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Hall leaders should make decisions that are best for county

POSTED: June 4, 2011 2:06 p.m.

I am a lifelong resident and homeowner in Hall County. My children attend school in the Hall system and my husband is a Hall County officer. My family and I have a lot invested in Hall County.

As the wife of a police officer, my day begins with prayer and ends with prayer. Our family makes sacrifices daily, along with many other families that hold such positions. I am very concerned at how our county is currently managed.

During the commissioners' meeting on May 26, Chairman Tom Oliver ended the meeting asking that the tax millage rate be increased. If the millage rate does not increase certain cuts will be made. Why is it that when cuts are made it seems to always negatively impacts those that are needed the most: police, fire, EMTs and teachers?

I am asking the Board of Commissioners to revisit the entire budget. Cut the spending on projects that are truly unnecessary. Cut your own salary. You have asked that our police, fire, EMTs and teachers be furloughed and given no increase in salary. You have cut retirement for county employees.

What sacrifices has the Board of Commissioners made? If Hall County really means so much to each of our commissioners, then would they be willing to make a sacrifice to save Hall County? What if you had to give back to Hall County a portion of your salary, would you? You are asking each taxpayer to give more sacrifices in raising the millage rate. When does this end? When will someone step up and take ownership of the past mistakes?

Past mistakes and a very poor economy are the reason it has come to this. If raising taxes is what is needed to keep Hall County residents safe, and you can honestly say that you have exhausted all other methods, then raise taxes. But I can tell you my family has sacrificed enough and we have not received anything close to fair in return.

We are all one second away from a natural disaster. Heaven forbid if that happens and you have furloughed all your safety officers, then what? You are asking too much and you are putting us all in danger. Hall County is a safe county because of those willing to protect us while being paid pennies and then slapped in the face by county Commissioners living the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Grow up, take ownership, pull together as a team and fix the problem with the budget. Man up boys, put your differences behind you and do what is right for Hall County. You are all smart enough to figure it out without sacrificing our safety.

Brandi Barnes
Gainesville



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