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.
I disagree with Joan King that assisted suicide, which she refers to by the euphemism "aid in dying," is legal in Montana.
Never in our history has our commander in chief been more concerned about telling our enemies what he's not going to do rather than taking the advice of his experienced defense and military advisers.
Did I really read that correctly? Are Hall County and Gainesville really considering giving taxpayers' monies to spruce up Lakeshore Mall? (story here)
As a writing teacher at UNG, I spend a great deal of time during the summer and into August thinking about the incoming group of students I will be closely working with during the fall semester. Currently, I have been thinking a lot about how much of my students' writing has been graded by a computer and not a human, an unfortunate reality in this era of high-stakes testing.
It is beyond my understanding the disagreement going on between Blue Cross Blue Shield Georgia and Northeast Georgia Health System. (story here) This sounds to me like there is a personality problem somewhere. If both parties are committed to reaching an agreement, I suggest starting negotiations with new people.
I would like to tell Judge Cliff Jolliff how much I appreciate and respect him. Having been in his court a few times, I could see his main concern was the welfare of the children involved in all court cases. I could also see how difficult it was for him to deal with many difficult custody cases. I would not want to have that responsibility for any amount of money.
I have seen many decades roll by like a flash in my lifetime. As I reflect on them, I can't remember a time when we were in such dire need of leadership. If we continue to travel the road we are now traveling our destination is doom.
I saw the pictures in Tuesday's paper (Aug. 19) depicting Brenau University participating in the ALS ice bucket challenge. I was very upset to see this type of behavior being promoted as a fundraiser by ALS or Brenau.
Re: Ruben Navarrette Jr. column in The Times on Tuesday: "Who's afraid of a little ol' hyphen?" Over elapsed time, I have considered this person's articles as relatively coherent. What happened?
We shouldn't be told when and where we can pray. If a person doesn't like it, then they should stay home. We Christians also have our right to pray. God runs this world, not a few people who do not believe in God.
Why do we have a Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization? Anyone should know you can't take funding from one road project to another. Does this group do anything to help get roads improved? I see this group as a waste of money and time.
The flak over folks praying at Chestatee High School is one of those good news/bad news situations.
Was Bruce Vandiver's letter last week in The Times a scare tactic? I don't know. I do know that environmentalists often employ such tactics.
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