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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
May 2, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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May 2, 2018

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Page 6A May 2, 2018 porter I N LOV! N G Jane Newton February Z 1929 - April 25, 2018 Jane Newton Ivey, of Forsyth, passed away Wednes- day; April 25, 2018. Graveside services were held Sun- day, April 29 at Monroe Hills Memorial Gardens. Rev. Eugene Barlow and Michael Murray officiated. Mrs. Ivey, the daughter of the late Charles Leo New- ton and lewell Bryant Newton, was born Feb. 7, 1929, in Forsyth. Her husband, Gordon Lee Ivey, and her daughter, Rebecca Murray, preceded her in death. She was a graduate of Mary Persons High School, a home- maker and a member of Paran Baptist Church. Mrs. Ivey is survived by her children, Kathy Lynn Ivey Owen (David) of Dallas, Ga. and Mike Edmond Ivey (Kathy) of Forsyth; sisters, Louise Maddox and Dottle Newton of Forsyth; brother, Raymond Newton (Gwin) of Forsyth; son-in-law, Michael Murray (Carol) of For- syth; six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the Carousel House, 173 South Lee Street, Forsyth, GA 31029. The family may be contacted at the residence 729 Gregory Road, Forsyth, GA 31029. Please visit to express tributes. Monroe County Memorial Chapel has charge of ar- rangements. Fleta Price Purvis Fleta Price Purvis, 89, went to be with her Lord and Savior, Thursday, April 26, 2018. A celebration of her life was held Monday, April 30, 2018 at River- side United Methodist Church with Rev. Chip Strickland and Rev. Steve Waldorf officiating. Burial followed in Macon Memorial Park Cemetery. The family requests no flowers, but that donations be made to Riverside United PURVI$ Methodist Church, 735 Pierce Avenue, Macon, 31204. Fleta was born in Moultrie to the late Homer and Pearlie Ashmore Price, and was preceded in death byher son, Jim Purvis, III in 1971 and a sister. She attended Miller High School and was a graduate of Moultrie High School. Fleta was also a graduate of the Macon Hospital School of Nursing. She was an Operat- ing Room Supervisor, having retired from the Monroe County Hospital. Fleta was a member of Riverside United Methodist Church and the Roundtable Sunday School Class. She was also a former member and Past President of Macon Jr. Women's Club and a member of the Macon Service League. Survivors include her husband, James A. Purvis, Jr. of Juliette; son, Michael W. Purvis of Juliette; granddaugh- ter, MicheUe Nicole O'DiUon of Macon; a great grand- daughter; and brother, Billy Ray Price of TuUahoma, Tennessee. Visit to express condolences. Macon Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery have charge of arrangements. Gordon Edward Rhodes March 11, 1970 - April 26, 2018 Gordon Edward Rhodes, formerly of Forsyth, passed away April 26, 2018 after a lengthy illness. He was preceded in death by his grandpar- ents, Dennis and Molly Radford of England and Unde Buddy and Mama Doris Rhodes of Forsyth. He is survived by his son Jordan Scott Rhodes of Forsyth, his parents, Joe and Chris Rhodes of Columbia, iiiiiii? RItODB SC, his brother, James and Amy Rhodes of Sumter, S.C. and a niece, Cheyenne Young of Sumter, S.C. He is also survived by several uncles, aunts and cousins, both in the U.S. and England. He also leaves behind dose friends, Jodi Maiden and her husband, Guy of Virginia Beach, VA. Gordon served 20 years in the U.S. Navy and was currently employed by TransTecs of Virginia Beach, VA. A memorial service will be announced at a later date. The family may be contacted at the home of his parents, Joe and Chris Rhodes, 840 Sparkleberry Lane, Apt 707, Columbia, S.C. 29229 Gene Arthur Watkins November 28, 1947 - April 20, 2018 Juliette - Funeral services for Mr. Gene Arthur "Bo Bd' Watkins will be Wednesday, April 25, 1 p.m. in the Freeman Funeral Home Chapel, Forsyth. Burial will be at Saint Peter Rock Church Cemetery, Juliette. Survivors include his wife, Mary Grier; siblings Ma- rie Watkins, Corine (Rufus) Laster, ILA (Joe) Jackson, Christine (Greg) Battle, Freddie (Jacqueline) Watkins and a host of relatives and friends. The family can be contacted at 311 Old Brent Road, Forsyth. Freeman Funeral Home of Forsyth was in charge of arrangements. BARNESVILLE MARBLE &: GRANITE COMPANY LAR Call your local Monroe County representative Scott Harrell 478-256-3586 or toll free: 800-551 - 1102 3 3250 Vineville Av% Macont GA 31208 By P& :rd forsyth@mymcmet Four Republican candidates seeking to replace longtime state House District 141 representa- tive Allen Peake