January 16, 2017

President, Garry Hamilton, began the meeting by presenting a slate of HCPOA Board Members for 2017.  As there were no nominees from the floor, the Board was approved unanimously as presented:  Garry Hamilton, President; Mike Buckel, Vice President; Terry Chenoweth; Bill Fogerty; Connie Hamilton; David Sewell; Dottie Williams.

Tom Hardigree, host of Back Talk Live on local cable Channel 3, shared his 2017 Wish List for Hart County.  He began by stating the fact that in 2016 Hart County’s median annual income dropped to $26,200 and pointing out that this is a significant loss of SPLOST revenue and improvements that will never materialize.

Employing his trademark conservative humor, Tom presented his ‘Wish List’ for 2017.

  -   A cost benefit analysis should be mandatory for all improvement projects.
Board of Commissioners’ budgets should be set by September of each year..

  -  Tax incentives should be initiated by the BOC for residential builders to attract more property owners.

  -  The Hart County Board of Education has a significant reserve, while Hart County property owners continue to be overtaxed.

  -  Tom finds the city refusing to answer interest rate questions and comment on progress on the state park project and Torch project and he chided the City for removing the public comment portion during council meetings.  He encourage residents to expect and demand our elected officials to be transparent.

 A lively discussion followed Tom’s presentation!

September. 2017

This meeting focused on the upcoming ESPLOST referendum which will be on the November 6 ballot. The Board of Education is placing this on the ballot more than a year before the current ESPLOST ends. There has been a lack of transparency in how past ESPLOST funds have been spent, with excessive expenditures on sports when academic performance remains essentially low and static. There is no specificity in referendum wording about how funds will be spent in in this ESPLOST or in previous ESPLOST measures. Facts, figures, and graphics were used so the attendees could be fully informed on this issue before deciding how to vote on it.

October 16, 2017

The subject was the SPLOST V vote scheduled for Nov 7, with early voting currently underway.

Guests included:

Marshal Sayer    -    County Commissioner, District 3

Brandon Johnson - Mayor, City of Hartwell

Terrell Partain     -   County Administrator

Each guest, in a very professional way, presented a summary of what is planned for the SPLOST funds.  The largest portion of the money ($3.6M) would go to roads and bridges.  The Water and Sewer Authority, for extension of water lines, and the Industrial Development Authority would each get $3.2M.  The County Fire Department would get $1.4M for vehicles and equipment.  Public Safety (Police) would get $1.2M and the Recreation Department is reduced from previous funding levels to $500,000.  The balance goes to the cities of Hartwell, Royston, Bowersville, and Cannon based upon population within Hart County.

The need for a jail was discussed during the Q & A as funding for it is not included in the SPLOST.  The commissioners will handle the jail issue in the near future.  Also discussed was industrial development, specifically the lack of transparency of the deals negotiated and cost/benefit analyses including the impact of additional students on probable new school building costs.



(details follow)

January 16, 2017           My List of Wishes for Hart County in 2017

                                      Speaker:  Tom Hardigree of Channel 3 Back Talk Live

 February 20, 2017         SPLOST 5 Expected in November

                                       What Infrastructure Projects Would You Support?

                                       Speaker:  Sheriff, Mike Cleveland.  Topic:  Need for new jail.

March 20, 2017              What is a County Comprehensive County Plan?

                                       How Might it Affect Our Future?

                                       How Can Citizens Get Their Ideas Heard?

                                       Speaker:  Adam Hazell, Georgia Mountain Regional Commission

April 17, 2017                This is Our Money

                                        How did the school accumulate so much above the legal limit?

                                        Presentation by HCPOA Board.

May 15, 2017                  How did the School Accumulate the Oversize Fund Balance?

                                        Why has the Fund Balance Gone Down Recently?

                                        What’s to Like and Not Like in the Proposed School Budget?

                                        What will be the Impact of the New Georgia School Transparency

                                               Law, HB 139?

                                        Presentation by HCPOA Board.

June 2017                        June 5, 2017  Hosted public meeting with Representative Doug                                                   Collins.’

July 17, 2017                   How Well Does Hart County’s Board of Education Measure Up

                                              to State Guidelines?

                                         Presentation by HCPOA Board.

August 21, 2017              District Attorney, Parks White

                                         Topic:  What Could a State Court Bring to Hart County?

                                         Could it be Self Sustaining?

September 18, 2017          Presentation and Discussion of Upcoming SPLOST 5.

                                          Speakers:  Joey Dorsey, Chairman, Board of Commissioners

                                                            Marshall Sayer,  Board of Commissioners

                                                            Terrell Partain, County Administrator

October 16, 2017               Presentation and Discussion of Upcoming SPLOST 5.

                                           Speakers:  Brandon Johnson, Mayor of Hartwell

                                                            Terrell Partain, County Administrator

November 2017                  No meeting.    (Thanksgiving.)      

December 2017                   No meeting.     (Christmas holidays.)