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.
I've noticed that, when times are good, lawmakers recommend a tax break. When times are bad, lawmakers recommened a tax break.
I just read the June 2 article in The Times about the pending study to increase water inflow needed in Florida to save their endangered mussels once again.
The Times' editorial of May 19 ("Our Views: What a tangled web") demands a response, in the interest of objectivity and fair play, values which were so utterly lacking in that piece.
To the families of the courageous men and women who served in the United States military: These veterans; our treasure in earthen vessels, these soldiers left a strong foundation for which we can stand.
In response to a concern about our push to increase the full pool of Lake Lanier to 1,073 feet: While we don't like to see public recreation areas and personal property compromised by high water levels, it is very instructive to see what the effects of 1,073 are on the surrounding lake areas.
The Obama administration is at it again. According to President Barack Obama, he doesn't know half of what is going on in his administration, since he finds out things when he sees it on the news, like the IRS scandal. Then there was Benghazi, which the administration blamed on a movie instead of an organized terrorist organization. Then Hillary Clinton says "what difference does it make," like who cares?
As Memorial Day approaches, I'm reminded of a disturbing trend I've noticed over the past several years. I've been serving in the U.S. Army and the Georgia Army National Guard for more than 17 years now, and the amount of support we receive from the community is very much appreciated.
Have you ever been in a department store or grocery store and felt like you were among a bunch of wild animals? I despise parents who are controlled by their children. Who is in control? Obviously, not the adults.
For the last several years, the Lake Lanier Association and several advocates, have drafted plans of action to address issues regarding the lake's delicate balance, of its water quality and the constantly fluctuating levels, not to mention all the downstream demands made on this pristine North Georgia jewel.
State Sen. Steve Gooch has emphasized the need for more work on Second Amendment rights for Georgia citizens. He correctly states that, in 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the individuals right to keep and bear arms. If you wanted guns to be outlawed except for militia use or some version of that scenario, then your argument is lost.
The Hall County Family Connection Network is a collaboration of agencies and organizations that serve families and children in Hall County. In this capacity, we write to express our concern about the future of the public transportation system in Gainesville and Hall County.
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