tangled in front of a crowd of more than 100 at Alderman Hall in Forsyth on Monday night in a mostly civil, hour-long debate hosted by The Reporter. Macon-Bibb County com- missioner Gary Bechtel, health care executive Shane Moble) financial planner Todd Tolbert and Jones County real estate agent Dale Washburn faced a wide array of questions ranging from Georgi religious free- dom bill to the Bibb-Monroe line dispute. In his opening statement, Bechtel said he has been a proud resident ofMacon-Bibb Cotmty for his entire 58 years. He said his district in Macon-Bibb continues to grow residentially, commercially and sodally and said h would bring his experi- ence working in local govern- ment, first as a Bibb County Board of Education member and then as a commissioner, to the state level. Bechtel said one ofhis primary goals is to ensure the state continues to provide full funding for local school sys- tems through its Quality Basic Education (QBE) program. Moble~; who said he's a property taxpayer in both Bibb and Monroe counties, owns and operates Sleep Med, which he said is the largest provider to Georgia critical access hospitals as well as a Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare provider. Moble)~ who also supports expanded broadband intemet coverage, said "99.9 percent" of his campaign is serf-funded, which he said shows his com- mitment not to cater to special interest groups. Tolbert, who grew up in Juliette and formerly served in the U.S. Air National Guard, noted his bus'mess is based in Bibb County:. Tolbert, who serves as the chairman of the Hospital Authority of Monroe County, said he worked along- side Monroe County dtizens to save Monroe County Hospital (MCH) last year, citing over 100 jobs that were preserved. Tolbert also said he previously served as an assistant treasurer for the Georgia Republican Party but would be willing to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats. Washburn told the audi- ence he is a father, grandfather, businessman and a conservative Republican, who is pro-life, pro-second amendment and pro-business. Washburn said he believes in small government and less taxation and said he would base his legislative deri- sions on two primary questions: 1.) Is it good for Georgia's fami- lies? 2.) Is it good for Georgia's businesses? Moderator Will Davis asked the candidates their thoughts on Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal's veto of a proposed religious liberty law that would protect Georgia businesses who choose to exclude a group based on religious beliefs. Washbum replied that marriage should be between a man and a woman and said his wife, who is a church organist, should have the right to refuse to play at a gay wedding if asked. Washburn said politicians shouldn't have to compromise their deeply held principles in order to appease outside forces. Tolbert said the Georgia constitution prevents religious freedom discrimination but said if business owners need their religious freedom protected even more, he would be willing to sign a separate law to protect them. Tolbert said he was dis@- pointed in Deal's derision to veto the proposed bill but said he knew pressures from outside contracts and businesses caused his decision. MoNey said he disagreed with De 's veto and said he doesn't think lawmakers should be telling small busi- ness owners how to run their companies. He said outside companies' culture should not dictate the conservative, Chris- tian views of many Georgia business owners. Bechtel said opponents to religious freedom should respect individual busi- ness owners' choices. Bechtel added that lawmakers should provide protection for business owners unwilling to do business with people who offend them spifituany. Davis next asked the lawmak- ers how they would handle the Bibb-Monroe line dispute, induding whether they agreed with state representative Robert Dickeys proposal last year that property tax revenue in the dis- puted territory be put in escrow until the dispute is settled. Bechtel said he opposed Dickeys escrow plan, saying it wouldn't help the matter. He said, as a Bibb County com- missioner, he probably knows more about the issue than anyone else in the room and said Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp needs to nile on the line. Bechtel said the two sides combined have spent $4 million on legal fees related to the line and deemed it a waste of taxpayer mone) MoNey said he too thinks Kemp should settle the line and said he has a vested interest due to being the orily candidate who is a property tax- payer in both counties. Tolbert said the secretary of state needs to set the line and said he