CAUTION Macon  Macon, Georgia
Forest Hill Road - return to Homepage

    Forest Hill Road
Bibb Commissioners Meeting at the Museum of Arts and Sciences  9-10-07 

Macon, Ga

SOS forest

    Requests for safer road designs at Forest Hill Road  dominated the discussion at community meeting.  Two citizens spoke to the new Tax Appraisal Process, more than 10 Neighbors asked for a redesign at FHR.

(above) collage of audience and citizen speaker - Barbara Altman.  click above for broader image

 Georgia State Rep - Allen Peake said that -
He plans to meet in a few days with GDOT leaders -
He will try to get us a few more years of time before construction to allow a re-evaulation of the design concept, needs and purpose.
Allen Peake earns our "Hero Leader Award"
*[( Award was later rescinded  here for cause )]*
 for the evening!
Thank-you, Allen!

From: "Victor Jones" <>
Vic's Website:

Monday September 10, 2007
Bibb County Commission Town Hall Meeting
Museum of Arts & Sciences
Macon, (Bibb County) Georgia USA

Meeting Highlights:

1) State Rep Allen Peake, Senator Cecil Staton and 8th District GDOT Board Member Larry Walker will meet with GDOT Chairman Harold Linnenkohl in Atlanta next Monday to discuss Forest Hill Road.

2) A Forest Hill Road Condominium Association Leader quoted a Lane Elementary School Crossing Guard as expressing serious concern over the Safety of the Lane School Children if FHR was widened to three lanes.

3) Dr Holliday said that he placed the scaled outline of a Roundabout over the
FHR, Lockchape & Old Lundy Intersection Blueprint and that it was a perfect fit without having to enlarge the proposed Right of Way. This right after Commissioner Bishop had tried to lead us to believe that Roundabouts would take out more trees.

4) Forest Hill Neighbor Troy Edwards stated that Property Taxes were LOWERED     on FHR properties two years ago. Mr Edwards questioned if this was done so that the Right of Way land could be purchased from homeowners at a reduced price. Chairman Bishop said that he didn’t have anything to do with property values.  Mr Edwards said he was offered $1100.00 for his 190 foot of road frontage on the proposed Right of Way.

Let’s do some quick math: FHR from Forsyth Rd to Wimbish Rd = .88mile or 4646 feet and from Wimbish Rd to Northside Dr= 1.78 miles or  9398 feet X (two sides of the street).  At $5.79 per linear foot, the entire Right of Way, (including tree value?) is to be purchased for $162,628.00. Another neighbor on FHR was advised by a certified Appraiser that FHR residents were only being offered 20% of the going rate for their property; which from this quick estimate leads me to believe that residents should be offered $28.95 per linear foot.  The higher price would necessitate the ROW Acquisition budget being raised to $1,013,148.00... Mr Edwards prefers the whole FHR project being scrapped or redesigned.

5) Details of the meeting minutes for the Bibb County Commision’s Dec 11, 2006, “Called Meeting” concerning the Houston Avenue, I16/75 and Forest Hill Road Projects were debated at length. Due to differing recollections, unclear memories, written minutes and altered minutes, the true essence of this meeting is still unclear.

6) Van Etheridge of Moreland Altobelli, the Bibb County SPLOST Road Improvement Program’s Adminstrator said that the current “Tree Inventory” that was supplied by Stantec was incomplete (Bibb Officials made no reference to this when they furnished the tree Inventory on Friday). Mr Etheridge went on to lead us to believe that only 36% of the trees surveyed would be cut down. How could he know how many trees are to be cut if the inventory is incomplete? I am awaiting more Open Record details on the Tree Inventory, which should arrive Thursday.

7) (MATS-CAC) Macon Area Transportation Study, Citizens Advisory Committee Member Lee Martin, who is also a regular participant at our region’s Clean Air Coalition meetings said; “Centerville Mayor Bubba Edwards, after learning that Roundabouts decreased accidents and reduced fuel consumption made implementing the usage of Roundabouts a high priority in Centerville.” Chairman Bishop said he was also a member of the Clean Air Coalition but was not at the last meeting when Roundabouts were discussed.

