Wednesday, I was in Atlanta and spoke with some of the people that were protesting outside of the Atlanta Federal Court of Appeals building. Their signs stated "Hands Off My Health Care."
On Camp Wahsega Road, about a mile before it ends at Camp Merrill, is a tiny cemetery called Shady Grove, a place that time has forgotten. It was attached to a small Methodist church that was razed about 80 years ago on land given to the Methodist Church by our several-times-great grandpa Jacob Saine in the mid-1800s.
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?
The National and Southeastern Corrugated Steel Pipe Associations are responding to the Oct. 12 Times article explaining code changes in Hall County for culverts and stormwater pipes that excludes all types of metal pipe from "live streams" (perennial) and "under county roads."
On behalf of the State Bar of Georgia, I am writing to congratulate Northeastern Judicial Circuit Juvenile Court Judge Mary R. Carden on her upcoming retirement next month and thank her for her 16 years of judicial service and nearly four decades as an active member of the State Bar.
A quote from our "constitutional scholar in chief" at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event on Nov. 24: "The biggest barrier and impediment we have right now is a Congress, and in particular a House of Representatives, that is not focused on getting the job done for the American people."
I would like to applaud Gov. Nathan Deal for his planned cash infusion into the Department of Family and Children's Services. Case workers at DFCS have long been overworked and underpaid, resulting in their leaving. When they leave, cases that are not finished get passed on to a new caseworker. This slows down the process of getting a child into permanent placement. This is not good for children already in crisis.
Ever since John F. Kennedy became a prominent public figure, political pundits and rhetorical scholars have attempted to dissect why he captivated audiences so compellingly during his thousands of speeches, press conferences and interviews.
On Nov. 20, I locked my keys in my car on E.E. Butler Parkway. I called the Gainesville Police Department and they sent out an officer to help me. He wasn't able to get it unlocked, so they sent out another officer. He wasn't able to, either, but the third officer was finally able to unlock my door for me. Maj. Sherman, especially, was so helpful.
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