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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
August 15, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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August 15, 2018

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Page 8C HIGH FALLS Continued from Front with resource officers at every school and update technology in the Sheriff ’5 Office. Evans said he will seek grants to cover the costs of upgrad- ing technology. Evans said law enforcement presence in High Falls is especially important because drugs are coming into Monroe County from Barnes— ville, Griffin and McDonough. . Catherine Crusan commend~ ed Evans for working under— cover in the area during most of the summer of 2017, working “like a hound dog” for the com— munity although most did not know it. Someone asked why the salaries advertised by the Sher- iff’s Office in want ads in the Reporter are higher for school crossing guards than for depu- ties. Evans said he did not know. “Who will work for us at low wages?” asked a member of the audience rhetorically. Asked how the Sheriff ’5 Office is funded, Evans said through the county’s tax digest. Bud Queen said that he would support a tax that directly funded the Sheriff’s Office, like the millage dedicat- ed to Monroe County Hospital or like school tax. Discussion then turned to the Sheriff ’5 Office substation at High Falls. The substation seemed like a good idea to bring more law enforcement presence to High Falls, but it has never been used. At one time there was talk of coordination in High Falls between Lamar, Butts and Monroe County Sheriff’s Of— fices, but nothing has material— ized. There were also hopes of including the G81. “You need bodies to attack drug issues,” said Evans. “1 have donated that place for 15 years, and now I can’t get into my own building because they’ve lost the code,” said Irene Muckenfuss. She said that she donates utilities as well as the building so that there is no cost to the Sheriff’s Office for the substation. Her own office is next door; so she knows that the substation is never used. Queen said that when Muck- enfuss donated the office the agreement was that someone would be assigned to patrol the area. “We’ve never seen that deputy,” said Queen. Asked why Monroe County does not use seized assets like Butts County and Lamar CountySheriff’s Offices do, Evans ,said that MCSO has a seized money account but has not made as much use of seized funds as the two adjacent coun- ties. Asked about his plans for neighborhood watches, Evans said there have not been any in so long that he would have to begin by organizing them. Knecht said that might be hard because a lot of people in High Falls don’t want anyone to come to their doors. One person said she heard someone at her window, called for help and it took 45 minutes before a deputy came to her house. She said the only positive was that the dis— patcher stayed on the line and kept her calm. “I’m going to work on re- sponse time,” said Evans. “It all supra" SMALL eulnss L Owenslnsurance 16 EastJohnson St. Forsyth, GA 31029 AUTO 0 HOME 0 LIFE LONG-TERM CARE Rick onions (478) 994-1515 (478) 742-7966 goes back to enough money.” He said there are now three patrol zones with four depu- ties assigned per shift. Forsyth Police Department assists the Sheriff ’5 Office but can’t go too far out of its jurisdiction. Evans would like to have six depu— ties per squad and four squads county-wide. Emami said that as a new commissioner he asked for a comparison between the Mon— roe County budget and that of seven other counties of similar size. He said with over 400 employees in the county, it was hard to understand the num- bers, especially with the county finance office understaffed and under—qualified. Since the finance office wasn’t able to help, he and Commissioner Eddie Rowland have been working on getting data from other coun— ties, including lones and Peach. Emami said he was surprised to see that the per capita spend- ing in Monroe County is higher than in counties of similar size ($1,006 per person versus $650 per person) leading him to think that instead of a need for more money, Monroe County needs to spend its money more efficiently. “We have to find out where the fat is. We’ve been side- tracked with just getting the bills paid,” said Emami. “We need to have one full year of capital in the bank, and we only have a month-and-a-half.” He said deputies got a raise a year-and-a-half ago, and more money for deputies needs to come from improving the operation of the Sheriff ’5 Office instead of from more taxes. He said an example of a policy that has created a liability for the county is allowing employ— ees to bank time, that is, to get paid later for overtime worked. Emami said the county should set limits on how far comp time can be carried forward like most companies