Monday, November 24, 2008


It's rare that I actually watch Saturday Night Live these days. It's especially rare that I see it live on Saturday night. This past Saturday was an exception, as I was up reading when it came on. At some point during the show, I thought I must have dozed off as "Zell Miller" suddenly appeared on Weekend Update to discuss the Chambliss-Martin run-off. It is amazing that a Senate race in Georgia is getting so much play. It also makes me think that Team Saxby probably wishes they had taken this race a bit more seriously early on so it wouldn't have come to this.

You can see the clip below; Blake Aued at the Athens paper blogs about the segment here and also discusses the Martin fundraiser in Cobbham last night.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Oconee Economic Development Web Site

After hearing that Barrow County has unified and rebranded its economic development arm, the Barrow Area Economic Development Authority, I was pleased to see that Oconee has upgraded its own business development and economic development website. Be sure to check out when you have a chance. This is a strong upgrade over the previous local economic development site. Kudos to local director of economic development Rusty Haygood for getting it done (Rusty also mentioned that there are more upgrades to come to the site)!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

City Council Update

Had a relatively short city council meeting tonight. Interestingly, we had 4 new business permits on the docket despite the down economy, including two new small businesses on the main street corridor. One of those stores will offer a variety of green and natural products, including cleaning products, at Town Center.

We are voted to drop the fee for sign permits through the end of the year in an effort to help small businesses limit start up costs -- our own mini-incentive program, I suppose.

In other items, we also discussed potential impacts of LOST revenue drops on the city, but overall the financial picture in Watkinsville is strong. Other items discussed included a new pick up truck the city purchased for the Oconee County fire department, the delay of the Mars Hill Road expansion, and some controversial fire wood selling along VFW Drive. We had a typical crowd there, and no huge issues.

We also had a called meeting on Monday night where we tackled recommended allocations for the city's percentage of potential SPLOST revenues. This will be Watkinsville's first time participating. We are considering allocating these funds -- an estimated total of nearly $3.2 million over six years -- towards sewer lines in the industrial park, sidewalks, road improvements, greenspace acquisition, recreational facilities, and public safety (new vehicles and technology). We are also still taking public feedback on these options, so feel free to weigh in here, send me a note, or send an e-mail to city hall.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

How do we keep sending this guy back to Washington?

For his latest trick, Rep. Broun compares the President-elect to Hitler, once again making our district the butt of national jokes (remember the cow patty?)

Look, most people in the district aren't crazy about the politics of Sen. Obama. I get that. Frankly, I have real questions about his political philosophy and approach. But I think most Americans, at this point, certainly recognize that the majority has spoken and are taking a wait and see attitude.

Update: Rep. Broun has issued a clarifying statement that at least better explains what he was trying to get at; it makes some sense although it is way too long and rambling. Read it here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I am hopeful.

I am hopeful President-elect Obama is every bit the leader my democratic friends tell me he will be.

I am hopeful his communication skills herald the arrival of a great leader who will inspire Americans to care, strive, sacrifice, lead and achieve.

I am hopeful that fiscal realities will temper the ambitions of his party to overplay the hand they were dealt last night.

I am hopeful conservatives will temper their vitriol and give him a chance.

I am hopeful we have a transformative figure in the White House.

But most of all, on this day after the election, I am simply hopeful.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Instead of voting early, Susan and I both waited until the actual election day to vote. Election day is always exciting -- the energy of democracy on display! It is a beautiful Georgia fall day for voting and the energy and excitement were palpable.

Susan, Aaron and I got to the polls at 7 a.m. this morning and there was a line well out the door at the Watkinsville East Precinct (City Hall). While Aaron is too young to vote, I thought I would take him along on the way to day care -- probaby not the best idea but he did fine. It took about 25 minutes to get through, and everything was very well organized. One of the poll workers (who also happened to be one of my favorite teachers from OCIS days, Mrs. Hansen) informed us that over 50% of registered folks had already voted.

Oconee is famous for high turnouts (in the last presidential election, I think we had the second highest turnout in the state) and it looks like things might be headed in that direction again. If this morning's lines are any indication, there is going to massive turnout for this race. It will be interesting to see what impact this has on the city council race between Joe Walter and Luke Bishop. Normally, turnout is pretty low for council seats, but with this many people voting, the numbers could be high and the name recognition that comes with being from an old Oconee family (the Bishops) could help Luke's cause.

How were things where you voted? Long lines? Short lines? Anything else worth reporting?