HIAWASSEE, Ga. – As previously reported by FYN, Towns County voters will not have a say as to whether fluoride is added to the City of Hiawassee’s water supply. The decision will lie solely in the hands of Hiawassee voters due to a lack of signatures collected from citizens to place the issue on the county ballot.
Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales responded to the contested issue on Saturday, March 7.
“In April of 2019, EPD during their annual inspection of our Water Treatment Plant asked why The City’s water system was not being fed fluoride,” Ordiales stated in an email. “After much research, there was documentation dating back to 1983 that showed a petition was received that substantiated that fluoride NOT be added to the system. EPD stated that there should have also been a referendum and an ordinance passed for that effort to be complete. The second part of that process was not done. Since the City is the managing operator for the Water Treatment Plant, it was determined that there only need to be 10% of the citizens that voted in past election that needed to sign the petition to allow for a referendum and a ballot vote. Those signatures were obtained by Corbin McClain [sic] and were submitted to the Elections board in September 2019. All parties were under the impression that all water users, City and County, were to be included in the vote. We are now being told that since the signatures were for the City jurisdiction, that only the City voters would have the opportunity to vote on this matter. That news was discovered this past week. The May 19th ballot will contain the questions…’Should the City of Hiawassee add fluoride to the City’s water system? (Yes or No)’.”
FYN contacted McLain, the Towns County resident who volunteered to collect the petition signatures to place the issue on the May ballot. McLain stated that she was instructed by Mayor Ordiales to garner signatures solely from city citizens, purportedly based on information received from the EPD.
The EPD, however, released the following statement to FYN last week: “The City of Hiawassee and Towns County, under the 2018 Wholesale Water Agreement provided to EPD, each have a right to the finished water produced by the Hiawassee Water System (HWS); HWS gets about 55 percent and the Towns County Water and Sewer Authority (TCWSA) about 45 percent,” Kevin Chambers, EPD Director of Communications, said. “Based on that agreement, EPD advised that the TCWSA and HWS are considered one system for purposes of O.C.G.A. 12-5-175 and that all water system users should be allowed to petition for and vote in any referendum.”
Feedback from county citizens on the inability to weigh-in on the matter proved swift as Hiawassee water consumers outside of the city limits continue to make their thoughts known via social media.
HIAWASSEE, Ga.- As qualifying quickly approaches, five Towns County sheriff candidates and two coroner candidates are scheduled to briefly address the Towns County Republican Party on Thursday, Feb. 27. The monthly GOP meeting, which typically meets on the third Thursday of each month, was rescheduled due to winter weather conditions.
House Representative and the U.S. Congressional candidate Matt Gurtler was invited to speak at the canceled session, and according to the GOP, cannot attend on the alternate date due to a scheduling conflict.
In addition to hearing from the county candidates, Towns County Republican Chair Betsy Young informed FYN that the meeting will feature opening exercises by local students, along with a discussion on the Precinct Caucus and County Convention.
Towns County sheriff candidates, listed in the order of their announcement to seek office, are as follow:
- Daren “Bear’ Osborn
- Kenneth “Ode” Henderson
- Linda J. Curtis
- Jim Couch
- Lisa Joseph
Towns County coroner candidates are:
- Harold Copeland – incumbent
- Tamela Cooper
All candidates intend to run on the Republican primary ticket, May 19. No Democratic candidates have announced intent to seek office in Towns County at the time of publication. Office of the Commissioner, Tax Commissioner, Probate Judge, and Clerk of Court remain uncontested thus far. Official qualification for candidacy, however, takes place during the week of March 2.
“The Towns County Republican Party does not endorse any candidate or candidate’s committee in a contested Republican Primary,” Young stated.
The Feb. 27 meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Towns County Civic Center, adjacent to the Towns County Courthouse. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Meetings are open to the public.
“The Changes to the By-laws or Rules as referred to from now on, of the Republican Party of Towns County, are presented below, per requirement to be voted on the following meeting, March 19, 2020,” GOP Chair Young stated in an email.
RULES OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF TOWNS COUNTY, INC.
As adopted on
ARTICLE I – GENERAL
1. Code: Georgia Election Code, O.C.G.A. §183-1, et seq., as existing at the time of adoption of these Rules and as may be amended from time to time.
2. County Committee: As defined in Article II.C, below.
3. Executive Committee: As defined in Article II.D, below.
4. Georgia GOP Rules: The Rules of the Georgia Republican Party, Inc., as existing at the time of adoption of these Rules and as may be amended from time to time.
5. National GOP Rules: The Rules of the Republican National Committee, as existing at the time of adoption of these rules and as may be amended from time to time.
6. Ninth District Rules: The Ninth District Republic Party of Georgia Rules, as existing at the time of adoption of these Rules and as may be amended from time to time.
7. Quorum: As defined in Article II.J.3, below.
8. Rules: These Rules of the Republican Party of Towns County, Inc.
9. TCGOP: The Republican Party of Towns County, Inc., a Georgia nonprofit corporation
10. TCGOP Beliefs: Those certain beliefs enumerated in Article I.B.2 herein.
B. Mission and TCGOP Beliefs:
1. Mission. The purpose of the TCGOP is to elect Republicans to public office; identify, recruit, cultivate and support Republican candidates for elective office and conservative candidates for nonpartisan offices; promote conservative values in local, state and national communities; promote the TCGOP Beliefs; and carry out the legal direction of the district, state and national Republican organizations.
