Canton City Councilman Bill Bryan fired back at Ahrens with an email of his own to Canton residents calling the email a part of a smear campaign against the Canton Fire Department and inviting residents to a coffee gathering he is hosting today at City Hall at 9:30 a.m. for residents to hear the real story on the city fire department.
In his email, Bryan says that Ahrens is a fine and honest man, but asserts the county leader received erroneous info about the city’s fire department.
Bryan also takes credit for urging Canton Fire Chief Dean Floyd to attend Aug. 16’s meeting and speak out about what a great fire department the city has.
The Canton councilman also says he took the idea of having Floyd speak at the meeting to City Manager Scott Wood, who reluctantly agreed to the plan.
Bryan also praised former council member Pat Tanner and local businessman and former school board member Eddie Blackwell for speaking out at the meeting in support of the city’s fire services.
Mayor Gene Hobgood had said he did not think it was appropriate in a city council meeting for a department head to criticize the county commission chair.
Ahrens had said in his email that his goal was to provide a perspective on consideration of a unified organization and not to lobby or posture.
Bryan says the coffee meeting is to discuss the fire department only, and not the fire district, exemptions or other political issues.
The continuing dispute between Hobgood and Bryan has centered on several different issues in the last year or so, with the fire consolidation proposal just the latest round in their political battle.
In this latest dispute Councilman John Beresford, who previously could be counted on to vote with the mayor, has firmly changed sides, and new councilmember Hooky Huffman is also voting against what Hobgood appears to support.
The other new face on the council, Glen Cummins, is the only council member to side with the mayor on the issue.
Cummins appears to be avoiding his fellow Rivergreen resident, Beresford, whenever possible.
Dr. Frank Petruzielo addressed the Rotary Club of Canton about the state of education on Tuesday. He was introduced by school board Chair Mike Chapman, a member of the local club.
Dr. P. as usual shot straight from the hip about what a good job the teachers and other employees in the system are doing to educate the county’s students, even in the face of eight furlough days and larger classroom sizes, among other challenges.
Petruzielo also lauded the school system’s participation in the Race to the Top initiative, and the focus of the schools to prepare students for higher education and jobs in math, technology, engineering and science.
Dr. P. also mentioned that School Board Member Michael Geist had said that the reason the school system was implementing STEM academies was in response to charter schools.
The school superintendent said that was a joke and that the local public schools are not competing with charter schools.
Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) has earned an A+ Rating on the Center for an Educated Georgia’s Legislative Report Card.
The center is a part of the Georgia Family Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting educational advocacy and research.
The group said that the distinction was awarded to lawmakers who continually demonstrate an unwavering commitment to advancing education reform at the state capitol.
Rogers has received local criticism for what some say is his lack of support of public schools. The education community heavily backed his opponent, Brandon Beach, in the July primary election.
“Around Cherokee” is compiled by Rebecca Johnston and the editorial staff of the Cherokee Tribune.