City manager updates with advertisements approval

News

JASPER, Ga. – The latest in the city of Jasper’s separation of the positions of mayor and city manager came with council approval for advertisements for a permanent person to the position.

Currently, the position is held as interim City Manager by Jim Looney. As a part of the position, Looney presented Carl Vinson Institute of Government as the entity to take care of advertising and searching for candidates for the position.

The proposal for $9,487.50 includes the company interviewing the mayor and council to find what they are looking for in a candidate and then seeking people to fill those needs. They would accept applications for the city, evaluate the candidates, and make recommendations to the council for candidates. However, Looney reported the final decision on candidates would be up to the mayor and council.

The search would be localized to our region, according to Looney, providing candidates from the area. Another option of the package could have representatives from the Institute attend the interviews for candidates costing $1,500 per day. Though this option was in addition to the main package and not required.

Jasper Mayor John Weaver offered his opinion, stating it was a lot of money for what the city could do. He also noted that the people of the city elected the council to handle the business of the city. Suggesting he did not want the operation “taken out of the city’s hands,” Weaver suggested the council not approve the proposal.

Looney countered saying it added transparency to the process as well as handling “a heck of a job” in finding candidates. He went on to say that having the Institute’s name on the advertisement could provide some added prestige in the candidate search.

One alternative to using the Carl Vinson Institute would be for the city to establish its own search committee and place its own advertisements for the search and controlling everything “in-house.”

The council voted unanimously at their May meeting to approve the Carl Vinson Institute of Government proposal for finding a city manager.

Author

Health benefits discussion ends in Jasper’s March meeting

News

JASPER, Ga. – On the agenda since January, Jasper City Council has been discussing self-funding for medical insurance versus insuring normally as they have been for years. They have had both Matt Bidwell, of MSI Benefits, and Kevin Godfrey, of Godfrey-Downs, looking through their contacts and markets to bring forth proposals to the council for insurance.

The city ultimately went with the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) recommended by Bidwell and MSI Benefits. Though the original recommendation was a $1,500 deductible plan, the council’s motion approved an alternate plan with a $1,000 deductible. The new plan’s premiums for the city would come to $1,104,163.00, around a $52,000 increase, which is far less than the near $300,000 increase the city was originally looking at during the beginning of the year. According to Bidwell, this plan is just above a 4 percent increase over the $1,500 deductible plan for the city.

The plan also allows, according to Bidwell, for any employee receiving compensation in the form of workman’s comp or a salary from the city to be covered under the insurance. This covers the issue the city had with their current insurance preparing to drop an officer from coverage who was injured in the line of duty.

The city may be closing down North and South Main street once a month in favor of a recurring Chamber event. Setting the events as May through August, the Chamber is attempting to establish the Saturday Social in the Mountains as a tourism event. The issue came before council to close South and North Main Street for the social events. While representatives had no set point of exactly what every event would entail, they did suggest they could include live music, children’s events, food, and other activities. Ultimately approved, the item passed with two votes, as Dr. Sonny Proctor and Anne Sneve abstained due to their involvement with the Chamber.

The council also approved a number of previously budgeted expenses including $14,000 to swap out the Cove Well emergency generator, $11,900 to rebuild pump four across from Shiloh Church, and the previously discussed 3 percent raise for city employees.

Author

Pickens election candidates qualify (FINAL)

Election 2018

JASPER, Ga. – This week marks qualifying for the coming 2018 elections in Pickens County.

Pickens County is holding elections for this year’s open positions for County Commissioner District 1, Board of Education Post 2, Board of Education Post 3, Board of Education Post 5, Jasper City Council, and Nelson City Council.

Each day, FetchYourNews will be taking note of those qualifying for the election and the position for which they will be running.

As of Thursday, March 8, those who have qualified so far are as follows:

District 1 County Commissioner

Amberle Godfrey has qualified for the District 1 County Commissioner position as a Republican.

Amberle Godfrey

Bart Connelly has qualified for the District 1 County Commissioner position as a Republican.

Bart Connelly

Jerry Barnes has qualified for the District 1 County Commissioner position as a Republican. He is the incumbent for this position.

Jerry Barnes – Incumbent

Board of Education Post 2

Joeta Youngblood has qualified for the Board of Education Post 2 position as a Republican.

Board of Education Post 3

The race for Post 3 will see competition this year with two already qualified for the position.

Byron Long has qualified for the Board of Education Post 3 position as a Republican. He is the incumbent for this position.

Tucker Green has qualified for the Board of Education Post 3 position as a Republican.

Board of Education Post 5

Steven Smith has qualified for the Board of Education Post 5 position as a Republican.

Jasper City Council

With the recent resignation of James Looney in the Jasper City Council, the open seat up for election has seen qualifiers as well.

Kirk Raffield  has qualified for the Jasper City Council seat.

Kirk Raffield

Doug Patterson has qualified for the Jasper City Council seat.

Doug Patterson

Nelson City Council

Nathan Hamby has qualified for the Nelson City Council seat.

Author

Council member resigns to take new position

News

JASPER, Ga. – Jasper City Council Member Jim Looney resigned during the Jasper City Council Meeting Monday, Feb. 5.

Resigning so that he may take the interim position of city manager, Looney stated it was due to information advised to him that state law prohibits a councilman from holding another municipal office without resigning from his council seat.

Looney read the state code in the council’s meeting: “A councilman or alderman of a municipal corporation shall be ineligible to hold any other municipal office during the term of office for which the councilman or alderman was chosen unless he first resigns as councilman or alderman before entering such other office.”

Immediately after his resignation, the city council officially nominated Looney as city manager for Jasper. As part of the motion made, the city manager position was set “until such time as specific duties and powers of the mayor and city manager are clearly delineated by the city council, that the city manager report to the mayor and city council collectively.”

