Posts Tagged ‘Charles Bannister’

UPDATED: Gwinnett County Commissioner Indicted In Land Deal

AJC reports the Grand Jury indicted Gwinnett County Commissioner Kevin Kenerly for one count of bribery and two counts of failing to disclose a financial interest in connection with properties the county bought.

The Grand Jury considered, but did not indict former Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charles Bannister who recently resigned amidst the controversy.

AJC obtained the Bill of Indictment.

Advertisements

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.

21% Property Tax Hike Leads To Recall Effort

Last week the Gwinnett County Commission voted 4 to 1 to increase property taxes by nearly 21%.  This week the Gwinnett County Elections Office accepted applications to recall Commission Chairman Charles Bannister, District 1 Commissioner Shirley Lasseter and District 3 Commissioner Mike Beaudreau.

Recall organizers must collect the signatures of 100 registered voters living in the commission district by December 23.  If certified, the recall organizers then must obtain the signatures of 30 percent of registered voters within 45 days – 28,000 signatures to recall Lasseter, 41,000 to recall Beadreau and 126,000 to recall Bannister.

If successful, the recalls would go to vote at a special election.

Gwinnett County Settles Zoning Lawsuit, Purchases Land For $2.3 Million

Majors Management sought rezoning of a 33-acre tract for higher density residential development.  Majors Management proposed to develop the property into 91 lots.  Gwinnett County denied the rezoning request, which meant the property could only be developed into 33 one-acre lots.  Majors Management sued Gwinnett County. 

A year later, the Gwinnett County Commission voted 3-1 to approve the purchase of the 33-acre tract for $2.3 million – more than $69,000 per acre.  The County’s acquisition of the property ends the lawsuit.  But, not all are happy.

The commissioner who cast the dissenting vote calls the purchase, at $69,000 per acre, inexcusable.

The appraiser calls it incomprehensible.

“I don’t understand this,” said Larry Singleton of Singleton Real Estate in Woodstock. “I couldn’t sell that [property] for $69,000 an acre.”

The Commissioners reviewed appraisal valuing the property from $33,000 – $73,000 per acre.

County Commissioner Kevin Kenerly, who voted in favor of the purchase along with Commissioner Bert Nasuti and Commission Chairman Charles Bannister, said land appraisals for the entire area were “all over the board.”

Commissioner Mike Beaudreau, whose district includes the purchased property, said the wide range in appraisals should have convinced the commission that further study of the site was required.

Like Kenerly, Banister said he had studied appraisals for properties near the site and found them inconsistent. He said the proposal had been sitting around for months while the county faced the lawsuit. He added Gwinnett always has taken the lead in park development, and the decision was in the best interest of the county.