Monday, March 30, 2009

Man Convicted Of Killing 2 Milton Men

DA says slayings were result of botched drug deal

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Monday, March 30, 2009

A Buffalo man has been convicted in the 2007 murders of two Milton men.
Alan Hall, 28, was sentenced Friday to two consecutive life sentences plus five years.
He faced multiple murder charges for killing Justin Stewart, 29, and Terrell Jennings, 31, on Oct. 29, 2007.

Hall’s uncle had introduced him to the two victims, both alleged cocaine dealers. A purchase was arranged, at which time Hall pulled a gun and shot, without apparent provocation, Stewart at point blank range, according to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office.

Jennings was killed with a single shot to the head as he tried to disarm Hall, the district attorney’s office said. According to his uncle, who called authorities after the incident, Hall also stole a kilo of cocaine from the dead men.

Hall was captured by U.S. Marshals at his home in Buffalo, where he was living following his release from prison just three months before the murders. Authorities say Hall is also a suspect in an unsolved murder case in New York.

Milton Murderer Get Convicted

Courtesy / Beacon Media


Defendant Also Suspect in New York Murder

Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. announced a guilty verdict in the double murder trial of 28-year old Alan Hall of Buffalo, New York. Jurors convicted Hall late Friday of multiple charges including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Hall was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences plus 5 years for the murders of two Milton men.

On October 29, 2007, Hall traveled to Atlanta from New York to visit his uncle and to purchase cocaine. The uncle agreed to introduce Hall to cocaine dealers in Milton. During the drug deal, without provocation, the defendant pointed a nine millimeter gun at one of the dealers, 29-year old Justin Stewart, and then shot him at point blank range. When the other victim, Terrell Jennings, 31, tried to rush the defendant and take the gun away from him, Jennings was shot in the head. Both men died from their injuries. After the shootings, Hall stole a kilo of cocaine and ordered his uncle to drive away. The uncle, who testified he had no idea his nephew was planning to rob and kill the victims, immediately called 911 and alerted police.

Hall was later captured by U.S. Marshals at his home in Buffalo, New York where he had recently been released from prison on a robbery charge just three months prior to the murders. He is also a suspect in an unsolved murder case in New York as well.

Superior Court Constance Russell presided over the case. It was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Lance Cross with assistance from ADA Michael Bernard and Felipe Brown of the DA’s Investigations Unit. GBI Agent Brian Johnston led the initial investigation.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

***Be On the Look Out For A White Ford Taurus***

The two stock photos above are possibilities of what the suspect vehicle might look like.


We have received quite a few emails from citizens regarding purse snatchings that have been going on in the area. From what we have learned, an incident transpired at the Birmingham Publix as well as the Kroger off of Windward Parkway. We recently spoke via email with Capt Shawn McCarty of the Milton Police Department and he had the following information to share:

"The suspect vehicle is a mid 90's white ford taurus with dark tinted windows and a drive out tag. The suspect is described as a white male between 40 to 50 years old with dark hair. The suspect drove by and took her purse out of her cart. An incident occurred several days later at the Kroger on Hwy 9 at windward with the same suspect information."

Please keep an eye out for this vehicle and help our Milton Officers bring this suspect in. If you have any information, please contact the City Of Milton Police Department at

You can reach Capt McCarty via email at

Many thanks to the wonderful Milton Police staff for all that they do for the city and it's citizens.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Birmingham Park Great Clean Up

A city wide volunteer effort to clean up Birmingham Park will begin on April 25. This project, spearheaded by Milton Grows Green and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is part of two national clean up programs. "The Great American Clean Up" and "Day Of Service."

With the help of involved local citizens, there is no limit to the possibilities with the park's 202 acres! Some of the groups already committed to the effort include the Milton Business Alliance, student groups from are Middle and High schools, Boy Scout troops, Milton Grows Green volunteers from past environmental projects, and other local churchs and denominations. Planned activities range from repairing and tidying up a house located in the park, to clearing and mowing pastures, clearing an old illegal dump, making road improvements and removing dangerous fencing and fallen trees. Interested groups or individuals are encouraged to sign up to work a half or a whole day on projects appropriate for their fitness and capabilities, under the close supervision of team leaders at each project location.

Being Green Starts Here: Birmingham Park / 750 Hickory Flat Road, Milton, GA 30004

When: Saturday, April 25, 2009

To Volunteer Contact:

Milton News From Julie Zahner Bailey

Dear Milton Friends, Neighbors and Citizens,

In an effort to keep you updated on happenings around Milton, this release highlights some key meetings and topics that may be of interest to you.

I am pleased to announce the Great American Clean-up Day of Service scheduled for Saturday, April 25th. This project, spearheaded by Milton Grows Green and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is part of two national clean-up programs, "The Great American Cleanup" and "Day of Service." It will be a terrific day of community service and citizen camaraderie as we all come together to spruce up the 202 acres of the Birmingham Parkland. Many local churches, boy scouts, girl scouts, civic organizations and more are planning to join in for this community wide volunteer park clean up event. Scroll down for details.

Location correction for the Financial Modeling meeting. The Monday, March 30th Financial Modeling meeting will be held at City Hall from 4:30-8:00. This meeting and the financial model ties to the current Comprehensive Land Use Planning update process. It is an analytical tool that will be demonstrated and discussed during this meeting which is open to the public.
Rezonings/Special Use Permit/Concurrent Variance Requests. Two special use permit requests with concurrent variances come to City Council at the April 27, 2009 meeting. The first of these cases is located at 13120 Arnold Mill (Hwy. 140) and the other is located at 15150 Birmingham Highway and Taylor Road. Please scroll down for the specifics of these two cases including links for Staff analysis.

Milton is defined by many unique features including our network of treasured gravel roads. For those interested in Milton's gravel roads please plan to attend the Thursday, April 30th Gravel Road Meeting from 6:00 - 8:00 at City Hall. Use this link for more details.

Landrum Bridge Project - Designs for the Landrum Bridge project are underway. You can view the current designs using this link. Following review of the designs, please provide input to Public Works and the consultants working on this bridge project by filling out comment cards using this link. Comment cards will be received electronically through Friday, March 27th and over the weekend.

