Candidates at last Tuesday's Lumpkin County School Board Forum were asked how they would handle a $1 million budget shortfall caused by passage of the senior/disabled tax relief referendum on Nov. 4. Because the question assumed a budget shortfall that cannot be caused by homestead exemptions, they struggled with their answers.
A sincere "Thank You" and kudos are due to Public Works Director David Headley and his team for the outstanding job they did in repairing the .2 miles of Greenway Road lying in Dawson County.
We invite you to join us for our Fourth Annual Veterans Day Celebration.
I've been ending my weekly columns for the last eight years with, "The secret of good government is a well-informed electorate."
America's budget is in turmoil. Our national debt is at an all-time high, home prices are falling, financial institutions are failing and people are losing confidence in the American dollar.
Last Spring's freeze cost our vineyards up to 80 percent of their grapes. The freeze was followed by the second year of a drought which stressed wine makers physically and financially.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about how credit scores affect our financial lives. A number of you who read that column have called me and pointed out how difficult it is for sub-prime consumers to improve their credit scores. They are absolutely correct. Some areas of consumer loan laws need to be changed.
We are finally feeling some relief during the energy crisis with the decline of gas prices. Although this relief is welcomed, we should not ease the pressure on our national leaders to develop a long-term, comprehensive energy strategy.
It's been proven. In a down economy, if you get to keep more of your earnings, government gets more tax revenue. The reverse is also true. When governments raise your taxes in economic downturns, they generate less in taxes. Consumers control the economy by their spending habits.
For the past three months it has been an honor to serve as your county manager.
It's not always easy to understand about Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, sub-prime mortgages and credit scores. How do these things affect your life?
Every Legislative Session yields many new laws that can affect your life. I have picked out 10 bills from the 2008 Session on which to comment because they continue to come up during conversations with you. They concern bills that are designed to make government consumer-friendly, protect families and protect our natural resources.
An opinion poll in a local publication asked in March, "Should Kevin Tanner be appointed county manager?"
I don't understand why some elected officials and candidates for local office are still confused about tax cut referendums on the November ballot. Most taxpayers seem to get it. They understand the need for some property tax relief for their parents and grandparents and the permanently disabled who are on fixed incomes and being taxed off their land.
Just a few weeks ago, President Bush issued an executive order to lift prohibition on oil exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf. With the action, the executive branch's restrictions on this exploration have been cleared away.
The scene: I-16 near Dublin. Waaangh! Reep! Reep! Reep!
March 3 marked the 30th legislative day of the 2014 session. Known as "Crossover Day," the critical point in the session is the last chance for bills to pass the legislative chamber from which they originated.
Some of you might remember a popular song from the '80s called "The Final Countdown."
Last week consisted of an important few days, as it was the last week for bills to pass out of committees, since "Crossover Day" was on Monday.
This week, the Georgia General Assembly hit an important deadline: Crossover Day.
As predicted in this space a few weeks ago, there is compromise legislation pending in the General Assembly regarding the Common Core curriculum, the controversial program which seeks to establish consistent education standards across the country.
I had the pleasure of knowing Ken Newell for the past eight years. Ken was a well-liked and respected man, and had a real love for the people of Dawson County.
The Cherokee County Republican Party has a blurb on its website about Rep. Sam Moore, who won the 22nd District house seat earlier this month following the death of veteran lawmaker Calvin Hill. Among other tidbits about Moore are his hobbies, including this: "Playing jokes ... watch out. You have been warned."
The snow and ice melted from Winter Storm Pax, and we returned to Capitol Hill on Feb. 17. This was the sixth week of the 2014 legislative session and an important one. This past week, we passed the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, as well as many other significant pieces of legislation.
State projects are often hindered by two things: Personnel needs and a lack of funding. We do not have an unlimited bank account or line of credit, and every taxpayer dollar counts. This means we often look to creative methods to bring in the employees and technology needed to address Georgia's biggest needs.