2. TCGOP Beliefs. The TCGOP believes in:
a. The U.S. Constitution, as written;
b. States’ rights;
c. a limited roll for government intervention into individuals’ work for prosperity
d. the right to life, from conception to natural death;
e. the idea that each person is responsible for his/her own place within society;
f. the Voter Identification Law;
g. one vote for one legal voter within the framework of the electoral college;
h. the idea that every legal American citizen has a right to vote and for his/her vote to count;
i. the notion that English should be America’s primary language, spoken and written;
j. a strong hand against human trafficking;
k. a strong stance against sharia law;
l. supporting the Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and
m. supporting our military, law enforcement and first responders.
C. Qualifications for Participation in Party Action: All qualified voters under the laws of the State of Georgia who are residents of Towns County, Georgia, and are in accord with the principles of the Republican Party, believe in its declaration of policy and are in agreement with its aims and purposes, may participate as members of the TCGOP in the Conventions and caucuses of the Republican Party in their respective jurisdictions. All Chairmen and Members of Committees, Delegates and Alternates to Conventions and voters in caucuses, provided for in these Rules, shall be members of the TCGOP and must be qualified, registered voters of the respective precincts which they represent and shall have signed a declaration of identification with the Republican Party.
D. Relation of State and County Rules: These Rules are adopted pursuant to the Georgia GOP Rules. Should any of these Rules conflict with or be incompatible with the Georgia GOP Rules, the Georgia GOP Rules shall control.
E. State Election Laws: These Rules, where appropriate, shall be subject to the Code. Terms used but not defined herein shall have the definitions ascribed thereto in the Code.
ARTICLE II – COUNTY ORGANIZATION
A. NAME: The name of the organization shall be the Republican Party of Towns County, Inc., herein referred to as the “TCGOP”.
B. Membership of the TCGOP: The TCGOP shall consist of the County Committee, the Executive Committee and such other members-at-large as shall qualify under these Rules. The TCGOP may, upon a two-thirds vote of a quorum present, enlarge the Executive Committee as additional Republicans are elected to office and as additional precincts become organized. Use of the word “chairman” is intended to refer to either sex.
C. County Committee: The County Committee may consist of any or all of the following members, with a minimum of a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer:
- County Chairman
- First Vice Chairman
- Second Vice Chairman
- Third Vice Chairman
- District Chairmen (one from each Commission District)
- Assistant Secretary
- Assistant Treasurer
- Immediate Past County Chairman
- Chairman, Elections
- Chairman, Membership Committee
- Chairman, Communications
- Chairman, Headquarters Operations
- Director of Community Outreach
- Chairman, Community Relations
- Chairman, Rules Committee
- Chairman, Resource Development Committee
- Precinct Chairmen, from each organized Precinct
- Authorized Voting Members: All individuals listed below qualify as members of the TCGOP and may participate in its business, upon oral or written notification to the Secretary:
- All previous Chairmen of the County Committee;
- the present and all past Chairmen of the Ninth Congressional District Republican Committee provided that they are residents of Towns County;
- the present and all past Chairmen of the Georgia Republican Party provided that they are residents of Towns County;
- Georgia GOP State Committee Members residing in Towns County;
- incumbent Republican public office holders within Towns County; and
- the Presidents/Chairmen of any Towns County Area Young Republican Clubs, Federation of Republican Women’s Clubs, Black Republican Councils, or College Republican Clubs which are sanctioned by their respective State and National Organization and provided they are residents of Towns County.
22. Members-at-Large: Shall be admitted upon their signature of their membership card acknowledging their accordance with the TCGOP Beliefs and payment in full of their annual dues.
D. Executive Committee of the TCGOP: There shall be an Executive Committee of the TCGOP composed of members listed in Article II.C.1 through II.C.21. The Executive Voting members shall include those listed in Article II.C.1 through II.C.11. (The Assistant Secretary and the Assistant Treasurer shall only have voting rights in the absence of the Secretary and the Treasurer). The County Chairman shall be the Chairman of the Executive Committee. At the call of the Chairman, the Executive Committee shall conduct the routine business of the TCGOP and act in emergencies when there would not be adequate time to convene the full membership of the TCGOP.t the routine business of the
E. Election of the TCGOP Officers: All persons holding office as listed in Article II.C.1. through II.C.9, as well as the Delegates and Alternates to the District and State Conventions, shall be nominated and elected at the County Convention held pursuant to the call of the Georgia State Republican Committee subject to the following exceptions:
1. District Chairmen: Within the four-week period following the Precinct Caucuses held pursuant to the State Call in each District, or within the four-week period following a vacancy created for any reason, the elected Precinct Chairmen from the precincts in that District shall meet to elect a resident of that District to be the District Chairman to serve on the TCGOP. If no election has been held prior to the County Convention, this election may be held during a recess of the County Convention. If a reasonable effort to fill the TCGOP District Chairman position for a particular District fails, the position may be filled from members of other Districts.
2. From the electorate of Towns County, the County Chairman may appoint a person to be Counsel to the Party (who shall also be a nonvoting member of the County Committee and Executive Committee) and persons to be Chairmen of the following Committees, or such other Committees as may be appropriate:
- Communications/Public Relations: (Shall maintain the TCGOP webpage and membership e-mail roster. Shall send out communication as directed by the TCGOP Chairman. Shall post updates on TCGOP Facebook Page.)
- Community Outreach: (Shall be responsible for organizing community outreach and attending local civic clubs and groups (such as the Rotary Club) on behalf of the party. Shall plan events to increase party membership.)
- Elections: (Shall work in conjunction with the Board of Elections related to election dates and candidate qualifying.)
- Headquarters Operations: (Shall be responsible for the day-to-day operations of TCGOP Headquarters: volunteers, event preparation, mail. Shall be responsible for maintenance and repairs of the TCGOP Headquarters. Shall work in conjunction with the building landlord.)
- Membership: (Shall be responsible for member recruitment and membership roster.)
