Must-see TV from the Floyd County Commission meeting: We got a tip to tune into the Library Channel’s showing of the Floyd County Commission meeting from last week and did so over the weekend. The picture above is from our TV; we don’t know if there’s a digital link but we’ll add one if we find one. Why’s that? We do recommend anyone with access on Xfinity (Comcast) to tune in, just for the public hearing part at the start of the session if nothing else.
We’ll hold off on direct commentary; please make your own judgments. In general, here’s what we saw:
- All those in the above picture spoke independently after assembling at the podium as Vice Chair Allison Watters opened the public discussion as the meeting got under way.
- One by one, each spoke mostly about the “integrity” of the county board of elections as other members shared images poached from elections board chair Dr. Melanie Conrad’s personal Facebook page. The blown up images included her making that hand gesture at her husband (you don’t see him) as she holds a gag Trump coffee mug and her wearing a mask that basically states it was more effective than bleach.
- The first speaker opened with comments about why the four commissioners present (chair Wright Bagby was absent) were wearing masks. She said doing so chilled the public’s ability to clearly understand what each was saying. There were comments about “respect” and “freedom” and “muffling of voices.”
- Others talked about the three-member elections board, about the county paying for legal representation of that board with taxpayer dollars and the Dominion voting machines.
- A Texas Valley woman said she never found evidence that her vote was even counted in 2020.
- A gentleman renewed his bid to see whether the County Commission itself was properly installed to represent the community.
- Another gentleman, who wore a mask until he spoke, identified himself as a “moderate independent” who supports a review of the elections board but likewise asked all involved to be civil and have a goal of reaching a “common ground” vs. a “my way or the highway” attitude.
Watters skillfully let the speakers have there three minutes; three officers had to help prompt one woman to step aside after repeated reminders from the commissioners that her time had expired. Watters then returned to the scheduled agenda, which included a later 4-0 vote to expand the elections board from three to five members but with no strings attached such as the number of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
Again, we ask you to watch the broadcast and form your own opinion. We’re left wondering if this is the start of what we’re reading about in national headlines, especially at School Board meetings.
NBC needs more red meat when reporting from “red county.” It is flattering almost to know the NBC News team will be “embedded” in Chattooga County for much of the 2022 election cycle. And we’re impressed by the resume of correspondent Ellison Barber who already has one report on the air.
But we’re hoping for more than the typical broad brush “Trump Country” intro that MSNBC stumbled through last week. We understand it was an “table-setting” piece and they needed to tell national viewers what we know: Chattooga indeed voted heavy for Trump and Trump loyalists. Many of the last Democratic candidates for office caught that occasional steam locomotive out of Dowdy Park several years ago.
But we hope this goes beyond typical TV. We’ve seen it too often as an Atlanta station rolls into town to “cover” our latest calamity and the reporter usually does his or her best to find the most overweight, tooth-deprived “local” who apparently gave dialogue lessons to “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
By that we mean dig deeper, find what motivated the county to cast 70-plus percent of the votes for Trump and an even wider spread for down-ballot locals. Where are the Democrats who led local government for decades? With little if any growth over the past two Census reports, it isn’t as if Republicans have flocked to the mountain county.
We do give Barber and crew bonus points for stopping by one of our favorites, The Crushed Tomato in Summerville, for one of the interviews.
But if the segments continue as the first one did, they’ll grow redundant very quickly. Or is the intent for Chattooga to be a token “red” county as NBC profiles a handful of communities across the nation?
LakePoint is the center of state high school volleyball this Saturday . . :
We’ve not heard much from the massive sports complex off I-75 in Emerson in recent months. But that changes this Saturday as the 2021 GHSA Volleyball State Championships are set for Champions Center beginning at 11 a.m. There are no local teams in the hunt this year, a surprise after such strong runs of late. Tickets are $10 and will only be available at GoFan. No tickets will be sold at the gate.
.. but what about Georgia Highlands leaving LakePoint?
That’s the story behind this story from Georgia Highlands College’s Six Mile Post. Writer Nicholas Mazza reports GHC is building a baseball and softball complete that will be within walking distance of the Cartersville campus off Ga. 20. It would be owned and operated by the college. GHC has played at LakePoint since 2015. The story
Will more development follow the Southeast Rome Bypass?
