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.
Hall County's spending crisis did not blindside us; clear warnings have been issued time and again. Anyone even casually glancing at The Times foreclosures sections since the financial collapse knew trouble was coming.
Why is the Chicopee Agricultural Center going to be closed? Ninety-five percent of the shows bring in visitors to the county from out of the state and county and thus sales taxes. The Allen Creek Soccer complex only serves the local community and does not bring in revenue from outside of the county.
I agree with some of the proposed cuts like parks and community centers but am concerned with the property tax increase. We have so many families struggling to hold on to their homes with lost jobs and reduced incomes that an increase in taxes could be the end of them.
As a voting citizen of Hall County since I was 18, I am deeply concerned by the proposed budget cuts in the county. Cutting two ambulances, laying off 77 employees and cutting another 25 positions is totally out of line and absurd. The county is so large that we need the ambulance and firefighter coverage badly. Cut something that is not so crucial.
Frank Norton, sir, do you really see the Hall County jail as a Ritz Carlton? The Hall County Sheriff's Office as a kingdom?
In response to Sunday's story in The Times, "Panel studying violence against emergency room workers:" We will never be able to properly address emergency department violence in America until we take a hard look at our ongoing mental health care crisis. This has led to violence in some cases by frustrated and distressed psychiatric patients who are held in emergency departments for long periods of time because there are very few options for long-term care.
I agree Mitt Romney was by far the best-prepared candidate for president; can't do it over.