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October 16, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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October lb, 2019 Reporter Page 2C High Falls' Joe Reed running for. legislature By Diane Glidowoll news©mymcn net Joe Reed of High Falls has announced that he is running for Georgia House District 129, which includes northern Mon— roe County, as an independent. The general election for the house seat will not be until Novem— ber 2020, but as an independent, Reed must get almost 1 percent of signatures of registered voters in the district on a petition for his name to appear on the ballot. Georgia law requires that to be included on the ballot an independent candidate must file a petition with signatures of 1 percent of voters eligible to vote in the last election for that office. Reed said there were 35,000-36,000 registered voters in District 129 in 2018. The sig- natures must be obtained within a 180-day period. Reed said he plans to begin circulating the petition after January. The office Reed is seeking is presently held by Rep. Susan Holmes, a Republican who was first elected in 2010 after Jim Cole decided not to seek re- election. She had been mayor of Monticello for 12 years before seeking the state-wide seat. She has announced that she will seek REED re-election in 2020. District 129 includes portions of Jones, Butts and Monroe counties and all of Jasper County. Reed said he is running as an independent because he feels that both Republicans and Democrats have pulled away from “the center of American political thought.” He said he doesn’t feel that the best ideas come from any one political party and that he wants to be able to best represent the citizens whom he represents and his own conscience without obligations to a political party. He said at times he has voted for Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians but recently has usually voted in Republican primaries since thatis where most elections have been decided in Middle Georgia. Reed’s campaign is entirely self-funded; he is not accepting any monetary or in-kind con- tributions. He plans to take his campaign to individuals in the district one-on—one. “I will be driving, walking and cycling the streets of District 129 for the next year in an attempt to meet voters, find out what you think and offer my own ideas for your consideration,” writes Reed. “I look forward to hearing from you, meeting you and represent- ing you in a responsible and independent way.” Reed moved to Monroe Coun- ty in 2013 after he retired from a 35-year career as an educator with the DeKalb County school system. He was a teacher and coach for 16 years before moving into administration as an assis— tant principal and principal for the rest of his career. He served at the elementary, middle school and high school levels and retired as principal at Lakeside High School, his alma mater. He and his wife, Sara, together have five children and five grandchil- dren. Reed and his wife have been very active with the community since coming to Monroe County, including involvement at several levels with the Backlot Play— ers at the Rose Theater, Friends of High Falls State Park, Ferst Readers of Monroe County and Brushy Creek Estates Home- owners Association. Reprl mitt 1m AMu, 1 . . hlS first political office now because “It seems like things are more dysfunctional than ever. People say ‘I’m a Republican. I’m a Democrat? rather than ‘I’m an American. I’m a Georgian?” He said that it seems that once elect— ed candidates disregard the rest of their constituents who didn’t vote for them, even though that may be almost half of the voters in their district. Reed said he chose to enter the District 129 race because he felt that the Georgia House is where he can make the most impact. He said he considered local races, such as Board of Educa- tion because of his background in education, but feels like the local board is on the right path. He said that half of the state bud- get is spent on education, and he feels some of the decisions the House is making on education spending are not the wisest. “The state keeps giving schools more responsibilities and not funding them,” said Reed. “I am not opposed to vouchers for pri- vate schools, but private schools should be compared on the same instruments as public schools. I want apples to apples.” Reed taught at Burruss Cor— rectional Training Institution in Forsyth preparing inmates for GED tests for several years and now teaches GED preparation for Central Georgia Technical College in Forsyth. Reed includes 16 different from fiscal responsibility and taxes, transportation, job devel- opment, healthcare and educa- tion to gun control, marijuana, right to lift and immigration. “It was an enlightening ex- perience to sit down and write what I stand for and what I truly believe,” said Reed. “I highly recommend doing it.” He found it relatively easy to write about healthcare and the need for individuals to take re- sponsibility for their own health. He would like to see more transparency in medical costs, a system of fair reimbursement for medical services and more mo- tivation and incentives for living healthy lives. Reed is an avid bicyclist, runner and outdoors- man. However, he had a younger brother who was a hemophiliac and watched his parents sacri- fice to provide him the medical products he needed. Reed said the hardest part of his platform to write was about right to life. He said he has total reverence for life from concep- tion to natural death. At the same time he finds a problem in the government dictating that a woman can’t have an abortion early in her pregnancy while it fails to support her in the many years of raising that child. Reed said Holmes seems to “rubber stamp” Republican policy, and he is not aware of any impactful legislation that she has brought forward during her 4.. 