Archive for January, 2010

Judge To Decide Snellville Sunday Sales

A Gwinnett County judge will hear arguments this week on whether the taps in Snellville will continue to flow on Sunday.

The opposition wants the judge to overturn the Snellville City Council’s Dec. 14 decision to approve Sunday sales by council vote arguing that such a change can only be done by a public referendum vote. 

“This is not about religion. This is not about prohibition. It’s not about standing in the way of progress. Progress is giving people the right to vote,” [Attorney for the opponents Rick] Stepp said. “These are residents. They want a say.”

Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer doesn’t see it that way. He believes the plaintiffs, namely the mayor’s political nemesis Robert Jenkins, are standing in the way of economic prosperity by promoting “some moral mumbo jumbo.”

“Those people who are doing this are trying to destroy Snellville,” said Oberholtzer, who plans to attend the hearing in Lawrenceville. “I will be there to testify if necessary.”

Decatur, Avondale Revive Annexation

DeKalb state legislators will review plans for the cities of Decatur and Avondale to meet at Sam’s Crossing, with 10 properties becoming part of Decatur and 22 going to Avondale.  Since 1999, business and property owners within these proposed areas have defeated the cities’ efforts to annex three times. 

The owners haven’t changed their stance, but state Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield said she is “encouraged” by talks with DeKalb’s 20 other House members who might support a vote. Ten delegation signatures are required for a House vote.

“We are getting an early start this year,” Benfield said. “I’ve been optimistic that this is the year.”

The DeKalb delegation will review the plan at its next meeting.

Revive285 Seeks Public Input On Eight Alternative Designs

revive285 seeks public comment on eight transportation alternatives developed to address the traffic problems on the northern I-285 corridor between I-75 and I-85.  The Georgia Department of Transportation and the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority launched revive285 top end in 2006. 

The eight alternative designs range from no action to elevated light rail.  You can review the alternatives here.  You can submit your questions or comments here

Judge Grants Governors’ Request to Keep Water Negotiations Secret

At the request of Georgia, Florida and Alabama, Federal District Court Judge Paul Magnuson entered an order to keep the tri-state water negotiations secret saying that “a settlement of such a complicated and inflammatory case such as this can occur only if some negotiations, whether among all parties or among only some of the parties, are conducted privately.”

Critics object to the secrecy.

“We actually keep asking ourselves ‘What is it that has got to be concealed here?'” said Sally Bethea, executive director of the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, a Georgia water protection group.

“After 20 years, don’t we all basically know the facts? Is this confidentiality arrangement really something just to serve as cover for political leaders — the governors? Bottom line, we think secrecy is not in the best interest of all the people in the three states who rely on these river systems.”