Hall County is a beautiful place to live, work and play because we are blessed with a "community," in the truest sense of the word. Community. Even the word looks good on the page.
Around here, your word is your bond and a handshake seals the deal. We treat each other with respect and fairness. If we make a mistake or harm our neighbor, we admit it, apologize and make it right. From that tradition, we have developed a bounty of outstanding leadership in this community, naturally, because our elected leaders come from the people who live here.
Naturally, then, the recent fracas over the old downtown jail could still be resolved without the litigation that some have deemed inevitable. This is so because our Hall County and Gainesville governments are made up of community leaders who know how we treat each other and how we keep our promises.
It would be easy for the county to bully the city into accepting a zoning change or for the city to bully the county by refusing to supply water to the property. But those aggressive tactics haven’t happened here.
Here, the deal on the table is and was that the city will buy the old jail from the county for $4 million. The city plans an expansive redevelopment of the area around the old jail that will benefit individuals and businesses.
On the other hand, keeping a private jail in the center of midtown for 20 years will suppress business development and job opportunities, not to mention harming the visual landscape from street level or from the suite of a luxury hotel. County officials have suggested they might be willing to go along with the original deal. It makes good sense and it’s only fair. Remember that taxpaying city constituents are also taxpaying county constituents.
But now someone has called for a new appraisal to be done of the old jail. Someone who is a professional real estate developer. Someone on the county commission. Someone who is still holding up the business of the people.
I’m sure that the old jail was properly valued back when it was empty and the sales agreement set the price in the first place. Do we really need to begin a discussion on price now that the county has signed a deal to lease it out to a private prison? Does the county really need to make a profit from the city?
We are talking about public property and the public good, after all. That’s kind of like telling your mama you’re gonna need to get an appraisal on that old car you were gonna sell her since you did just put new tires on it.
Come on, Mr. Powell, a deal is a deal. Let’s honor the deal. Change hats from "developer" to "commissioner" on this one. Let’s do what’s right for our community as a whole and move on. What’s next?
It makes no sense to take more water from Lake Lanier
I find the timing strange on the water release news. We just had an announcement that the pool level for Lake Lanier is at its highest since 2007. Everybody is aware that there are still miles of red banks.
Meanwhile, we also realize through other recent news articles that other lakes in Georgia are full (maybe overfull?) and yet our feds find it necessary to take water from a lake that is not near full yet. Feds, get your water from someplace else. We all know this hurts the growth and tourism for the Lake Lanier area.
It just does not make any sense at all. Gainesvillians, is it not time for an outcry from the public who is affected so much?
Gas prices are still too high
First, why are oil prices not part of gas prices in articles or TV news stories?
Oil prices are low and have dropped to $48 a barrel. When gas nationwide was $4.10 a gallon, oil was $148 a barrel.
At the time, ExxonMobil made a record breaking $15.7 billion net profit in just 90 days. Do the math: That’s 32.4 percent, times $4.10, equals $1.33 a gallon.
Prices should not be as high as they are, much less going up. Also, yes it was summertime gas blend. Exxon bumped megaretailer Wal-Mart out of first place for 2008. Why has everything that went up due to high gas and fuel prices not come down any?
Just needed to shed a little on the truth!