I had begun to think my household was the only one in Hall County who doesn't want a tax hike or can't afford one and knows the issues we face fall at the feet of the ego-laden Board of Commissioners.
I am frustrated with talk of people willing to support a tax hike to save parks. In case anyone has missed it, the recession is still in full swing. People are still out of work and homes are still being foreclosed on. To increase property taxes now will only exacerbate the foreclosure problem that has contributed to the loss of more than $20,000 in my home's value the last four years.
The age-old debate over free will and determinism is as relevant today as ever. If we have significant amounts of free will, then people deserve what they get, now and forever. Punishment is justified. We may offer conditional forgiveness and second chances, but it will be limited and temporary.
On behalf of the State Bar of Georgia, I offer condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Samuel L. "Sam" Oliver of Gainesville on his recent, untimely passing.
Boy, the pressure is really starting to build up at warp speed. I feel as if I am standing on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and the market is crashing. I am the point man for my entire family and I am the one who is ultimately responsible for its well being.
If Hall County increases the property tax, it will not have much impact on my standard of living and I doubt if it will have any impact on most of the commissioners.
It is my hope that the property tax-paying citizens of Hall County will look very closely at what the commissioners are trying to do.
Hall County doesn't need to raise taxes. It needs to implement user fees to cover any budget shortfalls. Shortfalls, incidentally, largely resulting from ridiculous expenditures such as our former county commissions push to buy the old Liberty Mutual complex or build an unneeded community center near my own North Hall home.
Kudos to the times for their well-deserved awards at the Georgia Press Association Better Newspaper Contest. Congratulations to reporter Ashley Fielding and photographer Sara Guevara for their awards for the project "The River's Reach." This eight-part series humanized the people impacted by the Chattahoochee River from Helen down to the Gulf of Mexico.
Thank you for pointing out that pro football is big bucks. The unmentioned fact is this is a classic case of owners vs. workers. In my experience, when workers start telling me what to do with my business, it is time for the workers to move on. I am sure the NFL owners can do the same and the money machine will continue on.
To balance the 2012 Hall County budget requires both tax increases and spending cuts. We all know that in hard economic times, both tax increases and spending cuts are painful. How should we think about the painful trade-offs?
I read constantly about the budget crisis in Hall County. It is the same in almost all of Georgia's 159 counties. Commissioners have suggested department budget cuts, facility closings, layoffs and almost every idea one can conceive except the need to consolidate and eliminate duplications of services.
This week, with Father's Day approaching, I am recognizing the important role that fathers and parents play and their responsibilities in guiding and instructing their children.
It is funny how no one has pointed out the fact that the Hall County commission has not said that it won't raise taxes even if massive cuts are made. I agree with Nathan Reed's earlier letter that the commission has already decided on a tax increase whether we like it or not.
I couldn't get the front page picture that came out in the Friday paper off my mind, and what the picture itself said to me. The picture showed Ashley Bell and Billy Powell out among the people attending the hearing concerning the proposed tax increase for Hall County.
So Gainesville's streets are choked with litter and garbage. The proposed solution is to have nonviolent prisoners walk along the highways and pick up after the pigs that caused the problem in the first place. What a concept.
Last week The Times ran articles concerning MLK Jr. Boulevard and tourism on the square. The Longstreet Society stands in a unique position relative to both of these community resources. We own one of Gainesville's oldest and most historic buildings, Lt. Gen. Longstreet's Piedmont Hotel at the corner of MLK and Maple.
Well, the global warmers are at it again, with half-truths and distortions. A recent Associated Press article stated, "2014 considered the warmest year on record," and ended with this: "'Temperatures have risen by about 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit since the mid-19th century and pre-industrial times,' said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies."
In regards to the article in the Jan. 16 paper "Coming together," people still don't get it. The death of Michael Brown was only preventable by Michael Brown. No one forced him to rob the store, assault the clerk, and then resist arrest by fighting with the police officer trying to get his gun.
The gift certificate read "Coupon good for: A special date night, including dinner for two, a private flight for two. A romantic evening spent together!"
I totally agree with Mike Coley's and George J. Roshau's views that were printed last Friday about the growing trash on the roadways. I sent the same concerns to my county commissioner last summer stating that there used to be a slogan - Keep Hall Beautiful - but it seems that Hall is getting dirtier everyday, so maybe it should be changed to "Hall Is Dirty," and let's see how long we can keep it that way.
I would like to add my 2 cents worth to Steven David Smith's letter in Saturday's paper, which was in reference to Eugene F. Elander's letter in Thursday's paper. Both letters were about the rioting and alleged police brutality in Ferguson, Mo. I would submit to Mr. Elander that innocent people don't rob stores and burn and loot businesses which people have worked hard to get.
For several years I have been attending the live stream productions of New York's Metropolitan Opera at our local theater. To say it is one of the arts communities best kept secrets is an understatement.
I'm glad to hear so many of our residents are bothered by the litter problem in Gainesville and Hall County. After reading the letters, I did some research on Georgia laws against dumping and littering.
On behalf of the State Bar of Georgia, I would like to offer congratulations to Hall County Solicitor-General Stephanie D. Woodard on her appointment by Gov. Nathan Deal as a new member of the State Commission on Family Violence.
Many times the opinions expressed in our local periodicals evoke the thoughtful consideration of the ideas presented, as well as constructive debate of these ideas. However, the letter by Eugene F. Elander on Thursday presents some statements that must be challenged; not based on political affiliation, or on racial bias, or any reason other than the fact that the United States is a nation based on the rule of law.
Recently the Hall County Board of Commissioners and local municipalities have created their wish lists for the upcoming SPLOST VII which comes to a countywide vote on March 17.
Hall County needs to seriously address the severe litter problem on all our roadways and in our cities. Litter never gets picked up and continues to accumulate. What government agency would be responsible for Hall County going to the dogs? Why is prison labor not used consistently for this? Where are the police in enforcing the law? Where are the "No Littering" signs?
At least once a week, I pick up trash along the roadside in front of my home along Mountain View Road and Dogwood Circle. A good part of the roadsides along Mountain View Road, Dogwood and Old Oakwood Road look like a trash dump.
The old axioms really are true: You reap what you sow. It's time to pay the piper. You made your bed, now sleep in it.