Milton Roundup Logo Contest - Milton High School students are being asked to design the logo for the annual Milton Round-up T-shirts. The student with the winning design will receive a $100 cash prize. The entry deadline is 5/1. See the right margin for details.
Bulky Trash Day - On April 18 from 8a.m. - 2p.m., there is an opportunity for Milton residents to take large items for recycling that otherwise cannot be donated. The location for drop-off of such items is just around the corner from the Roswell Recycling Center at 1790 Hembree Rd. This is an amnesty day so there is no charge for Milton, Alpharetta and Roswell residents.
It is an honor to represent you. Please let me know if I can be of assistance to you. Julie Zahner Bailey

Milton City Council770-664-5529 (home)404-310-6344 (cell)

Upcoming Rezonings/Use Permits

U09-01/VC09-01, Frank Schafer, 13120 Arnold Mill RoadRequesting a use permit for a landscaping business on 1.74 acres at a density of 3,908.04 square feet per acre (Article 19.4.27). Applicant is also requesting a 3-part concurrent variance: 1) To delete the 50' buffer and 10' improvement setback along the west property line from the right-of-way for a distance of 140' (12H.3.1 Section C.1).2) To delete the 50' buffer and 10' improvement setback along the east property line from the right-of-way for a distance of 140' (12H.3.1 Section C.1).3) To allow a sign located less than 10' from the right-of-way (Article 33 Section 21.C).

Use these links to view the two analyses prepared by staff on this case. The first link provides the initial staff analysis followed by a changed analysis as found in second link.Staff analysis of 2/24/2009Staff analysis of 3/24/2009

U09-02/VC09-02, Rob Nestor, 15150 Birmingham Highway/Taylor RoadRequesting a use permit for a landscaping business on 3.926 acres at a density of 387.92 square feet per acre (Article 19.4.27).Applicant is also requesting a concurrent variance to allow access from a local street (Article 19.4.27.B.1).

Milton Milers Walking Club Sunday Walk

Dear Milton Neighbor,

I hope you are having a nice week through the rainy conditions.

Last Sunday we had a nice walk and even managed some tanning in the beautiful Spring Sun.

We have a change this Sunday and a special treat. We will walk at 6:00 pm and begin our walk at Starbucks on the corner of Bethany Bend Road and Highway 9 (Publix Shopping Center). Cogburn Woods Elementary School is holding the Annual Spring Carnival so we have moved our time to 6:00 so the folks participating in the CWE Carnival can walk.

As a special treat, Leslie and Kim at Starbucks have promised some goodies for the walkers. And, we will have water provided by Super Target.

We welcome everyone to the Milton Milers. Nobody is too old or too young. Come walk at your pace and enjoy Spring in Milton.

Milton Milers Health Tip-

Carbohydrates, also known as starches and sugars, are your body's main energy source. Complex carbohydrates include legumes, grains and starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, peas and corn. Simple carbohydrates are found mainly in fruits and milk, as well as in foods made with sugar, such as candy and other sweets.

It is recommended that you get 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates. Consistent Runners and Speed Walkers need more! Based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, this amounts to about 225 to 325 grams a day. Emphasize complex carbohydrates, especially from whole grains, beans and nutrient-rich fruits. Make your own trail mix and limit the refined sugars. You can include nuts and beans, seeds and dried fruits without added sugar. Limit added sugars from candy and other sweets, and stick with low-fat milk like Horizon's Organic Low-Fat or Fat Free Milk.
(Health tip today taken from the Mayo Clinic newsletter)

I hope to see you Sunday at 6:00 pm for the Milton Milers Walking Club!

The next meetings of the City Council are listed below. Be sure to visit the Newly redesigned City of Milton web site.

Wishing you good health!

Tina D'Aversa
678-242-2498 Direct

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Council Oks Office Condos On Webb Road

by Jason Wright / Appen Newspapers

March 20, 2009

In its one zoning case March 16, Milton's City Council followed staff's recommendation and approved 4-2 a site plan for office buildings on Webb Road with two variances.It was those two variances that split the vote, with Alan Tart and Julie Zahner Bailey voicing concerns — also aired that night by citizens in public comment — that letting a business at Webb Road and Ga. 9 reduce certain setbacks by 10 and 15 feet, respectively, was a detriment to the area.

The crux of the case for developer Ken Morton who owns the land was that the site was narrowed after government planners found a stream on site. That required buffers which affected the amount of buildable land. Though the land had been zoned for office use in 2005, multiple plans had to be worked up because of the buffers."The financial impact to our family was significant," he said.

Add in the site's topography, said Morton, and the variances to reduce a side yard setback by 10 feet and rear setback by 15 feet were necessary to ensure office condos with adequate parking and an usable entrance.Otherwise, he said, the condos would be "unsellable and not worth building."Staff concurred, and said it would constitute a hardship, in their opinion, if he was not allowed to build.

The adjacent property owners all supported the variances, as well — both of which were virtually invisible unless one were standing at the back of the building."Our hardships are not self imposed, he told council. "We've tried to make your decision easy."

Citizens who opposed the site disagreed. They said Morton, who had taken about a half acre of land from the site in question and added it to an adjacent property for a self-storage unit project, created his own problems on the site."I'm having trouble making the math work," said John Bratten.He and others insisted it is far better for the city if development is held within the guidelines already established — thus, no variances, even if the effects couldn't be seen by a vast majority of Milton's citizens.Tart agreed, asking what the difference to the site would be if that half acre were added back in.Morton said it didn't matter, as the issue was finding space for a driveway away from the half acre.

Zahner Bailey took a slightly different route, arguing the density was too great for the site — though Morton had technically decreased the overall project density to fit in the buildings."I don't think we can look at this from a straight density per foot viewpoint," she said. "It's density per buildable acre."A motion by Tart to approve the plan but deny the variances failed 2-4, with only Zahner Bailey supporting.Almost immediately, Council-woman Karen Thurman moved that council approve the plan with staff's recommendations. It passed with no discussion.

After the vote, Mayor Joe Lockwood said the vote passed with little fanfare from the majority because it was reasonable."He was asking for a 10-foot buffer that backed up to a retaining wall," he said. "All the neighbors had signed off."I'm all for the preservation of Milton, but we have to be reasonable — and that means keeping commercial development where its zoned and keeping low density residential in the rest of the city so as not to burden the residential tax base."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Milton County Vote Scrapped for 2009

author/source: John Fredericks / Beacon Media

What a difference a year can make.

The re-creation of Milton County - to be carved from existing Fulton County - will have to wait until the 2010 Georgia legislative session to see the light of day. The stakes for the new county, and those who have staked their political reputations on it, will reach an apex next year. If they can get it through both chambers - it's a constitutional amendment so it will take two-thirds majorities - then the new county resolution can still make it on the 2010 general election ballot. If they fail by a single vote in the House or Senate next year, you can stick a fork in it, it's done.