initally supported Dickeys proposal to put the money in escrow. How- ever, Tolbert said he changed his mind when he realized the move could hurt Macon-Bibb's job creation. Washburn said a derision needs to be made sooner rather than later and said lawyers are getting rich because of it, Davis next asked Mobley whether he was using previous donations for his campaign for state insurance commissioner for his legislative campaign. MoNey said he did accept some donations for his intended run for insurance commissioner but said he was not using them for his current campaign. Instead, he said those fimds were frozen in a separate account. Davis then asked Tolbert about daims he called Mobley an "idiot" on social media while adding that Mobley "has evil in hiS heart? Tolbert admitted he did say unflattering things about Moble saying he fdt Mobley was trying to do anything he could to get elected, including attacldng Monroe County Hos- pital in order to hurt Tolbert's chances. MoNey said he never tried to shut down MCH and said he was only concerned about the hospital's $10 million debt and how it affects taxpay- ers. MoNey said, "I've been saving hospitals for 20 years:' MoNey also said he was the lone candidate who stated on 13WMAZ's "Close Up" pro- gram in March that he would not support any tax increase and said Tolbert misrepresented his comments to his supporters. Davis then turned his at- tention to Be&tel, asking the Macon-Bibb commissioner about recent 13WMAZ daims that Bechtel had failed to pay thousands of dollars in state ethics commission fines related to failure to disclose campaign finance contributions. Bechtel said he recently paid his fines in full but said his case's status would not be resolved online until June. Tolbert vouched for Bechtel, saying his opponent had fully resolved the matter. Davis next asked the candidates their opinions on federal and state tax credits for low-income housing, such as a proposed low-income apart- ment complex slated for South Monroe County. Washburn said he supports tax incentives but said he doesn't think it's a good idea to direct tax credits for low-income housing to high-Income neighborhoods. Washbum said growth could be hurt by the proposed apartment complex and said it's important that counties have effective zon- ing boards to prevent issues like that. Bechtel said the process is called LIHTC, named for Low- Serving Middle (}eorgia for Over 100 Years Designers & Manuihctures of Marble, Granite & Bronze Memorials since 1908 George & Janice Moore Authoriz~d Ge(~rgia Marble Dealer TOLL FREE 1-800-377-9341 1-770-358-1.470 Raih'oad & Main St Barnesville. GA Income Housing Tax Credit, and said designated locations are determined by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). Bechtel said he doesn't think DCA seeks out high-income areas but said the tax credit locations are not restricted. He said the proposed South Monroe County apart- ments are not in keeping with land use maps in that portion of either Monroe or Bibb counties. Tolbert said he agreed with Washburn and Bechtel about the potential harm created by the low-income hous g inita- tive and said he would support repealing legislation that allows for the tax credits. MoNey said he too opposed the low-income tax credits and said he feared increased crime as a result of the proposed apartment complex Davis then asked Bechtel about his role on the Bibb County school board when former school superintendent Romain Dallemand, who subsequently pied guilty to filing a false tax return in 2012, was hired. He also asked Bechtel about the ongoing money woes of the Macon-Bibb County comb/reed government Bechtel responded that he was one of three board members who voted against Dallemand's initial hiring. Bechtel, who sued Dallemand in June 2012, stated he is a prosecution witness in the ongoing federal corrup- tion case against Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority chairman Clifford Whitby (a Monroe County resident), who is accused of conspiracy to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to Dallemand in exchange for the school superintendents support for a software contract and the Prom- ise Neighborhood program. Bechtel also defended his work on the Macon-Bibb County commission, saying three Bibb County pension plans and a serf-funded health care plan cre- ated the shortfall that will likely lead to higher taxes. Bechtel said dty taxes were eliminated during the first two budget years of the consolidated government in 2014 and 2015, respectivel Bechtel said the tax cut of about $20 million has also contributed to the county's financial woes. "No excuses ' Bechtel said of