Ann Jones Guider Newsletter

DISTRICT 4 NEWSLETTER - SEPTEMBER 2021

SHORT EXPLANATION OF BUDGET AND TAX RATE PROCESS

BUDGET:  The 2021 budget was set in December 2020, and the spending of it began on the first work day of 2021. The budget is a key factor for setting the tax rate later on in August when the digest (total value of all properties in the county) is received from the Assessors office.  The digest shows the BOC  the increase in values from the prior year’s digest.  The revenues for the tax year are estimated as they are unknown at the time the budget is established.  The assumption is that the revenues estimated and digest growth will cover the established budget from last December.

There are two different kinds of digest growth: 1) revalued growth to current market on existing properties and 2) new property/additions that did not exist on the prior digest.  The state law requires the county to roll back the tax rate (MILLAGE) equivalent to the increased values of the revalued properties OR advertise that they are raising taxes.  The Board of Commissioners voted to NOT roll back the millage, thereby increasing taxes 3.92%   I was the only dissenting vote  as the increase REFLECTED an estimated year-end Fund Balance of $30 million.  The Fund Balance is what you have left over after paying for your budget.  I felt we could have easily rolled back the millage and still maintained a healthy Fund Balance, especially after the 27% plus millage increase they passed last year which resulted  in a $21 million Fund Balance at end of 2020.  The other members of the BOC did remove the 1 mill for the Development Authority previously advertised.

Most personal homes (where you reside) should not realize any increase taxes UNLESS they had improvements/additions to it, as our local exemption increases to offset any revalued amount.  Exemptions do not apply to rental or most commercial properties.

THE GEORGIA ELECTION REFORM LAW (Explained  in a 5-Minute Video by Prager University):

https://www.prageru.com/video/the-georgia-reform-law-who-wants-fair-elections/

UPDATE:  Round About @ Hwy 5/Banks Mill/Pool Rd/Dorsett Bridge

I recently received notification from the GDOT Chief Engineer, Meg Pirkle, on what is happening with this intersection.   Here are the key points of her letter:

  • This intersection is fully funded through the Federal Safety Program
  • The original concept was too broad in scope and exceeded the cost allowed in this program
  • New concepts will be presented THIS FALL for public comments
  • Right of Way acquisitions should begin in late 2022
  • Construction should begin in 2023

I personally want to thank Ms. Annah Cobb for her persistence and determination in keeping this project on the radar of GDOT.  Without her help, I doubt this would be on the horizon.  Thank you Ms. Cobb!

RECYCLING EVENT:

WHAT:                  Electronics of all kinds ($5 fee for any monitor)
                                All metal items

                                Small appliances
                                Exercise Equipment
                                Lawn Equipment
                                Car Parts/Engines/Batteries
WHEN:                  Saturday, OCT 2, FROM 9AM TO 2 PM

WHERE:                FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OVER-FLOW LOT
                                9190 CAMPBELLTON STREET 
                                DOUGLASVILLE, GA 30134

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT CHAN WEEKS AT weeks@douglasville.ga.gov

SAVE THE DATE:                DISTRICT 4 TOWN HALL
                                                Thursday, SEPTEMBER  30, 6 PM
                                                CLINTON PARK, NEW PAVILLION (follow signs)
                                                (Alternative: Ephesus Baptist Church if inclement weather)
Guard with jealous attention the public liberty.  Patrick Henry

 

DISTRICT 4 NEWSLETTER - JULY

MY OPINION...

It is perplexing as I watch the news to see people in the streets of Cuba shouting “Freedom” while waving the American flag and later seeing the people in the streets of America burning that same flag. One must ask how can citizens of a foreign country respect our flag and recognize its values more than those who have lived in America all of their lives?  Perhaps the answer is that those living in other countries have witnessed first-hand life under the rule of a tyrannical government while we take for granted the liberties and freedom we enjoy every day.

I personally witnessed the long lines outside the food stores in Cuba while traveling there before the ports were closed.  Food in Cuba is rationed to the point of starvation to the average person, while the government officials live as royalty.  Someone told me each person is allotted 5 eggs a month.  Just recently the government blocked access to the internet to all their citizens to prohibit them from knowing what is going on in the country.  Can you imagine how Americans would react to that…although we now see that creeping into America in the form of censorship by Big Tech…and it frightens me to say with the consent of our government?

I only wish those Americans pushing for socialism/Marxism here in America could sit down and talk to those people in Cuba….or even Hong Kong where the same thing is happening…just to hear the other point of view, since we no longer hear this in our colleges and schools.  Socialism is one step away from communism.  You would think we would have curiosity about why we burn our flag and they wave it.  Even with all the past sins and short-comings America has and still has…along with every country that exists today or has every existed…it is still the greatest country on God’s earth.  I am not saying she is perfect, but if you are looking for perfection you will not find it in this world, and you will miss the blessings you already enjoy while seeking it.  It is simply the difference of freedom versus slavery, choosing whether you want to have the right of “pursuit of happiness” or have the government determine what happiness you can have.  God Bless America!!

