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The Hogansville Herald
Manchester, Georgia
September 29, 2005     The Hogansville Herald
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September 29, 2005

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PAGE 2-A HOGANSVILLE HOME NEWS -THURSDAY, SEPT. 29, 2005 BLESSED BROOM? - Ron Clemmer shows off his ability at crafting hand-made brooms, which he'll be displaying during the upcoming Hummingbird Festival, Oct. 15-16. Clemmer is shown here finishing one of his hand made hearth brooms. Clemmer along with potter John Roller, Hogansville's own Francis Robinson, butter churner in period custom, and many paint and sculpture artists will be demonstrating theire techniques as well as their creations at the 8th annual Hogansville Hummingbird Festival October 15-16. Have Land? Need Land? We Can Help.* Over 80 Customized Plans to Choose From.* $350 DOWN WiTH PHONE CREDIT APPLiCATiONS America's Home Place 1505 LaFayette Parkway o LaGrango 1 706-884-2444 EQUAL P, Wwm.AmerlcasHomePlace.com HOUSING otos May Show Options Not Uncluded n Base Price Land and Lot Improvements Not Included With Approived Credit OPPORTUNITY Tree Seedling Orders Taken The Georgia Forestry Commission is accepting orders for the upcoming 2005-2006 tree planting season this fall and winter. Seedling order forms and a current price list can be downloaded from the website www.gfcstate.ga.us or they can be obtained from any Georgia Forestry Commission Office statewide. Hopefully, placing oi'ders early will ensure that you get what you need and want. Many species will sell out quickly.. You can schedule and reserve the tree planters for your particular planting date by contacting your nearest Georgia Forestry Commission County Unit Call or visit your local Georgia Forestry Commission Office at 845-4122 or 675-3568. Elections for Council No Cakewalk Continued From Page 1A clear exactly why he would prefer Stankiewicz: It's time for more major business experience among the city's leadership, he said. There are no problems between him and Martin, Leidner emphasized. The city just needs more council members experi- enced in dealing with major business operations, prima- rily because Hogansville needs more commercial and industrial development in addition to the flurry of res- idential development already under way in the city. "We desperately need folks with more business expertise in City Hall," he said. .... The world will be com- ing here offering us all sorts of 'deals,' said Standkiewicz, "and we have to be able to dis- tinguish between the good ones, the not so good and the downright lousy ones. As a CFO, taking deals apart to see how they work financially, was my specialty, so I can help there." BUT THE RACE for Place 2 on the City Council will also be interesting: Incumbent Bobby Joe Frazier has been one of the city's biggest boosters of development and has gener- ally sided with Mayor Wilson St. Clair, Leidner and Councilman Thomas Pike on controversial issues- such as development. Yet now he faces two for- mer council members - Peggy Harris and Larry Dorrough, in addition to Joel Van Byars, who is making his first bid for public office in Hogansville. Van Byars and his wife Jackie own a Main Street auc- tion house, a bed and break- fast and a thrift shop, all in the downtown area. Harris and Dorrough may be linked in some minds to former administrations that may raise questions about how they would fit'with incumbents who are general- ly considered progressive on development and social issues - such as reducing util- ity rates and holding proper- ty taxes in check. That of course will depend on the public debate, which has yet to get under way here. VAN BYARS, has been here for about 13 years and he and his wife Jackie are considered major boosters of development and rejuvena- tion of the downtown shop- ping district. Van Byars was on the verge of qualifying for mayor, but backed out after Clemmer qualified for that race. Van Byars didn't want to get into what might be a white-black race against Jackson, and may have backed out of that race after learning that Clemmer at least'more or less had the blessing of the local power structure in the mayor's race, Even so, Van Byars this week made it clear: He's seri- ous about wanting to serve on the City Council. He's had his own run-ins with City Hall, but says he's running to help lead the town forward, and not against any- body. He is former long-time Phenix City, Ala., police offi- cer and has held hlgh-level positions in security opera- tions in major retail estab- lishments such as Circuit in Atlanta, where he oversaw an operation that spanned the Southeast and west as far. west as Texas. He and Jackie, who've '' 4." been' married 26 years and have four children, speak * *" almost as one about what Hogansville needs: Downtown shopping that can hold browsers and shop- pers for entire afternoons; a variety of restaurants and food in central business shop s and attractions that will hold visitors - hopefully families - overnight. And- as just about every- body agrees - attracting new shops to the empty store fronts on Main Street - and keeping them here.Just how to do that may be a subject for.the public debate that is bound to come as election day. moves closer. EDITOR'S NOTE: Last week we incorrectly identi- fied Joel Van Byars, who is a candidate for Post 2 on the HogansviUe City Council. We wrongly said he was his own son - which of course would" hare been impossible. You'll Like What You See frith Our Free Cheekingt Absolutely Free Checking From Flag Bank At Flag Bank, free checking is free - absolutely. That's why we call it Absolutely Free Checking. No hidden costs and no strings attached. And when you open an Absolutely