Vintage Columbia County Government…A NEW LOW


In case you have been sleeping, there is much talk going around Columbia County about a new “housing project” called Magnolia Trace.  Commissioners are pleading ignorance faster than you can call them incompetent idiots, but it seems that the county has approved an entire subdivision dedicated to subsidized housing.

Here are the facts:

At the June 15, 2010 County Commission Meeting, “Commissioner Trey Allen made a motion to approve Resolution 10-852 to express support for a single family home subdivision to be known as Magnolia Trace located on Old Ferry Road.  Commissioner Dean seconded the motion and discussion followed.  The motion passed unanimously.” 

Commissioner Trey Allen made a motion to approve Resolution 10-852 to express support for a single family home subdivision to be known as Magnolia Trace located on Old Ferry Road.

Here is the link in case you haven’t read Columbia County Resolution 10-852, 

A few readers notified us today that District 2 Commissioner Trey Allen called in on the Austin Rhodes Radio Show because his mother told him to call and defend himself.  In his attempt to deny any knowledge of the fact that Magnolia Trace was to be “affordable housing”, meaning the properties were to be sold/rented to low income people, Allen super glued himself to stupidity and expected all county residents to do the same.  Let’s see what information Allen had.

Resolution 10-852 in part:

“WHEREAS, Magnolia Trace, L.P. is proposing to develop and construct an affordable single-family home subdivision of up to 50 homes to be known as Magnolia Trace on Old Ferry Road, Parcel Number 078 136 (the “Development”) using tax credits and/or other incentives and loans that may be available” 

Sounds simple enough doesn’t it?  But for Trey, not so much.  Isn’t it odd that the “tax credits” available for “affordable” housing involve “tax credits”?  “Tax credits” from the federal government?  “Tax credits” to “subsidize” the housing costs?  Maybe that should be a hint that this subdivision is different from others in the county.   But Trey Allen had noooooooooo idea that this deal involved affordable housing?  WHOA!

Under “Income Requirements” is the single item: “Income should be 3x (or higher) the amount of the resident’s portion of the rent”

If the resident is only paying a portion of the rent, we believe it is obvious that someone else must be paying the remainder.   But then, if Trey Allen was taught accounting and monetary policy by Columbia County Chief Magistrate Judge Bobby Christine, who knows, maybe Allen does think that the residents will foot the entire bill.  What’s Columbia County’s debt?  $190,000,000+?

And Allen claims the builders didn’t provide any information to indicate they planned on building subsidized housing.  We claim they did and proved it.

We heard that Commission Chairman Ron Cross made the same denial.  We suspect two bottles of super glue were used.

In addition, Allen is our representative for Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs.  Seems that DCA is also involved in the project, and this link will take you to their document concerning Magnolia Trace.  Interesting reading for all of you who are interested.  Allen is still claiming ignorance.

Another fact worth noting is that the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is mentioned numerous times in the project summary submitted to DCA.  Looks like they had a big hand in making this nightmare a reality.  Don’t forget the county gave the chamber $10,000.00 this year.  That’s our tax dollars.

Oh, and on August 18, 2011, the Columbia County Planning Commission approved the Preliminary Plot for Magnolia Trace

According to county records, all available on the county’s website, each and every county commissioner and each and every planning commissioner had a hand in this project.  Any claims to the contrary are absurd, false, not true.

Someone even established a Facebook account entitled “Say-No-to-Magnolia-Trace-Housing-Project” to allow county residents to post their concerns about Magnolia Trace.  One contributor to the site speculated that the recent County Commission/Board of Education expansion project at Lakeside High School was necessary to handle the expected increase of residents and school children from this new subdivision.  It’s nice to know that the new park will be utilized by Columbia County’s newest residents. 

To summarize, we are expected to believe that an entire subdivision (50 homes) consisting of subsidized housing managed to sneak by every county commissioner.  That makes us wonder about the Marshall Square project that cost the county how much?  $18,000,000?  $21,000,000?.  Oh, and the judge who heard the Marshall Square case is Carlisle Overstreet.  Yes folks, the same Carlisle Overstreet who gave $1,000 to Ron Cross’ campaign that is managed by a Columbia County Planning Commissioner.  WHOA!  Housing density was the excuse for forcing the lawsuit and putting the county in the commercial property business.  Looks like the county might be interested in buying some residential property too. All because of a nosy citizen.

Trey Allen has shown us and probably you that he is a very condescending soul who is willing to stand in front of cameras and tell us that he had no idea that what he made a motion TO APPROVE was subsidized housing.  Why shouldn’t he though?  Barry Paschal typically censors acts regarding Ron Cross’ buddies that are not all that kosher.  Trey Allen is up for re-election in a few months.  With this latest stunt, we think he convinced some to run against him in July’s Republican primary and there are probably some Democrats eager to run.  Do it!  Lee Benedict’s name has come up.  But word is that he’s gathering support for another challenge to Ben Harbin.  Benedict has not responded to our email.  Brett McGuire has property in District 2 and has not responded to our email.  District 2 2010 school board candidate Carl Schluter comes to mind and we don’t have his email address, so if you’re reading Carl, or if any of you know Carl, let him know that we’re thinking of him.  We don’t know much about him, but we remember reading after last year’s election that he wants to run again for an office in the future.  Just about anyone in Springlakes is probably ready to step up to get him out.  We’ll see. 




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