While the great county budget crisis of 2009 is for the moment over, we would like to suggest a positive solution to ensure that we don't find ourselves in this situation again.
One of the main reasons we have gone quickly from a surplus into a deficit of taxable revenue in Newton County is because over the years we have failed to attract enough viable industry to counter the fallback in the current housing and retail markets.
On Wednesday, after much anguish, criticism and concern, the Newton County Board of Supervisors balanced the county's budget for FY2010. Through the efforts of county management, county employees and elected officials, the final balance was accomplished without raising the current millage rate and resulted in the loss of a minimal amount of jobs.
We have nothing but praise for the leadership of County Chair Kathy Morgan. She, along with administrative officer John Middleton, crafted a final proposal that was unanimously accepted by the county commissioners.
During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade. "Absolutely," the professor said. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your ...
For once, I am going to have to (shudder) agree with the American Civil Liberties Union. They are busting their britches to have pictures released of some of the 240 detainees at Guantanamo being waterboarded by the CIA. That is a great idea. I believe most rank-and-file Americans would take much comfort in knowing that our government cares more about getting the truth out of potential terrorists in order to prevent another 9/11 attack than they do about hurting the feelings of a bunch of people who would gleefully dance on our graves.
There was a time that we were taught to save money, pay our bills on time and invest wisely; this philosophy helped America prosper since the days we first became a nation more than 233 years ago.
That philosophy, is for all practical purposes, gone with the times of plenty. It is said we are on the slippery slope of socialism since the Obama administration and the Democrats have come to power. Being on the slippery edge is no longer true either; we are now in a headfirst slide down the mountainside.
For the commissioners of Newton County there are not simple solutions or easy decisions to be made on the 2010 budget. Monday night's four-and-a half-hour meeting clearly showed all those in attendance that the days of milk and honey are long behind us, and now we must work hard in order to overcome the current financial crisis that we are all enduring.
Cutting county personnel and services or raising taxes were the two main points dividing our board of elected commissioners on their path to reach a budgetary equilibrium. So if not tax, what other revenue streams can be ...
Perhaps we had Gov. Sonny Perdue all wrong. When we said Perdue was a do-nothing governor, maybe he wasn't really doing nothing. He was just waiting for something to happen - something big and awful so he could really show his stuff.
In Friday's edition we published articles about two extraordinary women in our community - Shirley Smith and Martha Taylor.
Smith serves as the CEO of Repairers of the Breach which helps severely economically disadvantaged families get back on their feet by providing them with food, clothing and shelter. The nonprofit operates a thrift store on Washington Street to help offset the costs of their good work, especially during the winter holidays when they allow certain applicants to shop for gifts free of charge.
We are more than relieved to know that an 87-year-old family business - Ginn Motors, which has been an anchor of our community, has survived the closings that were instituted by Chrysler and General Motors.