When individuals and families are faced with reduction in income, they must of necessity reduce spending for their families' sake. When businesses encounter reduction in revenue, they take stock and cut spending for their stakeholders.
I live and own property in the North Hall area and was born and raised here. My family has lived and worked in Hall County several generations back.
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.
While I don't usually read Ronda Rich's columns, I did on Oct. 7. The heading got my attention and I read on. She wrote about the TV series "Justified" and how good it is. While I agree that it's a great show and high on my favorites list, I am puzzled by some things she wrote about the Appalachian South. Not being familiar with her writings, I hope it was done tongue-in-cheek when she wrote, "But here's what 'Justified' does best: It gets the Appalachian South right without reducing us to mockery or ridicule."
To Hall County Board of Education: I am sure that you have been made aware by now of the recent announcement by Dr. William Thompson, formerly of the Centers for Disease Control and co-author of the study on immunizations and their link to autism. If you have not, what has come to light is that Dr. Thompson has publicly declared that the study and its findings were falsified. He has declared that the data was altered to make it appear as if there was no link.