- Resource Development: (Shall be responsible for planning and coordinating fundraising activities for TCGOP.)
- Rules: (Shall be responsible for updating and maintaining the By-Laws for TCGOP.)
3. Precinct Chairmen: Elected at the caucuses
4. Authorized Voting Members: Become members upon proper notification to the TCGOP as outlined in Article II.C.21.
F. Election of County Members to the Ninth District Committee:
1. The total number of members elected shall be determined as specified in the Ninth District Rules, Article 1.1.
2. Pursuant to Article 2.2.B.4 of the Ninth District Rules, the County Chairman shall serve on the Ninth District Executive Committee; unless said Chairman otherwise declines not to serve in writing to the District Secretary.
3. Pursuant to Article 2 of the Ninth District Rules, additional members may be added. These members shall be elected by the County Chairman and an interim Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee Members shall be appointed every odd-year to serve an interim period (to only conduct the business of this committee), by the County Chairman as follows: consisting of members from the Executive Committee and the members-at-large.
4. Members shall be elected, each odd year, to the Ninth District Committee for a two-year term. Any vacancies may be filled at the discretion of the County Chairman with the approval of the Executive Committee.
G. Term of Office of the TCGOP: The officers and members of the TCGOP shall be elected for a term of two years or until their successors are duly elected. Officers (as listed in Article II.C.1- 4, and 6 – 9) may serve a maximum of two consecutive two-year terms in the same position.
H. Vacancies on the TCGOP:
- A vacancy is deemed to exist upon the happening of any one of the following:
- Failure to be a voter of Towns County.
- Failure of the voters in a precinct to organize.
- Failure of the Precinct Chairmen in organized precincts to elect a District Chairman.
- Extended failure to act. Such failure shall be determined by a two-thirds majority vote of a quorum present at any duly called meeting of the TCGOP. Provided, however, that the individual involved is given notice of such meeting mailed at least 30 days in advance thereof, setting forth the grounds therefore, and is given an opportunity to be present and heard in person. Extended failure to act as used herein shall include continued failure to perform his/her duties or participate in the affairs of the Party, or conduct detrimental to the best interests of the Party, all as may be determined by the aforesaid vote of the TCGOP.
- A vacancy shall include any office not filled by the County Convention.
- Vacancies in any of the offices comprising the Executive Committee, with the exception of the District Chairmen and the immediate Past Chairman of the TCGOP, shall be filled by election at a regular or special meeting of the TCGOP.
- Vacancies in the office of the District Chairman or Precinct Chairman in organized or unorganized precincts shall be filled by eligible persons appointed by the Executive Committee on an interim basis. At the next regular or special meeting of the TCGOP, such an appointment shall be confirmed as a member of the TCGOP by a majority vote of those present.
- Upon the happening of any of the events described above or the certification by a duly licensed physician that the County Chairman is incapable to act or conduct the usual and ordinary business of the County Party, such certification is to be referred to the County Party, such certification is to be referred to the TCGOP for action. In the event that the TCGOP takes action to remove the Chairman, the First Vice Chairman shall assume the duties and position of County Chairman. Should the First Vice Chairman decline to accept the position of Chairman, he/she shall call a special meeting of the TCGOP for the purpose of electing a new Chairman. The First Vice Chairman would continue to serve until the end of his term.
- Vacancies in any of the Committee Chairmen positions appointed by the County Chairman, as listed in Article II.E.2, shall be replaced at the discretion of the County Chairman with the approval of the Executive Committee.
I. Removal from Office
1. TCGOP Members: any member listed in Article II.C.1 through II.C.22 may be removed from office or membership for cause by a two-thirds vote of a quorum present, by secret ballot, at any duly called meeting of the TCGOP; provided however, such individual must be given written notice of said meeting mailed or circulated by written electronic communication at least 30 days in advance thereof, setting forth the grounds for removal, and given the opportunity to be heard in person or by his/her representative. “Cause” as used herein shall include:
a. Failure to perform duties of his/her office for an unreasonable period of time, as determined by the Executive Committee with the approval of the TCGOP
b. Failure to participate in the affairs of the Party
c. Conduct detrimental to the best interests of the Party
d. Public service or professional service to any candidate in opposition to the official Republican candidate in a general election by an elected officer shall constitute conduct detrimental to the best interests of the party
2. As soon as an officer qualifies to run for an elected public office (including non-partisan races) for which at least one other Republican has also qualified, he/she shall be deemed to have resigned. Any officer who qualifies as a candidate for an elected public office (including non-partisan races) for which no other Republican has also qualified shall be deemed to have resigned immediately upon being elected to that office. As soon as an officer qualifies as a candidate for elected office as a candidate of any political party other than the Republican Party, he/she shall be deemed to have resigned all positions on the County, Municipal, Precinct, or other TCGOP governing committees.
3. Whenever the Executive Committee and TCGOP determine the Chairman or other officer is subject to removal for cause as defined in Article II.J.1.a. through d., or Article II.J.2, and remedial action has not been taken, and the 30-day notification period has expired, the TCGOP shall remove such Chairman or officer and shall appoint a new Chairman or officer. The Chairman or officer appointed shall perform the duties of the office until his/her successor is duly elected at a County Convention.
J. Meetings of the TCGOP:
1. Regular Meetings: The TCGOP shall hold regular meetings at least quarterly, but may hold monthly meetings, at the pleasure of the Chairman, generally on the third Thursday of each month. In case of a conflict, the Chairman may schedule the meeting on another day of the month. In the event of exceptional circumstances, the Executive Committee may cancel a scheduled meeting with immediate notice to all TCGOP Members. Notice of such meetings shall be emailed or mailed to all members of the TCGOP and mailed to members who do not have an email address on file at least 10 days prior to the date of the meeting. As referred to in these Rules, these are considered to be regular meetings.
