Suwannee Democrat

October 21, 2011

Opinion - Mayor's Corner

Live Oak Mayor Garth "Sonny" Nobles
Suwannee Democrat

Live Oak — Trick or Treat activities will take place on Halloween night, Monday, Oct. 31. It was necessary to change trick or treating to another night, not this year. Your children’s safety is of upmost importance. If possible, go with them as they fill their bags with goodies. We are providing extra safety measures, especially in the Helvenston Street and White Avenue area. Since this seems to be the area that could be most hazardous, police and fire personnel presence will be heavy in this area. We are also planning temporary lighting at the intersection. We invite you to attend the activities at the Live Oak Police Department sponsored by the police and fire departments. Kids can get started filling their bags at this event. Many activities are planned also. Teachers, get ready, the little darlings will be good and sugared up Tuesday morning. Bless you. Have fun, be safe. Lights out at 9:00 please. Wear your seat belts as you go about your candy harvesting activities.

Writing of harvesting, the Fall and Scarecrow Festival will take place Oct. 29. Many activities are planned for that day, most in the downtown, Millennium Park area. Get your fall scene displays and your scarecrows ready for display. Time is running out. Remember the Live Oak Garden Club’s annual pancake breakfast on that Saturday morning. All you can eat pancakes for five bucks plus activities for kids and adults. You can’t beat that with a pancake flap. The Woman’s Club is also holding their annual Chili Cook-Off in Millennium Park beginning at 11. You will be able to sample the many different types of chili for only five bucks. You can’t beat that with a chili ladle. Both of these activities are fundraisers for these two community service clubs. Come out and support these two fine clubs and enjoy all of the festivities of the day.

As per City Ordinance, you are allowed twelve yard sales each year. There is no permitting fee for yard sales, but we do ask that you call City Hall and let us know about your sales. Yard sale signs and other portable type signs advertising community events that are ”stuck” around town, continue to be a problem. I remind you that these type signs are not allowed to be placed on city right of way. Keep them back behind the sidewalks or property lines. You are not allowed to put signs up on one side of town advertising a sale on the other side. No signs are allowed on utility poles. We now have a Code Enforcement Officer that enforces the ordinance. Folks have gotten upset when their signs are removed. Make sure they are legal before putting them up. If you have questions, call Lynn at City Hall for clarification.

Youth basketball is getting cranked up at the Live Oak- Suwannee County Recreation Department. Call for information or go to their website at My Grandson played last year and really enjoyed it.

Daylight Savings time will end Saturday night, Nov. 6. Remember to set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed so you won’t be early or late, whichever happens, for church the next morning.

We celebrated a happy and sad event at City Hall recently. Shannon Court, Project Specialist, retired after 25 years of service. She was the “jack of all trades” person for the City. She wore many hats and wore them well. She was a valued employee and will be missed by all. We wish Shannon and Jack the best in her retirement. We also welcome three new employees. Lynn Touchton is our new Code Enforcement Officer and Ed Smyth is the CRA Director. We look forward to great things from them. Joni Kelly is our new receptionist/secretary. These are not new hires. In fact, through some employee reorganization, we were able to eliminate one employee to cut costs.

It’s time to check the batteries and clean your smoke alarms. Cold weather and heating season is on the way. Fire safety should be a main concern over the next few weeks. Your smoke alarm has a test button on the front of it. Press the button and if it alarms, it indicates the battery is okay. The best practice is to replace them each year. If you are a “senior” be careful climbing on chairs and ladders. The Live Oak Fire Department will be more than glad to assist you. Call 362-1313 for assistance. If you don’t have alarms, please get at least one, preferably more. The Fire Department can help with placement and installation of these alarms. Smoke alarms can save your life just like seat belt use. Happy 108th birthday Live Oak Fire Department. You are a real asset to our community.

It has been a busy time for your Mayor here lately. It is always busy this time of year, with proclamations and events galore. Health fairs and breast cancer events have been the highlight of these occasions. It’s time for me to again remind you to get your mammograms and to do periodic self exams. Early detection for breast and other types of cancer is so important to the survival rate. I understand the Tangles Bazaar was very successful with over a thousand folks participating. Remember the health fair at Java Jax this Saturday. Go by and get checked out. It is very satisfying to know that my involvement in these events may help save a life, or in some way provide a better quality of life for our residents.

It’s magic. The new telecommunications monopole across from Hale Park next to the water tower just materialized over the weekend. The pole will allow the city to relocate the cell phone and radio antennas from the water tower to the pole. The City rents space on several of our towers to telecommunication companies as a revenue source. These rentals generate over one hundred thousand dollars each year for the city. The water tank and other buildings along Duval will be demolished and relocated. Most of the demolition and relocation cost will be paid for with grant or “free money”.

The 2011-12 City Budget has been approved. The millage rate went down and a fee increase of $2.35 will be imposed on your bill. This was necessary to satisfy a debt that we had incurred for the sewer rehab program. All things considered, the residents came out very well this year.