Christmas is over, the wrapping paper hauled to the landfill and the first batteries in the toys are already dead. And once again, Santa missed a few spots on his local tour, so its time for The News-Times annual lists of gifts that should have come, but didnt.
First, to Columbia County commissioners: A new logo that looks, coincidentally, exactly like the one we already have. Well all agree to pretend its bright and shiny and new, and let the sailboat-and-sunset continue to serve as the countys symbol. Come to think of it, this gift would have been handy before the county spent $31,000 on a new logo and got back a batch of hoity-toity stinkers.
Speaking of stinkers, Grinches who stole money from school organizations this year need the gift of an old-fashioned paddling in front of the class. Fines arent enough; wrap up some corporal punishment for a few whacks to the seat of the pants to the thieves who took donated funds from Evans Middle and Greenbrier Elementary.
For the soon-to-open Columbia County tax office in Evans, the gift of more parking - but not the hugely expensive construction of a parking deck, as some public officials suggest. Just get the drivers license bureau moved down the street, and the slots will open up.
To the city of Grovetown, a solution to sewer problems that threaten to impede progress in the countys fastest-growing area.
For the city of Harlem, success in its fund-raising effort for its main street improvement project. The city is doing a fine job of building on the success of the Oliver Hardy Festival by seeking tourists and shoppers year-round, and its streetscape program is a real winner.
For the Columbia County school system, a smack on the forehead to state and federal leaders. Maybe that will be enough to convince the bureaucrats that a school system that already is beating state and national averages is doing things right and should be copied, rather than being forced to do things the same way as worse-performing systems.
To the Georgia Department of Transportation, a nice, gold watch to announce the official retirement of the idea of concrete medians dividing Washington Road in Evans. The DOTs recent addition of a center turning lane has worked a miracle in improving traffic flow and safety on the countys busiest stretch of highway. Time to send those median plans off to the Shady Grove Rest Home for Bad Ideas.
For some residents of Hereford Farm Road near Lewiston Elementary, a little more tolerance. There are those who detect racial overtones in white residents vocal opposition to the recent request for land rezoning to allow construction of a mostly black church. Would the opposition be as strong if the church were, say, Hereford Farm Baptist instead of Emmanuel Faith Tabernacle International Ministries?
To Columbia Countys library system, a resolution to the still-lingering question about whether it should remain part of the regional library system. Staying in means steadily rising dues from county taxpayers to the regional system, headquartered in Augusta; getting out means higher local costs, and loss of the popular bookmobile.
For tourists in Columbia County, the installation of bumpers inside the Raes Creek gate on the Augusta Canal. When those are in place, the replica Petersburg boats will be able to sail all the way to Savannah Rapids Pavilion, giving visitors a nice trip.
Thats enough wishes for this year. Besides; Santas bag would probably pop if we included all the other things wed like to see delivered. Theres always next year!
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