Eighth Community Forum Added to February Calendar

Lookout Mountain, GA – Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield added an additional community forum to next month’s calendar.  This brings the number of public outreach events in February to eight.

The additional community forum will take place at the Mountain Pleasant Community Center, 5270 GA-157 in Rising Fawn, on Monday, February 25th.

All eight forums will take place in different communities across the county, so residents can attend the one that is most convenient for them.  Each session will begin at 6:00 p.m. and feature a brief introduction, but the majority of each event will consist of public comment and discussion about what’s working well today, along with goals and opportunities for the future.

Community forums will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Monday, February 4 at Cedar Grove Community Center (5395 W Cove Road, Chickamauga)
  • Tuesday, February 5 at Rossville Civic Center (400 McFarland Avenue, Rossville)
  • Monday, February 11 at Armuchee Valley Community Center (11471 GA-136, LaFayette)
  • Monday, February 18 at LaFayette-Walker County Library (305 S Duke Street, LaFayette)
  • Tuesday, February 19 at Center Post Community Center (8125 GA-337, LaFayette)
  • Thursday, February 21 at Fairyland Elementary School (1306 Lula Lake Road, Lookout Mountain)
  • Monday, February 25 at Mountain Pleasant Community Center (5270 GA-157, Rising Fawn)
  • Tuesday, February 26 at Chickamauga Civic Center (1817 Lee Clarkson Road, Chickamauga)

 

Related Post: Whitfield to Hold Seven Community Forums in February

Whitfield to Hold Seven Community Forums in Walker County in February

LaFayette, GA – Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield invites residents to share their ideas to start the New Year.  Whitfield will host a series of community forums in February to discuss what’s working well today, along with goals and opportunities for the future.

The forums will take place in seven different communities across the county, so residents can attend the one that is most convenient for them.  Each session will begin at 6:00 p.m. and feature a brief introduction, but the majority of each event will consist of public comment and discussion.

“Over the past two years, community input has led to enhancements in fire protection, updates to ordinances regulating animals and alcohol, safety upgrades on Nickajack Road, clean-up of blighted property and our annual tire amnesty day, among other improvements,” said Whitfield.  “I look forward to hearing about the topics important to folks in Walker County and their thoughts on how we can improve county services.”

Community forums will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Monday, February 4 at Cedar Grove Community Center (5395 W Cove Road, Chickamauga)
  • Tuesday, February 5 at Rossville Civic Center (400 McFarland Avenue, Rossville)
  • Monday, February 11 at Armuchee Valley Community Center (11471 GA-136, LaFayette)
  • Monday, February 18 at LaFayette-Walker County Library (305 S Duke Street, LaFayette)
  • Tuesday, February 19 at Center Post Community Center (8125 GA-337, LaFayette)
  • Thursday, February 21 at Fairyland Elementary School (1306 Lula Lake Road, Lookout Mountain)
  • Tuesday, February 26 at Chickamauga Civic Center (1817 Lee Clarkson Road, Chickamauga)

Alcohol Ordinance Revision in the Works

Walker County voters approved two alcohol questions during the November 2018 election.

Voters said yes to restaurants selling beer, wine and distilled spirits by the drink on Sundays between 11:00 a.m. and midnight.  Voters also said yes to allowing grocery and convenience stores to sell beer and wine on Sundays between 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

The referendum gives Walker County Government the authority to make changes to Chapter 6 of the County Code of Ordinances Regulating the Possession, Sale & Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages.

The formal process of making those changes will occur in December.  Ordinance O-04-18 will amend language to effectuate the sale of alcohol on Sundays, adjust the licensing process and revise the Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

Public hearings on the proposed ordinance will be held on December 13th and December 27th at 6:00 p.m. at the Walker County Courthouse Annex III, 201 S Main Street in LaFayette, GA.

Walker County already allows package sales of beer and wine, as well as liquor by the drink Monday through Saturday.  O-04-18 would allow Sunday sales to begin immediately after being approved by the Commissioner.  December 30, 2018 would be the earliest date that could occur.

Changing Walker County’s Form of Government

Walker County voters overwhelmingly elected to move from a Sole Commissioner form of government to a Board of Commissioners.  80% of votes cast in the November 6, 2018 election favored moving to a board.  So, how does this work?

In early 2017, the Georgia General Assembly was asked to pass legislation to give the public an official vote on whether to move to a board.  State lawmakers and legislative counsel, using parameters established by representatives from the Walker County Republican Party, drafted a bill outlining the composition of a five-person board, their duties, powers, district maps and other related matters.  Governor Nathan Deal signed the bill into law on May 2, 2017.

As established in the Act, the County won’t change from a Sole Commissioner to a Board of Commissioners until January 1, 2021.  This will allow candidates time to explore and mount campaigns to run for office.  The first group of board members will be elected in November 2020.  There will be four district commissioners and a chairperson.  The four district commissioners must have resided in their district for 12 months, be 18 years of age or older and will be elected by only the voters of their district.  The chairperson must have resided in Walker County for 12 months, be 25 years of age or older and will be elected by all county voters.  Along with presiding over meetings, the chairperson administers the affairs and day to day business of the county.

District 1 & 2 Commissioners will serve an initial two-year term, while the District 3 & 4 Commissioners and the Chairperson will serve four-year terms.  After 2022, all commissioner seats will become four-year terms.  This means every two years, two of the district commissioner positions will be on the ballot.

The state Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office designed the four districts, attempting to equalize the population of each district in relation to the cities of Rossville, Chickamauga, LaFayette and Lookout Mountain.

walkercc-2017-map

Click this link to open a high-resolution pdf of the district map in a new window to view, print or download.

District commissioners will be paid $12,000 a year and reimbursed for documented reasonable expenses, which the entire board must vote on.  The chairperson will be paid $100,000 or $500 more than the highest paid elected county officer, whichever is greater.  The state dictates elected official pay, based on position and years of service.  District commissioners may participate in county provided health, dental and retirement programs at their own expense.  No county funds should be spent on these programs to benefit district commissioners.

At their first meeting as a board in January 2021, the five commissioners will determine the time, date and place of their meetings going forward.  Those meetings must take place in LaFayette, the county seat.

Special Called Meeting Scheduled to Open Bids for Road Project

The Walker County Commissioner will hold a special called meeting on Wednesday, November 21st at Noon to open bids for Walker County Local Maintenance Asphalt Resurfacing Project 2018-02 (Diamond Circle). This is the only item that will be on the agenda.

Please note, this meeting will take place at the Commissioner’s Office at 101 S. Duke Street in LaFayette, not the Courthouse Annex III building.

Lunch Conversation with the Commissioner Returns November 1st

Flintstone, GA – Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield invites you to join him for lunch on Thursday, November 1st.

Whitfield will hold the latest Lunch Conversation with the Commissioner event on November 1st from 11:30am to 1:30pm at Susan’s Diner, located at 3551 Chattanooga Valley Road in Flintstone. The public is encouraged to drop by, purchase a meal and enjoy some friendly conversation about Walker County as Commissioner Whitfield visits your table.

The event provides residents who can’t attend Commissioner Meetings in LaFayette with a daytime opportunity to ask questions and share their comments and concerns.

Susan Hays opened Susan’s Diner in 2012, bringing some of her family’s favorite dishes to the restaurant menu. The family owned diner serves soups, salads, hamburgers, sandwiches, and meat and veggie plates during lunch. Susan’s Diner also offers an extensive breakfast menu and features a daily special.