2020 CENSUS – THE NUMBERS ARE IN…..

The numbers from the 2020 Census have been released.  The 2020 Census will be used to determine how many congressional seats each state receives in  terms of changes in congressional seats.  According to the counts, “this is the smallest change since 1941”.  Georgia’s number of congressional seats remains the same; however the states of Texas, Florida, and North Carolina gained seats and West Virginia lost a seat.  “One congressional seat now represents 761,169 people, which is an increase of about 50,000 people”.

Highlights in the press release included the following:  “The US population per the 2020 Census is 331, 449, 281. The Georgia population is 10,711,908.  Georgia had a 10.6% increase in population from 2010. As a country, our population has increased by 7.4% since 2010 with the south having the fastest growth of any other region at 10.2%. However, as a country we have experienced the slowest growth rate since the 1940 Census.  The state with the highest population is California and the state with the lowest population is Wyoming. The fastest population growth state was Utah. You can view the population and apportionment maps which shows growth by the US, region, and state from 1910-2020  here. [u2305648.ct.sendgrid.net]

“Redistricting data will be distributed on August 16 (this is the untabulated,legacy files) with the finalized files being distributed by September 30. As a reminder, Georgia has the technical capacity to tabulate the legacy data that will be distributed on August 16. This data will have the county and city level data as well as demographic data for the state.”  The Board of Commissioners will use this data when redrawing county districts; this process should start in August or September.

Further information regarding the above reapportionment release may be accessed at 2020 Census Apportionment Counts Press Kit [u2305648.ct.sendgrid.net].

The Board of Commissioners will be having their Mid-year Budget Retreat on August 12 and 13 at the new Senior Citizen facility in Lithia Springs
The Trailhead at Clinton Nature Preserve (8720 Ephesus Church Road) is officially opened.  Most everyone in the western side of the county know about Clinton park, which offers 10 miles of hiking/biking trails on 200 acres of beautiful terrain, a walking track, an ADA playground, picnic pavilions, and open areas to enjoy.  The new Trailhead also includes a new pavilion and a mini amphitheater.
Small Business Grants in the amount of $2500 are still available.  To apply or obtain further information go to www.elizatethbaptist.org or email tstewartstanley@co.douglas.ga.us.

"A Nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved.  It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins."

Benjamin Franklin

 

 

DISTRICT 4 NEWSLETTER - JUNE 2021

CRITICAL RACE THEORY

The term Critical Race Theory is becoming more and more commonplace, although most people probably could not tell you what it is.  CRT is a Marxist idea passed along social and racial unrest.  This ideology was first talked about in our universities and/or academic journals.  Now, however, it has been injected into our public institutions such as government agencies, public schools, corporate HR departments, educators’ training, military, etc.  In order to make it more appeasing to the public, words are often changed that may sound like a good thing but a closer look reveals the opposite.   Words like equality, found in our Constitution, has been changed to equity, which means race-based redistribution of wealth, or group-based rights…or discrimination at the highest level…or in one word, racism.  If this movement advances, it would be the end of the principles of both our Declaration and our Constitution.  America would be on the path of the Marxist government such as found in China, Russia, or Cuba.  This theory is exactly what STARTED the Nazis’ siege of most of Europe while killing millions whom they deemed to be an “inferior race”.  This is why America fought a civil war 160 years ago wherein 600,000 Americans died to eliminate this way of thinking.  Have we not learned anything from history?  Have we accomplished so much progress only to cast it aside?  Who, in their right mind in America, would trade our government for any other?  No wonder Hong Kong, once a democracy under England, is fighting against the now ruling Communist Party of China, who is now taking away the rights of their citizens...  Here is a link to a short article on CRT with additional information… PRIMER: Ending State-Sanctioned Racism | The Center for Renewing America (americarenewing.com).

A Russian KGB defector, Yuri Bezmenov, explained how to destroy a country by subversion rather than through warfare; this will astound you if you follow politics today (Yuri Bezmenov: Psychological Warfare Subversion & Control of Western Society (Complete) - YouTube).  The First step is to demoralize the citizens and the Second is to destabilize the government by turning groups or classes of people against each other.  Does any of this sound familiar?

America is not perfect; we have had our problems like every other country in the world, but we should love her and be grateful for the rights we have and enjoy as her citizens.  There is a reason we have people wanting to come to America rather than fleeing from her. Do we really want to destroy her…for which country would we trade her!

