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Tobar’s projected surplus evaporates

Last October, Grady County Administrator Carlos Tobar bragged to members of the Grady County Commission and the Grady County Lake Authority that the county had over $1 million more in cash as of Sept. 30, 2014 than it did the year prior.
Unfortunately, Tobar's "quick and dirty calculation" as he described it last fall has turned out to be false. The county administrator failed to account for grant funds that had been deposited into the county's general fund.

County to hold another closed door meeting Thursday night

Grady County commissioners are planning to meet in a closed door session Thursday at 6 p.m. at the courthouse. This will be the fourth consecutive week that commissioners have met to discuss personnel issues.

Several big ticket items are included in preliminary city budget figures

The Cairo City Council and City Manager Chris Addleton gathered together Monday night to begin discussing priorities for the 2015-2016 operating budget which goes into effect July 1.
"We are moving into budget season and I need for you to let me know your priorities so we can get them in the budget," Addleton said Monday night.

City is buying policemen new body worn cameras

The Cairo Police Department will soon have body worn cameras for all patrol officers as well as investigators.
On the recommendation of Police Chief Keith Sandefur and Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton, the city council Monday night approved the purchase of 20 new body worn cameras from VieVu of Seattle for a total cost of $18,054.


The Cairo High School Syrupmaker cagers continued their winning ways Saturday night advancing to the Elite Eight and moving another step closer to a state championship.
The Syrupmaker Basketball Team, under Coach Isiah Chance, defeated the Monroe Area High School Hurricanes 65-50. Cairo will now travel Wednesday to take on the Lithonia High School Bulldogs.
See Wednesday's edition of The Cairo Messenger for a complete report on Saturday night's victory and a preview of Wednesday night's game in Lithonia, located in DeKalb County and metro Atlanta.

Tobar taken to task by commission chairman

Grady County Administrator Carlos Tobar was on the hot seat Tuesday night for his alleged actions involving Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice officials housed at the Grady County Recreation Department headquarters, which is the former Grady County Sheriff's Office.
Grady County Commission Chairman LaFaye Copeland took Tobar to task for his actions.

Commissioners meeting a lot behind closed doors

For three consecutive weeks, the Grady County Commission has gone behind closed doors to discuss personnel issues.
Coimmissioners met for over an hour during the most recent closed-door session Tuesday night. During a majority of the session, the board met without County Administrator Carlos Tobar.

UGA surveying landowners about economic damage caused by feral swine

University of Georgia researchers have begun surveying landowners in parts of Georgia to assess how much economic damage feral swine are causing throughout the state.
A new survey, “Feral Swine on Private Lands in Georgia,” has been mailed to 3,000 landowners across Georgia and is being conducted by Michael Mengak and students in UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.

County to begin advertising for accounting manager position

Grady County has been without an accounting manager for over a month, but on Tuesday night the county commission instructed County Administrator Carlos Tobar to begin advertising for the position.

Watch for Broad Street roadblocks beginning Thursday

Lights! Camera! Action!
Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts students are planning to return to Cairo’s Zebulon Theater to film another production.
"Frankenstein's Light" is slated to be filmed here beginning Thursday, with two more days of production next week.

Cairo High School to return to block schedule next term

Cairo High School will return to the 4 x 4 block schedule when school reopens for the new term in August.
The Grady County Board of Education unanimously approved the recommendation of Superintendent Lee M. Bailey to shift to the new schedule for the 2015-2016 school term, but monitor through the next scheduled charter school application in fiscal year 2018.

Local officials oppose transfer of local sales taxes to fund state transportation needs

A recent poll indicates less than one in five Georgians supports the proposed Georgia transportation funding legislation recently introduced in the legislature and you can add all members of the Cairo City Council and the Grady County Board of Education to that number.
Both bodies this week unanimously adopted resolutions in opposition to the reallocation of local sales tax funding from local governments to the state.
House Bill 170 calls for the investment of $1 billion annually by the state for transportation projects and infrastructure.

Board instructs Tobar to back off push to charge court rent

Grady County commissioners last Tuesday instructed the county administrator to back off a plan that would require Juvenile Court to pay rent for office space they occupy at the former Grady County Sheriff's Office, now home to the Grady County Recreation Department.

EMC attorneys file answer in lawsuit

Attorneys representing Grady Electric Membership, the board of directors and the current and former general manager filed an answer last week to a lawsuit filed by disgruntled EMC members.
The court documents filed in Grady Superior Court on Monday, Jan. 26, include a motion to dismiss and a motion to appoint a litigation review committee.

Annual Clinton 5K Run and Walk is this Saturday

A memorial 5K Run and Walk in the name of late educator Lateesha Faulk Clinton takes place Saturday at Southside Elementary School in Cairo. The run/walk will benefit an educational scholarship fund for projects and opportunities for students at Southside, where Clinton was principal when she passed away suddenly in February 2013.

County seeks consensus in moving foward with lake project

With the dam for the Tired Creek Lake now complete Grady County officials are seeking to determine the best approach moving forward to complete the project and how best to manage it.
Grady County Administrator Carlos Tobar, who recently recommended the county commission nix its plans to issue $10 million in bonds to cover the cost of completing the lake project, pushed at Tuesday morning’s commission meeting for commissioners to reign in consultants who have been working in earnest with the Grady County Lake Authority on a suggested amenities plan, which includes a proposed marina,  multiple boat ramps, plus a splash pad and amphitheater.

County agrees to put Mathis on its health insurance

Grady County Joint Development Authority Chairman Charles M. Stafford has contacted the Grady County Commission seeking its approval to add JDA Executive Director Chadd Mathis to the county's health insurance plan.
Grady County Clerk Carrie Kines relayed the request to commissioners Tuesday morning and she indicated the JDA would reimburse the county for the entire amount of the insurance premium.

Whigham hosting annual Rattlesnake Roundup Saturday

A snake that strikes fear into the hearts of many people will be the center of attention in Whigham Saturday at the 55th Annual Rattlesnake Roundup. Shopping, eating, and kids’ activities are also part of the plans, with sunshine and mild temperatures in the forecast.
Members of Whigham Community Club, which sponsors the roundup as a fund raiser, are planning for a big crowd. "We're hoping everyone will come out and support our event. Most of the money raised at the Roundup goes to the local Boy Scout Troop, Venture Crew and Cub Scout Pack, Whigham School, 4-H, and local burnout victims," says Travis Shepherd, a club member and head of the local Boy Scouts. The Scouts handle parking for the event, and also clean up the grounds afterwards.

Key school positions being vacated

The Grady County School System is currently advertising to employ a new Cairo High School Principal, but so far interest in the job is tepid.
Grady County School Superintendent Lee M. Bailey said this week that currently only five candidates have expressed interest or have made application for the position.

Gov. Deal’s plan would cut insurance benefits for some school system employees

A proposal by Governor Nathan Deal to cut health insurance benefits from school system employees across the state who work 30 hours or less is drawing heat from local school officials.
Grady County School Superintendent Lee M. Bailey said that if the budget is approved by the legislature as presented it would impact 25 of the 42 bus drivers in the local school system.

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