do. “Recently we couldn’t afford ,to promote someone to cap- tain because we are still paying comp time to someone who. has retired,” he said. “We need to escalate a solution.” Evans said that comparisons to other counties have been done before, but Emami said the report he saw from the Regional Commission had “no meat” in it. He said that he and Row— land had learned that Monroe County has almost the highest number of employees per capita. He said Commissioner Larry Evans has suggested having a motion and time study for a pic- ture of how much work county employees are getting done and are expected to do in a day. “My feeling is we have to find a way to eradicate fat,” said Emami. “It didn’t happen overnight, and it won’t go away overnight.” “The two new commissioners [Rowland and Emami] are hav- ing a tough time,” said Knecht. “We need to go to commission meetings and help.” Emami said the commission- ers are holding meetings at vari- ous locations in the county and asked for suggestions of where to hold a commission meeting in High Falls. The High Falls Civic Club meets on the last Thursday of each month at 7 pm. at the High Falls Fire Station. Agency DISABILITY rdowonommnlixom .pmrr r MM" MOW MW‘ large enough iii; sewn you, smelt enough to know you (473) 992-3326 Emergency Service August I5, 20I8 MEY Continued from Front partner,” said Patrick Hamilton, Fine Art Event Coordinator. “Could I use more non-booked days? Of course,” he said. “We need as much time as possible to support each group regard- less of whether it is Ms. Sandi Watson at K. B. Sutton or Ms. Holly Grimes at MPHS. Several times this past year the closing act was being kicked out by the new act almost before the show ended. But, it is extremely r'e- warding and very much worth the effort since these shows feature our Monroe County youngsters.” When is the next Choral Concert? Perhaps the most asked question directed to this column is when will the Mary Persons’ chorus perform. Great news for those who have been asking, the combined middle Lew'e the Clown assists 5th grade magician Jason Alexander on stage at the Fine Arts Center at the Convocation for Monroe County and high school choruses will School on July 30. He will be back on the FAC stage with The Big present a Kick—offConcert in Top Show on Aug. l6. (Photo/Diane Glidewell). September. . SPOI'tS teams Speak Ofbuild- will feature the always exciting Visit www.monroefinearts. ing a “program.” Mr. Hernandez and his team have created an outstanding music and drama org to view the Fine Arts Center Calendar and to obtain perfor— mance times and ticket infor- elementary school stage pro- ductions. You can expect a full house for each performance as program in the Monroe County we watch the county’s budding mation. The Monroe County SChOOI system. There Will be young talent perform. Fine Arts Center is located at 27 three combined concerts over The Music/ Drama depart— Brooklyn Avenue, Forsyth the SChoOl year. ment has wowed us these past A Brief OVerVieW 0f the several years with top-notch Dennis Smith writes “Monroe Entertainment Coming YOUR performances, like “Shre ” Entertains You,” highlighting the Way! The popular One Act plays are scheduled for October. entertainment fare ofl'ered in Monroe County and the people More of that level-entertainment can be expected in the spring. December will feature all three Finally, the merry month of who make it possible. Smith bands as wall as the combined May arrives, and choruses and wants Forsyth to realize and Choruses With their hOIidaY bands will delight listeners with support the riches it has in the cultural arts. ShOWS- lanuary and February their farewell concerts. Local Rotary hears about Boys 8: irIsClulos The Boys and Girls Club of Central Geor— gia offers hope to kids ages 6— 18. The Club’s mission is to help young men and women realize and recognize their potential and then help them reach those goals through the fol— lowing services and programs: Char’acter"& Leadership Deve10pment; Career 8: Education Development; Health & Life Skills Develop- ment; Sports, Fitness & Recreation, and The Arts. The Monroe County Boys 81 Girls Club opened in September 2017 with $225,000 funded by Forsyth and Monroe County and a location and other support provided by Mon- roe County Schools and had80 kids by year . 'end. It meets in one building oflthe William Hubbard Middle School campus. Pictured, left to right, are Rotarian Mike Howard, Rotarian Sandy Colwell, Boys 8r Girls Clubs of Central Georgia Development Direc- tor Lisa McClendon, Boys 8: Girls Clubs of Central Georgia VP—Operations and Program Services Kristine Steinmann. , Exchange Club supports Children’s Home Caroline Edenfield, pictured right, from The Methodist Children's Home spoke to the Forsyth Exchange Club and was presented with a check torSIOOO. 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