Send e-mail to email@example.com (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 originating 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.
To find a form to send a letter, click here
It seems the community that elected Tom Oliver as chairman twice has now attacked him for ... what? For being one of the smartest elected officials in office?
In case many have forgotten, the commission has made some drastic improvements and set up important deals for the future of our county in the last few years in a time of economic recession. This commission has not always agreed 100 percent on every issue. But having open minds and realizing some votes need to be postponed for lack of information or the need to go back and reconsider decisions — and, yes, even re-evaluating current policy as it affects the ethics of these officials — has been the catalyst for some of these decisions.
Information is the key to making an informed decision. The more accurate the information should yield a better decision. My last quarter in college, I learned the most important lesson: You do not have to know everything, just where to find it. No one can have all the information on every issue every time. Being smart means realizing those times when you need more information and knowing how to obtain it.
Information is not always free. If you need legal advice, you seek an attorney, which costs money.
Consultants are the same in that they have specific information and we hire them for that information.
I don't think that anyone will fault the choice of Carlyle Cox for water and sewage advice for his expertise and his vested interest in Hall County. Yes, maybe give a slap on the wrist for surpassing allowable dollars spent each year on such a consultant, but the information gained has been valuable to our community. There is no way to put a dollar amount on that, nor a way to analyze the value of having a spokesperson with contacts in all levels of government and in private business who will consider the effects of different outcomes on the taxpayers.
As for written reports or documentation of this advice or service, please research the chairman's own comments in related projects such as the Glades Reservoir. His ideas and input came from somewhere as he has admitted not being extremely knowledgeable of all facets relating to water issues. This is an elected official who can admit he doesn't know everything and will even risk stepping over the boundary a little to get the information necessary to make the best decision for the taxpayers.
As everyone has mentioned the number of people aware of these transactions, it is hard to conceive the notion that this was a secret endeavor that Chairman Oliver was trying to hide from the public. There seems to be personal attacks here, and I think this is being blown out of proportion. When this happens, we as taxpayers really lose.
All of this time spent on "name calling" and "blaming" distracts from more important issues. Let these elected officials do what we elected them to do.