2. Special Meetings: The Chairman may call special meetings if he/she chooses to do so, provided proper notice as detailed in Article II.J.1 above is given. When requested in writing by at least 15% of the total membership of TCGOP, the Chairman must call a special meeting. Such special meeting must be held within 15 days of the receipt of the request by the Chairman. If, and only if, the meeting notice so specifies, other items of TCGOP business may be considered. Should the Chairman fail to call such a special meeting, then a mailed notice, signed by the 15% of the TCGOP members requesting said special meeting, shall constitute proper notice of the special meeting. Such notice shall specify the date, time, place and purpose of the special meeting. In the absence of the Chairman, the First Vice Chairman shall preside over this special meeting.
3. Quorum: A quorum is constituted upon the attendance of a majority of the members of the TCGOP at a meeting, in person or by proxy. We hereby acknowledge that one person may serve in multiple positions, however, there shall be a one person one vote rule. No more than a total of three proxies may be counted in order to establish a quorum.
- A member may direct his/her proxy to any other member of the TCGOP, except that no proxy may be directed to, or voted by, the Chairman.
- Members of the Executive Committee may direct his/her proxy only to another member of the Executive Committee.
- No TCGOP member may vote more than three proxies.
- No member may give his/her proxy more than four times during their term of office, unless, in the opinion of the TCGOP, good cause exists.
- Proxy blanks are to be included with the call to each meeting in the form set forth in the Ninth District rules.
J. Duties of the TCGOP: The TCGOP, in its entirety, shall call the County Conventions and Precinct Caucuses or County Primary, make arrangements therefore, fix the basis of representation by Delegates and Alternates to the County Convention consistent with the State Rules, and shall set the time and place for holding the County Convention. It shall cooperate with the State Committee and its Congressional District Committee in conducting all elections within its boundaries. The TCGOP shall decide all controversies and contests arising within its jurisdiction, with the right to appeal to the District Committee within 30 days after the decision by a petition signed by at least 25 qualified Republican electors of the political unit affected.
ARTICLE III – DUTIES OF OFFICERS, DISTRICT CHAIRMEN AND PRECINCT CHAIRMEN
- County Chairman:
- Is the Chief Executive Officer and spokesperson of the TCGOP and shall perform all duties required by these Rules.
- Shall convene the TCGOP as the Rules and needs of the Party dictate.
- Presides at all TCGOP meetings and all Executive Committee meetings.
- Appoints committees called for in the Rules and such other committees he/she may deem desirable.
- Shall appoint a presiding officer for Precinct caucuses in those instances when the Precinct Chairman is unable to attend.
- Presides at all County Conventions.
- Appoints interim County Convention committees and their respective Chairmen subject to the approval of the TCGOP.
- Is responsible for the general direction and affairs of the Party.
- Must review and approve all outgoing correspondence to be emailed, mailed or distributed to the TCGOP at large or to the public. The County Chairman may designate this duty from time-to-time to the First Vice Chairman to make such approvals.
All officers shall assist the County Chairman
C. First Vice Chairman
1. As provided for in the Rules, presides in the absence of the Chairman.
2. Shall assist the Treasurer with the Finance Committee and the Chairmen of the Rules, Resource Development, and Headquarters Operations Committees.
D. Second Vice Chairman. Shall assist the District Chairmen and the Chairmen of the Elections and Membership Committees.
E. Third Vice Chairman. Shall assist the Chairmen of the Community Outreach and Communications/Public Relations Committees.
F. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall have the following responsibilities and duties:
1. Shall have custody and responsibility of the funds of the TCGOP, and shall deposit said funds in a bank selected by the Executive Committee. These funds may be drawn as prescribed or approved by the Executive Committee.
2. Shall collect and deposit all funds at least monthly.
3. Shall prepare all checks and sign them, together with one other Officer designated on the bank account. In the absence of the Treasurer, checks may be prepared by the Assistant Treasurer and signed by the Assistant Treasurer, together with the County Chairman or First Vice Chairman. No officer may sign a non-operational check in excess of $500 without the prior approval of the Executive Committee. No disbursements shall be made without an invoice, paid receipt or written request.
4. Shall make and keep an accurate record of all income and disbursements and have available at all Executive and TCGOP meetings a current financial report summarizing income, expense, assets and liabilities of the TCGOP.
5. Shall serve on the Resource Development Committee, as applicable. This committee, if formed, shall track financial status, provide oversight and prepare an annual budget for each new year for review and approval by the Executive Committee by December of the current year.
6. Shall, in the event the Executive Committee believes it to be in the best interest of the TCGOP, prepare an internal audit of the records of the Treasurer to be presented to the TCGOP, and shall work with all relevant Committees in the preparation of any such audit.
G. Assistant Treasurer. In the absence of the Treasurer, the Assistant Treasurer shall perform the duties of the Treasurer.
1. Shall maintain the lists of the Executive, County, District, and State Committee members, contributors, and the like, publish notices and other materials as required by the party rules and/or the Code. The Secretary shall also record the minutes of all Executive and TCGOP meetings including the date, identity of those in attendance, and a record of all actions taken. Executive Committee minutes should be emailed or mailed within ten (10) days. The Secretary shall also determine and announce the status of a quorum at all Executive and TCGOP meetings. The minutes from the most recent past county meeting shall be emailed or mailed with the notice of each upcoming official-call County meeting sent out by the County Chairman. All correspondence distributed to the Executive or TCGOP at large or the public must be approved by the County Chairman prior to distribution.
