BUDGET

DISTRICT 4 NEWSLETTER - DECEMBER 2020

BRUCE ALMIGHTY MOVIE

I watched a movie the other day, unlike the normal kind of movie to which  I am attracted , starring Jim Carey….yeah, I know …”really”?  I found it to have a great plot, in a humorous sort of way, and one from which we could all learn a thing or two.  Although it was “slap knee” funny several times throughout the movie, it actually points out to 1) why we should not attempt to “play” God, 2) should not try to control other people, 3) that God gives us all free will (good or bad), 4) that true love cannot be forced and is realized only when you desire happiness for others, and 5) that we humans have our limitations.  I highly recommend this movie during the holidays…if for no other reason, but to help us realize that God is more than “the man upstairs”. Merry Christmas to you and your family and a Happier 2021…

2021 BUDGET

The recent approval of the 2021 budget by the majority of the BOC, included an increase of $36K supplement for the incoming Probate Judge.  This was approved by Commissioners Ramona J. Jones, Tarenia Carthan, and Kelly Robinson.  I did not vote for it primarily because of the $36K supplement for the incoming Judge, added to the $88K base pay and the retention of ALL the filing fees (which this year amounted to over $70K).  This would in all probability put the new Probate Judge making more than the 20 year veteran Superior Court Judges. The outgoing Judge only kept one-half of the Death Certificate fees as he personally entered them into the State system.  There are 4 Constitutional Officers in Georgia who have their base pay set by the Legislature according to county population: the Probate Judge, the Clerk of the Court, the Tax Commissioner, and the Sheriff.  Currently the Sheriff receives a lesser supplement mainly because when he took office, his Chief Deputy, who was a current employee, would have been making more than himself.  The BOC adjusted his pay to remedy that problem. No other Constitutional Officer in Douglas County receives a supplement, but my prediction is this will soon change.

EDITOR’S OPINION: Identity politics/polices now seems to be rampant in the county government.  This policy is based on race, gender, favors, and/or party affiliation in regards to budget, hiring/personnel, bidding, and salary.  As one commissioner has stated, it is “our turn”…and “just wait, it is coming.”   This must be what he meant…  Strange, in many years past, Douglas County not only elected a black man as School Superintendent but also, on another occasion, an openly gay woman.  We have had diverse City Councils and BOC’s for years. I did not know we were taking turns. Hopefully, this biased trend will end, and end soon, as many people moved here to Douglas County because of our sense of community and our diversity.

NEVER WASTE A DISASTER

Is there an attack on the Middle Class by the government …especially in certain states like New York and California?  Thank goodness we live in Georgia.  If the middle class is destroyed with all these shutdowns, restrictions, and regulations, the majority of our country will become totally dependent on the government.  That is the definition of a socialist or Marxist country…run only by the so called “elites.”  President Ronald Reagan once said, “Man is not free unless government is limited,” and ”One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism has been by way of medicine...”

 Left unleashed, the government will tell us what we can say, what we can possess, what we can do, and, of course, who we can worship…well, you get the picture.  This is already happening in parts of our country wherein government is arresting the small business owners who want to open their shops or restaurants like the large businesses are already allowed to do.  Not only is this killing one small business at a time but every business that touches that business, not to mention the many workers who will lose their livelihood.  It is said that socialism(or Marxism) is one step away from communism. To quote Karl Marx (father of Marxism), “The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.”  He is also known for the following quotes:

“If you can cut the people off from their history, then they can be easily persuaded.”   AND 
Communism begins where atheism begins.

Hmmmmmm…makes one think, doesn’t it?  VOTE...VOTE...VOTE - JAN 5TH

DISTRICT 4 NEWSLETTER - JANUARY 2019

2019 BUDGET

DISTRICT 4 NEWSLETTER - DECEMBER 2018

District 4 – TOWN HALL

WHEN:          Thursday, December 13th, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
WHERE:         Dog River Public Library, 6100 GA-5, Douglasville, Ga
TOPIC:           2019 Budget and Things Happening in District 4 and Douglas County

DISTRICT 4 NEWSLETTER - TOWN HALL FOLLOW-UP

2018 PROPOSED BUDGET

Attached hereto is the link to the most recent revised 2018 County Budget.  This budget could be revised before being adopted on December 19th.  This budget was sent to all commissioners on December 22nd as the recommendation from the Finance Committee.  

http://www.celebratedouglascounty.com/newsupload/2017/11/2017112210023560/2018_Proposed_Budget_Memo_to_BOC__Citizens.pdf

PUBLIC MEETINGS ON BUDGET

DECEMBER 5 - 10 AM - Citizens Hall
DECEMBER 19 - 7 PM - Citizens Hall

Contact for Board of Commissioners- bdcommissioners@co.douglas.ga.us or (770) 920-7266.