Free Checking account between now and October 12th, 2005, you'll receive these high-powered Bushnell Binoculars. Just in time for football season, Bushnell will make you feel like you have sideline seats! To find out more about Absolutely Free Checking or any of our other checking accounts, stop by your nearest Flag Bank office today. FLAG00 BANK www.flagbank.com (706) 845-5000 Troup County Locations Hogansville Office: 111 High Street * LaGrange Main Office: 101 North Greenwood Street LaFayette Parkway Office: 1417 LaFayette Parkway Lee's Crossing Office: 1795 Vernon Road Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lenden (c) 2005 Flag Financial Corporation. Ware Continues Support for Landfill Continued From Page 1A two-day hearing on Greenbow's lawsuit against the county in August. Lee's bill alone totaled $14,145.14 and will be paid over several months, Meriwether County Administrator Robert Hiss said on Tuesday. Still to come are those from August for the Atlanta law firm that has taken the lead in the defense of the Greenbow lawsuit, Hiss said. The August hearing was on Greenbow's request for a temporary injunction to stop the county for interfering with is plans for the landfill. Ware is one of the four plaintiffs in the lawsuit - the others are Greenbow and Hogansville attorneys Mack Reynolds and Ken Gordon, both of whom own some of the land in question off Interstate 85 and .both of whom have homes even clos- er to the site than does Ware. WARE RECENTLY received notification that the defense attorneys in the case, who include Meriwether County attorneys Rob and Tom Morton want to take more depositions, including one in which they want to ask him the age of his children and where he's lived for the last 10 years. Hiss acknowledges that the county's lawyers would like to have more time for "discovery"- fact-finding before Superior Court Judge Marion Cummings of the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit rules on the injunction request and other issues in the Greenbow case. Ware says the county attorneys' attempting to drag out the lawsuit by requesting more discovery time and seeking more depositions - is ridiculous. He owns most of the land near Hogansville where Greenbow hopes to build a 300-acre landfill, and all of the land involved in a second proposed site on Georgia 362 some seven miles north of Greenville High School. The land at both sites is selling for some $7,000 an acre. Ware owns some 1,020 acres of the proposed site near Hogansville and all of the 1,706 acres in an alterna- tive site on Georgia 362. Reynolds and a company he started and Gordon own the remainder of the approx- imately 1,700 acres in the site near Hogansville, but aren't involved with the land at the alternative site. The lawsuit was filed in May after the County Commission, under pressure from opponents of a region- al landfill near Hogansville, refused to modify the coun- ty's water source watershed protection ordinance to bring it into compliance with the state law dealing with water shed protection as the coun- ty's attorney had recom- mended. MEANTIME, the county had bought new liability insurance that left the local government unprotected against any lawsuit in which plaintiffs did not sue for mon- etary damages. Insurance against such lawsuits was too expensive, commissioners decided. That choice meant that unless plaintiffs sue for mon- etary damages, the insurance company won't pay to defend the county. And because Greenbow doesn't want monetary dam- ages, the county is having to foot the entire legal expens- es associated with the case. Ware has owned his Hogansville home for years and owns a second home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., but has only spent maybe 10 days there in the last three years, he said in refuting landfill opponents' charges that he really doesn't live in Hogansville or near the site close to his house. HE OWNS maybe 60,000 acres of land in West Georgia, sand said: "I wouldn't do any: thing that would harm my investment or any other land." He says the Meriwether County Commission's refusal to negotiate with Greenbow raises the question: "Are the attorneys running the coun- ty?" The lawsuit "is very expensive to everybody and they will spend a lot of tax- payers money on legal fees," he said. "NOW the county's attor- neys are gong to make the county spend a lot of taxpay- er money on things that prob- ably are unnecessary because the issues are pri- marily legal issues. "Some peopl.e are, so engrossed in talking against the landfill that they're not recognizing the benefits from a $200 million develop- ment (near Hoga'nsville)," Ware said. "Not only is Greenbow going to pay $1 million a year in host fees, give ball fields, a place for an ambulance sta- tion, and pave a road for the county, but in addition there will be the tremendous amount of revenue that would be brought in by a $200 mil- lion development" . to Meriwether County and to Hogansville. As for the landfill oppo- nents? As for the people that are opposing the landfill - sever- al from outside bbth Hogansville and Meriwether County, "I think a valid ques- tions would be 'what have they done for the county,' " Ware said. HOGANSVILLE would also benefit from Greenbow- paid improvements to ,its sewer treatment plant and from revenues generated by the residential, commercial and industrial development on land near the site, Ware contends. He says legal fees are "going to be astronomical" if the lawsuit continues and the County Commission doesn't rein in its attorneys. Hiss said tlat Meriwether County's attor- neys are paid $125 an hour and that the Atlanta attorneys are paid $175 to $200 an hour, depending on whether it's an associate or a law firm part- ner doing the work.