8) Upon questioning, Van Ethridge of Moreland Altobelli was unable to answer if Georgia Power Right of Way acquisitions would reach further into the land of the FHR property owners. An audience member answered that in the rest of 
Georgia USA, the Georgia Power Right of Ways extend an additional 15 feet beyond what the road and sidewalks necessitate. Which of course means, more trees to be cut and further intrusion on what used to be the private, tree filled properties of  Forest Hill Road.

With all of our SPLOST tax money having been spent, Mr Ethridge of Moreland Altobelli, who is paid by Bibb Taxpayers to oversee our Road Projects and who is supposed to know the answer to these questions still doesn’t know… Tell me again, what did we just spend the $130 million in Bibb County SPLOST money on?

The meeting, which was held at the Museum of Arts and Sciences lasted from 7p.m. til 9:30p.m. I was one hour late, due to a previous commitment at the City Wide, Macon Neighborhood Watch Association Quarterly Meeting. This summary is from the last hour and a half of the Bibb County Town Hall meeting. It is ironic that at the last Bibb County Commission Town Hall meeting that I attended, held at Macon State College, Chairman Bishop stated that he thought the Bibb County School Board should take over funding of the Museum of Arts and Sciences to relieve the Bibb County Commission from having to do so.

More updates as things unfold. Keep your fingers crossed that Rep Peake, Senator Staton, GDOT Rep Larry Walker & GDOT Chair Harold Linnenkohl understand Roundabouts as they relate to public safety, fuel consumption reduction, clean air and Forest Hill Road, prior to their meeting next Monday.

Several Neighborhood Associations are meeting at the Bibb County Commissioner’s meeting next Tuesday; Sept 18, 2006, 6p.m. at the Bibb County Courthouse, 4th floor to once again request the redesign of Forest Hill Road. Hope you can join us, we are a fun bunch…

Your friendly, neighborhood, paperless scribe,
Victor Jones
Macon, (Bibb County) Georgia (USA)

Barbara Altman's address to Commissioners

September 10, 2007

1. Thank you for letting me speak. My name is Barbara Altman and I have lived in Macon for 31 years. I am a professional musician, a cellist.

2. I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley of CA; Sherman Oaks, to be exact. The house was in the hills overlooking the valley. I remember my parents watching a road being built down in the valley, and saying that it would ruin the quiet character of the valley, which was basically orange groves and bean fields. I thought they were stupid because I was a teenager. It was the 101, the Ventura Freeway. They were right. My beloved San Fernando Valley is now a smog choked concrete monstrosity.

3. The new forward thinking political mantra is to “be green.”

  • NY mayor Bloomberg is striving to plant a million trees. So is Los Angeles.

  • SF did not rebuild one of its freeways after the big earthquake; residents voted to make it more people friendly, their government listened; now is bike path, shops, apartments – called the Embarcadero and it’s wonderful.

4. I have recently seen Macon on 2 lists that should make the city proud.

  • NRDC’s Cool Cities – signed by Mayor Ellis.

  • Arbor Day Foundation’s list of Tree Cities.

5. Many people look at lists like this when considering moving to a new city.

6. Tearing down 1000 trees is therefore moving Macon backwards. It is old thinking and makes us move toward what forward thinking cities are trying to reverse, to correct.

7. Trees hold moisture and help it rain. They eat pollution, particulate matter. They cool it down. We are creating an asphalt and concrete desert. Forest Hills won’t solve the drought, but it is symptomatic of the nightmare we are creating for the heirs of this planet.

8. Article on sprawl in Telegraph – June 2, 2007. “It’s been clear for years that people are leaving the Macon city limits…. More and more parking lots, roads, etc. are replacing trees… As for middle Ga’s development and a UGA study on impervious surfaces, it is clear the midstate is “at a crossroads.” The article also mentions storm water runoff problems that increase with paved surfaces.” I’d like an answer to that problem also.

