The progressive group Athens for Everyone gave mayoral candidate Harry Sims a D- on its commission report card last month, and Sims is not happy about it.
The former commissioner has started a change.org petition taking issue with his grade. “[W]e believe Commissioner Sims’ words and actions were deliberately omitted or incorrectly characterized in a way manner [sic] to create a false impression of the commissioner’s positions,” the petition says. “We believe that the A4E report card fails to disclose relevant information, lacks important disclosures of what criteria were used and does not disclose any conflicts of interests that might exist between the group and the candidates/officials that were evaluated.”
The Georgia Department of Transportation has developed an alternate plan for improvements to U.S. 441 that involves a close-in truck bypass on the east side of the City of Bishop.
Officials from GDOT presented the broad outlines of the plan to the city council of Bishop on Monday night, where it got at least some support.
The officials said they would present the plan in fuller detail to its citizen advisory committee in a meeting from 5–6:30 p.m. on Mar. 19 at the community center in Oconee Veterans Park.
The truck bypass would take some land from the University of Georgia Equestrian Complex and pass very close to two houses on Old Bishop Road, possibly necessitating the purchase of those two properties, the officials said.
The truck bypass—which could be one or two lanes wide in each direction—would connect to a four-laned U.S. 441 at Astondale Road and High Shoals Road with roundabouts.
The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement will host a forum featuring mayoral candidates Kelly Girtz, Richie Knight and Harry Sims from 6–7:30 p.m. today at the Athens-Clarke County Library.
The forum will "center around their action plans to address poverty in Athens, quality of life, diversity and community inclusion," according to the AADM.
Originally the forum was set to be held at Ciné, but it has been moved to the library.
Avid Bookshop shut down the annual book fair it holds at Athens Academy today after an administrator told booksellers to hide a book that features gay characters, according to owner Janet Geddis.
The director of the Oconee County private school's "lower" (or elementary) school told Avid staff to remove The Best Man by Newbery Medalist Richard Peck from display after a parent complained on Wednesday, Geddis said. The Best Man "tells the story of small-town life, gay marriage and everyday heroes," according to Avid's website.
Rick Jeffares, running for Georgia lieutenant governor, told Oconee County Republicans that he doesn’t expect the Republicans to lose any state offices in November and that the party is likely to control state politics for at least eight to 12 more years.
Jeffares, from Henry County, said he expects fewer people to vote in the May 22 Republican primary than voted in the primary four years ago.
“When things are good,” Jeffares said. “When the stock market is good and people have got jobs, I hate to say it, they don’t care about politics at that point in time.”
Jeffares used the Feb. 22 meeting of the Oconee County Republican Party to state his positions on a variety of issues.
He said he wants to reduce regulations that restrict businesses, increase technical offerings in high schools, improve rural broadband service, invest more in roads and infrastructure, and reduce tuition at state universities.
Photo Credit: Formulanone
The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and other local groups and individuals will hold a "community response forum in support of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School" in Parkland, FL, where a gunman killed 17 people earlier this month.
The forum is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. tonight in the auditorium at the Athens-Clarke County Library. It will open with a moment of silence, then Clarke County School Superintendent Demond Means and state Rep. Spencer Frye (D-Athens) will speak.
The AADM is seeking volunteers to "perform simple tasks for this event." Volunteers should call Knowa Johnson or Michael Smith at 706-380-5256.
John Barrow, running as a Democrat for Georgia Secretary of State, told Oconee County Democrats last week that he was proud of his endorsements from Republicans, including from Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry and from former Oconee County Commission Chair Melvin Davis.
“Believe me, to have someone like Scott and Melvin on there is an eye opener for folks who know the score,” Barrow said of his list of endorsements.
The more general point, Barrow said, is that it is important for political leaders to listen to people who have views different from their own.
“I think that is just as true for Democrats as it is for Republicans,” Barrow said.
Barrow was the featured speaker at the Oconee County Democratic Committee meeting on Tuesday night, where he followed Lisa Lott, a candidate running in the nonpartisan election on May 22 for judge of the Superior Court for the Western Judicial Circuit, made up of Clarke and Oconee counties.
Lott said she was challenging Regina Quick, appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to the judgship in August of last year, because she felt voters, not elected officials, should pick the Superior Court judge.
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