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A possible surprise and a few back-pats
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Perhaps you have already decided exactly how you will mark the Nov. 4 ballot and have turned attention to things other than political. But wait - if so, you might be surprised that you also need to vote on three amendments to the Georgia State Constitution and on a referendum concerning ad valorem taxes.


Fortunately, I read Rep. Amos Amerson’s column last week, as I usually do, so when I went to do an “early vote,” I was somewhat prepared.


The referendum is actually a Special Election, held at the same time as the General Election, and it is clearly stated: a “yes” or “no” vote on the approval of an act to provide homestead exemption from Dawson County school district ad valorem taxes, an exemption of $60,000 of assessed value for residents who are disabled or who are 65 or older and whose income does not exceed $50,000.


It is always difficult to decipher the language of proposed amendments. As I understand it, amendment one would allow more forest and timberland to be placed in conservation; this could insure more greenspace and allow landowners to hold onto their undeveloped property. Amendments Two and Three allow local governments to establish taxing and community improvement districts. I wish that I had talked with our commissioners about these two before I went to vote, because I am not sure exactly what that means. You now have time to get some clarification.


Now that I’ve done my civic duty and forewarned you to be prepared, I turn to some personal congratulations, which also include appreciation:


• To Ann Lott, media specialist at Black’s Mill Elementary, who was recently honored through Adopt-A-Classroom and Office Max and received a big box of supplies. Along with many others, I have long appreciated Ann’s creativity and efficiency.


• To Commissioner Mike Berg on his appointment to the Governor’s Public Defenders Standards Council. It means more work, but it gives him opportunity to follow up on some of his own recommendations.


• To my young friend Chad Cunningham, who was named University of Tennessee’s player of the game for his expert punting in the Tennessee-Auburn game.


• To Marcia Chelf, director of the Bowen Center for the Arts, and the Dawson County Arts Council Board for a wonderful ongoing program at the “Old Rock School.”  Citizens can, and should, express appreciation by joining the council during the present membership drive and by purchasing tickets for “Lunch at an Artful Table” and the upcoming Community Chorale Concert, as well as by going to the center to enjoy the exhibits (photography, this month), the Young Performers (Hannah Chapman, this month), and their other activities.


• To the Humane Society for what I expect will have been (I write this before the event) a successful Fur Ball. We appreciate their efforts, their progress, and especially all their volunteers.


• And I personally appreciate Dr. Mark Weaver’s willingness to replace me on the Region II MHDDAD Planning Board. He has the experience and interest to represent Dawson County well.


Helen Taylor’s column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.