Archive for April, 2010

Judge To Set Final Hearing On Gwinnett Recall Effort

A Hall County Superior Court Judge will set a final hearing to determine whether a recall effort against Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister should proceed.  The recall effort began after the Gwinnett County Commission voted 4:1 to increase property taxes by nearly 21%.

In late March, resident Randolph De Vault received certification for more than 100 signatures he presented to the elections office, the first step in applying for a recall petition.  The petition lists five charges, ranging from the county’s handling of its solid waste plan to the its feud with cities over a service delivery agreement and accuses Chairman Bannister of malfeasance.

This month, Chairman Bannister filed a motion to stop the elections office from granting the recall petition of Mr. De Vault .  Chairman Bannister contends the petition does not cite sufficient grounds for a recall.

Woodstock Annexes Three Homes For Car Dealership

The Woodstock City Council voted 5-0 to annex three residential lots in the Kingsridge subdivision of Cherokee County.  The annexed property will allow Hennessy Honda to build a car-storage parking lot there after it buys the houses and demolishes them.  The dealership threatened to move taking nearly $900,000 in local tax money with it.

Residents have fought Hennessy Honda’s plan since last year when the dealer, Georgia’s second largest, announced it would purchase two acres of lots in Kingsridge, which abuts Woodstock. These neighbors feared it would set a precedent for commercial encroachment into subdivisions and that the parking lot would lower their house values. They made their arguments before the city planning commission, which recommended 7-0 that the city deny the annexation. However, the city council approved it 5-0.

The Cherokee County board of commissioners also opposed the annexation but decided not to challenge it legally because it didn’t believe the issue was reversible.

DeKalb County To Outsource Development Department

DeKalb County will vote later this month on whether CH2M HILL or Nova Engineering will take over the County’s Development Department.  The selected company would then likely hire 30 workers and retain 12 of the County’s development department employees.  The plan would eliminate another 28 county employees and save the county about $3 million.

However, County Commission Larry Johnson challenged the anticipated savings.

“If the goal is to save money and you hire the same number of people, where is the cost savings?” said District 3 Commissioner Larry Johnson.

A vote is expected this month with the selected company assuming control May 1.