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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Sunday booze sales on 2012 ballot?

A proposal to place the ban on Sunday alcohol sales in Baker County up for a vote on the 2012 ballot will be considered at the Baker County Commission’s October 3 meeting.

It’s buried in a lengthy agenda that also include a workshop on per parcel assessments in lieu of traditional millage, or property tax, rates subject to value exemptions for homesteads, agriculture use and other circumstances.

He’s the complete agenda courtesy of county administrators:

BAKER COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSION

AGENDA

Tuesday – October 4, 2011

3:00 p.m. Workshop on Special Assessments

4:00 p.m.  Public Forum with Commissioners and County Manager

5:00 p.m.  Regular Agenda

  1. Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance

  1. Presentation of Amendment to the Agenda (if any)

  1. Approval of Regular Agenda

  1. Approval of Consent Agenda Items
  1. Expense Report
  1. Approval of Minutes September 19, 2011
  1. Renewal of Portable Restroom Service Contract

Henry A. Vorpe, Jr., P.E. agent for Max Davis, President, R.H. Davis Oil Co.

  1.  Committee Reports or Items

  1. Constitutional Officers

  1. Persons Wishing to Appear
  1. Dawn Emerick/Health Planning Council Annual Report

  1. County Manager
  1. Approval Propane Gas Bid
  1. 2012 Referendum regarding alcohol sales on Sunday
  1. Update on timber replanting at Shoals Park
  1. Update on ZOD wells at old landfill+

  1. Commission Comments

  1. County Attorney Comments

  1.  Persons wishing to appear who are not on the agenda (limit 3 minutes)

  1. Adjourn

 

 

City budget hearing set for Sept. 26

The Macclenny City Commission will convene at 6 pm September 26 at City Hall, 118 E. Macclenny Ave., to grant final approval to the 2011-12 budget of $7.3 million, though only $744,618 of the budget’s revenue is expected from the proposed 3.60 property tax, or millage, rate.

The rate is unchanged from the current year and will mean a more than $20,000 loss in revenue due to falling property values.

Under the proposed rate, which equals $3.60 per $1000 of taxable property value, a property with a taxable value of $100,000 would pay $360 in city property taxes, in addition to levies of the county, school district, hospital authority and water management district.

The public has largely avoided attending the city and county budget hearings in recent weeks, so the city commission hearing isn’t expected to last more than a few minutes.

The board will consider the proposed budget, tax rate and the hiring of Parrish & Associates Inc. to administer the city’s CDBG housing rehabilitation grant.


 

 


Taking salary hike is, well, gutsy

It’s been a busy week for us at The Press with state investigators raiding a local doctor’s office known far and wide as the spot to obtain prescription pills pretty painlessly, the fast approaching Sesquicentennial party and county fair, and the death of a youth pastor whose good works here will not be soon forgotten, all on top of the more routine happenings that we cover week in and week out.

What I hope, for a number of reasons, doesn’t get lost in this week’s edition is the article about the potential salary increase for the county’s elected officials per a convoluted state formula with the underlying premise that those elected deserve more money if they represent more people.

First, it’s worth noting that county commissioners, constitutional officers and the school district’s leaders, all up for the raises, don’t sign their own paychecks, so to speak, as it’s often said that politicians line their pockets any chance they get. Rather, the salary changes originated from up on high in Tallahassee, which also insulates local officials from defending their salary levels.

The salary adjustments fluctuate from year to year, moving a few dollars one way or the other with population shifts, often not garnering much attention.

But this year the move upward, based on the county breaking the 27,000 population threshold in 2010, involved a few hundred dollars more, sparking the interest of an anonymous caller to our office wondering why the county could afford raises for elected officials, but not the jobs of two laid off administrative employees.

It’s often because of such calls that we become aware of stories we otherwise may have missed, or arrive at too late for it to be relevant. Would so many of the elected officials polled this week about whether they intended to accept or reject the extra compensation, have chosen the latter had The Press not come calling?

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County’s 150th will turn out just peachy

Several people, two of them involved as organizers, commented the past week that no one seems to know about the upcoming Sesquicentennial Celebration on September 24.

Maybe that’s because so few of us attempt to pronounce the word (Cess-kwa-centennial) and thus have pushed the one-day event back in the nether regions of our consciousness.

No, it’s not a celebration of some primitive era when the dinosaurs roamed. It means Baker County is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding in April, 1861, a month when there wasn’t much going on — except, oh, for the shelling of Fort Sumter and the start of the Civil War.

Talk about being overshadowed by events. It’s on par with choosing December 7, 1941 (or 9/11 for that matter) as your wedding day.

Why aren’t people talking about the Sesquicentennial?

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