9. Another side of this whole issue is that the citizens don’t want it; our gov’t. is allegedly supposed to represent us. There was a petition signed by over 900 citizens of Macon. In addition, 5 Neighborhood Watch groups support us. Why don’t these people count? It can only be because somebody powerful is going to make a lot of money at the expense of the citizens, the city, the planet. It is an outrage. Is it more important than the wishes of the people and the well being of the planet?

10. I’ve heard that there is no more money for study. The money can be found if the will is there. The will is there in the citizens; it is up to you to respond with respect and true consideration of what the voters want.

11. I began by thanking you for the opportunity to speak. Now I ask you to listen to what is being spoken. Thank you.

A later thought: If they are still going forward simply because they’re afraid of public outcry if they rethink and lose the money, they’d have over 900 of us plus 5 Neighborhood Watch groups writing actively in their support.

    Forest Hill Road


Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
"Trees" Poem was kindly suggested by our new friend Erin Brockovich, to support our FHR efforts.

- CAUTION Macon -

The Mystery Grows:
What really happened during the "Special Called Meeting" of Dec 11, 2006?

1) Bishop's personal secretary, Janice Ross stood up at the meeting tonight (9-10-07) and declared that SHE took the meeting minutes on Dec 11th, 2006.

2) Sheila Thurmond claimed in her email to Doc that she had found the error in HER notes...

3) Minutes stood "approved" for 8 months saying this:
"December 11, 2006
"On motion of
Commissioner [Elmo]Richardson, seconded by Commissioner Allen and carried,
the members of the Board voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of
Commissioner Linnenkohl to complete the Houston Road Project using the funds
allocated for other projects and to support the completion of the 1-75 / 1-16 interchange
and the
Forest Hill Road Project"

*Note - In August 2007 the above Bibb County Minutes were changed to delete any mention of Mr Richardson.    The current {changed} version of the 12-11-06 minutes can be downloaded here  

Bibb County officials (below) explain why, when and how the minutes were changed for the meeting with Ga DOT on 12-11-07.

At 03:43 PM 8/20/2007, Ms Sheila Thurmond, Clerk of the Board, Bibb County Commissioners, wrote:
Dr. Holliday, sorry for the delay in getting back to you but I left the office around 10:00 this morning and hadn’t been long returned. To answer your questions regarding the details of the minutes of December 11, 2006, here is my honest account:
       This past Friday, it was brought to my attention by Mrs. Ross, the Chairman’s Adm. Asst., that Commissioner Richardson had called to advise that he was not present at the meeting in question but that the Minutes reflected that he was. As a result, I pulled my file of handwritten notes and luckily, I still had them. In fact, my notes state verbatim: “All Commissioners except Richardson” meaning all commissioners were present at the meeting except Commissioner Richardson. I feel very strongly that my written notes are accurate; however, I guess this was one of those instances where I did not review the minutes before they were posted on our web site and as a result, this error was not caught before now. Furthermore, my written notes also reflect that “the motion was made by Commissioner Allen and seconded by Commissioner Hart and carried by a unanimous vote of all Board Members present.”
       Commissioner Richardson was not present at all during the meeting of December 11, 2006.
       The faxed copy of the minutes you received today were signed by me today. I simply printed them from a “minutes folder” on the computer, signed and then faxed to you.
After this incident, Mrs. Ross and I will make sure that our notes correlate in the future to ensure that all attendees, motions and other important facts are accurately noted before the minutes are approved/published. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Shelia Thurmond
Clerk of the Board
(478) 621-6540

6) Charlie Bishop said at the 9-10-07 meeting that Linnenkohl was at the 12-11-06 meeting.
7) But, the current official minutes
(List of Attendees) do not list Linnenkohl as being present - go figure...


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