffic control center.

Motorists will see the biggest improvement in travel times during off-peak driving hours, Andrews said, when the signals can adjust to accommodate the flow of traffic.

"You're still going to have a peak hour, and it's still going to be heavy at peak hour, but it will get flushed out faster," Andrews said.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Court hears arguments in Alpharetta mosque case.

By Patrick Fox
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A federal judge will decide whether to rule on a lawsuit involving a mosque's expansion in Alpharetta before the case goes to trial.

Both sides appeared in U.S. District Court this month seeking a summary judgment in the case.

Attorneys for the city of Alpharetta and the Islamic Center of North Fulton presented arguments in a federal suit stemming from the city's denial of a request by the mosque to expand its facility on Rucker Road.

The case, filed in 2010, has drawn the attention of the U.S. Justice Department, which is conducting its own investigation under a federal law that requires local governments to show that zoning decisions against religious groups are the least restrictive way to accomplish a compelling government interest. The law also prohibits governments from making decisions favoring one religion over another.

"The mosque is arguing that the refusal to allow it to rebuild an adequate space on the site they own substantially burdens their ability to exercise their religion," said Andrea Jones, attorney for the Islamic Center.

The Alpharetta City Council voted 6-0 in May 2010 to reject plans by the center to tear down its 2,500-square-foot worship house and construct two buildings: a 1,900-square-foot multipurpose facility and a 12,000-square-foot, two-story main building.

During the 2010 zoning hearing, a crowd of 150 squeezed into the council chambers to hear several hours of arguments. Residents of surrounding subdivisions said the project was too big for the 4-acre lot and would make traffic worse on Rucker Road.

Residents and the City Council said they were concerned the worship center was backing out of previous agreements made before Alpharetta annexed the property from Fulton County in 2005.

Attorneys for the center argued this month that the mosque never entered into any agreement with surrounding homeowners about the development of its facility or the size of its congregation. The congregants of the Islamic Center are underserved by the current facility, they argue.

In addition, the Islamic Center argues that its expansion would not adversely affect traffic on Rucker Road and that the city's own Comprehensive Plan allows for churches in the area.

In its arguments before the court, the city maintains the Islamic Center asserted in its original zoning agreement with Fulton County that the site would be used as a place of worship in the existing structure.

The city also claims that center officials indicated in 1998 they were not planning on growing their 25-member congregation.

City Attorney Sam Thomas said Alpharetta is awaiting a ruling from the judge and will be prepared to present its case at trial if necessary.

"The city’s position from the outset is that this case is not about religion," Thomas said. "It’s about land use, and that’s what we presented in our oral argument to the court."

Teen with 3 kids in car charged with street-racing in Alpharetta.



Courtesy wsbtv.com / www.ajc.com

By David Ibata
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A juvenile driver who had three other youths in his car – the youngest, a 7-year-old -- has been arrested and charged with going 80 mph in a 35 mph zone as he street-raced another teen in Alpharetta, police said.

The incident occurred shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday as Alpharetta police officers with speed-detecting gear monitored traffic on Old Milton Parkway near Roswell Street, according to a police report.

One of the officers recorded two vehicles approaching at high speed – a black 2011 Dodge Challenger going 80 mph, and a silver 2006 Dodge Charger going 74 mph, police said. The drivers were motioned to pull over, and they did.

The motorists were two males, ages 18 and 16, and the younger driver had three minors with him in his car – ages 7, 14 and 15, police said. Both drivers were placed under arrest, handcuffed and checked for weapons and contraband. Also, their mothers were called to the scene.

Joshua Michael Gaudineer, 18, of Odessa, Fla., and the 16-year-old whose name was not released because he is a minor, were each charged with reckless driving, racing and speeding, police said. The juvenile also was charged with violating the terms of his Class “D” driver’s license.

The juvenile was released to his parents, while Gaudineer was handed over to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.