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Mirror Briefs

Board of Elections considers move

The confines of the Board of Election office may not be cramped much longer.

Board members said they plan to discuss space solutions with county commissioners soon. Part of the aim of the discussion is to consolidate Board of Elections operations in one location. Currently, the main office is in the county courthouse, while much of the storage is in the old City of Thomson Jail.

Still, any move right now would be a stop-gap until a more permanent solution comes.

"I think for right now it would help, but it is not a long-term answer," McDuffie County Elections Superintendent Phyllis Wheeler said.

Election Superintendent working to correct problems

Phyllis Wheeler is just trying to get caught up.

The new McDuffie County Elections Superintendent has been on the job about a month, and is still working on updating files, finding results of past elections and compiling past minutes from Board of Elections meetings.

"It's taking some time, and it is going to take some more time," she said.

For example, there are stacks of voter registration cards that have not been filed, which means lists of active and inactive voters were not updated, Ms. Wheeler said during a Board of Elections meeting last week.

She's also awaiting state investigators to check an office computer that someone blocked her access to.

The past problems of the Board of Elections office were first reported in a May edition of The McDuffie Mirror.

"Once it gets straightened out, it should stay that way," she said.

Governor issues gift cards

Teachers will receive a special gift soon from the Governor of Georgia. All full-time classroom teachers, who are employed as of Aug. 1, 2006, will receive a classroom gift card to be spent during the annual back to school tax free weekend.

The gift card was one of two new proposals for education given by Governor Sonny Perdue during his State of the State Address on Jan. 11. The governor's budget submitted at that time included $10 million to provide the gift cards to every Georgia teacher.

The cards will be pre-loaded with $100 and forwarded by the Bank of America through the Department of Administrative Services to every school district's central office July 12 through 18. Teachers should pick up their classroom gift cards from their school between July 18 and August 12.

The cards will be pre-packaged in an envelope with a letter from the Governor and State Superintendent Kathy Cox, and includes guidelines for usage.

According to literature from the McDuffie Board of Education, the card can be spent on any classroom supplies. All office, retail and school supply stores in the state - both large, retail chains and small specialty shops - are eligible vendors. The cards may also be used for online purchases.

The back to school tax free weekend begins at midnight Thursday, August 3 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6.

GSP hangar resolution approved

Both McDuffie County and City of Thomson governing boards have approved a resolution involving the Georgia State Patrol hangar located at the Thomson-McDuffie County Regional Airport.

What boils down to an exchange of real estate will permit the aviation operation of the patrol to build another larger hangar here while the local governments will regain use and control of the current property and hangar building.

Mayor Bob Knox Jr. said they will provide the state the needed acreage to allow it to construct a new hangar, apron and taxi way. The airport's fixed based operator would then market the former GSP hangar for plane storage.

The mayor said the city and county would also provide building site preparation work, vehicle access to the construction site and water line infrastructure in order to make the construction project viable.

Tap-on fees rise

Thomson City Administrator Bob Flanders announced last week an immediate change in the cost of new water tap-on fees. Tap-ons used to cost a flat $600 for a ČŠ inch line, but a sharp rise in construction costs have caused the city to consider the cost of each tap-on individually.

Mr. Flanders said city workers will now evaluate the cost of new tap-ons by the length of line needed and by how much material is needed to complete the job.

Thomson expands borders

The McDuffie County Commission heard plans from the City of Thomson about annexation and border straightening during a June 7 meeting. The city plans to annex areas surrounding Martin Luther King Street to keep its borders from having a stair step affect.

Commissioners had no objections to the plans. More than 25 residences were listed in the city's plan, but Commissioner Sammie Wilson said he would consult a map to make sure there were not others being left out of the city's expansion efforts.

Superintendent gets satisfactory review

The McDuffie County School Board met in a closed session on Thursday, May 8, for the annual evaluation of the superintendent.

Jerry Randolph, chairman of the board, said contents of the evaluation are "not public information, but it was satisfactory."

Superintendent Mark Petersen said the board will discuss the evaluation with him and make the official public announcement at the July 13 board meeting.

Web posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006

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