2. Shall, or shall direct the County Chairman to, maintain a “Minute Book” with the minutes from all meetings during his/her tenure. A complete and current copy of said book to be kept at the TCGOP office. If the TCGOP has no office, the TCGOP Chairman shall retain the copy of the Minute Book.
3. Shall, or shall direct the County Chairman to, maintain an official TCGOP “Member List Book” with a list of the names and contact information of all Executive Committee, TCGOP, TCGOP Members of the Ninth District Committee, Towns County Republican elected officials, and GA State GOP Members who are current TCGOP participants. Said book to be kept at TCGOP office. If the TCGOP has no office, the TCGOP Chairman shall retain the copy of the Member List Book.
I. Assistant Secretary. In the absence of the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary shall perform the duties of the Secretary.
J. District Chairmen
- Serve on the Executive Committee.
- Be responsible for assisting in the recruitment of Precinct Chairmen in their District.
- Maintain periodic contact with Precinct Chairmen in their District.
- Assist in obtaining poll watchers during elections.
K. Precinct Chairmen
- Be responsible for maintaining contact with the voters in their precinct.
- Assist with the conduct of voter canvasses.
- Assist with recruitment of Poll Watchers.
L. Duties/Responsibilities for Vice Chairmen, District Chairs, Precinct Chairs, Committee Chairmen
1. Will establish an action plan and objectives.
2. Will submit said action plan to the Executive Committee within thirty (30) days after being elected to or accepting said position.
ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP DONORS
The TCGOP membership application and donor fees shall be determined by the Membership Committee with the approval of the Executive Committee or, in the absence of a Membership Committee, by the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE V – CONVENTIONS AND CAUCUSES
A. The call for Conventions and Caucuses shall conform to the Ninth District Rules, the Georgia GOP Rules, the National GOP Rules and the Code.
B. The conduct of Precinct Caucuses and the designating of Delegates and Alternates to the County Convention shall conform to the Ninth District Rules, the Georgia GOP Rules, the National GOP Rules and the Code.
C. Interim Committees: The County Chairman shall appoint the following Interim County Convention Committees and their respective Chairmen subject to the approval of the TCGOP at the January quarterly meeting held in odd-numbered years and in Presidential Election years:
- Nominating Committee
- Rules Committee
- Credentials Committee
- Platform Committee
- Resolutions Committee
Each Committee may consist of a Chairman plus three to six members. No person may serve on more than one Committee. Each Interim Committee shall have a majority of members who are members of the TCGOP.
D. Delegates and Alternate Delegates: Persons elected to be Delegates and Alternates to the District and State Conventions shall be allocated among the Commission Districts pro rata in accordance with the number of votes cast therein for the Republican candidate for President in the last General Election provided, as a sufficient number of Republicans living in a District desire to so participate. If a reasonable effort to fill the allotted number of Delegates and Alternates in a District fails, vacancies may be filled with persons from other Districts.
E. Any contested races elections shall be conducted by secret ballot.
ARTICLE VI – AMENDMENTS
A. These Rules may be amended at any County Convention by a majority vote or at any regular meeting (or special meeting called for such purpose) by a two-thirds vote of a quorum present. With respect to action to amend by the TCGOP, such meeting must be duly held and written notice setting forth in detail; the proposed intention to amend the Rules shall accompany the emailed and/or mailed notice of the meeting.
ARTICLE VII – ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER
A. Except to the extent modified by these Rules, Robert’s Rules of Order (latest revision) shall govern the conduct of all meetings.
For additional information, contact Betsy Young at TCGOPChair@gmail.com
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Members of the Towns County Democratic Party visited the local high school for three days last week, encouraging students nearing voting age to register to cast their ballots in future elections.
“Students who are age 17 ½ may register for the 2020 election cycle,” Vickie Plunkett explained. “Voters in Georgia do not register by Party but will declare their Party affiliation during Georgia’s presidential preference primary on March 24.”
According to the U.S. Census, voting rates have historically varied according to age, with older Americans generally voting at higher rates than younger Americans. In 2016, this was once again the case, as citizens, 65 years and older, reported higher turnout (70.9 percent) than 45- to 64-year-olds (66.6 percent), 30- to 44-year-olds (58.7 percent) and 18- to 29-year-olds (46.1 percent). However, in 2016, young voters ages 18 to 29 were the only age group to report increased turnout compared to 2012, with a reported turnout increase of 1.1 percent. All older age groups either reported small yet statistically significant turnout decreases (45- to 64-year-olds and those age 65 and older) or turnout rates not statistically different from 2012 (30- to 44-year-olds).
In any given presidential election, the number of reported voters typically increases relative to the previous presidential election, largely as a product of increases in the size of the citizen voting-age population. Data shows changes in both the number of reported voters and the citizen voting-age population between 2012 and 2016. Overall, in 2016, there were about 4.6 million more reported voters than in 2012. A majority of these additional voters (3.7 million) were 65 years and older. However, despite these additionally reported voters, the overall voting rate was not statistically different between the two elections.
Towns County Democrats will hold their next monthly meeting on Thursday, Feb. 13, at the Towns County Civic Center in Hiawassee, Plunkett said. A pot-luck meal begins at 6 p.m. and the meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are open to the public.
Featured Image: Towns County Democrats David and Vickie Plunkett, seated, provide voter information to Towns County High School student Gage Denton during a voter registration effort conducted in late January at the school.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – The Towns County Board of Elections and Registration will set aside time at its regularly scheduled board meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 4:30 p.m. to hear from any elector who wishes to challenge a voter registration, following regular board business.
