Thursday, July 24, 2008

Correction to last post, billboards, grants & more

I've corrected my last post regarding the millage rate, tax increase, etc. In that post I said the County Commission had held their three meetings regarding the millage rate. Not so this year. Last year they didn't offset the millage rate (tax hike) and earlier this year had said they weren't going to be able to offset the millage rate. I missed a number of meetings during the campaign season and somehow confused the budget hearings with the millage rate hearings. So sorry, mud on my face and all that other gunk to go with it!

The rest of the info is correct re: Fayetteville, Peachtree City and School Board.

I was at the County Commission meeting tonight and realized they had not had the hearings. In fact, it looks like they're going to offset the millage rate (not sure if it will be the full amount, but an offset is an offset and better than none!). Glad they're doing that. Especially in light of the salary increases they've handed out, and the upcoming bills we'll be seeing if they institute the defined benefit plan like they voted to do...

I heard a few different numbers during the campaign from Herb Frady and Robert Horgan, but the county has frozen or not hired up to 27 positions (depending on which forum and who was speaking). That's quite a savings though one has to wonder if they needed the 27 positions if they can do without them...

I am glad to see what the millage rate offset.

One thing tonight did concern me though. Senator Ronnie Chance was successful in getting the County $200,000 for the Emergency Center Interim County Manager Jack Krakeel has been wanting to build. It was originally in the plan to be built way down the road years out but when Krakeel became the Interim it was moved forward and in the budget. It's one of the items that was pulled and pushed back this year when they started looking for ways to pay for other items.

Once caveat with the $200,000 grant is that it has to be used within 12 months. Guess what that means? We're going to see the multi-million dollar Emergency Center back on the drawing board sometime in the fairly near future I'd guess.

Oh, did I mention they voted to settle the lawsuit regarding the billboards? Yep. It was an interesting piece of sophistry that made it all sound well and good that they were nobly going to settle the law suits. I loved the part where they determined that the case had been LOST twice before as justification for not going forward. It hadn't been lost, it had been remanded or returned for tweaking. I'll get the facts for you, know enough at this point to be dangerous but not necessarily completely factual! I learned my lesson on that last post... I usually pride myself on making sure I check and double-check the facts. I do not like to mislead!

Another little factoid --- Peter Pfeifer was the lone Commissioner to vote against settling the billboard case.

Some food for thought... once the door has been opened by the settling of the case, there are going to be others lined up to put up more billboards. Today it's two new billboards, tomorrow it's two more, ten more and pretty soon we've lost another part of Fayette County that made us special.

And, one more little bit on that one. The billboard company sued for eight signs, they settled for two. They also didn't want all their legal fees, asked for roughly half. Why would anyone who could win eight signs be willing to settle for only two? Why would they give away half their legal fees? Why not go forward and get what they supposedly wanted all along? Could it be they only wanted two to begin with? Could it be they know they'll be able to get more down the road? Why in the world would these guys settle for a quarter of what they wanted? They're throwing a lot of money down the drain.... Why?

Back to my original error re: the millage rate... Luckily, this is a blog, an opinion, not meant to be literal news reporting... but it still doesn't make me feel any better. Wrong is wrong! Apologies.

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