House Speaker Pro-Tem Mark Burkhalter (R-Johns Creek), who has heralded the creation of the new county as the single most significant piece of legislation in his storied political career to date, had hoped to pull it off in 2009. It just wasn't in the cards. With time running out on him and his Majority Whip, Jan Jones (R-Milton), they pulled it from the floor last week. "We pulled the plug. I didn't think we had the votes in Senate," Jones admitted. "We may have gotten it through the House - it would have been razor thin, but some senators wanted more time to review the study, which was just released by UGA and Ga. State last week." The study, sanctioned and paid for in last year's session, was favorable. "When you have the numbers and facts on your side, you by definition have time on your side," offered Jones. "The more the study is digested, the more votes we will get. It just makes sense, and it is good policy." Jones summed up the study up this way: "It not only says the plan is viable, it says it's vibrant."


By all accounts, the process to re-create Milton County, at least on paper, would seem to favor a three-year plan. The issue was raised in 2008, and the major accomplishment was getting the House to approve - and pay for - the joint university study. This year the study was completed and released. The amendment quickly passed out of committee by a 7-1 margin. "We had robust bi-partisan support," Jones said. "It was gaining steam every day. We just didn't have the luxury of time this year. That will change come the next session," Jones explained. "I am very confident we will pass this resolution in both chambers with the required majorities in 2010" She promised a floor vote "early next year." Jones also acknowledged it was a "timing thing" this session. "We have several amendments being considered this session - like transportation - that are pressing and we didn't want to load this on top of those," Jones said. "There is just no downside to waiting until 2010," she added. "Remember, Sandy Springs took 30 years to create. Three years is pretty good, and we are in great shape from my vantage point," she said.


Jones succinctly outlined her and Burkhalter's next moves. "We will have more time to get the facts out, we can engage our constituents in the process, and we will have more political leverage come next session." Jones confirmed that many Democrats are intrigued by the concept. "This would be a county like no other in history," Jones said. "Many of our colleagues want to see how this will work. It may prove to be a new model of county governance in the state, maybe even in the country," Jones opined.

From a purely political standpoint, many House and Senate members from the outlaying regions of Georgia do not view Milton County as terribly significant to their constituents. They may think it is good statewide policy or they may be in philosophical lockstep with more local governing sovereignty, but a senate member from Valdosta, for example, just doesn't have a dog in the Milton County hunt. That same senator, however, may have another issue that his constituents want passed next year, and Burkhalter and Jones may be in a better position to do some old fashioned political horse trading. Another vote here and a one vote there and all of a sudden you've got two-thirds. This is the way the system works. And Burkhalter and Jones are very good at it. "Everything is in negotiation," Jones said.


Supporters of the new county say they will set up a "Steering Committee" over the next several weeks that will be comprised of several prominent officials who represent different perspectives. "Our Steering Committee will most likely include representatives of the state legislature, school board members, city council members, judges and business people. We want to encourage and solicit the help and input of all the different domains that will be effected by this change," said one Milton County backer.

The plan is to get the Steering Committee out into the community to engage Fulton County residents in the process. "We are determined to make this initiative both seamless and transparent," Jones said. There are many details to consider for both counties, like water, Grady Hospital, sales tax revenue, etc., Jones maintained. "Part of the Steering Committee's mission will be to help and untangle the remaining issues, all of which are surmountable."


Although he has indicated he has not yet made a final decision on whether or not he will run for governor in 2010, the delay in the Milton County vote may take some wind out of Burkhalter's prospective gubernatorial sails, especially in the short run. Had he pulled off a favorable vote now, Burkhalter may have been able to leverage that undeniable success as a powerful campaign launch springboard in May. His popularity in North Fulton County, already high, would have eclipsed into "rock star" status, bringing him both money and notoriety quickly. Now he will have to wait for that scenario to play out next year. If he decides to throw his hat in the ring, and he pulls Milton County off in 2010, he will still have sufficient time to take full political advantage of his success, grab statewide headlines and thus catapult himself as the dominate GOP vote getter in the Republican ballot rich north metro suburbs. The gubernatorial primary is in July 2010, just a few weeks after the session ends. On the minus side, if he runs for governor and fails to pull off Milton County in 2010, his campaign could very well be toast. A lot more may be riding on the re-creation of Milton County than meets the eye.

Magnolia Media Implements Referral Program

As of April 1st, 2009 Magnolia Media, LLC will be implementing a new referral program to not only benefit readers, but city based businesses as well. "The idea was simple," founder Tim Enloe recently shared,"We value our readers and we value our clients. What better way to say 'thank you!' than to offer a plan where both benefit."

The program is simple. A reader can refer a client to any of the company's community focused websites. If that client ends up advertising within thirty days of the initial referal, then the company gives a $20 gift certificiate to the referee for any of the clients currently listed on that site.

To refer business to Magnolia Media, you can email the company at / Subject line: Referrals.

Rescue Groups Plan Joint Adoption Fair

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hundreds of Atlanta-area animals looking for a home will be at the Wills Park Equestrian Center on March 29 for one of the largest pet rescue fairs in the Southeast.

About 50 rescue groups will bring dogs, cats, horses, rabbits and more to the Animal Rescue Fair and Pet Adoption from noon to 5 p.m.

“We have rescue groups coming from all over, including Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee,” said Michele Williams, assistant coordinator for the event.

There also will be vendors, food and events for children, such as face painting. Admission is free.
Given the downturn in the economy, rescuers say there are more animals than ever being given up, so they’re hoping for a large number of adoptive families.

“The number of animals being dumped is epidemic right now,” said Paige O’Neill of Mostly Mutts, a Kennesaw dog rescue group. “And it’s not just irresponsible pet owners. It’s also good owners who are being forced to give up loved pets.”

Dale Thompson of Fancy Feline Rescue of the South said it will be bringing both purebred and mixed-breed cats, hoping to find adoptive homes as well as more volunteers.
And Thompson, like many rescuers, stressed the added value of getting a rescue dog or cat. Animals coming from responsible groups are healthy, spayed or neutered, have their shots and often are microchipped.

“Look at what it would cost to buy a purebred cat from a breeder and then look at our adoption price,” said Thompson, whose fees range from $100 to $200. “Plus, there’s the wonderful feeling of knowing you’ve saved two lives — that of your adopted cat and the one that will take its place at Fancy Feline Rescue of the South.”