Plans for extending the Bypass south of U.S. 411 around to Ga. 101 and beyond have been on the boards for years from the state Department of Transportation. During the preview phase of the Pleasant Valley Preserve presentation to Rome’s City Commission, DOT confirmed there would be entrance/exit ramps both at Chulio Road and at Pleasant Valley Road.
That’s huge for the proposed community of 1,018 homes — and also for future development in the area. As was heard loudly at last week’s City Commission meeting, Chulio Road isn’t ideal to handle the increased traffic the preserve development will bring. But the Bypass presents new opportunities and quicker access to 411 or other arteries. That, in turn, could make the rural area open to even more growth.
The build out for the housing community is seven years. DOT says funding for the Bypass is in the 2024 fiscal year (U.S. 27 to Ga. 101) and 2025 fiscal year (101 to U.S. 411.
PEAKS & VALLEYS: The highs and lows of Northwest Georgia.
Peak to Northwest Georgia’s $40 million to $50 million ‘Suds Wars.’ In recent years we’ve seen Goo-Goo Express grow in Rome (and eventually sell) as well at Rocket Wash (Cartersville, Summerville, a second spot coming soon to Bartow as well as signs for one across from State Mutual Stadium) and now Big Dan’s (just open on Shorter Avenue and coming soon to the Bypass and Riverside Parkway). That’s not counting new players in Rockmart, Cedartown and Calhoun. Together, you’re looking at probably close to $40 million to $50 million in real estate, construction and equipment costs never mind basic start-up fees and training.
Valley to unnecessary drama (not the Facebook kind): So all that commotion, from the planning commission meeting to last week’s City Commission meeting, was for nothing? The drama was over Pleasant Valley Preserve, the 1,018-home community planned off Chulio and Pleasant Valley roads. Residents lined up to speak; a lawyer was hired; a community meeting was staged with the developer; and petitions were circulated (we still have the sign placed on our front door as we live nearby). All was for nothing as commissioners announced amid their votes that there was really nothing they could do to stop the project because it had the needed development steps already. Sure, there were stipulations added by the City Commission but all in all, there green light is on to begin development. Our question: Why not state that at the beginning of the process, in clear language? Also, will last week’s meeting have any impact on Tuesday’s commission election?
Peak to Ledbetter Properties: They pulled off East Bend, which welcomed the opening of its final anchor Kohl’s on Sunday. The Ledbetters have their share of friends and foes in town; everyone does. And yes the Christmas pony known as a TAD was used to help redevelop the former Kmart site into two dozen new businesses (some still to come). We could go on. But what impresses us is that for the past 13 months, one or two stores at a time, is that we’re again pulling some of those escaping sales tax dollars back to Northwest Georgia with new retail and restaurants. This community took some hard hits in recent years with the loss of Circuit City, World Hi-Fi, Sear’s, J.C. Penney, Kmart and others. This is part of the comeback.
Valley to the ‘pumpkin chunkin’ known as pick your own Halloween date: The dominant question we received last week was this: “When will we celebrate Halloween?” That depended on the event and the neighborhood and the community but not so much the calendar. Some subdivisions decided Saturday, Oct. 30, was the best day, not Sunday (school night, church night, etc.) Others picked Friday. Still others opted for both. And beware the witches coming out if you interrupted someone watching the Georgia-Florida game or World Series. So what happens next year when Halloween is on a Monday? Will we shift it because of Monday Night Football, especially if Peyton and Eli Manning are doing their side hustle in conjunction with the game? Trick or treat indeed. (We did Sunday, socially distanced, and even caught the older “kids” repeatedly scooping up snacks on our Ring device; they weren’t from the neighborhood).
Valley to Facebook: Never mind the “Facebook Papers” hearings under way. We don’t think people are surprised by what we’re learning there. Our beef is with the new umbrella name for Mark Zuckerberg’s company: Meta. Really? Then again, “Alphabet” (Google) and Truist (SunTrust, BB&T) already were taken.