Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday News

Good snowy morning. Some Friday thoughts:

--Good move by Oconee Schools to delay the start of school. My daughter is usually the last one on her bus at 7:00 a.m. So delaying the start allows parents and kids to actually see where they are going rather than trying to get to school (or the bus stop) in dark, icy conditions.
--This is the sort of thing that makes you really proud of the youth in our community.
--While Oconee County continues to sit on its hands rather than engaging in a regional partnership on the economic development, our neighbors continue to land prospects. Today's Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that a Japanese manufacturer will bring 40 jobs and a $27 million facility to Gainesville and Hall County. Folks, there are jobs and prospects out there. We just need to create the right environment and go after them in a systematic, unified fashion.
--New Speaker of the House David Ralston is impressing me so far. According to today's Insider Advantage (subscription required), he is going abandon Glenn Richardson's "hawks", allow media back on the floor of the house, and make some other positive changes. Let's hope he can keep up this approach through the session.
--Bob Barr doesn't always make sense, but this time he did.
--If you live in Watkinsville, check out all of our new trees, courtesy of Select Sustainable Tree Trust. We have planted six large new oaks along Hwy 15 South of the city, five new oaks in Stone Shoals park, and several others in Harris Shoals Park. Over the past five years, we have planted more than 200 sizeable trees in the city, largely spearheaded by my colleague on the council, Samantha Purcell.
--An update on the Athens Mayoral race from Jmac over at Beyond the Trestle. Be sure you are reading BTT, as Jmac is breaking all sorts of news there, including the decision by mayoral candidate Doug Lowry to abandon the race and move to Canada. Love conquers all. Good decision and good luck Doug.
--Also be sure to check out his Q&A with Jim Higdon.

Stay warm and safe today!


Oconee Democrat said...

Stone Shoals Park? Do tell

Brian said...

That is the park that was deeded to the homeowners association of Stone Shoals as part of the development of the subdivision. Not city owned, but we thought it would be a great place to install some big trees. Drive through and check it out.

Oconee Democrat said...

Is this the area that Chief of Police O'Dillon described to me as the place where they mudbog? I did bike down there the other day and will do so again. So the park abuts Barnett Shoals or inside the subdivision itself?

Brian said...

This one is inside the subdivision. No mud bogging going on there that I know of.

JP said...

The opposition to a regional economic partnership by Commissioner Horton and chairman Davis seems to be that Oconee county "has nothing to sell" in the way of industrial sites to potential industries. (That's because, it was explained to me, everything is zoned agrucultural, and commissioners don't want to rile farmers by rezoning their land against their desires).

In the long run, it seems to me, the county has no choice...unless they want taxes to rise so high no one will be able to stay. (Homeowners use more services than they pay for in taxes, studies show; industries pay more in taxes than they cost in services provided.)

You should read the economic development "task force" report: clearly written (by top local businesspeople), pesuasive. They think there are jobs out there to get, if our region would just get its act together. Doesn't look like it'll be happening soon, tho...

JP said...

Here is the report of the Athens/Oconee regional economic development task force:

jwm said...

Is Stone Shoals Park open to the public? If so, how do I get there from Main Street? JM

Brian said...

JP -- thanks for sharing your perspective. I was one of the folks who helped put together the report.

JWM -- I think it is technically owned by the neighborhood, but I'm sure they wouldn't mind others enjoying it. It is a small green space in Stone Shoals, just turn left on Barnett Shoals from main street -- neighborhood is on your right.