U.S. intelligence agencies, Congress and the DOJ contend the Russian government interfered in our 2016 presidential election. They are trying to determine what happened and to what extent.
There is a possibility that some of President Trump’s campaign staffers may have directly interacted with Russian agents to gain an advantage in the election. Or, they tried to benefit themselves financially. There is a possibility that some of President Trump’s campaign staffers may have inadvertently interacted with Russian agents.
There is concern the Russian government is trying to undermine democracies and the rule of law worldwide. Russian President Vladimir Putin is a patient and cunning individual. He realizes Russia cannot attack us, or use military force against our allies. He knows we can use economic pressures to adversely affect the Russian economy. Therefore, he is trying to undermine our electoral process and cause our allies to question our intent. His hackers gained experience, now they are hacking the emails of members of Congress. They are hacking corporations and the Pentagon. North Korea is stepping up its efforts to be a cyber threat. There is no plan to prevent Russia from undermining the 2018 and 2020 elections.
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A Plan B
Contrary to Mayor Robert Reichert’s public proclamation on Jan. 18, no new sales tax revenue is required to support consolidated Macon-Bibb County government business operations. Tax burden relief is necessary.
Mayor Reichert’s plea for a new sales tax to aid funding of municipal government administration is the latest ploy for the current regime to increase its coffers thereby providing more ways and means to indiscriminately spend stakeholder/taxpayer dollars. His insinuated threat of an ad valorem tax hike if new sales tax referendum is not approved constitutes stakeholder/taxpayer coercion.
Mayor Reichert’s assertion that the general fund has been cut by 20 percent over the last four years is preposterous. Informed Macon-Bibb County taxpayers know the general fund balance has continually increased, not decreased, during those years. Routine outgoing transfers from general fund account to maintain a $5.6 million minimum balance in the working capital reserve account are mandated by Macon-Bibb County Code of Ordinances. Concealed expenditures and outgoing transfers from general fund balance to lucrative employment benefits, business enterprise, and economic development funding, should be investigated and regulated.
Retirement pension investment funding is Macon-Bibb County government’s highest priority and lowest scheme. Macon-Bibb County Code of Ordinances grants local government (employer) power to contribute up to 50 percent of an eligible employee’s compensation to retirement pension funds. National employer contribution to employee pension funding averages 7 percent, according to AARP.
Mayor Reichert stated there is no Plan B to avert local government’s looming fiscal crisis — except to apply “draconian” budget cuts. His political rhetoric defies sound business management and accounting principles. Taxpayers are already paying out-of-pocket for essential community services. Collected tax dollar revenues are being used and abused for non-intended, non-essential, and non-sustainable purposes. Elected officials’ deliberate accumulation of unbridled municipal debt obligation, underwritten by stakeholder/taxpayer scapegoats, is unjust and unacceptable.
Linda Kay Nalley,
Individually and collectively we are often prone to take too much for granted and even overlook significant accomplishment and excellence. The business letterhead modestly states “Since 1938.” That was the year Macon visionary, Albert McKay Sr., in the early infancy of the air conditioning industry, an industry that would dramatically improve living and working conditions in the Southern United States, would found “Conditioned Air” in Macon.
2018 marks the beginning of the 80th year of outstanding air conditioning service to the Middle Georgia community under the same name now ably lead by Albert McKay Jr. , the founder’s son. As I pondered this ongoing phenomenal accomplishment, I realized that I possessed a unique perspective that I desired to share. My adventurous journey in the air conditioning industry started 62 years ago when I graduated from Georgia Tech and was hired by Carrier Corporation to work in their southeast regional engineering office in Atlanta.
As recounted in my developing books, “Thank you Dr. Carrier,” and “Predestined with Free Will,” I acknowledge that there was no personal plan that I could have developed to allow me the opportunity to follow in the “footsteps” of the founder of modern air conditioning, Willis Haviland Carrier, designing such unique and important national projects while at Carrier, and allow our family to remain and develop in our native state of Georgia.
In 1964 I was recruited to join a small Carrier dealer in Macon that had lost key staff members. One of the first professional contacts I made on arrival to Macon was to visit Albert McKay Sr., and introduce myself, my new employer, Culver Jordan, having placed announcement and picture in The Macon Telegraph. I fondly remember this short meeting, the seasoned home town entrepreneur and the Atlanta transplant. McKay smilingly said as I was leaving that he felt obligated to wish me well, but, (a new competitor), and I knew what he meant. Neither individual could have realized how intertwined our professional lives would evolve over the decades, not as competitors, but as associates and collaborators in the growing air conditioning industry.
Fast forward rolled the years as I joined the Professional Consulting Engineering firm founded in 1960 by George M. Nottingham Jr., a former key staff member of Conditioned Air. This consulting engineering firm prospered beyond imagination under successive names, Nottingham, Brook & Pennington, Inc., and currently NBP, now in its own 58th year under new very talented leadership.
Conditioned Air’s performance and business model can be accurately described by the phrase George Nottingham once penned at NBP, “The only lasting value is quality.” Congratulations to the Conditioned Air organization in achieving this most significant anniversary, especially maintaining the spirit of their founder, Albert McKay Sr.
May you long continue to provide this important service to our community.
Arthur D. Brook,