The gift-wrapping and bags have been put away, the last of the leftovers have gone into the fridge and the cheap toys have already broken. Yet as we inventory the loot, we couldn’t help but notice a few things missing that should have been left under Columbia County’s Christmas tree.
Yep, it’s that time of year: It’s time for The News-Times’ annual tally of some of the gifts that Santa forgot:
• For the Columbia County Development Authority: A new executive director.
Perhaps in the difficult economy of the past few years, the affable Troy Post wasn’t enough of a miracle-worker for county officials. We can’t be sure because they aren’t talking about their decision not to renew his contract.
But following the model of the Convention and Visitors Bureau – which occupies the same suite of offices, along with the Chamber of Commerce – perhaps the county could take the opportunity to reconfigure the Development Authority and its mission.
After all, if the measure is industrial development, splashy successes always will be rare in a community like ours. A focus on retail development might be a better strategy than hoping for miracles.
• For Columbia County’s disabled veterans: The rest of their property tax refunds.
When county officials in July announced plans to send out refunds for as much as three years overpayments by November, they either underestimated the process or overestimated their prowess. Or both.
In any event, most of the vets finally got their checks more than a month later than expected. But others still are waiting, many because they can’t be located. (If you or someone you know is a 100 percent, service-connected disabled veteran who owns a home, you can apply for the additional exemption before April 15. Do it.)
• For the Lady Antebellum Pavilion: More performances in 2013, with better accountability for any county money spent on them.
County officials admit the first year of Evans Towne Center Park was a work in progress. Unfortunately, much of that work – and taxpayer money spent on it – is so scattered around that there’s no way to tell how much success, or lack thereof, the park and its new stage enjoyed.
Tickets already are on sale for the first booked concert of 2013: Little River Band and Atlanta Rhythm Section for March 30. That’s a start.
• Finally, for all Columbia County: A peaceful, happy start to a prosperous new year.