“Any elector who has received a letter indicating that his or her voter status has changed but would like to appeal the findings may attend the meeting,” Towns County Board of Elections Chair Janet Olivia said. “No prior notice of appearance is required. If you have been convicted of a felony but are no longer serving your sentence and the sentence is therefore completed, you can vote in Georgia. If you have received a letter indicating you are a convicted felon and cannot vote but you have actually completed your sentence, please contact our office or attend the hearings with official paperwork to verify your sentence completion.”
Any person 17.5 years of age who will be age 18 by election day can register to vote, Oliva added.
“Also, we are still seeking poll workers to serve in all elections,” Olivia said. “Poll workers receive compensation through the county for serving, in addition to enjoying the fellowship of other public servants in the community. We encourage students who are 16 years of age and older to become poll workers. Serving as a poll worker affords school students an opportunity to learn more about local government and the democratic voting process.”
For additional information, contact the Towns County Board of Elections and Registration at 706-896-3453.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Qualifying for seats on Hiawassee City Council will take place next month at Hiawassee City Hall from Wednesday, Aug. 21 through Friday, Aug. 23, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The qualifying fee is $45.00. Candidates must reside within Hiawassee city limits for a minimum of one-year prior to election day, and be over the age of 21. The election will be held Tuesday, Nov.5, with polling at the Towns County Board of Elections Office, adjacent to the Towns County Courthouse.
Posts currently filled by Anne Mitchell, Kris Berrong, and Nancy Noblet could potentially face challengers, should the three council members choose to run for re-election. Noblet was elected to Post 5 in 2017, occupying the council seat left vacant by Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales, a former council member.
Posts filled by council members Amy Barrett and Patsy Owens, in addition to the mayor’s seat, will open for election in 2021.
Council members are empowered to make policy decisions and approve ordinances, resolutions, and other local legislation to govern the health, welfare, comfort, and safety of the city’s residents. City council sets policy guidelines for the administrative and fiscal operations of the city.
Hiawassee City Council meets for a monthly work session on the last Monday of each month at 6 pm. Citizens are invited to voice their views at the work sessions. A regular session, at which voting occurs, takes place the following week on the first Tuesday of the month at 6 pm. All meetings, with the exception of executive sessions, are held at Hiawassee City Hall and open to the public.
Feature Image: (L-R) Council members Patsy Owens, Nany Noblet, Amy Barrett, Kris Berrong, Anne Mitchell, Mayor Liz Ordiales, City Clerk Bonnie Kendrick
2018 Georgia Election Run-Off Results
Tonight marks the run-offs for election races in Georgia, these results are unofficial until approved by the Secretary of State.
Secretary of State
Brad Raffensperger (R) – 556,854 votes 58.90%
John Barrow (D) – 388,577 votes 41.10%
Public Service Commission, District 3
Chuck Eaton (R) – 553,063 votes 58.88%
Lindy Miller (D) – 386.253 votes 41.12%
Check for local results by county here:
Secretary of State
Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,337 votes 83.13%
John Barrow (D) – 880 votes 16.87%
Public Service Commission, District 3
Chuck Eaton (R) – 4,250 votes 81.79%
Lindy Miller (D) – 946 votes 18.21%
Secretary of State
Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,408 votes 84.01%
John Barrow (D) – 839 votes 15.99%
Public Service Commission, District 3
Chuck Eaton (R) – 4,325 votes 82.70%
Lindy Miller (D) – 905 17.30%
Secretary of State
Brad Raffensperger (R) – 3,522 votes 81.89%
John Barrow (D) – 779 votes 18.11%
Public Service Commission, District 3
Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,454 votes 80.57%
Lindy Miller (D) – 833 votes 19.43%
Secretary of State
Brad Raffensperger (R) – 3,985 votes 85.83%
John Barrow (D) – 658 votes 14.17%
Public Service Commission, District 3
Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,939 votes 85.02%
Lindy Miller (D) – 694 votes 14.98%
Secretary of State
Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,063 votes 82.78%
John Barrow (D) – 845 votes 17.22%
Public Service Commission, District 3
Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,960 votes 80.82%
Lindy Miller (D) – 940 votes 19.18%
Secretary of State
Brad Raffensperger (R) – 4,246 votes 80.92%
John Barrow (D) – 1,001 votes 19.08%
Public Service Commission, District 3
Chuck Eaton (R) – 4,108 votes 78.65%
Lindy Miller (D) – 1,115 votes 21.35%
Secretary of State
Brad Raffensperger (R) – 2,161 votes 79.95%
John Barrow (D) – 542 votes 20.05%
Public Service Commission, District 3
Chuck Eaton (R) – 2,105 votes 78.22%
Lindy Miller (D) – 586 votes 21.78%
Secretary of State
Brad Raffensperger (R) – 2,699 votes 88.99%
John Barrow (D) – 334 votes 11.01%
Public Service Commission, District 3
Chuck Eaton (R) – 2,691 votes 88.84%
Lindy Miller (D) – 338 votes 11.16%
Secretary of State
Brad Raffensperger (R) – 3,378 votes 78.47%
John Barrow (D) – 927 votes 21.53%
Public Service Commission, District 3
Chuck Eaton (R) – 3,337 votes 77.89%
Lindy Miller (D) – 947 votes 22.11%
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Early voting for the 2018 midterm run-off election begins Monday, Nov. 26, and runs through Friday, Nov. 30. The Hiawassee voting precinct, located at the Towns County Board of Elections, will open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with polls open until 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29.
“Several people have come into the office, asking when early voting starts,” Towns County Elections Director Tonya Nichols told FYN, “That may be an indication that there’s interest in the run-off.”
Nichols relayed that the elections office is waiting for absentee ballots to be delivered to Towns County. Applications are available online through the Secretary of State website.
The election to decide Georgia Secretary of State and Georgia Public Service Commission will be held Tuesday, Dec. 4.
