"Church daycare voted down" (April 13, 2014) (full story)
IN BRIEF: The Board of Commissioners turned down a special use permit application by Ebenezer United Methodist Church for a daycare during the Tuesday morning meeting in a 2-0 vote. Commissioner JaNice Van Ness, who owns Peachtree Academy daycare and private school, abstained from the vote.
The commissioners said they heard from many community members on this issue both in favor and against the application and on the issue of church-based versus private childcare providers.
Commissioner Oz Nesbitt said, "You've elected us to make tough decisions. This is one of those tough decisions... I hope in all that I'm saying you understand whereas I support the faith based community, this is one of those decisions to support free enterprise and those folks who are creating jobs."
He said "It does interfere with free enterprise and those folks who have set up busness to become licensed certified childcare providers."
Chairman Richard Oden, who voted with Nesbitt to turn down the Ebenezer UMC application, said he was in support of churches. "At the same time we have to maintain the balance in the community."
Van Ness, although she abstained from the vote, has been active in questioning county staffers on the legitimacy of pre-K and kindergarten programs at places such as Young American Christian Academy, Conyers First Baptist, Heritage Hills Baptist, and Epiphany Lutheran Church.