I have been assured by a BOE member that this is NOT being taught in Douglas County Schools.  As of now, there is no intention to do so.

CHANGES TO THE GEORGIA VOTER LAW:

What Does Georgia's New Voting Law SB 202 Do? | Georgia Public Broadcasting (gpb.org)

PAVING SCHEDULE FOR DISTRICT 4 IN 2021:

E Carroll Rd from Post Rd to Carroll County Line
Yancey Rd from Stewart Mill Dr to Central Church Rd
Banks Mill Rd from Post Road to S Giles Rd
Downs Rd from Post Road to Fox Run
Humming Bird Ln from Brandon Way to Dead End
Windsor Creek Dr from Banks Mill Rd to Cul-de-sac
Cedar Mill Rd from Cedar Mountain Rd to Cul-de-sac
Wilder Dr from Mill Glen Dr to Mill Lake Rd

Douglas County seeks Participation in Virtual Meeting for Input on Transportation Priorities

WHENThursday, June 3, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. 
HOW - Register for the upcoming virtual ZOOM community meeting and to learn more about the project, visit www.DouglasCountyCTP.com, or follow the conversation on social media using hashtag #DouglasCountyCTP.
PURPOSE
This plan will assess Douglas County’s existing and future multi-modal transportation needs including roadways, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, transit services, and freight considerations. The planning effort will produce a 30-year vision for multi-modal transportation investments that includes a prioritized list of transportation improvements, a 5-year action plan, and recommendations that improve mobility, safety, connectivity, and quality-of-life for Douglas County residents.

If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”  ― George Washington

Newsletter test

This Afternoon

Sunny, with a high near 84. Southeast wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Tonight

Mostly clear, with a low around 58. East wind around 5 mph.

Saturday

Sunny, with a high near 85. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Saturday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 61. Calm wind.

Sunday

Sunny, with a high near 90. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph in the morning.

DISTRICT 4 NEWSLETTER - APRIL 2021

WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR INDIVIDUALISM

Many people tend to paint others with a wide paint brush these days: i.e. people of different races, different political parties, different “classes”, different genders, different occupations….well you get the picture.  Just because an individual is of a certain race, gender, party, etc., there are those who feel these groups must think or believe a certain way.  I, for one, do not think I have lost my individuality or humanism as I know “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” by the one and only true God.  Among other things, there appears to be a movement to do away with gender, even though the Lord made “male and female….”  The House of Representatives has even gone to the extent of prohibiting pronouns being used in the Chamber that reflect gender! If we were all uniquely made, then why does our culture want to put us all in a melting pot, and why have we stopped looking at people as the individuals they were created to be? To prove how ridiculous it has gotten, the person administering the opening prayer this year in Congress, ended it with “amen and awoman”…what does that even mean!  I know that Amen means so be it, but I doubt very seriously anyone hearing the prayer knew what “awoman” meant.  As Forrest Gump said, “stupid is, is stupid does.”  I remember  someone  once saying “The group is the gift of the individuals.”

Another example of how far our culture has moved from reality is evident of those who want to paint all police as bad because of a few bad apples that may be in some forces. Let me tell you a secret, there are bad apples in every profession out there.  Nevertheless, I can assure you that if you feel threatened in anyway, I can just bet “who you gonna call.”  One of my favorite movie stars is Denzel Washington, and  I loved the way he put it in an interview when asked his opinion of the police.  https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/denzel-washington-says-doesn-t-083828204.html.

I feel much the same regarding our men in blue, especially our local forces, and want to thank them for their sacrifice they make every day!  I want to thank Sheriff Pounds and Chief Sparks for their leadership.  I feel confident and trust that these two gentlemen are addressing any appropriate training to curb any unnecessary harm or deaths both within their departments and our community.  And, we should make sure that we compensate our law enforcement personnel with an appropriate salary for the job they are called on to do.

SMALL BUSINESS GRANT – Up to $2,500 - FIRST COME FIRST SERVE - LIMITED NUMBER OF GRANTS

INFLATION – Have you noticed the prices on goods lately....already, gasoline went up 9% in one month.  Also, here are other goods that have increased since 2020 per the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

        Eggs                                    4.7%
        Applicances –                    14.5%
        Propane/Kerosene            15.9%
        Lumber                              83.2%
        Plywood                             53%

 WANTED – YOUR VISION FOR DOUGLAS COUNTY:   The County is in the process of preparing a strategic plan for Douglas County for the next 5 years, and we are asking for your input and participation.
  1.  Contact me by return email that you are willing to have your voice heard and would like to participate in an on-line Zoom meeting.  You will be notified of upcoming meetings.
  2.  Click on the link below and fill out a form with your ideas for our future.   (MY DISTRICT 4 also includes the Mirror Lake area, Fairplay area, St. Andrews area, and most area on western side of Hwy 5, but also includes area between Arbor Place and Stewart Mill Rd.