Jasper Mayor John Weaver recognized members of the public to speak at the meeting. The council was questioned about the public knowledge of the proceeding involving the transfer of the city manager position from Weaver and now to Looney.

Jasper City Council Member Dr. Sonny Proctor commented saying he had asked about the situation last year and began researching the position and the separation of positions. Having spoken on the topic several times, Proctor confirmed there was closed discussion about personnel issues in executive sessions, but the votes were taken in public.

In addition to this resignation and appointment to the city manager position, Looney’s move leaves a city council seat open. During their meeting, the council approved a call for election and set the qualifying fee at $35 for the position. With details still coming about the approval, Jasper will be seeing more details about the election in the coming weeks.

One last comment from Proctor came before the final vote on the issue. “This is a time for us all to come together, and I know it doesn’t feel like that is what’s going on,” Proctor said. “I’m not trying to divide us. I’m trying to bring us together, in a different way I understand that. But I want us to collaborate and work together.

The official vote appointing Looney as city manager came 3-1 with council member Tony Fountain being the dissenting vote.

As the meeting moved through the rest of the agenda items, it came time to adjourn the meeting. However, Mayor John Weaver took time to make one final comment before adjournment saying, “I have been mayor/city manager for 25 years, 5 months, 2 days and 15 minutes, maybe 4 hours and 15 minutes. Anyway, I have enjoyed my stay here and I feel like by being the mayor/city manager, being the evil thing that it is, has allowed the city of Jasper to grow from a $1.6 million budget to over $12 million without raising taxes and with only one water rate increase. I feel like by being the mayor/city manager has given me the opportunity to go visit people, look them in the eye, and argue the case of the city of Jasper better than any city manager that you could possibly have.”

Author

Jasper City Police Seeking Information

News

case# 17-08-6850

Lieutenant Matt Dawkins is seeking information regarding the identity of the below depicted female subject regarding, leaving scene of accident at local establishment on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 @ 11:45hrs.

If you know the identity of the female subject depicted here:
Please contact Lieutenant Matt Dawkins.

 

Any information is greatly appreciated.

Contact information listed below. Text messages preferred.
Tipster(s) will remain anonymous.

Thank You
Lt. Matt Dawkins
Jasper Police Department
55 Dixie Street Jasper, GA 30143
706-692-9110 Office
404-317-2532 Cell
mdawkins@jasper-ga.us

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

2017 Municipal General Election Candidates

Election

Qualifying Candidates for the 2017 Municipal General Election for The City of Jasper, City Council is Ryan O’Dea, Anne Sneve (Incumbent), Doug Patterson, and Sonny Proctor (Incumbent).

October 10 will be the last day to register to vote in this years Municipal General Election.

Advanced voting will be held October 16 to November 3, Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., at The Pickens County Board of Elections and Registration Office.

Election day is November 7, the Election Precinct will be open at Jasper City Hall from 7:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M. Should a runoff election be required, it will be held on December 5, 2017.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

July City Council Meeting

Community, News

On Monday, July 10, 2017 the City Council met to discuss this month’s agenda. At this meeting the council chose to approve a skid steer from last month’s meeting. This will be an upgrade from the current equipment and hopefully benefit the workers. Follow up with more details on this story with “Skid Steer Disagreements“.

Following the skid steer approval, the current well test in Marble Hill has been approved to change over to Whitestone. The current location doesn’t have as much water as expected. However, in Whitestone there is a considerable amount of water that should be able to save the City of Jasper a large amount of money in the future.

You may notice brown historic signs in surrounding cities in different areas, Amelia McEntyre spoke with the council to take the task of getting our own historic sign. They approved the sign and she will begin working towards one for our town.

McEntyre also discussed the location of The Pickens Arts and Cultural Alliance Cornbread Reunion. The Reunion will allow citizens come out to meet different artists and enjoy family activities.The Council approved the location, it will be held at the corner of South Main Street and East Spring Street, August 12 from 11 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Donnie Fowler presented the council with business of purchasing a new sanitation truck also known as a garbage truck. He explained to the council that the trucks have been rode hard with 6,650 customers weekly along with one truck completely out of service. The council made the decision to keep and repair the current trucks to potentially save money in the future.

The council also approved the new Pickens County Library Board appointees, Ann Roper and Bobby Edge.

Lisa Hoyle read our finance report, which can be viewed here.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at www.fetchyournews.com

Jasper City Council holds regular meeting ~ Swears in new Council member Dr. Sonny Proctor

Police & Government

Dr. Sonny Proctor receives welcome from Mayor Weaver

The Jasper City Council held its regular meeting December 5th 2016 and first on the agenda was the swearing in of the newest City Council member Dr. Sonny Proctor.  Proctor was elected in the November election.

city-council-600

Dealing with old business the 2nd reading of the updated noise ordinance was passed which will change the wording to remove the part which indicated you would need to live in the city limits to launch a complaint.  A local bar had received 4 citations due to noise in the last year.

New business included awarding the City’s liability/worker’s comp insurance to Key West Insurance.   Key West, a prior insurer for the City, came in with a bid 3 thousand lower than the competing bidders with no loss in coverage.  The city will also continue in an effort to move forward with the sewer/water system improvements.

The meeting came to a close with updates on economic development from Gerry Nechvatal, the finance report from Lisa Hoyle, Lonnie Waters gave a short update on animal control and DOT projects.  Chief Greg Lovell gave his police report and Chief Roper gave the fire report.  Fire calls were up but basically due to the calls received reporting the smoke from the wildfires.

There was also discussion on the water main damage from the crew laying fiber optics which drilled through a 8″ Main line casing and split the line.  It is unclear how long it will take to repair but the City was hopeful it would be within a few hours.

You can view the meeting below:

 

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