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 Sole Commissioner Story in the AJC 1/22/06
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coosa creek

39313 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2006 :  08:41:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was told this by a man who used to be the head of trade and tourist for the entire state of Georgia. The new business that is building in this area, I am sorry, i don't know the name, they will be a industry building windows; when they applied for their building permit; permits had gone up so high, their's was $38,000.
The owner said if he had know he had to pay so much money for a permit, he would have gone to another county.
We built two houses last year, on the first one the permit was $25. On the second (1800 sq. ft.) it was $1000.
Soon, it will be difficult to build an affordable house.

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287 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2006 :  08:55:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
MT, your point about NAFTA is well made. I had not thought about that.

It is not that I necessarily disagree with you. My point is this - how can local government, where resources are limited (specifically human resources), prepare for the growth that Union County has seen? Is there a county is North Georgia that has prepared properly?

DoodleBugGo to Top of Page


24 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2006 :  10:46:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I acknowledge that the concept/system of governance is not one of 'snap of the fingers' simplicity. Unfortunately, our local government, in terms of raw structure, as well as prevailing attitudes, limits the human resources we DO have. There are many, many people (local and newcomer) whose life/work experiences could benefit the local government if their knowledge/experience base were effectively put to use in the public forum.

By having one person as both the executive and legislative branches of government, there is no more than one mind/one experience set that is setting the agenda and carrying it out. Furthermore, there are extremely few community councils set up as part of the governing structure, and those that do exist do not really have a binding policy and procedure role with teeth (e.g. recommendations MUST be followed, etc.)

While we have people with the knowledge/experience to contribute greatly to the operations and long-term planning of the county, they are rarely if ever welcomed to join in a constructive and effective way. People do not want to spend dozens or even hundreds of hours working toward a vision/concept for the good of their community as a volunteer, only to see their work set aside/tossed by the governing authority because it's not what he/she see's as fitting his/her personal agenda. No one wants to have their time and energies wasted, especially when the work is done for little or no financial compensation. The compensation in this type of thing is the knowledge that your input matters, that it effects change for your community. This concept is not effectively in place in Union Co. and it has enormous consequences. The knowledge base is here among us, in the form of professionals and in the retiree corps. By not tapping into that in a meaningful way, our government has and continues to fail us.

Part of the problem no doubt is inherent in the structure of our local gov't, but the commissioner has some 'room to maneuver' in regards to these community boards/councils. Yet another example exists when one looks at county meetings. If citizen participation and input was truly a driving goal of the current administration, then county meetings/hearings would never be held during the work day, as they often are, when it is next to impossible for even an active and concerned citizen to attend. Here again is an example of political expediency over the public good.

I would point to several North GA counties that have done a better job than Union at preparing/managing growth as well as helping the community adjust to the sometimes drastic economic shift that has and is still taking place in our region. Pickens Co. (Jasper), Gilmer Co. (Ellijay), Dawson Co. (Dawsonville), Habersham Co. (Clarkesville), and even Rabun Co. (Clayton) have outdone Union in terms of developing/sustaining local business growth, as well as recruiting new outside industry to relocate/expand in our region. They also have an unemployment rate equal to or in most cases below ours.

Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini Tuo da gloriam.Go to Top of Page


4528 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2006 :  7:10:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I had seen one of your earlier posts where you were worried about people moving in and not being able to afford their mortgage. I admit, I was puzzled by that concern.

You were told right. The vast majority of people moving in are retired. Jobs are not an issue. In fact, they want to get away from the heavy traffic that comes with lots of job opportunities.

We know four couples who have moved here. All are retired. One did go into business here, but it was a dream-come-true type of thing, not a necessity.

I've seen the figures for the average age in Towns County and it tells the tale. There is a majority of people in the retirement age group.

The only future I can see for kids who want to stay here, is to train for a job that supports the sort of demographics that are driving the economy. Medical, construction, real estate, retail, tourism, and service businesses come to mind.

At my age, 47, I am completely aware that the only reason I can live here is because I work in a home business. Most people my age could never move here and maintain their lifestyle.

Had the business not happened, I would most likely not still be here.

WildflowerGo to Top of Page


4158 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2006 :  3:11:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit ShadowMan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
At my age, 47, I am completely aware that the only reason I can live here is because I work in a home business. Most people my age could never move here and maintain their lifestyle.

More and more larger companies are embracing bricks-to-clicks - trading expensive leased building arrangements for employees that travel or work from home through broadband-enabled VPN connections to the company network.

I'm six years your junior, yet able to live (family included) and work here (mostly - travel is about 50%) because of just such a company. It hasn't always been that way though, and I have to be prepared that the next one might prefer my physical presence in an office in Atlanta instead.

Technology is getting better and better at disconnecting physical presence from work accomplishment and performance.


This is my kirttimukha

Edited by - ShadowMan on 02/20/2006 3:12:13 PMGo to Top of Page


29728 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2006 :  06:52:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Shader... That is awesome. I done MLS listings for a realtor in NC at her home as part time work till she moved to Atlanta and that was cool. The meaning of taking work home with you has lotsa benefits to it.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith.

Saint Francis of Assisi
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4528 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  11:40:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not sure if this belongs here, but . . .

Over here in Towns County, we have a sole commissioner the same as Blairsville.

This week, we have someone finishing the wood floor in the house because of a leak that destroyed the original one. The floor guy was brought up in the Hayesville area and now lives in Young Harris.

He mentioned that he does not like the sole commissioner way of government because of what he see in the construction business.

He said it's definitely a "good old boy" network, and that if you are in good with the commissioners, then your project gets first priority, no matter who was in front of you.

If you are not, then you encounter frustration at every turn.

He said there was one development in Hayesville where half the electric company was on the job to make sure the developer got his electricity in, just because he was in good standing with the commissioner there.

Does anyone know anything about Commissioner Bill Kendall in Towns County?

We seem to have a lot of fireworks being reported in our newspapers here between Bill Kendall and various developers.

Not sure what is going on, but Kendall does seem to be working very hard to protect the environment here.

WildflowerGo to Top of Page

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