Board of Education begins 2018 by looking to next school year


ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Board of Education (BOE) began 2018 already considering changes coming for the 2018-19 school year.

The board is moving ahead with Administrative Renewals for the coming school year as they are already facing nine retirements and two resignations approved in January alone. Gilmer County Charter School System Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes stated the board wanted to approve the administrative renewals now so they could move forward with their own recommendations for teachers to fill the empty spots.

The approved staff recommendations for January show those changes for January, but more are sure to come as the teacher hiring season begins with schools everywhere looking to fill positions for next year.

Even board personnel adjusted positions as new officers were elected. The position of BOE chairman came with a nomination for Michael Bramlett and appointed by acclamation. Vice chairman, however, saw more action with two nominations, one for Jim Parmer and one for Ronald Watkins.

The vote for Parmer came down to two for and three against (2-3). Nick Weaver, Tom Ocobock, and Ronald Watkins were the dissenting votes.

Watkins saw three for, none against, and two abstentions (3-0-2). Parmer and Watkins abstained on their votes.

In addition to the administrative and personnel approvals, the board set their meetings dates officially for 2018 as well as January 2019. The meetings will continue being held at 6 p.m. on these meeting dates:

Feb. 12 and 15
March 19 and 22
April 23 and 26
May 21 and 24
June 18 and 21
July 16 and 19
Aug. 20 and 23
Sept. 17 and 20
Oct. 15 and 18
Nov. 12 and 15
Dec. 10 and 13
Jan. 14 and 17, 2019


Planning and zoning director resigns


ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Planning and Zoning Department is seeing major change this week as Director Shannon Bassett announced his resignation last week.

Working through this week, Bassett is preparing the transition and providing extra training to employees. With this Friday, Jan. 12, as his final day, the office is already utilizing Karen Henson as interim director. Gilmer County Commission Chairman Charlie Paris told FetchYourNews (FYN) he had high hopes for Henson but is utilizing her in the interim position so he and the other commissioners may see how she does in the position before a final decision on properly filling the position can be made.

Henson has 10 years of experience in Gilmer’s Planning and Zoning Office. She tells FYN she wants to make the full transition to director. As administrative assistant for her 10 years, Henson tells FYN she has had an abundance of experience for the position.

As she transitions, Henson tells FYN it has been nice to have Bassett present this week as she prepares for the commissioners meeting and daily work at the office for questions and last-minute information.

Paris tells FYN Bassett received an offer from a development company that the county cannot compete with. While the county has endured several losses in its ranks as employees move for better offers, Paris says this loss will affect the county differently as it comes from a department head.

The announcement comes too late to be added to this month’s agenda, but Paris stated he would not want it on this month’s agenda anyway. Wanting the time for the board to contemplate its decision and look closer at Henson, citizens could see this item addressed in February or March’s meeting.


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JDA Accepts Executive Director Resignation


In a special called meeting, the Greater Gilmer Joint Development Authority (JDA) has accepted Executive Director Debbie Sadler’s Resignation.

Citing Family and Personal issues, Sadler has now finalized her departure from the organization. The JDA’s next meeting will be held on the first Monday in May (May 1st) where citizens may expect to hear more about the future of the Greater Gilmer JDA and this position.

When asked about the resignation, Chairman Travis Crouch said, “We’re sorry to have to make a change… but we do understand her situation.”


Judge Weaver Resigns as Chair of JQC

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Appalachian Judicial Circuit Chief Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver has resigned as Chairperson and member of the Judicial Qualifications Commission.  Judge Weaver gave her resignation today August 12, 2016.  She expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to serve and thanked the other members saying,

I sincerely appreciate the opportunity I was given  to serve as a member and as the Chairperson of this commission.  The work of this  commission is extremely  important and nothing and no one should distract from its duties and responsibilities.  As a member,  each of you spend  a lot of time each month, reading  materials and preparing for each meeting.  Thank you.
Weaver presides in the Adult Felony Drug Court and the Veterans Court in her circuit.  Last night, August the 11th, there was a total of 10 participants who graduated from the two courts.   She says she plans to use the additional time she now will have to continue to expand and improve the services that these courts provide for the citizens of her circuit.
                               2015 Drug Court Graduation


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