The event, at 11915 Wills Road in Alpharetta, is sponsored by Save the Horses. For more information:

Mayor Lockwood's Home Featured on Fox 5


Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood and his wife Dawn were featured on Fox 5 regarding their new home. The feature focuses on the Lockwoods working with the Roswell Women's Club in opening up their home to help raise monies for local charities. To see more, please click on the following link. Way to go Joe!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Milton News From Julie Zahner Bailey

Dear Milton Neighbors, Friends and Citizens

- I hope this finds you well and enjoying the beautiful weather and unfolding Spring views in Milton.This release provides a brief update on several topics including:

Board of Education discussions Thursday, March 19th

re: the BOE budget and options for planned high schools in North Fulton. The BOE is evaluating, and possibly voting, on whether to keep the new high school planned for Bethany and Cogburn on the current building schedule or push it out beyond the current SPLOST. If that were to occur, student projections show Milton High School far beyond capacity in the next few years. If you have an opinion on this topic, please scroll down for more details. You may email your opinions to the Fulton County Board of Education before this evening's BOE meeting.

Upcoming City of Milton meetings - see listing in the right margin.

Recognition of the Milton Grows Green initiative by the Atlanta Regional Commission as MGG received the first award for the City of Milton. The ARC awarded Milton Grows Green with the CREATE Community Award. Scroll down for the official release on this subject as well as recent news articles.

New Recycling Program at Bell Memorial Park sponsored by Milton Grows Green and Community Waste Services.

Milton Milers - a new walking group initiated by Council member Tina Daversa to help encourage positive health and fellowship among citizens had its' first walk about town last Sunday. Please join the Milton Milers as they will be walking weekly on Sundays. Next Sunday the Milton Milers will start their walk from the Pretzel Factory on Highway 9 (near the Target) at 2:00. If you have any questions, contact Tina D'Aversa at or

Thanks to each of you for the privilege of serving as your Council member. I work hard everyday to represent your best interests. Please let me hear from you regarding any specific comments, input or suggestions you have to share. Your opinions and concerns matter very much to me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Julie Zahner Bailey

Milton Milers To Meet This Sunday / 2pm

Dear Milton Neighbor,

Last Sunday, through the cool breeze and misting rain, we kicked off the Milton Milers Walking Club. It was great to take some time out of our busy lives for some healthy walking and great conversation. Susan Wells, Pharmacy Manager of Super Target provided bottled water for all the walkers.

This Sunday we will walk at 2:00. Nobody is too old or too young. Come walk at your pace and enjoy Spring in Milton.

Join us at the Super Target Shopping Center on Highway 9. We will meet in front of the Philly Pretzel Factory at 2:00 this Sunday, March 22.

I hope to see you Sunday for the Milton Milers Walking Club!

Wishing you good health!

Tina D'Aversa
678-242-2498 Direct

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Milton Police To Be Featured On America's Most Wanted

Many thanks for all the hard work the Milton Police do each and every day!

Police: Madam Lets Others Take The Fall, While She Takes Off

Keith Brown was a successful businessman who was proud of his accomplishments. He'd built a pressure-washing business in the Atlanta area into a major money-making venture, and he liked to show off his success.

But police say he bragged to all the wrong people. Police say Brown was a client of Kisha "Key" Rutledge's escort service, known, among other names, as the Atlanta Keys.

But he ticked Rutledge off when he started going around the madam, and giving his money straight to her call girls.

Not only that, but detectives say one of Rutledge's call girls had mentioned that Brown would often flash wads of cash.

Rutledge decided it was time for some payback. When emergency crews got to Brown's apartment, the cell phone was still in his hand.

You Don't Double-Cross A Madam

Milton, Ga. police say Rutledge planned to kill Brown and take his money, and she pulled in three people to help her do it.

On June 12, 2007, the group -- 17-year-old Jeff Dulcio, 19-year-old Stephen Woods, and 25-year-old Michelle Morrison -- put Rutledge's plan to action.

Brown called one of the call girls for a late-night visit, but when he opened his apartment door to let her in, he was instead faced with two men -- Dulcio and Woods.

Police say Dulcio had a gun, but since Brown is a gun collector, he was also armed, and the two started a shootout. Brown was hit several times.

The men left him bleeding and frantically calling 9-1-1.
He told the dispatcher that he had been shot, and that he was dying. When emergency crews got to Brown's apartment, the cell phone was still in his hand.

Brown left behind an 8-year-old girl who friends say was the center of his world, and his estranged wife.

Case Comes Full Circle For AMW Actor

This case hits especially close to home for a man who played a murderer in an America's Most Wanted re-enactment in 1990.

Fred Dollar played Dennis Ray Butler, a fugitive who was caught the same night the show aired. Now, Dollar wants to help catch another fugitive: this time the woman accused of planning his friend's murder.

Fred and Keith had been friends for more than 30 years.

Fred says they played in bands together around Atlanta, and Keith was a gifted drummer.
Even after the bands fell apart, the two would sit out on the porch with an acoustic guitar.
Fred dearly misses his friend, and wants to help AMW bring justice to Keith Brown's family and friends.

Kisha Rutledge - Wanted For: Felony Murder, Milton, GA; Jun 12, 2007.
Complete AMW Broadcast: Saturday, March 21st, 2009 / Sat / 9pm / Fox

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Windward Pkwy Walmart Evacuated Due to Fumes

Several people reported being dizzy, lightheaded

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Walmart hired a private company to investigate an odor at a North Fulton County store that prompted an evacuation and sickened four people Tuesday morning, officials said.
Fire crews from Milton and Alpharetta were unable to determine the source of the smell and released the store back to Walmart about 10 a.m., said Andrew Kennedy, spokesman for the City of Milton.

Kennedy said it wasn’t clear when the store would reopen.
Firefighters responded to a call about a sulfur smell in the store at Windward Parkway and Ga. 9 about 7:30 a.m., said Kennedy. When they arrived, they could smell the odor outside the building, which had already been evacuated by employees.

Four people, believed to all be employees of the 24-hour store, were taken to a local hospital for evaluation after complaining of “dizziness and lightheadedness,” Kennedy said, describing the health concerns as “minor.”

Doggie Needs A New Home

Hi Milton Neighbors,

Below find an email from another neighbor who is helping to find a new home for a Blue Tick Hound dog, approx 2 years old, found very undernourished in the Lake Lanier area. Photos attached.
Could you help or do you know anyone who might be willing to adopt this sweet dog?
Please forward to your list of contacts so we can find this sweet one a nice warm place to sleep and a full belly.

Many Thanks,

Patti Silva


Just a reminder of the next Milton Business Alliance meeting this Thursday the 19th at 6pm. The meeting is being held at the Alpharetta Athletic Club next to Crooked Creek subdivision. There is a dresscode of a collared shirt and no jeans. We will have appetizers with a $5 charge and a cash bar. Chris Lagerbloom the city manager of The City of Milton will be there to talk about businesses in Milton.We will have a table set up for all members who would like to hand out any brochures, flyers or cards of their business. So bring whatever you would like.Feel free to forward this email to anyone you think may be interested in joining our alliance. Thank you and see you there.