Douglas County, GA (celebratedouglascounty.com).

TODAY (Unknown author)

Today I smiled and all at once, things didn’t look so bad.
Today I shared with someone else a bit of hope I had.
Today I sang a little song and felt my heart grow light,
And walked a happy little mile with not a cloud in sight.
Today I worked with what I had and longed for nothing more;
And what had seemed like only weeds were flowers at my door.
Today I loved a little more; complained a little less;
And in the giving of myself forgot my weariness.

Where there is no law, there is no liberty.  Benjamin Franklin

 

DISTRICT 4 NEWSLETTER - FEBRUARY 2021

FREEDOM OF SPEECH THREAT

In the movie Braveheart, you probably remember the famous last scene wherein William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson, is being tortured to his death and with his last breath he cries out “FREEDOM”.  Freedom has been fought for throughout the centuries by those who are oppressed and controlled by others.  Freedom has been the reason America has fought several wars  during our 250+ years of existence costing us thousands of lives in acquiring and protecting it.

Our First Amendment was just one of the freedoms we deemed worth fighting for, as we saw with other countries that once freedom of speech was taken away, it was not long before all inalienable rights were also destroyed.  The First Amendment guarantees that our congress cannot pass any laws to take this freedom away from “we the people”.  However, the dilemma American is currently facing is that it is the large technology corporations who are controlling what information we can access….taking away the platforms where everyone has a voice, as was the original intent of the web.  These corporations have become strong arms that control our speech, and the what and who can be heard.  Whoever thought just a few short years ago that this would be possible in America! The web is not something a few people use, but today is something everyone uses….we are addicted to the internet for social media, for information, for commerce, and for the news.  All are now controlled by a handful of powerful billionaires who look like they stepped out of a sixties movie.

This is just the beginning because they are now using technology to manipulate our minds into changing our ideologies and worldviews into how they believe we should think.  This will destroy not only America as we know it but also our individualism.  Netflix produced a documentary called Social Dilemma on this very topic, currently available, but it will open your eyes and mind.

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD:   The County is in the process of preparing a strategic plan for Douglas County for the next 5 years, and we are asking for your input and participation.  All you have to do is let me know, by return email that you are willing to have your voice heard.  You will have the opportunity to express what your vision of Douglas County would look like in regards to infrastructure, services, enhancements, growth, facilities, etc.  There would be approximately 3-4 on-line, one hour meetings within the next couple of months.  NOTIFY me at aguider@co.douglas.ga.us if you would like to volunteer.
Douglas County will be borrowing $12 million in TANS (Tax Anticipation Notes) for 2021, compared to $25 million borrowed last year.  Counties use TANS to fund the operation of the county until the property taxes are collected in the fall of the year.
Check out my District Dialogue this month airing on Channel 23 (Comcast) or 99 (U-verse) for travel tips for 2021.  Patti Wenck of Wenck Travel is my guest on the show.  District Dialogue airs at 5 pm daily and will also be available online on our county website, Facebook, and YouTube.

Beware of HR1 being considered by Congress, bearing the name of “FOR The People” Act.  This Resolution is anything but “for the people” but rather for more power of the federal government.  It would place our elections under the control of the Federal Government and would allow felons to vote, remove ID requirements to vote, allow election-day registration, and allow massive mail-outs of ballots. Currently, the States regulate their elections.

“A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or perhaps both.”  James Madison

 

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 - OCTOBER 2020

LOCATIONS OF BALLOT DROP BOXES

Douglas County Courthouse – outside right of front door and inside @ Voter Registration Office 1st floor

Old Courthouse – 6754 West Church Street near Coroner’s Office

Deer Lick Park – 2105 Mack Road @ front door

Boundary Water Aquatic Center – 5000 Hwy 92/166 @ front door

DISTRICT 4 NEWSLETTER - SEPTEMBER 2020

TAX INCREASE

Citizens in Douglas County were rightfully upset about the 27% plus tax increase.  Although the majority of the Board of Commissioners voted for it WITHOUT MY VOTE, I can say I was so-o-o proud of the number of citizens who became involved and voiced their opposition.

DISTRICT 4 NEWSLETTER - JULY 2020

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA

Due to the fact we have all been inundated with so much information regarding the pandemic, the economy, the protests, the riots, and the up-coming Presidential election, I thought it better to sit back quietly for awhile.  However, like yourself, what we have seen on the news of late has disturbed me and prompted me to put in my two cents regarding racial unrest not only around the nation but as close as Atlanta in regards to our home county of Douglas.

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