If you drive around Rockdale County, you can't help notice the abandoned houses, the ‘for sale' and ‘for rent' signs and unkempt properties and page after page of foreclosure notices.
If you pull up to the gas pumps, you will see people putting $5 worth in their tanks instead of filling up.
In order to survive, local businesses have had to cut their expenses to the bone. They do not have the luxury of forcing captive customers to accept rate hikes.
Families that have worked hard all their lives are having to live off of state handouts and go to the food pantry.
In spite of all of this, our local school board led by Chairman Wales Barksdale voted 4-3 to raise the tax rate for the second year in a row - by 1.51 mills. To say they snatched defeat from the mouth of victory for taxpayers is putting it mildly.
The board had the option to cut six days from the calendar. The staff did the legwork and, based on public input, they came up with a good compromise calendar. The way they did this and listened to the community should commended.
This vote shows a complete lack of concern and respect for the tax payers in Rockdale County.
People's incomes have gone down. Their property values have gone down. The amount they pay in taxes should reflect that.
The four who voted to increase your taxes are Barksdale, Darlene Hotchkiss, Jean Yontz and Brad Smith.
You might want to remember their names next election time.