Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (no attached files, please, which can contain viruses); fax to 770-532-0457; or mail to The Times, P.O. Box 838, Gainesville, GA 30503. Include full name, hometown and phone number for confirmation. They should be limited to one topic on issues of public interest and may be edited for content and length (limit of 500 words). Letters forwarded from other sources or those involving personal, business or legal disputes, poetry, expressions of faith or memorial tributes may be rejected. You may be limited to one letter per month, two on a single topic. Submitted items may be published in print, electronic or other forms. Letters, columns and cartoons express the opinions of the authors and not of The Times editorial board.
So let me get this straight: Our forefathers fought a Revolutionary War over taxation without representation. Now, today’s congressmen and senators are getting an earful at "town hall meetings" over taxation without representation in the form of things like cap and tax and socialized medicine (someone will pay for that, and it’ll be those who work and produce). Now, we’re bringing it to the local level.
The city of Gainesville wants to tax me without representation. Why and how? Because I own a small business located in one of the "islands" the city is trying to steal from Hall County and incorporate in a socialistic land grab. They want my money so they can spread it around for things I don’t want, need or use. Redistribution of my money. Socialism.
Listen to me, city of Gainesville, and listen to all the other businesses located in areas you’d like to incorporate and tax: We are located in Hall County, outside your city limits, because we DO NOT want to pay your taxes.
Most of us live in the county outside the city and cannot currently vote against your City Council. If you want to tax me, then give me the right to vote you out of office. Otherwise, take your greedy hands off my fellow business owners and me.
National polls now say Americans — and that includes our county — have had it with greedy politicians spending our money without listening to constituents. Let’s not allow communistic actions to happen here at home.
To the Gainesville City Council: "We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore!" Don’t tread on me.
County cedes power to city in water, reservoir deal
Beginning in 1994, Hall County taxpayers spent about $40 million to develop a Hall County water system. This included a 150-acre reservoir on Cedar Creek in East Hall in the Oconee River basin. Also, Hall County built more than 100 miles of water lines and tanks. We purchased 800 acres of land from Glade Farm in North Hall for a future reservoir.
Now for some inexplicable reason, Hall County has given these facilities to the city of Gainesville. Gainesville operates "for profit" a nonregulated, monopolistic water utility in about 70 percent of Hall County and charges double rates and fees to outside city customers. Over the years this water system has paid millions of dollars (average about $2 million per year) into Gainesville’s general fund.
What did our county get in return for the Hall County water system? Zero, zilch, nada nothing. Lower water rates? Nah. Better service? No! No service at all unless somebody else pays for it. Respect? You be the judge.
Gainesville will ultimately own Hall’s South Hall sewer facilities. Hall County has, by default, given Gainesville monopoly control of water service to the Glade Farm development in North Hall. The double water rates and tap-on fees from the thousands of homes and businesses in this vast area will flow into Gainesville’s coffers instead of Hall County’s.
Now, the Glades Reservoir, which we desperately need for future water supplies for Hall County and on which we have already spent millions, will flow through Gainesville’s water system to Hall County customers, who will pay double rates and fees. Something stinks about this arrangement.
The answer to more fairness and justice in city-county relations may be abolish the county and extend Gainesville’s city limits to the county line. The irony of this would be that the taxpayers of Gainesville would be the greatest beneficiaries. Every Gainesville taxpayer, as they pay their city taxes this year, should ask themselves: What services am I getting, or this money that consolidated government could not provide cheaper?
In a consolidated government, your city tax bill would disappear. Think about it.