1-0:-1- ture. “Maybe someone else should have a turn,” said Reed. He invites people to visit his sites at www.joereed4gastate— house.com and wwwfacebook. com/joereed4gastatehouse or call him at 770-441—1683 or email him at JoeReed4GAState- House@gmail.com. He would like to hear what you feel should be done in the Georgia House of Representatives. He hopes to talk with most of the voters in District 129 in person over the next year. Wilson: We don’t want to bear all the brunt of getting trucks from the port” counters, li Piedmont Hills residents must leave early for $4 million upgrade Residents of Piedmont Hills Apartments will have to vacate their homes by 7 am. daily starting next week due to a $4 million renovation. Property manager Lisa Freeman said the renovations will take place 7 am.-6 pm. daily starting Monday, Oct. 21 and continuing through will set up a place on the property where residents can stay and relax if they don’t have anywhere to go. Tenants will have to leave all 52 units of Piedmont Hills Apartments, located on Hwy. 41 on the west side of Forsyth, so that workers can do the massive renova- tion. It will include all new appliances, flooring, doors, ght fixtures and heating and air units. Free- Nov. 9. Freeman said they man said they’ll also put in better playground equip- ment. Freeman said the current owners bought the property in 1991 and she thinks this is the first renovation of the complex. While it’s inconvenient, Freeman noted that when workers are done, residents will have all new and Forsyth mayor Eric Wilson told leaders along the I-75 corridor on . Sept. 19 that he’s very concerned about how new truck lanes could hurt his city. But Jackson mayor Kay Pippin assured Forsyth leaders that property owners will be able to ne- gotiate with the DOT to getvenough money for their property to come out on top. Macon-Bibb County mayor Rob- ert Reichert, Monroe County com- mission chairman Greg Tapley and Wilson were among the leaders on hand for a meeting of the so—called I-75 Coalition in Forsyth. The group was formed to encourage good development along the interstate in Middle Georgia. But Wilson said DOT plans to add two truck-only lanes to the north- bound lanes has Forsyth leaders worried. He said about 100 property owners are already getting letters about DOT interest in property along the corridor and said the con- demnation of private property could stall burgeoning business growth on the east side of the interstate. “It would be a significant impact to our little city,” said Wilson. Wilson said he supports alleviating interstate traffic coming from the Savannah port to Atlanta, but said he doesn’t want to see Forsyth busi- nesses kicked to the curb. “We don’t want to bear all the brunt of getting trucks from the port,” said Wilson. Mayor Pippin said she saw the DOT handle similar projects when she was head of the Henry County Chamber. She said every time the DOT would propose widening a road in fast-growing Henry County, they would send offers to the property owners in an area. Pippin said most property owners would call the late McDonough attorney Buddy Welch, who would respond with a letter asking for more money. The DOT would then increase their offer. “They always came away with the same money,” said Pippin. Wilson said Forsyth citizens remain very concerned about it and asked members of the I-75 coalition to help Forsyth minimize the DOT’S impact on the city. updated apartments. She said Piedmont Hills currently has only four vacancies and there’s a waiting to list to fill them. Residents of Piedmont Hills will have to leave home early each morning while renovations are ongoing. National Forest offers deer Continued from Front Georgia hunters are blessed with being able to hunt deer on more than one million acres of public lands. The vast majority of this acreage is found within the boundaries of more than 100 state‘wildlife management areas. Here is a list of some of the management areas situated in Middle Georgia that will be open for modern firearms deer hunting this season: Big s. Lazer Creek Quality Buck and Antlerless the last day Oct. 17-19 and Nov. 21—23; Cedar Creek — Specialty Hunt/Buck Only Nov. 25-Dec. 1, Buck Only Oct. 17-19, Dec. 2-15, and Either Sex Last Day Nov. 14-16; and Sprewell Bluff West Either Sex Nov. 2-3, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Dec. 28-29; and Buck Only Oct. 19-Nov. 1, Nov. 4-29, Dec. 28-29. It should be noted that county antler restric— tions apply; all bucks must have at least four points one-inch ' long or longer on a side. In addition, the Oconee hunting on these dates: Buck Only — Oct. 19—Nov. 1, Nov. 4-29, Dec. 2-8, Dec. 26-27, Dec. 30-Jan. 12 as well as Either Sex Nov. 2—3, Nov. 30-Dec. 1 and Dec. 28-29. According to state deer biolo- gist Charlie Killmaster, “We are shaping up for yet another excellent deer season. Through reductions in does harvest, deer population goals have been met for most of Georgia and the population is stable.” In order to put this prediction in perspective, consider the fact that almost 170,000 deer were harvested in the Peach State last year. I strongly suggest that you check out the 2019-20 edition of the Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations Guide. Here you will find a complete list- ing of all public lands open for modern firearms deer hunting, directions to each tract, deer hunting regulations, as well as information on the proper procedures that must be fol- lowed when legally reporting all deer harvested. The guide can be viewed online at www/ l GoHuntGeorgia.com. Free printed copies of the guide can also be obtained from your local license dealer. I hope you have a successful and safe hunting season! Terry Johnson is retired Pro- gram Manager of the Georgia Nongame—Endangered Wildlife Program. He has written the informative column Monroe Outdoors’ for the Reporter for many years. His book, ‘21 Journey to Discovery,” is available at The Reporter. Email him at tjwood— duck@bellsouth.net.