Political Notes – Deal names committee to set up Brookhaven government


Gov. Nathan Deal has appointed a five-member committee to develop the administrative functions and procedures for the city of Brookhaven when the new DeKalb County municipality comes into existence in December.

Deal released the names of the appointees Friday afternoon and said they will “facilitate the provision of community services and facilities, the collection of taxes and fees, and the negotiation of intergovernmental agreements in preparation of the establishment of the new city.”

The committee members:

Ben Vinson, an attorney with McKenna Long & Aldridge, is the chairman. He was appointed by Deal last year to be the chairman of a citizens review panel to handle complaints that government agencies are not enforcing the provisions of the state’s immigration law.

J.D. Clockadale, director of marketing promotions for RaceTrac Petroleum, was a member of the citizens committee that promoted the successful referendum vote on July 31 approving the incorporation of Brookhaven.

Todd E. Lantier, sales manager for MassMutual Financial Group/Capstone Financial Partners, is the president of the Brookhaven Community Connection.

Jed Beardsley, an attorney with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, is president of the board of Historic Brookhaven Neighborhood Association.

Kim Gökçe, a technical project manager for AT&T, is the founding director for the Brookhaven Community Connection and the Cross Keys Foundation.

Georgia is part of settlement on price-fixing

Attorney General Sam Olens, in concert with 54 other attorneys general, announced Thursday they have reached an antitrust settlement with three of the largest book publishers in the United States over allegations of price-fixing in the marketing of electronic books.

Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C. and Simon & Schuster Inc. agreed to pay more than $69 million to consumers to settle claims they engaged in an unlawful conspiracy to fix the prices of electronic books. They also agreed to change the way they price E-books.

Georgia consumers will receive up to $2.01 million in compensation, Olens’ office said. Consumers who are eligible for restitution will be notified by the retailers from whom they purchased E-Books.

“Our legal action sends a strong message that attorneys general will not tolerate price-fixing, which results in higher prices for consumers” Olens said. “In addition to compensating consumers who overpaid for E-Books, this settlement will restore competition in the E-Book market by promoting E-Book competition among retailers.”

DCH gets fingerprint grant

The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) was given a $2.6 million federal grant to upgrade its system of background checks for health workers and providers.

The grant will be used to develop a stronger fingerprinting system for conducting background checks of providers, owners of health care facilities and employees. The program will be developed and administered by DCH’s Office of the Inspector General.

The new system will interact with the GBI and the FBI to verify identities and check criminal histories. DCH officials said it should reduce the time for background checks and provide more comprehensive data.

“The goal is to protect our citizens from bad actors who have access to personal and financial information and to prevent them from taking advantage of the people they say they’re serving,” DCH Commissioner David Cook said.

Executive appointments

The governor’s office announced these appointments to state boards and commissions –

Jekyll Island State Park Authority: reappointment of former state legislator Richard Royal of Camilla. Department of Juvenile Justice: Richard S. Ambrose of Vienna, who taught ROTC at Dooly County High School for 13 years. Board of Commissioners of the Sheriff’s Retirement Fund of Georgia: Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy M. Jarrard of Dahlonega.

State Board of Cosmetology: reappointment of Norma C. Banks of Macon , a retired nurse. Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority reappointment of R. Foster Rhodes of Perry, who has worked at Walker-Rhodes Tractor Co. State Board of Hearing Aid Dealers and Dispensers reappointment of Ralph T. Jackson Jr. of Leesburg, a licensed hearing aid professional.

Tourism awards

The Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus handed out their annual tourism industry awards at a joint conference in Atlanta this week.

The award recipients include:

The Paul Broun Award for Marketing Initiatives was given to the Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau for its “Best of Lake Lanier Smartphone App.” The award is given in memory of the late state Sen. Paul Broun Sr. of Athens and has nothing to do with his son, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun Jr. of Athens.

Tonya Rosado, executive director of the Kingsland Convention & Visitors Bureau, received the Larry Allen Tourism Leadership Award, which is given in memory of the late Larry Allen, who was the general manager of Stone Mountain. Rosado was honored for her efforts to raise awareness of CVB organizations across the state.

Visit Savannah received the Al Burruss Award for Creative Expression, which is named after former state Rep. Al Burruss of Marietta. Visit Savannah was recognized for its Visit Savannah Video Contest.

Ginger Taylor received the Tom Kilgore Lifetime Achievement Award for her “outstanding lifetime commitment to tourism.” She is former director of community and governmental affairs for the Department of Economic Development.

County Commissioner Lamar Paris of Union County was awarded the Tourism Champion in Government Award for his work in the acquisition and development of a golf course, a campground, covered horse arena and heritage center.

Destination Brooks received the Tourism Champion Product Development Award. The volunteer organization was cited for creating a festival, website and new brochure.

Jim Nelems, founder of the Marketing Workshop, received the Tourism Champion Private Sector Award. He is a founding member of the Southeast Chapter of the Travel & Tourism Association and was instrumental in bringing back “Georgia On my Mind” as the state’s official tourism theme.

The Tourism Champion Partnership Award was given to the Georgia Historical Society for its role in increasing visitation and tourism expenditures during the state’s observance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

© 2012 by The Georgia Report


Tags: Brookhaven city government , DCH background checks , executive appointments , fourism awards , Nathan Deal , price-fixing settlement , Sam Olens