Trash cans today are filled with brightly colored paper torn from Christmas gifts that piled under trees and brought smiles to young and old alike.
However, stores this morning also are filled with shoppers standing in line to exchange many of those gifts, and looking for bargains on after-Christmas markdowns on things they wanted but didnt receive.
In that spirit, here is a tongue-in-cheek list of gifts Columbia County and its citizens should have received this year but didnt:
A refund for senior taxpayers.
The Social Security Administration, the Georgia Department of Revenue and the Columbia County Tax Assessors Office earlier this year changed the rules on tax exemptions, forcing seniors to re-apply.
Those rule changes tossed about half of the seniors off the tax-exemption rolls, meaning their bills next year will skyrocket. The County Commission last week agreed to review the situation, but doubts they can help.
Instead of the refunds they deserve, then, the seniors get a lump of coal. Maybe they can use it for heat when they run out of money from paying their tax bills.
A finished courthouse and jail.
Thanks to change orders, both projects are behind schedule and over budget. Much of the blame goes to the private management company that Columbia County wisely dumped as overruns mounted. Inspector Richard Harmon now oversees the projects, and has brought badly needed order to what had been confusion.
Maybe the facilities will be open by next Christmas.
A full Clarks Hill Lake.
In the same year county emergency officials released an inundation plan for handling a flash flood in the event of the failure of Clarks Hill Dam, the waters behind the dam dropped to their lowest level in years.
Inundation? Theres barely enough water to wet the countys drought-parched lawns.
After a nasty springtime fight over leadership, the countys GOP factions attempted a sort of gripe session to heal their wounds, but only cemented their differences.
Next years elections are likely to result in Republican primary melees. Democrats may not hold any county posts, but at least they arent constantly seeking ways to knife each other in the back.
here are plenty more things Columbia County didnt get. Still, weve got it pretty good; this county is a great place to live, work and raise a family.
Perhaps thats why Columbia County residents didnt receive these bountiful gifts: Santas bag already was full, delivering loads of residents fleeing Richmond Countys dysfunctional government!
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