Archive for August, 2010

Clayton working to stabilize neighborhoods

The Clayton County Neighborhood Stabilization Program is not only helping to stabilize Clayton’s neighborhoods by offering incentives to working families to relocate here, but is also being recognized for efforts in the process.

The NSP targets public safety officers, educators, military personnel (active, veterans and surviving military spouses), and health care workers to buy foreclosed homes. You don’t have to be a first time home buyer to qualify, but Clayton employees would receive the bulk of federal aid at $20,000, and others who qualify could receive up to $5,000.

All a purchaser would need is a stable income, limited debt, decent credit, eligible income by family size, at least $500 towards the purchase, and a desire to be a homeowner who is willing to live in the house for 5-10 years. Given the effect that property rentals have had on Clayton neighborhoods, the owner-occupied requirement is definitely a plus.

According to Manager Micki Williams, “NSP has acquired …

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New animal control ordinances come to Clayton

Where is PETA when something positive is done for animals (and by default, the rest of us)?

Recently, our Board of Commissioners voted in new animal ordinances that should work in the best interests of animals as well as humans. As per the News-Daily, the ordinances are not breed specific and include, among other things:

“The annual registration costs for keeping animals declared dangerous, or vicious by the court system — for biting, maiming or killing other animals or humans — will be $1,000. Previously, the annual registration cost for dangerous animals was $100.”

“Restraining a dog by means of tether, chain, cable, rope, leash, or cord, which is attached to a fixed object, or staked to the ground, is considered illegal. All dogs confined outside must be kept within an enclosed fence, no more than six feet in height, or by a running-cable line, or trolley system.”

“Other than licensed kennels, pet shops and clinics, no person shall keep more than five dogs or cats in …

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Meet three candidates for Clayton police chief

Our Board of Commissioners have narrowed the choices for Clayton’s police chief down to three candidates to replace former police chief Jeff Turner.

As per the AJC, Assistant Chief of Police John E. Pearson Sr. has served the Hogansville Police Department since March 2009. The former DeKalb county assistant police chief is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Columbus State University. Pearson, who is married to WSB-TV anchor Monica Pearson, could not be reached for a comment.

Although Deputy Police Chief Gregory Porter has worked with the CCPD for 22 years, he has been an active member of the Clayton county community for 30 years, serving on several boards ranging from school based youth programs to addressing issues and concerns with the elderly, among many other community based initiatives.

“It will be my intention to improve the response time of calls for service while increasing the level of customer service from every aspect. This will be accomplished by …

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School bus service becomes latest budget cut casualty

Clayton parents were informed at the last minute that students living less than a mile and a half away from their assigned school must walk unless the area is deemed hazardous, leaving no opportunity to protest and little time to determine the safest route for their child to walk.

Parents have legitimate concerns. There are plenty of older neighborhoods without sidewalks, forcing pedestrians into the street. I live off of a major two-lane road with a 2-3 mile stretch from a Tara Boulevard stoplight to the next stop sign, which means any kid crossing in between does so at their own risk. Drivers on that road are very aggressive (especially during the morning rush) and little leeway is offered to anyone attempting to cross.

Water drainage is also an issue making it difficult to drive, much less walk, in some areas, and with daylight savings time on the horizon, it will soon get dark earlier.

While this transportation policy may have already been in place, it had not been …

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Will the county lose in BOC v. tax commissioner fight?

As a writer, Clayton county news offers plenty of material to cover. But as a resident, that same material is sometimes hard to watch unfold.

Three members of our Board of Commissioners (Gail Hambrick, Sonna Singleton and Vice Chairman Wole Ralph) have been publicly at odds with Tax Commissioner Terry Baskin since early July, when a resolution passed to have his county vehicles taken away due to budget cuts. After missing the deadline to return the vehicles, Baskin was charged with obstruction, which police said was a misdemeanor.

With no authority to oust Baskin, they have asked the governor to remove him from office for not turning over county tax receipts. With Perdue on the way out of office, it will be interesting to see how quickly he reacts (or not).

According to news reports, Baskin believes all of this is in retaliation for supporting the political aspirations of Ralph’s ex-wife, Shegale Crute (who lost to Singleton), in the recent primary election. Not to be …

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