Vying for Secretary of State, Republican Brad Raffensberger received 49.13 percent of the vote in the general election and Democrat John Barrow received 48.64 percent. In the race for Public Service Commission, Republican incumbent Chuck Eaton received 49.74 percent of the vote, while Democratic challenger Lindy Miller received 47.60 percent.
Polling precincts in Hiawassee, Macedonia, Tate City, and Young Harris will be open on election day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Count on FYN to deliver the results as the ballots are counted.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Voters in Towns County were given an option on the Nov. 6 ballot to accept or reject a referendum that would allow licensed establishments to serve alcohol-by-the-pour. A total of 66.67% of citizens favored the decree, with 33.33% opposing the mandate.
A second referendum appeared on the ballot for voters residing within Hiawassee city limits, classified as a “brunch resolution” which will permit Sunday alcohol sales to begin at 11 am rather than 12:30 pm. The brunch resolution was accepted by 61.41% of voters. A total of 38.59% rejected the brunch bill.
Hiawassee attempted to include a liquor store referendum on the November ballot by collecting the amount of signatures necessary for an allowance. A state requirement to include the referendum on the ballot stipulated that 35% of valid registered voters from the 2016 General Primary election, currently residing within the jurisdiction, must add their names to a petition in a show of support. The computed amount was set at 233 signatures. Of the 304 signatures collected, 181 voters were verifiable by the Board of Elections. The package store petition contained 56 duplicate names, while 64 signatures were shown to be attached to individuals not registered to vote, residing outside of the city limits, or deceased.
Hiawassee aspires to garner the amount of signatures needed to include a package store referendum on a future ballot.
2018 Georgia Election Results for Towns County
A total of 6,166 ballots were cast in Towns County, a voter turnout of 65.69%
The county results are as follows:
Brian Kemp (R) – 81.67%
Stacey Abrams (D) – 17.35%
Ted Metz (L) – 0.95%
Geoff Duncan (R) – 81.42%
Sarah Riggs Amico (D) – 18.54%
Secretary of State:
Brad Raffensperger (R) – 79.19%
John Barrow (D) – 19.50%
Smythe DuVal (L) – 1.31%
Jim Beck (R) – 80.26%
Janice Laws (D) – 18.16%
Donnie Foster (L) – 1.57%
State School Superintendent:
Richard Woods (R) – 82.54%
Otha Thornton (D) – 17.46%
Gary Black (R) – 81.95%
Fred Swan (D) – 18.01%
Mark Butler (R) – 81.68%
Richard Keatley (D) – 18.31%
US House 9 –
Doug Collins (R) – 81.55%
Josh McCall (D) – 18.42%
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton took a solid stand on social media in the days leading into the general midterm election, warning Georgia voters of what he believes will result in dire repercussions should Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams prove to be the victor on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Clinton – a self-professed Constitutional Conservative serving his third term as Towns County’s lead lawman – insists that the caravan of migrants swelling toward the southern U.S. border is nothing short of an orchestrated invasion.
“This is for real, folks,” Clinton cautioned, “This is an invasion that will end Georgia and America if it is not stopped. The left wants to destroy everything you and I love about our great state. Abrams and her out-of-state friends want to destroy everything we love about America.”
The sheriff stressed that the motive behind the migrant caravan is to add future backup supporters for the Democratic candidate’s socialist cause, claiming that violent MS-13 gang criminals are embedded within the mass of the estimated 12,000 foreigners.
“MS-13 is an extremely violent and brutal gang with no more respect for your front door or your family than they have for any nation’s borders or civil authorities,” Clinton warned.
“Abrams thinks the folks doing all this are good people and should be allowed to join her cause,” Clinton went on to explain, “Meanwhile, she believes that the law enforcement officers risking their lives to keep us safe are like terrorists.”
Clinton concluded with an expressive plea for Georgians to cast their vote for Republican candidate Brian Kemp in order to “stop this radical, extremist, socialist, anti-American, anti-Georgian, anti-farmer, anti-law enforcement, anti-unborn child, anti-liberty” agenda.
The sheriff later reiterated his outlook in a conversation with FYN on Nov. 2. “I am certain that Towns Countians are informed and are doing our part,” Clinton assured, “Let us all pray for a healing of our nation. While praying, vote.”
Sheriff Clinton is scheduled to address the Town County Republican Party on Thursday, Nov. 15, speaking on the encroaching caravan, gangs, guns, and the opioid epidemic.
Towns County GOP meets on the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Towns County Civic Center in Hiawassee. Meetings are open to the public.
Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet, attracting more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, and Murray counties, as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page.
For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Early voting in the 2018 midterm election came to a close on Friday, and Towns County Board of Elections saw a massive turnout at the Hiawassee polling precinct. Of the 9,386 registered voters in Towns County, 4,030 residents chose to cast their ballots ahead of Tuesday’s general election. A total of 257 absentee ballots had been returned to the election board as of Friday afternoon.
The 2018 turnout rivals that of the 2016 presidential election. Two years ago, 4,564 of the 8,608 voters registered in Towns County turned up to cast early ballots at the polls, with 420 ballots returned by mail. Midterm elections historically do not draw such a high amount of voters to the ballot box.
FYN reached out to Towns County leaders and gathered their thoughts on the phenomenon.
Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton believes that the south-of-the-border “caravan of criminals” that are headed toward the U.S. border plays a part in the impressive turnout at the Georgia polls. “The future of our nation and our state rides on this election. Anyone being honest about these caravans understands what is at stake. If the left wins, the caravans are just the beginning. If the Republicans stay in, I’m willing to bet they turn around,” Clinton warned, “We must stop this madness or we will cease to be a sovereign nation…They aren’t coming for jobs or safety. Mexico offered those. They sure aren’t coming to be Americans. Those aren’t American flags they are carrying during these border assaults.”