Lauren Holmes
Managing Broker, MMDC, e-PRO, ABR
Office: (678) 240-2201
Cell: (770) 365-5800
To find out more about the Milton Business Alliance, please click here=>
To find out more about Lauren Holmes; please click here=>

Celebrate St. Paddy's Day At Olde Blind Dog!

St. Paddy’s at Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub
The countdown to St. Patrick’s Day has begun at Olde Blind Dog. We invite you to join us for a St. Paddy’s Day Party to remember. If you want an authentic Irish experience with the best traditional food, live Irish music, entertainment and beer flowing...then, we're the place to be. We have the atmosphere that will make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time to experience the look and feel of Ireland’s pubs reminiscent of days gone by.

2pm – 5pm:Duncan McLauchlan
5pm – 6pm:Cregan O'Brien's Irish Dancers(
6pm – 9pm: Mickle-a-do (

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Milton's Money Being Handled By Private Firm

Treasurer job for new city is vacant

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Monday, March 16, 2009

For 18 months, Milton has left vacant its treasurer position, possibly violating the city charter and leaving a void in the fiscal checks and balances.

Absent a chief financial officer, the city’s books are being kept by an employee of CH2M Hill-OMI, a private firm hired to provide most day-to-day services and support services with oversight by the city manager.

Everything suggests the city’s finances are the on up and up, but all acknowledge it’s not an ideal situation.“Ultimately, you don’t want one person completely in charge of the finances,” Councilwoman Karen Thurman said.

The treasurer job has been vacant largely because the city manager position has turned over three times since 2007.

The City Council last month appointed Chris Lagerbloom, the former public safety director, as city manager.

Milton, like Sandy Springs and Johns Creek, hired CH2M Hill to provide almost all municipal services. Only a few top administrative positions and public safety employees work for the city.
When Sandy Springs incorporated Dec. 1, 2005, the city treasurer was an employee of CH2M Hill. City officials quickly saw there could be a problem and changed the arrangement.
“The chief financial officer should be a watchdog,” Sandy Springs City Councilman Rusty Paul said. “We wanted a direct line to the city manager and the City Council.”

Milton Finance Manager Stacey Inglis said she hasn’t had any issues arise that she felt like she couldn’t report.

Milton Milers Club A Hit

The Milton Milers Club had a great initial run going from Deerfield Place, Down Windward Parkway and past Deerfield Parkway. Many thanks to those who participated. The next walk will be this up coming Sunday / March 22nd at 2pm. The location once again is The Pretzel Factory off of Hwy 9. Come and join us!

Milton Milers Kicks Off First Walk Today

The Milton Milers is kicking off it's first walk today, Sunday, March 15th. The place to meet is The Pretzel Factory off of Hwy 9 in the Deerfield Place shopping center. Time is 2pm. Walk distance today is two miles. We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dog Found

Hello Milton Neighbors!

A dog was found in the Richmond Glen subdivision tonight. Please forward this email to your friends and neighbors in Milton so we can get this doggie back home quickly....
White Labrador Retreiver
Female (not a puppy)
No Collar
Small size, approx. 40-50 lbs
Marking on right hip
Mole on her left cheek

Please contact:
or Patti Silva

Many Thanks!

Patti Silva

Friday, March 13, 2009

In Search Of The Passionate.

We are in the process of putting together the April newsletter for Accessmilton. As always, we are looking for new ways to bring interesting Milton based stories to our readers. One new segment that we are looking at is a section devoted to Hobbies; from collecting coins to baseball cards; from gardening to antiques, we would like to speak with you! Please either call us or email us. Who knows? Maybe your passion will be in our next newsletter!
Thank you,
Tim Enloe
Magnolia Media, LLC
770 653 0552

Hibbett Sports Adds New Georgia Store

Newest Hibbett Sports Store Opens in Milton, Georgia

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (March 13, 2009) – National sporting goods retailer Hibbett Sports, Inc has opened its newest store in Milton, Georgia. The new Hibbett Sports store opened at 13093 Highway 9 North in Milton on Friday, March 13 and will employ approximately 8 full and part-time team members.

Announcing the opening, Mickey Newsome, Chief Executive Officer of Hibbett Sports, noted, "Milton is another great market for Hibbett Sports. We think Hibbett Sports will be a great addition to Milton. We believe this convenient new location is a win-win for Hibbett Sports and the Milton community."

Georgia has been a target for Hibbett Sports’ expansion for several years now. With the addition of the Milton location, the company has 86 stores open in Georgia. Of those stores, Dalton was the first to open in 1992.

“We research the markets we enter to learn what the customers of that area want from a sporting goods store," added Newsome. "We constantly update our merchandise assortment to offer the latest in product technology and fashion so that we can meet the diverse needs of our customer’s active lifestyles."

Hibbett Sports stocks a large selection of athletic shoes as well as other sports equipment and apparel, including a wide variety of baseball and softball equipment. "With the buying power of a national company, we offer our customers the convenience of buying the best in sports right in their own neighborhoods," said Newsome. "And we extensively train our employees to make sure they can provide superior service to our customers."

The Milton location joins a growing number of Hibbett Sports stores in northern Georgia, including stores in Canton, Roswell and Duluth.

In business since 1945, Hibbett Sports operates over 700 sporting goods stores in small to mid-sized markets, predominantly in the Sunbelt, Mid-Atlantic and the lower Midwest. The company’s primary store format is Hibbett Sports, a 5,000-square-foot store located in dominant strip centers and enclosed malls. Each store typically lies within 150 miles of another Hibbett Sports location.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Milton Milers Set To Kick Off At Pretzel Factory

By Tim Enloe;

The walking club known as the "Milton Milers" is set to kick off their first event this upcoming Sunday, March 15th at 2pm. Starting point will be the new Pretzel Factory Restaurant at Deerfield Place off of Hwy 9. Many thanks to owners Steve, Jill and Pierce Erhardt and Ruthann Sinor for offering up a free Pretzel (See coupon above) for participants.