Macon-Bibb's cashfall shortage. "Some derisions were made that shouldn't have been made, but the legacy costs are things that have to be dealt with. And this commission is not dealing with them. And rm beating my head against the wall, but ! lost on some of that? Tolbert said he has faith in the citizens of Macon-Bibb County that they will overcome the govemmental concems. He said he showed his confidence in Macon-Bibb recently when he sign6d a lease for new office space that would nearly triple his current setup. Mobley said many of Macon-Bibb County's finandal problems stem from residents leaving Macon-Bibb for surrounding counties, such as Houston. MoNey said h&t like to see Macon-Bibb grow more on its north end to go along with the growth that the south end of Bibb County has experienced. Davis then asked the can- didates whether they support the upcoming Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) on the May 22 ballot in which a pelmy tax would be designated for regional transportation needs. Washburn never stated specifi- cally whether he would vote for or against the measure but said he's typically resistant to any tax. However, Washburn noted that roads are critical for continued industry growth in the state, as well as education and the con- tinued success of the Georgia coastal ports. Tolbert said he supports the TSPLOST because there are projects included that will benefit Monroe County. He also noted that any interstate work helps Monroe County because two rock quarries, who provide much of the aggregate mix for the asphalt, operate in Monroe County. MoNey said he willvote against the TSPLOST, saying he will consider what is best for both Bibb and Monroe counties. MoNey said he doesn't like that 40 percent of dtizens pay 100 percent of taxes for road infrastructure and said he sup- port a Fair Tax, or consumption tax, that would better equalize taxation. Bechtel said he would support the TSPLOST, saying there are benefidal projects for both Bibb and Monroe coun- ties, induding $50 million in proposed improvements to Bass Road. Bechtel also said Middle Georgia would stand to bring in about $650 to $700 million in total funding over the next 10 years due to the tax. Davis then opened up the floor for audience questions. The most controversial ques- tion came from South Monroe County resident John Ricketson, who asked Washburn whether he intended to reimburse the Macon-Bibb Public Works and the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) for man hours spent removing Wash- bum's campaign signs allegedly on right-of-ways. Washburn categorically denied Ricket- son's accusation, and when Ricketson called him 'h liar" to his face, Washburn got up and repeatedly pointed his finger at Ricketson. "I called and got permis- sion for every sign we put up," Washburn said firml) "We do not put them in the right-of- wa) We do not put them in the right-of-way. And who gave you (Ricketson) the right to go around and police everybody in the country anyhow? IfI catch you removing my signs, I'm go ing to have you arrested:' The candidates then gave their dosing statements. Washbum apologized for losing his temper with Ricketson but said he was tired of Ricketson's "self-ap- pointed vigilantism" in remov- ing political signs. Washburn told voters he would be "hon- ored to represent you in Atlanta" and pledged to "study the issues and do the very best I can to do the right thing? Tolbert said he loves living in Middle Georgia and doesn't take voters' support for granted. Tolbert, who said he has been endorsed by the Police Benevolent Assodation, said he wiU make law enforce- ment a priority. He also added that he strongly supports the use of medical cannabis oil for sick patients, an issue championed by Peake, who intends to retire at year's end after 12 years in the legislature. Mobley said citizens need someone in office who is neutral and not beholden to special interests. He said he too supports law enforcement offi- cers and tid it would be a "great honor" to represent House Dis- trict 141. Bechtel said his local government experience makes him "uniquely qualified" for the position. He said he will commit to improving Monroe County and said Forsyth and Monroe County will only continue to get better with help from the state govemment. Early voting began Monday for the Home District 141 Republican primary with Elec- tion Day fast approaching on Tuesday; May 22. ~, {t "Local Award Winning Business serving Monroe County and surrounding areas since 2009" "Free House Cleaning to Anyone with Cancer" , FULLY INSURED & BONDED, Professionally trained uniformed staff House Cleaning Pressure Washing, Window Cleaning