???QUESTIONS ASKED AT TOWN HALL???

1)  Are there any plans to widen POST ROAD?  As I stated at the meeting, I was unaware of any plan to do so.  I checked with the County Administrator and he has not heard of any plans to widen it either.
2)  If theTax Commissioner has collected all the back taxes that appeared in the newspaper, why is there a deficit?  After checking with Finance Department, they reported that about $2 million COUNTY back taxes had been collected thus far in 2017.   However, when the budget is comprised, delinquent tax is considered in estimated revenues for the next year.
3)  Why do contract employees get merit pay increases?  Departments Heads were placed under contract several administrations ago so the commissioners had more control over hiring and firing them.  This could only be accomplished by removing them from the Merit System. Somehow, the practice was then and continues today to treat them as regular employees when it comes to all pay increases.  After learning they get merit increases, I continue to question the reasoning behind this practice.
4)  What happens to the 4 buses (15-passenger vans) already delivered if system's funds are removed from 2018 budget?  This is yet to be determined.  However, even if the funds are not in the 2018 budget, the issue of the bus system is not DEAD.   The Transportation  Committee is still moving forward; however, there should be many opportunities and/or public meetings for the citizens to voice their opinions on this issue.
5)  How much has been spent on consultants regarding the Bus System?  The Transportation Services Study (covering ALL transporation services within Douglas County) done in 2015 cost $179,613 with a FTA grant paying $143,690 and the county's matching share  being $35,923.  The study done by the Transportation Committee in 2017 (totaling $7,444) conducted by Connetics was paid partly by a FTA grant of $5,955 and the match by the county of $1,489.

A question I get asked all the time is "What can I do to help shape the direction of our county?"  This is especially true when you work out of the area.  I would offer these suggestions:

1)  Subscribe to my Newsletter at  http://annjonesguider.com as I try to keep the citizens aware of  the most important issues before the BOC. You can also contact me at home thru this site.
2)  Watch the Work Sessions and the BOC Meetings at dctv23 
http://celebratedouglascounty.com OR onTV....
Direct-TV Channel 99 and Comcast Channel 23.  Meetings are on the first and third Mondays and Tuesdays of the month.

3)  Let YOUR voice be heard by emailing bdofcommissioners@co.douglas.ga.us or calling (770) 920-7266
to express your opinion and/or concerns.
4)  Talk to your neighbors and friends and encourage them to become involved too!

HWY 5 ROUND-ABOUT (Banks Mill/Pool Rd/Dorsett Shoals)
Shared by Ms. Anna Cobb from GDOT 

"This project is currently in the concept stage. The concept report has been prepared and submitted for approval. Preliminary design can begin once the concept report has been approved. Field surveys and environmental surveys have also been completed. Environmental technical studies are scheduled to begin in February 2018.

Regarding right-of-way acquisition, no land has been purchased for this project to date. Right-of-way acquisition can begin once the environmental document has been approved and right-of-way funds have been authorized. The project schedule currently shows right-of-way funds authorization in February of 2019.
Sam Allen
Project Manager

 

DISTRICT 4 NEWSLETTER - NOVEMBER

TOWN HALL

ANN JONES GUIDER
DISTRICT 4 COMMISSIONER

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2017
6 PM EPHESUS BAPTIST CHURCH
8445 EPHESUS CHURCH ROAD
VILLA RICA, GA 30180

PUBLIC INVITED

DOUGLAS BLVD POTHOLES – Bright Star Road to Hwy 5

I have received several calls about the potholes on Douglas Blvd. between Bright Star Road and Hwy. 5.  Although this road is in District 4, it falls inside the city limits of Douglasville and under their responsibility.  I have talked with someone at City Hall about it, and I was told it will probably be next spring before it is repaired.  The project would be quite extensive since there are 5 lanes involved.  So, keep dodging the holes and hang in there until next spring.

2019 PROPOSED BUDGET

The BOC met last week to go over the budget figures brought forth by staff.  To say the least, it was very disturbing as expected Revenues are $8.6 million UNDER preliminary Expenditures.  There is much work to do to balance this budget.  Between now and next month, we will all be diligently working to do so. A lot of cuts are expected to be made, but hopefully, the cuts will have the least adverse affect on the citizens.  Revenues are down in Sales Tax, some Court fines, Jail surcharges, and Rideshare fees.  Sales Tax is also split between the county and the cities in accordance with the Service Delivery Agreement between the two entities.  On-line sales have greatly affected sales tax collections by the State.

I will keep you apprised of the progress as we work through it all.  There will be two Public Meetings on December 5 and 19 on the adoption of the final budget.  I will remind  you again as those dates draw nearer.

 

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