The Milton Milers was established in 2009 by Miltonians Tina D'aversa and Tim & Ginger Enloe . Tina had been an active walker for many years. While in shape in their past lives, Tim & Ginger knew they had to get back on the wagon. Thus, the "Milton Milers" came to be. Among the benefits of the Milers are weight loss, endurance, and friendly companionship.
The Milton Milers was founded on the idea that health and wellness can be achieved through a planned walking program. The health benefits of walking are well-documented. As the number of individuals who run competitively has peaked, the number of walkers has steadily risen. A major reason for this increase is the awareness that walking is easier on the skeletal joints than is running. Yet the cardiovascular benefits of walking can equal those of running.
In addition, the mental and emotional benefits of walking such as the reduction of stress and the mental "high" are ever present.
With an increasing number of people participating in everything from recreational walking to competitive walking events, there needs to be a common ground for sharing ideas about workouts, equipment, training, and a host of other issues. Runners have had this opportunity for many years but the growing number of walkers have not had a commensurate venue. The Milton Milers was founded to help address these deficiencies.
Through the activities of the Milton Milers Club, the many aspects of walking-related issues can be addressed in a cohesive, organized fashion resulting in a supporting and nurturing environment for the Milton Georgia walking community.
For more information feel free to contact Tina D'aversa at 678-242-2498 / or Tim & Ginger Enloe at 770 653 0552 /

Reminder! Milton Grows Green Meeting

Yes. the second Thursday of the month is once again upon us, so please let this message serve as your reminder that we will be meeting at 6:00 p.m. at the Birmingham Fire Station. The agenda is attached, but be thinking particularly about the Great American Cleanup/Day of Service at Birmingham Park on April 25, as we will need lots of help in recruiting, coordinating , planning and developing logistics for the event, on which we are working very closely with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormon Church), which is providing a lot of impetus, energy and skillful planning under the leadership of longtime resident of Gordon Hunter, new arrival Jim Brown who directed a number of environmental cleanup activities in Oregon where he previously lived, and a number of other leaders in their church.

Jon McPhail
Jon McPhail & Associates, LLC
P.O. Box 783
Alpharetta, GA 30009-0783
770-442-9566 (V)
770-442-1834 (F)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Olde Blind Dog Place To Be This St. Patty's Day!

The folks at Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub in Crabapple are gearing up for one heck of a Celebration this St. Patrick's Day! The three day event is sure to turn into an annual event as memories are created.

The following is a brief overview of what guests have to look forward to:

Friday, March 13 - 7pm to 10pm - "Mickle-A-Do"
Saturday, March 14th - 5:30pm to 6pm - "Cregan O'Brien's Irish Dancers"
- 7pm to 10pm - "Keltic Kudzu"
St. Paddy's Day! - 2pm to 5pm - "Duncan McLauchlan"
- 5pm to 6pm - "Cregan O'Brien's Irish Dancers"
- 6pm to 9pm - "Mickle-A-Do"

To find out more about Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub In Milton, GA, please click here=>

Dogs Need A New Home

Many thanks to all the Miltonians who brought this story to our attention.

I am forwarding this email to my friends and family in GA to see if they
may know someone who could help this lady out with her family of dogs.
This is really the saddest part for a cancer patient, if their animals will
find a good and loving home. I know all of you very well and know if
you know anyone they will give these beautiful dogs a great home.

There are 7 pure-bred female Samoyeds who need a "forever home" because their owner/breeder, Cathy Pendleton, is losing her battle with breast cancer. She can no longer care for her dogs and has been moved to Hospice after being in the hospital for a week.
I'm giving this a wider distribution than usual, so some of you may receive it more than once. Even though you may not be on a "rescue" group email, I'm including you in the hopes that you can forward on to the widest distribution so that these girls all have a chance to find the perfect new home. The dogs are in the Atlanta , GA , area, but they will allow them to be adopted out of state.

All the owner/breeder wants is for all of these girls to get good homes. Currently, they are not wanting to place any of the dogs in foster care because they are trying to move the dogs only once. My understanding is that the older animals have been spayed. Because she is a breeder, the younger dogs are not spayed; however the new family would need to have the dog spayed if she is less than seven years. (The dogs range in age from 1.5 years to more senior dogs.)
One look at their picture (below) shows how extraordinarily beautiful these dogs are. (I count 8 in the picture, but perhaps one has been placed already.) All are healthy and well cared for, up to date on shots, heartworm, flea treatment, etc. The new "forever" home will need to have a fenced yard with sufficient space for an active dog. The folks who are placing the Samoyeds for the owner may do a home visit either before, after, or both to ensure that the dog and their new family are a good fit.

If you think you might be interested after reading Velvet's email (below), her contact info is:

Monday, March 09, 2009

Pit Bull Attack Kills Fulton Co. Family's Poodle


5:50 pm EST March 6, 2009
MILTON, Ga. -- Residents of a North Fulton County community told Channel 2 Action News reporter Tom Regan that they are worried about their safety after a pit bull attacked and killed another dog.

The attack happened in the Lake Deerfield neighborhood in Milton. Although Linda Alderman, the pit bull’s owner, was cited by police for having a vicious dog off a leash, Regan has since learned that animal control officers returned the dog to Alderman.

"How many dogs is this animal going to kill before he gets to a small child?" said Holly Proano, whose 8-year-old poodle, Lucky, was mauled and killed by the pit bull.

"He would not let my dog go. My dog was screaming … he wouldn't let go,” said Proano.

The owner of the pit bull arrived and pulled the animal off Lucky. But the damage was done.
Veterinarians kept Lucky alive at an area pet hospital as they tried to determine whether surgery would save the animal, which had gaping wounds on its stomach.

"They were worried with nerve damage, he was going to lose the leg," said Proano.
Lucky died two days later. Proano is now out nearly $5,000 in vet bills.

Stephanie Wolf lives in the neighborhood and said the pit bull has a history of aggressive behavior. Wolf said she watched the same dog attack another small dog last summer.
"I want to live in a safe place. I don't want someone to die from a vicious dog," said Wolf.
Regan tried visiting the dog's owner home, but there was no answer.

Milton police told Regan that it was an animal control decision to release the dog, but the county said by e-mail that the officer on scene allowed the owner to keep the pit bull in home confinement, even after issuing a citation that the dog was vicious.

Details will be presented when the case goes to court in late March.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

GSU-UGA Study says Milton County would be viable

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Thursday, March 05, 2009

Supporters of a re-created Milton County say a recent study shows the county would be viable.
The report, released Tuesday by the Georgia State University Fiscal Research Center and the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government, will invigorate debate over a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow previously existing counties to be resurrected.

Milton County advocates quickly seized on the report to bolster their claims that north Fulton County residents and businesses would be better off without Fulton County.

“The bottom line is this shows Milton County would be fiscally viable,” said Fulton County Commissioner Lynne Riley from Johns Creek. Although a member of the commission, she supports re-creation of Milton County.

Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker, also past chairman of the North Fulton Municipal Association, said he wasn’t surprised at the report’s findings. “The report starts to lay out the case that Milton County makes sense,” he said. “It confirms what we’ve thought all along.”

