Union County declares itself pro-Second Amendment

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BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – Union County Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris adopted a resolution in support of the Second Amendment during January’s commission meeting.

The resolution cited that it’s a Constitutional right for people to “keep and bear arms” as well as the Georgia Constitution which prohibits the state from infringing on that right.

Paris and Sheriff Mack Mason expressed their support for the Second Amendment and for the rights of citizens. They asked the governor and General Assembly to “take no action which would violate the freedoms guaranteed in both Constitutions.”

The measure doesn’t address the federal government. It also doesn’t explicitly use the term “sanctuary,” which is a term included in several pro-Second Amendment resolutions or laws.

“I think every resolution you see is a little different, but they all amount to the same thing. They all have the same opportunity, same weight to work,” Paris stated.

Those in the crowd asked if Paris could look into amending the resolution to include “sanctuary county” because they believed it carried more weight with the federal government. He confirmed that someone will look into the matter and review the document.

“We’re trying to make it, so we’re protected, but if the federal government for some reason were to do something that’s through the federal government, but the fact that we’ve got a resolution still gives our sheriff the right to…meet them at the county line and say ‘you guys leave you aren’t coming in here, Paris explained.

The commissioner viewed mass gun confiscation unlikely from the federal or state government, but this measure grants the sheriff’s ability to question new stricter laws.

41 other counties in Georgia have adopted sanctuary city measures. Fannin, Dawson, Banks, Gilmer, White, Habersham, Pickens, and Rabun are some of those counties.

Copy of the resolution

As for the new gun range, the DNR is crossing every T to try and appease everyone before proceeding. Also, the DNR will undergo office changes and possibly new regulations now that the Biden Administration has taken office.

County Business

In January 2021, the county entered into several agreements, contracts, and resolutions. For the jail, they renewed the contract agreement for food services at no additional costs and agreed to a contract with Roof Management, Inc to replace the jail and sheriff’s office roof for $215,500.00.

Rushton and Company will complete the 2020 audit with the agreed-upon cost, not to exceed, $59,000.

For the senior center, Union County provided $95,000 as the local share with Legacy Link overseeing the other costs.

Union County 911 Center generator’s planned maintenance cost $1,151.02 from Cummins, Inc.

The statewide mutual aid and assistance agreement between Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) and Union County was renewed. This agreement provided the framework to support mutual assistance in managing an emergency or disaster.

A contract with Winkler and Winkler was agreed upon for the expansion of the View Grill at the Union County Community Center for the amount of $330,370.00. Once completed, some of the outdoor seating at the View will be enclosed.

The second resolution passed dealt with the Alcohol License Fee Schedule. The cost of the full background check for applicants increased to $72.50. The alcohol beverage permits for employees will be $37.00 and renewal will cost $16.00.

Farmers Market Way and Market View Connecter were accepted into the county road maintenance.

Sons of the American Revolution honor first responders

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BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – The Blue Ridge Mountain Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution paid homage to local firefighters, law enforcement, EMT, and EMS workers during the December Commission meeting.

Sid Turner presented three awards. The first the law enforcement commendation went to Lt. Leon James who serves the Union County Sheriff’s Office and primarily stationed at the courthouse. In 2017, he became the commanding officer of the courthouse law enforcement operation, assisted in implementing the security checkpoints, and wrote the safety plan. Later, Sheriff Mason chose James slow down traffic in Union County.

Lt. Brent Long received the firefighter safety commendation. Long’s served the fire department for 21 years, initially as a volunteer. In 2002, he became a full-time firefighter. He’s responsible for training the entire department and emergency medical services. He’s also the deputy director of emergency management.

Frank Lowery accepted the emergency services commendation. Lowery’s been with the Union County EMS since 2012 and “consistently delivers care to his patients at a high level.” In 2016, he was promoted to shift supervisor and performs training coordinator and quality assurance coordinator responsibilities. Lowery also received the Murray King award for outstanding service and dedication to the citizens of Union County.


Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris issued three proclamations during the December meeting, Retired Teacher’s Day on November 1, Arbor Day on February 9, and Radon Action Month in January.

Contracts and Grants

SPLOST funds were used to purchase a $478,873 fire engine/pumper for the fire department. Also, the county entered into two no cost contracts with debris removal services as required by FEMA.

Winkler and Winkler were awarded a $330,370.00 contract to upgrade the View Grill. SPLOST funds were used for this project.

To repair the roof at the Union County Sheriff’s Office, Jail to Roof Management were awarded $215,500.00 in SPLOST funds.

Two accountability court grants for the Enotah Family Treatment Court and health court were accepted.

The emergency moratorium on multi-family housing units was extended for another 190 days from October 8, 2020.


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