Sheriff Clinton recently endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, reiterating on Friday that Stacey Abrams’ “radical, socialist ideas are extremely dangerous.”
District 8 State House Representative Matt Gurtler is optimistic that Georgia will remain a “red” state, adding that according to the Secretary of State’s office, Georgia has seen the highest early voter turnout in the state’s history during this year’s general election. “Our district is the most active in the state and the most conservative by far,” Gurtler explained, “I expect to see the 8th House District in the lead once again this coming Tuesday, and I believe and have great faith in the people of Georgia, that we will see a ‘red wave’ sweep the entire state.”
While Towns County Republican Party Chair Betsy Young is enthusiastic,the GOP leader believes that the race for Georgia’s next governor, in particular, is tight. “I think this is going to be close, but if only legal voters vote – all Democrats and Republicans – we will win. The area around Atlanta will be heavily Democrat, but I believe some who have never voted anything but Democrat will vote Republican because of two things: hate by liberals and their awful demonstration of it, along with the economy and immigration.”
“The fate of our state and our county is at stake,” Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw expressed, “Towns County realizes how important this election is for our future, and I’m very thankful for that.” Commissioner Bradshaw served as Master of Ceremonies at a recent “Get Out the Vote” event sponsored by the Towns County Republican Party.
While the four local leaders agree that the high voter count is good sign for their affiliated political party, the Republicans stressed the importance of an equally healthy turnout at the polls on election day.
Towns County polling precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Count on FYN to deliver local election results as soon as they become available.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Early voting in the Nov. 6 General election has reached its second week, and with two weeks left until Election Day, the Towns County Board of Elections Office has witnessed a surge in voter participation.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 0ver 1900 voters had cast their ballots at the Hiawassee precinct, and the Election Board considers the amount especially high. Election Board Director Tonya Nichols included an additional electronic voting booth to the three already in use last week, once it became evident that voters would arrive in mass, in an effort to eliminate a wait time.
Towns County Board of Election staff and poller, Kathy Norton, reported a steady stream of voters flowing into the precinct at any given time since early voting began on Oct. 15. “It’s definitely a much higher count than usual during a midterm,” Norton told FYN.
Additional counties in FYN’s area of coverage throughout North Georgia are reporting a similar spike in numbers.
State statistics show a nearly double increase amount in absentee ballots returned in 2018, in comparison to during the 2014 midterm election.
A heavy amount of voters continue to arrive at the Old Rock Jail Musuem, which was once the Hiawassee precinct, suggesting many could be casting ballots for the first time in years.
Towns County Board of Elections is located at 67 Lakeview Circle in Hiawassee. Ballots can be cast Monday through Friday during early voting, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The polls at the four Towns County voting precints will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p,m, on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6. Towns County Board of Elections asks voters to have thieir photo identification in hand as they reach the registration area.
In addition to five state amendments listed on the ballot, two local referendums related to alcohol sales appear. The first resolution applies to county liquor-by-the-drink sales at licensed establishments. The second choice concerns the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays within Hiawassee city limits, cited as the “Brunch Resolution,” which would allow consumers to purchase spirits at 11 a.m. rather than the currently prescribed 12:30 p.m.
Hiawassee residents will solely have the option to vote on the Brunch Resolution.
Count on FYN to deliver immediate local results as the totals are tallied on Nov. 6.
Geoff Duncan is lying about David Shafer. Every day, he is pushing a new lie to try and deceive Georgia Republicans. Don’t be fooled — Duncan will say and do anything to get elected. See below why we can’t trust a liar like Geoff Duncan.
The newspaper headline in the Duncan advertisement (“Candidate accused of conspiracy in CEO’s ouster”) refers to a lawsuit filed against another candidate, former gubernatorial candidate Clay Tippins.
Shafer is not named as a defendant or accused of wrongdoing in the Tippins lawsuit. In fact, David Shafer has never been named as defendant in any lawsuit.
Duncan lies by accusing David Shafer of not paying taxes.
Shafer’s tax dispute was resolved in his favor and the tax lien issued against him was marked “issued in error and withdrawn.”
David Shafer was completely exonerated by a two month, bipartisan ethics investigation.
Shafer cooperated fully. He sat for two interviews and produced 10 years of email and telephone records.
The independent counsel hired by the Ethics Committee to investigate the complaint determined that the allegations had been “fabricated” and were “politically motivated.”
Duncan falsely accuses Shafer of getting rich as a State Senator.
David Shafer has worked his entire life. He opened his first bank account at age 8 with money saved from mowing lawns. He worked as a church janitor at age 13 and a restaurant busboy at age 16. He worked his way through college as a department store sales clerk. After college, he earned his real estate license and invested in real estate and he has invested in and started numerous businesses. Shafer is proud of his business success.
Georgia Can’t Trust A Liar Like Geoff Duncan.
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WASHINGTON—Today the House of Representatives did not vote on the American Health Care Act as part of Republicans’ comprehensive health care reform plan. Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, is an attorney and Air Force Reserve chaplain representing one of the most conservative districts in the nation. Collins has issued the following statement in response:
“I am proud to have stood with President Trump to repeal and replace the law that has hurt American families and replaced their freedom with federal mandates. Yet I find myself frustrated and grieved that so many Republicans refused to act according to their professed principles.
Because I am convinced that human life and dignity deserve fierce protection under the law, I am unable to understand how many of my colleagues allowed political myopia to prevent them from supporting the opportunity to defund America’s largest abortion peddler. Because of the decisions of a few members, we remain mired in a health system that is able neither to care for our neighbors nor to protect unborn Americans.”