Opponents of the plan counter that criticism of Fulton County is overblown and that dividing up duties, debts and obligations would a long and expensive process. They say it would hurt the rest of Fulton County financially.

“We feel that this [proposal] is bad public policy and would be very troubling for the metro Atlanta economy,” wrote Fulton County Commission Chairman John H. Eaves in an editorial Tuesday in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

According to the GSU-UGA report, Milton County would take in $209 million in revenue at the current tax rate, and have between $133 million and $148 million in expenses, based on surrounding counties recent costs.

The new county would have to manage its share of long-term debt, $303 million; unfunded pensions of $75 million, as well as leases. Furnishing and starting up the county would cost $4.3 million.

The report did not resolve such issues as reimbursement for Fulton County facilities, court costs and jail expenses. It says many complicated legal issues would have to resolved for which there is no precedent.

A struggling, rural Milton County merged with Fulton County to the south in 1932. Since then, what is now northern Fulton County has blossomed with high-end residential developments, class A office space, and malls and shopping centers.

Backers of Milton County, which would include Sandy Springs, Milton, Johns Creek, Mountain Park, Roswell and Alpharetta, say they are under-represented and poorly served by Fulton County, and could provide services on their own cheaper and more efficiently. They also argue they north Fulton County subsidizes the southern part of the county.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

News From Council Person Tina D'Aversa

Dear Milton Neighbor,

It is hard to believe we are in March and Spring is upon us. The snow we enjoyed today, was a nice treat. But, I am ready for Spring and especially for Spring Baseball. Hopewell Baseball at Bell Memorial Park opens the 2009 Season this Saturday.

While you are reading, let me invite you to a few events:

1. The Milton Milers Walking Club - Kick-off walk March 15, 2009
2. City Council Worksession March 9, 2009, 6:00 pm, Milton City Hall.
3. The Highway 9 Design Review Committee Meeting March 19, 2009, 6:00 pm, Milton City Hall

You will be excited to know that the City of Milton Annual Report is finally available. You can read about some of the tremendous accomplishments and enjoy some nice photos and a 2009 calendar. I appreciate our city management, Mayor Lockwood and my fellow council members. Together we have made our citizens proud and I believe the city staff has captured the city well in the report.

Since the beginning of the year, we have launched several tremendous citizen communitees to serve Milton.

Newly active committees in Milton
1) Parks and Recreation Committee 2) Highway 9 Design Guidelines Committee
3) Historic Preservation Committee4) Transportation Committee.
5) Transportation Intersection Committee

I hope to see you out for the Milton Milers Walking Club Sunday, March 15 - 2:00 pm.

Sincerest regards,

Tina D'Aversa
678-242-2498 Direct

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

State Of The City Address

by Mayor Joe Lockwood

The City of Milton has come a long way since its incorporation on December 1, 2006. We set the bar high for ourselves and I am proud to say that we have exceeded our expectations. I would like to take a moment to share some of our many accomplishments in 2008 and our hopes and goals for the future of Milton.

I'd like to start by thanking my council colleagues: Karen Thurman, Julie Zahner Bailey, Bill Lusk, Burt Hewitt, Tina D'Aversa and Alan Tart. Without their commitment I do not believe we would have come as far as we have.

I would like to thank our incredible City Staff. They have worked countless hours bringing our dreams for Milton to fruition.

Most importantly I'd like to thank all of you, the residents and business owners of the City of Milton. You are the reason we do what we do and why we strive to make Milton the greatest city in the state of Georgia. Thank you for your continued support, for your strong spirit, your commitment to volunteerism and your faith in what we do every day.

It is evident taht the priorities established at the start of 2008 were met. The City's second year as an independent municipality saw great progress and continued to prove that Milton has passionate citizens, strong leadership and a heart for smart growth that retains the beauty and uniqueness we all know and love.

Moving Forward

Allow me to highlight some of 2008's many accomplishments.

Our Community Development Department made great progress on the Comprehensive Plan. The community assessment and citizen participation sections were completed and approved by the Department of Community Affairs. Also, a Partial Plan Update was submitted to DCA at the end of the year. With the completion of the Partial Plan Update we have additional time to finalize the Comprehensive Plan while moving toward greater local control and self determination. In addition, a sewer service area map was developed and ultimately approved by Council.

The Public Works Department completed numerous reparis, replacements and upgrades resulting in recognizable safety improvements to the City's roadways. New traffic lights were installed at two major intersections, more than four miles of pavement were resurfaced and a striping improvement program continued.


Public safety is one of Milton's top priorities. Our City's police officers and firefighters work around the clock to keep lives and property safe. Milton is fortunate to be a low-crime city, but it's reassuring to know that we have a skilled and dedicated police force and fire department to protect us.

In 2008, Milton officers conducted more than 42,000 business checks, nearly 31,000 subdivision checks and answered 1,600 calls. Officers wrote 353 accident reports, made 302 arrests and issued nearly 3,700 traffic citations.

The department initiated safety check points with Alpharetta Police to aid in the detection and apprehension of persons driving under the influence. Officers from Woodstock Police were cross sworn in to increase personnel during these checks. The department's supervisory coverage expanded as four patrol officers attended specialized training and were promoted to sergeant. Milton's K-9 patrol responded to 72 incidents, was involved in 38 arrests and 3 criminal apprehensions and located one missing juvenile. The K-9 team made presentations at six schools, six community events, three Boy Scout events and and the Citizens Police Academy. Milton's police officers also participated in Red Ribbon Week at Milton High School and provided security at the school's home football games.

In 2008, firefighters responded to 31 structure fires, 23 brush/forest fires, seven vehicle fires and 560 emergency medical incidents. Engine 43 was placed in service and Truck 43 relocated to Alpharetta's Station 1 for better call response times. A Large Animal Technial Rescue Team and a Fire Training/Health & Safety Bureau were established. The City's fire safety resources were reviewed, including pre-fire plans and building inspections, flow testing and documentation on city fire hydrants and a full tests of City's fire hoses. Milton's five National Fire Protection Agency-certified Fire Clowns presented "Learn Not to Burn," a community-based educational program.

One of the most exciting accomplishments was establishing a partnership with Alpharetta to form a new 911 Center. This ensured that citizens have a faster and improved response to emergency calls. The City also partnered with other neighboring jurisdictions and approved a regional ambulance service contract which allows for more local control. These two changes will most certainly result in lives being saved.

Green and Community

Parks and green space were another priority. In November, the City hired a consultant to assist the Parks and Recreation Department and created a Parks and Recreation advisory board. The board will help develop the City's Parks and Recreation ordinance, work with consultants on a master plan and will serve as an independent voice for citizens in recommending how to best use the City's parks and recreational facilities.

