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Your Views: County officials contract justified and well-earned
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I am compelled to defend the Hall County Commissioners action in keeping the county manager, Jim Shuler, on the job past his retirement.

I understand he is being paid a good salary and benefits for his current job and that he is also being paid retirement funds. Would Hall County be better off if they had recruited another person for the job? I say no, given Jim's knowledge, experience and abilities.

In fact, someone might have been recruited who might not work out at all (see Jackson County). Also, the new recruit might have insisted on more pay and benefits as well.

The county manager job is one of the most significant jobs in Hall County and I applaud the commissioners for making a wise decision in retaining a proven manager.

Next time this type of issue comes up, I would suggest the Times recognize petty jealousy and local politics and refrain from making this type of situation a front-page news item.

Bill Williams

Economy, budget and environment suffering
How soon we forget. Eight years ago our national budget was not in deficit, we had not sent thousands of our troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, our bombers were not lined up facing Iran. The housing market was stable. Polar bears had plenty of summer ice to hunt on.

We have found out that we are connected to the rest of the world. Our growers were glad to hire foreign workers to bring in their fruit and vegetables at low wages.

The NAFTA rules that allowed us to subsidize our corn growers also undercut the price of Mexican corn and forced their farmers to look for work elsewhere. There was some talk of helping Mexico improve their economy to provide jobs but nothing came of the talk.

Some of us believed the major presidential candidates who promised to take on global warming in 1999. Yes, both of the candidates; Mr. Bush committed to imposing caps on carbon dioxide, but of course changed his position once in office.

New nuclear plants were a dead issue ever since the Chernobyl catastrophe and the near-meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania. Now thanks to generous subsidies from us (the taxpayers) new plants are on the horizon, but without a place to put the radioactive waste. The Yucca Mountain repository is fading into history, having failed the last technical tests.

Meanwhile, more waste from European plants is arriving at the Savannah River Site near Augusta. It will be transported from the Savannah port to that site either by rail or road, probably in unmarked containers. The radioactive waste coming overland from the Hanford plant will probably pass through Atlanta and Augusta. Are you ready for plutonium-rich waste next to you on the expressway?

Adele Kushner

Atlanta overreacts in canceling park events
It absolutely amazes me at the lack of common sense of the leaders in our cities around the country. I am a craftsman who makes my living doing arts and crafts shows around the country. Recently, Atlanta leaders decided because of "the stress" on Piedmont Park all events in the park would be cancelled for 2008. This would include The Dogwood Festival, which is one of the biggest craft shows in the Southeast and one of my major shows. They were worried that all the "foot traffic" in the park would kill the grass. (Please give me a break!)

This is the same thinking from the left-wing, save-the-planet idiots that has our gas prices now at more than $3 per gallon. I'm not a landscape specialist, but even if it killed every square inch of grass in the park and they had to re-sod at a cost of several thousands of dollars, it still would be a drop in the bucket to the millions of dollars that the city and state will lose in revenues from people visiting the park to attend these events.

As a small-business man, I personally will lose thousands of dollars in revenue from the cancelling of the Dogwood Festival and I just wonder when our leaders will wake up and realize that their decisions are effecting tons of people when they make such idiotic decisions.

David Sinquefield

Regional events