I had the distinct honor to watch PBS' Memorial Day presentations honoring our service members. One segment, an "Honor Flight" from Pensacola to Washington as veterans visited the various war memorials, was outstanding.
As a retired professional librarian with 25 years of experience at public, school, college and university libraries in three states, I am appalled at the suggestion that four of the six public libraries in Hall County be closed to save money.
With all the talk of budget talks vs. increasing tax rates, being a 64-year-old independent truck driver, I have some comments and questions.
The damage that the Hall County Board of Commissioners is about to do to this county will not only hurt the quality of life in this county, but will cause irreparable damage to our local economy. How in the world could anyone with a rational brain possibly think that eliminating 77 county jobs or so, eliminating public parks and libraries and cutting two ambulances will help local business?
In dire economic times like now, something has to give in order bring budgets more in line with reality. As regards to the proposed closing of four library locations out of six in total, I would like to make the following remarks and suggestions.
Yes, Chairman Tom Oliver has proposed raising the millage rate to make up for revenue losses due to property values dropping drastically in the last few years. The county commission and school board probably read all of the evaluations during the housing bubble as they cut that same millage rate year after year.
Let me start off by saying that I would like to think the tax increase would not pass, but unfortunately, it's already too late. It's already passed.
I agree with Mr. Black's letter about the Chicopee Woods Ag Center. We were just there for JAKE's Day. It was wall to wall kids. All those families left there, bought gas and food elsewhere in the community.
Hall County officials are correct to propose deep cuts to fiscal year 2012 budgets and no tax increase should be considered. Hall County is no longer a boom town and the local government and its employees need to recognize this. The days of elite public sector employees riding piggyback on the peon taxpayers and insulated from the contractions in the economy are over.
In attending the North Hall budget meeting in Clermont, I came away with some good points that were made in the meeting and some views that were made in a state of emotion.
Why do so many politicians resort to sob stories and scare tactics when they are forced to get the government's financial house in order? Tom Oliver's antics are no different from the big government apologists in Congress; he simply raises the specter of slower emergency response and shuttered libraries instead of threatening Medicare cuts and the loss of cowboy poetry festivals.
As a Hall County resident and employee, I have tried to educate myself on the pending budget crisis as best as possible, but I can only speak from personal experience. I have to wonder how much longer residents and county officials can expect the budget to be balanced solely off the backs of the employees.
Why is it every time the budget needs to be cut, we look to public safety, parks and usually education? Surely there are other areas where efficiency can be instilled?
T. Boone Pickens says that "water is the new oil" and he should know, as he has put his money into major water infrastructure investments. Why is the Hall County Reservoirs issue important for everyone to understand? The reason is how much this will cost in property taxes.
In response to a recent headline, it is about time that we start taking some drastic steps to a drastic problem. Cutting these services is a great start. However, I would like to make two points.
I have a question. One day between 8:30 and 9, with a normal rush morning for people to get to work, Longstreet Bridge on Cleveland Highway was blocked both ways, north and south, by a stalled car in the south lane. Not a wreck, a stalled car. Sitting behind it was a state patrol car equipped with a large bumper that I assume could be used for pushing other cars.
As a progressive Democrat, I'm sick of President Barack Obama. I'm not talking about the promise of what he might have been, but the reality of what he actually is. Five years of observation and disappointment have led me to conclude we were fooled or suckered into electing a man who has proven to be the second coming of G.W. Bush.
There has been some discussion of late on the editorial page concerning the origins of life. We either created ourselves or we have a Creator. The difference of view boils down to presuppositions.
I would like to remind the people of one of the problems of the past ordeal of the ice and snow, one that goes unnoticed. In fact, one of several that goes unnoticed: The great amounts of salt and sand put out over so great an area so quickly once a snowstorm hits an area.
The continuing fiasco of daylight saving time use is long past justification. Economic cost due to associated problems, confusion, schedule disruption, etc., exceed any savings.
If evolution were a proven fact, why is it not still happening? Why are monkeys not turning into men? I know a lot of men that are turning into monkeys.
I was quite surprised that the letter from George Kaulbach on Feb. 20 was printed by The Times. He very selectively picked out information which supposedly supports his beliefs. It is obvious that his "research" has been limited primarily or wholly to the output of creationists, several of whom he cites.
I saw in the Feb. 20 paper that Jody Woodall was looking at names for the Central Hall Multiuse Trail from local officials. I can't wait for this trail to be built out to a usable length, which for me, would be about 7 miles.
Whether you or I agree or not, people have a right to their beliefs, unless you oppose the left. The current issue is with the bill in Arizona that Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed.
This letter is in response to Jim McCarthy's letter and anyone else who believes more guns in public means a safer community. I'm not sure about him, but I'm positive I live in the real world. In the real world, people who carry guns are no better or worse than everybody else, and that's the problem.
A recent letter to the editor suggested what many in Georgia believe to be true about guns: If only we had more of them, there would be fewer gun tragedies.
I want to thank Hall County road maintenance workers when we had the snow and ice on the roads. I called them to clean my street along with some more streets that were covered in snow. They went far beyond what I asked them to do. Also, the street sign was knocked down and they came out immediately to put it back up.
This letter is for all the global warming folks in your reading audience. I have figured out a cheap way to get rid of global warming: Get rid of all that hot air coming out of Washington, D.C. It's sure to get the job done.
An open letter to Rep. Doug Collins and Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson:
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