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 am compelled to write to you in support of the three letters published Saturday. Brandi Barnes, Neil Boykin, and Jean Hudson all seem to have the same idea in mind.
I was concerned by the article on the front page of The Times today that delineates potential cuts in county services if no additional revenue can be identified.
Kathleen Parker, in her Oct. 23 Opinion Page article, demonstrates her complete ignorance of hunting and disdain for hunters in general by quoting or referencing comments from one of the most anti-hunting groups in this country, namely the Humane Society of the United States.
I read the article by Ruben Navarrette, "Time to get smart at border (Tuesday)," and would like to help him out since he missed the boat.
A "person" who drops a pet on someone else's property is my problem right now. Are they too cheap to feed the animal or too lazy?
My mom always told me I was special, and that there was a plan and purpose for my life. I have spent my entire adult life trying to find out what made me special, and how I could make a difference in this world.
I am very pleased to see state Sen. Steve Gooch is trying to solve our problem with road funding in Georgia. This should have been addressed years ago but has been allowed to continue to a point of emergency.
Perhaps guts had nothing to do with the decision the school board in Madison County made concerning the religious monument on school grounds. Maybe its members chose to not set up their county for a budget-busting legal case that could bankrupt them.
Response to Darrell Newton's letter Friday: Certainly, everyone has the right to say what he thinks, but they really should have the facts before doing so.
On more than one occasion, I have taken pen to paper to offer my criticism of your newspaper. It is expected that we subscribers will do that. When a newspaper does something that I feel is commendable, I will also offer my praise as well as extending my subscription another quarter.
I just want to extend a word of thanks to Gainesville City Councilmen Bob Hamrick and George Wangemann for taking the moral high ground on the brewery issue. Gainesville and Hall County have gotten along just fine for decades without having a brewery. Inevitably, this will bring bars and other establishments that attract unwanted attention in the form of drunkenness and other social maladies that create areas of crime and rude behavior.
Here we go again, folks, just another example of no guts: The school board in Madison County caved to an atheist group over a monument on school grounds that had Bible verses and quotes on it that was paid for by private donations.
Tens of thousands of Georgians live with life-long disabilities due to brain and spinal cord injury. As medical technology, safety and trauma care have improved, more people survive traumatic injury, but many then face a lifetime of physical, behavioral and cognitive impairments requiring ongoing support services.
When you add it all up, the steady stream of lies from the White House, the Democratic party and its supporters, the liberal left media, there is only one answer: There is NO Democratic candidate worthy of even a single vote. In fact, I don't see how a Democrat could vote for himself or herself.
President Barack Obama withdrew all of our troops both in Iraq and Afghanistan against the recommendation of his own military, the CIA and his own secretary of defense and secretary of State.
A huge thank you should go to the Gainesville Jaycees. They did a fantastic job with the Mule Camp Market festival last weekend in Gainesville.
Why is Germany offering tuition-free college educations to Americans (and others)? What we're seeing here is an attempt to reverse the brain drain.