At the most recent Centerville City Council meeting a presentation by Jim Taylor of Wellston Trees and Greens was shared before the council as well as the public in attendance. The Wellston Trees and Greens organization is involved in efforts to create passive parks and trails in Warner Robins and Houston County. This dream is one shared by many in our community, including myself. There was also encouragement given for Centerville’s possible participation in future phases of the overall project, which could one day connect walking trails, bike paths and other public park space from Centerville to Warner Robins.
The vision that was cast was one of walkability and connectivity throughout the community. A dog park and an amphitheater were mentioned also. It’s good to know there are forward-thinking individuals in our community who see what is wanted and needed and then go and put forth the effort to build a coalition to get the job done. I’m impressed and excited about what comes next. Keep up the good work.
-- Cameron W. Andrews
City Council Post 1
Two young ladies
There are a lot of good people out there working hard and doing good things. My wife and I recently met two of them. The first was working hard at her job and shared that she and members of her church were going on a mission trip to a South Africa orphanage. I am sure the trip would require many sacrifices on her part and a lot of work. Such a big heart.
The second one was a cashier. We discovered she lives in Macon and works there, and her second job as a cashier is in Warner Robins. She also goes to school studying medical courses. She said she was having a rough day and I gave her a small stuffed animal. It just made her day, and she gave me several hugs and that made my day.
I admired both these ladies. They could have sat down and done nothing, drawn welfare, food stamps, etc. -- but not these two self-motivated ladies. They serve as an inspiration to others of what can be done. When you meet people like that, it reconfirms that there are a lot of good people out there working hard, sometimes two jobs, going to school and they don’t make headlines. They keep going, even when the going gets rough. Way to go, young ladies.
-- Donnie Powell
For Gov. Deal
From the day that we bought our home in 2000 until today, our property taxes have doubled, an increase of 6.6 percent per year. Over that same 15 years, the average inflation rate was 2.5 percent. The Union County Board of Education, for no good reason and on a whim, decided to increase the superintendent’s salary by some $20,000. A proportionate increase went to the associate superintendent. Those increases will pad their retirement benefits. There are just 2,500 students in the Union County schools.
There is a school superintendent in Georgia whose salary runs to $500,000. The General Assembly has placed limits on how much millage rates can increase but, even if local authorities decide not to raise the millage rate, property taxes increase simply because “fair market value” -- whatever that means -- increases.
I have been in regular contact with Steve Gooch, our senator, and Stephen Allison, our representative, to replace school funding through “fair market value” of property with a uniform, statewide sales tax. A sales tax would immediately return control of spending to taxpayers. This past summer, there was to have been a committee to study the issue, but Gov. Deal quashed the proposal until 2017.
I have sent an e-mail to Gov. Deal three times regarding this issue. I have yet to receive any response.
-- George Mitchell
Gov. Deal did appoint an Education Reform Commission. Its report is due to the governor in December. The General Assembly is not expected to act on the commission’s recommendations until 2017.
Phone still not ringing
Issues relating to “fight blight” continue to be considered by local leaders. The need and desire to address the significant blight in our community was presented with much fanfare several months ago, indicating the broad assemblage of movers and shakers to be involved. I sent a letter to the editor, not published, noting a very significant element that appeared to not be represented in the planning body, that of the residential neighborhoods. I also stated that local government itself, its departments and associated agencies/entities, listed by name, could be one of the greatest impediments toward long-term success.
There is a relatively small city-owned triangular piece of property dividing the Northwoods Drive entrance from Pierce Avenue into our significant-sized Northwoods neighborhood subdivision that has languished as an unattended orphan for decades with no attention by the city. (In recent years a neighbor living near the property and I have attempted to keep this property from becoming a perfect example of a blight trash pile. The height of hundreds of bushes and wild saw briars, with trash thrown into the pile by passing motorists, recently exceeded 10 feet when we started the process of trying to address this abomination by total removal of everything above grade. It resulted in a pile of debris larger than a full-sized car.
This effort would be only a one-time stopgap measure. It would soon revert to a jungle again so I decided to see just how committed and effective “fight blight” was, especially toward our community neighborhoods by going to the mountain of city government, the mayor’s office. I presented the issues and concerns to the person who greeted me. I requested that an appropriate person in government meet with me and any others whom I would contact to review the actual conditions, hopefully agreeing to a long-term commitment from the city to maintain its property in an acceptable manner. I was not suggesting a monument as the result, just one that would not detract from our neighborhood, one that possible neighborhood resources could maintain. I thought this a reasonable request considering years of city neglect toward our neighborhood.
I was told I would be receiving a call from “an individual,” leaving my name and contact numbers. We returned to this city property and proceeded to take the “trash pile” to grade, exposing the extent of people-generated debris, cans, bottles, etc. and started poisoning the roots.
Weeks have transpired and with apologies to singer Randy Travis, “Since my phone still ain’t ringing, I assume it still ain’t you.” Some of the plants are beginning to grow again. All that has been accomplished is my exercise regime of work I usually do in rural cemeteries may be wasted if the city does nothing, and the apparent validation of my opinion about fight blight expressed in the old prior noted letter to the Telegraph editors. No, I did not find a windmill.
-- Arthur D. Brook
Can she walk and talk
Carly Fiorina certainly outshined the competition in the CNN hosted “so-called” debate Wednesday night. She was well spoken and obviously did her homework on the issues she talked about. She even had Trump scratching his backside wondering what hit him.
Coming into the debate, she wanted people to know who she was. I was very impressed with her overall performance and wanted to know more about this rising star. Sadly my vetting of Carly didn’t turn out as expected. As CEO of Hewlett Packard, she was responsible for the disastrous merger with Compaq and caused 33,000 layoffs. With disappointing earning reports and her resistance to transfer authority to division heads, she got fired and ran out the door with a $22 million dollar golden egg (severance). She ran for the Senate in California and lost. (info as per Wikipedia). Now Fiorina can talk the talk, but I’m wondering as CEO of the U.S.A. could she walk the walk.
-- Glenn S. Gibble