City Council set aside funds for green space acquisition and allocated a portion of those funds for the Milton Trail system. Overall goals include developing partnerships with schools, the YMCA and Boys' and Girls' Clubs; developing Birmingham Park; creating design standards to guide the City park "look", accessing the City's community buildings; evaluating staffing needs; and reviewing the layout, efficiencies and opportunities within all Milton parks. In addition, the City established the Milton Tree Committee, a citizen group that will conduct a comprehensive planning effort to develop policies, programs and procedures for tree preservation.

Milton hosted a number of excellent events including Memorial Day where both living and fallen veterans of Milton were honored, Christmas in Crabapple where we celebrated the season of giving, our Inaugural Fourth of July Citizens' Parade where hundreds of citizens turned out to celebrate our country's independence and the second annual Milton Roundup where more than
3,300 people enjoyed a fun-filled day in the heart of Milton. Don't forget to check out our events this year.

Dozens of volunteers like the Milton Pacers gave their time and energy to make our events possible. And speaking of volunteers, Milton's volunteer program not only continued but explanded in '08. With the addition of several new committees including the TARA Committee and the Historic Preservation Committee, Milton added 35 new volunteers. Thank you again to all of those who have donated their time.


Throughout 2008 and all the years to come, we must keep two things in mind as we go about the daily activities of managing a city: residents and budget. I am pleased to inform you that in '08 we kept in strict accordance with our budget. The General Fund accounts for the resources used to finance Milton's fundamental operations. The principal revenue sources for this fund are property, sale and use taxes; franchise fees; and business and occupation taxes.

Here is a look at our 2008 General Fund operating expenditures (audited figures will be available next month):

Public Safety - $5.96 million
General Administration - $2.53 million
Public Works - $1.78 million
Economic and Community Development $1.42 million
Debt Service - $860,000
Information Technology - $690,000
City Clerk's Office - $561,000
Municipal Court - $546,000
City Manager's Office - $410,000
Parks and Recreation - $160,000
Mayor and Council - $638,000

The approved FY 2009 budget represents an increase of $3.6 million. Increased overall spending is attributed to road and intersection improvement projects, Public Safety capital expenditures and monies allocated for parks.

Although we increased our budget for this year, due to the continued economic hardship our country is facing, we must be extremely mindful of our daily expenses. I am determined that we will find a way to provide the same level of services in a more cost-effective way. And you can help.

Successful businesses help create a vibrant community. Seeing businesses succeed encourages others to open. An expaneded commercial base helps relieve tax burden on homeowners. A big part of Milton's charm comes from the variety of small businesses that serve the community. We need to patronize them if we want them to remain.

Even though our country is facing tough times, I pledge to all of you that Milton will perservere. As Vince Lombardi once said, "The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur."

Council, staff and I will continue to reach for the stars and make the City of Milton the best it can possibly be. We will expand the Public Safety Department by funding new positions like patrol officers as well as general and narcotics detectives. We will make our streets and intersections, like Birmingham Highway and Providence, safer. We will add to our green space and make progress on the Milton trail. We will host outstanding events and create a stronger sense of community. And we will work towad better communication and more effective solutions to problems. We will achieve these goals. We will not let you down.

Firm That Runs Cities Won't Reveal Its Profits

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sunday, March 01, 2009

How much is Johns Creek spending on code enforcement? What does Milton pay city staff to process building permits? Just how much is the private company in charge of city operations making?

Believe it or not, the cities don’t know for sure, and they want to fix that by pushing CH2M Hill-OMI, the Colorado-based firm that runs the cities, to open up its records. But the firm has been reluctant to reveal too much, citing proprietary information.

The conflicting cultures of private and public sectors are likely to collide as the firm and the cities of Johns Creek, Milton and Sandy Springs start their annual contract review and renewal negotiations this month.

CH2M Hill and the cities are in the third and fourth year of five-year, multimillion-dollar contracts. The contracts make up 25 percent to 40 percent of the cities’ annual budgets. Johns Creek is paying CH2M Hill $18.9 million this year, Sandy Springs $25.8 million and Milton $7.6 million.

Milton City Manager Chris Lagerbloom said the financial crunch has intensified the need to know in more detail where possible savings can be found.

“We may realize we could be doing it [providing services] better and find ways to save money or both,” he said. “We need a level of transparency because we’re dealing with public money.”
Herb Washington, CH2M Hill director of operations for municipal services, said the company views its relationship with the cities as a partnership that both sides value, but even so, it holds private its finances. He said some city officials seem to view the staff as city employees, and expect to have the same access to the inner workings as a traditional government model.
“Even as a partner, we are a private firm,” Washington said. “Are we obligated to reveal our profit margin? No more than any other contractor.”

The three municipalities pay lump-sum contracts to CH2M Hill to provide most day-to-day services to the public. As long as the public is happy, and satisfactory work is being done at a lower price than Fulton County or comparable municipalities could do it, the cities haven’t asked too many questions — until now.

Johns Creek City Manager John Kachmar said it’s difficult knowing what savings are possible without knowing what the company’s actual costs are. He said he’s been able to figure rough guesses, but that’s all they are. Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos said she’s disinclined to probe too deeply into CH2M Hill’s city-based spreadsheets.

“I don’t feel it’s necessary to know what their profits are so long as we get good services and that I can compare and see if we have more or less employees than cities of the same size,” Galambos said.

Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker said when the cities were launched, the opaque arrangement was acceptable. Now it’s time for the city to take a more hands-on approach.

Other cities across the country have outsourced projects and even whole departments, but Johns Creek, Sandy Springs and Milton were among the first and the few with such broad reliance on a private company.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Council Meeting Tonight


There will be a Council Meeting tonight at City Hall. Time is 6pm

Click here for the agenda=>

Click here for the packet=>

Sunday, March 01, 2009

New Poll Up.

We have a new poll up. This month's survey ask:
Where should the proposed Milton Library be built?
Have your say in the upper right of this screen.
The past month's survey question and results were as follows:
Should the City Of Milton pave the remaining gravel roads in Milton?

Yes - 43%
No - 57%

Mayor Lockwood's Home Goes On Tour

The Roswell Women's Club kicks off their 2009 Home Tour with Mayor Lockwood's new home on Dorris Road. Refered to as "The Homestead", the home is nestled on 3o acres off of Dorris Road in Milton.

The event will be running from March 8th to March 29th. Proceeds will go to benefiting North Fulton Charitable Organizations.

To find out more information and purchase tickets, please click on the following link: