Friday, October 31, 2014

Early Voting Turnout Indicates High Interest Among Oconee County Voters

5,482 Ballots Cast

More people voted in the three weeks of early voting in Oconee County than voted in the primaries in the county in May.

A total of 5,482 voters cast their ballots by the end of the day today, the final day of early voting. The early voters represent 24.4 percent of the 22,498 active registered voters in the county.

Election Office 10/31/2014

In early voting in May, 1,681 persons voted. That was 32.7 percent of the total number who voted in the May primary. Early voting was conducted for only two weeks.

The county’s 13 polling places open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday and remain open until 7 p.m. for the final day of voting.

Referenda On Ballot

The ballot contains two local referenda plus contests for top state and national offices, including for governor, for U.S. Senator and for the area’s representative to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The candidates for the local Board of Education and Board of Commissioners are running unopposed, as are the county’s two representatives to the Georgia House of Representatives and its representative in the Georgia Senate.

The first ballot referendum would continue the existing 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. Revenue from the tax is earmarked for a variety of projects, including road maintenance, water and sewer projects, and improvements at the county’s parks.

The second would allow county officials—and city officials under some circumstances—to pass ordinances providing for the sale of liquor by the drink in restaurants in the county.

If the second referendum passes in the county and is approved by the majority of voters in any of the county’s four cities, the officials in those cities also would have the power to pass liquor-by-the-drink ordinances.

Big Turnout Today

A total of 934 voters cast their ballots today, either at the Board of Elections and Registration Office in Watkinsville or at the Civic Center on Hog Mountain Road.

Turnout in the May primary was 23.4 percent of the active voters. In the July runoff, 20.9 percent of the active voters in the county cast a ballot.

If the 5,482 voters who already cast their ballot were the same ratio of total voters as early voters were of final voters in May, about three quarters of the county’s registered voters can be expected to cast their ballot by the close of the election.

If the May early voters represent only about two-thirds of those who would have voted had they had another week of early voting, then final turnout can be expected to be closer to about 50 percent.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Advertisements In Oconee County Weekly Newspapers Tout Referendum 2 But Don’t Say It Is For Liquor By The Drink

Improve Quality of Life

Oconee County voters who want to improve the quality of life in the county, enhance the county’s infrastructure and spur economic development should vote Yes on Referendum 2 on Nov. 4, according to advertisements in today’s edition of both of the county’s weekly newspapers.

Voting for the referendum will make sales tax revenue go up and property taxes go down, the half-page advertisement on page A3 of The Oconee Enterprise claims.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Oconee County Attempting To Enforce Sign Ordinance At SR 316 And Connector After Long Delay

Boswell Sign Included

The Oconee County Code Enforcement Office has sent letters to permit holders for signs on three properties at the busy Oconee Connector intersection with SR 316, telling them they have until Nov. 17 to bring their signs into compliance with the county’s ordinance.

Code Enforcement Officer Paul Smith posted the registered letters on Oct. 17 to Jamie Boswell, owner of Boswell properties, and to two other sign permit holders, pointing out that the county’s Unified Development Code prohibits the installation of signs on the right of way of a public road.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Oconee County Rep. Quick Planning Legislation To Make Development Authorities More Transparent

”Shadow Governments”

Regina Quick, who represents part of Oconee County in the Georgia House of Representatives, has asked legislative counsel of the General Assembly to draft legislation that would force independent governmental authorities in the state to be more transparent.

Quick refers to these groups as “shadow governments” and said she wants the legislation to specify that these bodies, if they already are spending public money on a website, must post agendas, minutes, contact information of members, and core documents on those sites.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Plans Filed For Gunter Property At Lavista Road With Oconee County Planning Department

Falls Of Oconee On Hold

Almost six years after the county rezoned 13 plus acres on U.S. 441 north of Watkinsville at Lavista Road, Fred Gunter Property LLC has submitted plans to begin construction of an office complex on the site.

The plans call for a single 12,000 square foot building on the southern part of the property, furthest from Lavista Road. Access would be off U.S. 441, with a right-turn only exit from the property.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Oconee County Industrial Development Authority Extends Purchase Contract For Clyde Armory For One Year

At Very Brief Meeting

The Oconee County Industrial Authority voted in a called meeting on Thursday morning to extend its purchase agreement with the owner of Clyde Armory until Nov. 15, 2015, for property the IDA owns south of SR 316 in the west of the county.

The IDA had agreed to the terms of the extension in an executive session at the end of its regular meeting on Oct. 13 but had not taken formal action in public. The meeting on Thursday was to make public the decision.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Oconee County Planning Commission To Review Plans For Another Medical Complex On Virgil Langford Road

New Phase: Three Sixteen Professional Quarter

The Oconee County Planning Commission will be asked tomorrow night to give its approval to the rezone of 14 acres at the corner of Virgil Langford Road and Jennings Mill Road that will be part of a 65-acre complex including medical and professional offices and a retirement community.

The project joins recently rezoned Resurgence Park, which now includes a dermatology and cancer center that is nearing completion and another retirement community under construction, in defining the area along Virgil Langford Road north of SR 316 as a medical office destination.