SPLOST fails and other election results

After a bit of a drier spell, the rainy and warm weather is continuing. I’ve noticed that the two male Indigo Buntings in my vicinity have departed. I’d gotten used to hearing their call, so I miss them. The last few nights, we’ve heard a male screech owl, sounding like he is looking for a mate. I haven’t been able to determine whether they have two broods a year here, but I usually hear them in the early spring, so I’m not sure what he is up to at this time of year. A friend of mine who lives down toward Canton says that he’s seeing signs of an early fall – poison ivy starting to die and monkey grass flowering – and he thinks we are about a month ahead of normal. It won’t hurt my feelings if the poison ivy dies, because it has been having a bumper year.

The most important news from Tuesday’s primary election is that the Transportation SPLOST – the 1% sales tax for transportation projects – failed throughout North Georgia. Three of the twelve districts approved it, but it was basically a huge setback for the idea of creating a regional transportation slush fund, and the governor has said that it will not be revived. I’m glad, because the list of projects seemed to include mostly poorly thought out or unneeded improvements. In all, good riddance to a bad idea.

In the local races, Dane Kirby defeated Johnny Searce for Sheriff. In the election aftermath, it became obvious that ignorance of Georgia’s primary election system was a factor in Searce’s defeat, as many people were apparently baffled to find that the Sheriff’s race was not on the Democratic primary ballot.

Harry Doss was eliminated from the District Attorney race, which will be a runoff between incumbent Joe Hendricks and Fannin County Attorney Allison Sosebee. Hendricks sent around several campaign pieces attacking Sosebee that were pretty over the top, and I think that hurt him in the primary.

The Commission Chairman race is a runoff between incumbent Bill Simonds and Tommy Ledford. I understand that Simonds has given Garnett Webb, who did not make the runoff, a job in the courthouse, so presumably Garnett’s people will support him in the runoff.

The Post 1 race is a runoff between Junior Farmer, who previously served on the School Board, and Earl Johnson, owner of Johnson Paving. Joe Webb did not make the runoff for Post 1.

The race for Probate Judge will be a runoff between local attorney Scott Kiker and Julie Fitts Queen, a real estate agent.

The defeat of Joe Webb is significant, because he was the only candidate for any county office who would have represented the interests and concerns of the second home owners and transplanted residents. It says to me that this constituency so far remains content to be simply a source of revenue for the county, with little say in how things are run and with scant attention paid to their interests.

This entry was posted in Dirty Secrets and Due Diligence Issues, Wildlife and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.