Habersham Commission, Board of Education card decline rate
The Habersham County Commission and the Habersham County Board of Education (BOE) both met for their July 19 meetings at 6 p.m. in Clarkesville.
Each year, the county mileage rate is set by the commission and the BOE. At their meeting, the Habersham School Board voted to approve a mileage reduction rate for tax year 2021 and fiscal 2022 at their meeting. The mileage rate for last year was set at 13.414 mils, and the county and BOE both voted unanimously to reduce the mileage rate to 12.566 mils.
Highlights of the Commission meeting
The commission met for its regular monthly meeting at the Habersham County Courthouse; a recording of the meeting is available online. The meeting agenda is available here.
The committee discussed some development-related elements this evening, including a development program for downtown Clarkesville and the demolition of the old courthouse during its working session. The commission appears interested in preserving and reallocating the courthouse, however, these discussions are still in their infancy.
An applicant approached the planning commission regarding a zoning change of a ten acre parcel of land in Cornelia to develop 64 townhouses, and the zoning change was submitted to the commission today. The planning commission had only recommended the zoning change to the commission on the basis that last year’s commission approved a similar development in the region last December.
The Planning Commission and several citizens have expressed concerns about traffic and road safety, saying the plot on Lawrence Street in Cornelia, accessible by Chase Road, is too dangerous for medium density development.
Commissioner Bruce Palmer brought forward a motion to accept the zoning change against overwhelming citizens’ demands to refuse it. The motion died for lack of a second, which was met with applause.
Acting County Director Alicia Vaughn attended her first committee meeting tonight. While the search for the interim manager is complete, the committee is still looking for someone to fill the county manager position on a permanent basis. The commission voted to enter into an agreement with the Carl Vinson Institution of Government (CVIOG) at the University of Georgia to conduct a search for county executive officers.
Highlights of the BOE meeting
The BOE met across the street from the Clarkesville School District Building courthouse and also webcast its meeting. The meeting agenda is available here.
The BOE had a lot to discuss as the first day of school, August 6, quickly approached. Superintendent Matthew Cooper outlined what he called “the big four,” his priorities for the school system this coming year. Cooper says safety, attendance, discipline and the quality of training will be the top priorities for the system. He believes these goals will put student success at the forefront of the upcoming academic year.
“I look forward to this school year as much as any other for many reasons,” Cooper said at the meeting. “I really believe we have the team in place to have the best school year in the history of this whole system – dating back to 1872.”
The attendance trophies will be back this year, with the board awarding the first attendance awards for more than a year in September.
The board approved the first reading of a policy to grant more personal days to teachers with more than 15 years of service in the school system. Teachers between 15 and 19 years of service will receive four personal days, and those 20 years or older will receive five.
The board also approved the first reading of the IDE (3) for Competitive Interschool Activities, which would allow home-schooled students in grades 6 to 12 who are enrolled in at least one class in the Habersham school system to participate in extracurricular and sports activities.
Finally, the board of trustees approved changes to the attendance policy at Habersham Central High School that would allow students to earn credit for courses in which they have low attendance without an appeal process if they pass the course.
The Habersham Commission will meet again on August 9 for its monthly meeting. The Education Council will meet on August 9th.