After an executive session last Wednesday, the Brunswick City Commission came back into public session and voted unanimously to sell 2.05 acres of property located at 515 Lanier Blvd. to the Glynn County Board of Education for $118,000.
According to Mike Hulsey, Chairman of the Board of Education, the BOE hasn’t taken official action yet on the purchase and will probably vote at their meeting on Tuesday, July 26.
The pie-shaped piece of property is bordered on the north by Glynn Middle School and on the west and south by 511 Lanier Blvd.
Widget Richards, who is from Marietta and an advocate for the disabled, and others have been working to get the Jekyll Island Authority to improve beach access for the handicapped, especially those in wheel chairs.
There is a problem with beach access for wheelchair bound people because the Mobi-Mats®, an ADA beach access mat, do not extend far enough to roll a wheelchair easily onto to Jekyll’s hard packed beach sand.
Runoff Candidates speak to Republican Women’s group
by Pamela Permar-Shierling
Each of the six runoff candidates spoke to the Golden Isles Republican Women’s Club last week.
Candidates who spoke to the group and answered questions included District 2 County Commission candidates incumbent Dale Provenzano and Peter Murphy; Clerk of Superior Court candidates Ron Adams and Sam Tostensen; Coroner candidates Jo Chapman and Marc Neu.
Marc Neu, who is from Brunswick, retired from the Glynn County Police Department in 2014. He said his experience is in homicide investigations as well as child deaths. “Most deaths don’t require investigation,” he said, “just that you understand the scene.”
Neu was asked if he could set the record straight about whether or not he moved a small auto before the Caroline Small scene was investigated.
He said yes he did move a truck. Neu stated he was on the scene within two to three minutes after the shooting happened and there was no ambulance. “Ms. Small was still alive,” he said.
He said he was instructed by Assist. Chief Scott Trautz to move a police vehicle so the ambulance could get to Ms. Small. “The first order of business is to save lives,” he said.
Jo Chapman, also from Brunswick, currently serves as deputy coroner for Glynn County. He told the group he has been in the funeral business and ambulance service all his life. “I am no longer affiliated with any funeral home,” he said. “I do work security part time with the Sea Island Company.”
“The coroner’s job is to investigate the remains. It is the local police or the GBI’s job to investigate the death to determine if an autopsy should be done.”
Chapman served in Vietnam as Army Sergeant mortician and identification specialist.
Ron Adams, Superior Court Clerk candidate, stated the situation in the clerk’s office is less than ideal. “The books are not exactly right. Money is missing and it’s been 18 months and there is still no GBI report,” he said.
“The office needs to be cleaned up,” he continued. “The voters need to decide who is the right candidate for the job.”
“I have the best experience and education,” he said. “I have dealt with many difficult situations in 30 years of banking.”
“I have what is needed to move the clerk’s office forward. I have a proven track record and I have a promise from the County Commission of an audit before the new clerk takes office,” Adams said.
Adams was asked about the jury selection process which, he said, is driven by the state and those rules must be followed. “Because of the state’s rules, the jury pool is different than it used to be.”
Adams was also asked about the efficiency of the clerk’s office. He responded that he had always received a good reception from the staff. “Maybe the inefficiencies are due to the current leadership in the office,” he said.
Sam Tostensen, also running for Clerk of Superior Court, said, “I don’t have the business background Ron has. I am 31 years old and make up any lack of experience in reverence for the office plus I have the best interest of the community at heart.”
“The clerk’s office including record keeping benefits from longevity,” Tostensen continued. “I would like to serve four or five terms (16-20 years),” he said. “And my leadership skills will enable me to run the office.”
Dale Provenzano, running for re-election as the District 2 county commissioner spoke next.
“When I began serving on the County Commission in 2013 things were different,” he said. “The challenges were different then: the JWSC was important, unemployment was up, home foreclosures were up, and the commission worked on bringing jobs to the area.”
“I was appointed to serve on the JWSC and by revamping failing projects we got it on track. I worked with the Development Authority, the Port Authority and the Chamber of Commerce to bring jobs to Glynn County.”
“I was involved with negotiating with Gulfstream, the Canal Crossing developers, and Stambaugh Aviation to bring growth to north Glynn County and to the Brunswick Airport.” he said.
“Now that business growth has started, I have appointed a committee to develop a tree protection ordinance for St. Simons Island; a number of ordinances have been amended in an effort to address development issues; I have signed a resolution to re-district the county to add another commissioner to represent St. Simons Island; and voted to hire Georgia Tech to provide us with an incorporation (of St. Simons Island) impact study.”
Provenzano was asked, “How would you deal with the rights of individual property owners and their desire to develop their property?”
His response: “You cannot take property rights away from property owners. We, the commission, works with developers and property owners. We can restrict how a property owner develops the property by requiring more green space and more ingress and egress.”
Peter Murphy, also a District 2 County Commission candidate spoke last.
He said he had learned a great deal during his campaign. “I am concerned with the way business is done in the planning office. The commission and developers have undue influence and make changes before the information gets to the Planning Commission.”
Murphy also spoke about the substandard lot issue in Glynn Haven. “Instead of building houses on 2,000 sq. ft. lots, developers can build fewer and larger houses on larger lots and they won’t lose money,” he said.
He also said a Dollar General is what is wrong with the island.
He said he does not support the Carl Vinson Institute Study (provides three scenarios for the incorporation of St. Simons Island) even though he contributed money for the study.
He said he does not support incorporation of St. Simons at this time and does not support any change in the Marshes of Glynn Library System. The Vinson study included the City of St. Simons owning the St. Simons Library in two of the three incorporation scenarios.
Murphy said he would get a coalition together to get change on the Island.
George Ragsdale asked him what he would do to get up to speed if elected.
Murphy said he would have hip replacement surgery first them meet with all the commissioners, David Hainley, Community Development Director, and Alan Ours, County Administrator.