Like conspiracy theories?
I don't, but because it's impossible to be in this business and not be inundated with loopy ideas, you learn to tolerate them.
I'm not sure if this theory qualifies as a conspiracy. But it certainly has possibilities. See if you can follow the scenario:
The Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended shutting down four bases in Georgia, a state with Republicans running everything. It also recommended shutting down a submarine station in Connecticut, which is run by Democrats, moving much of its work to Kingsland in south Georgia.
This past week, the up-or-down review process of BRAC started, and the commission chose to shut down those Georgia bases. And it decided to keep the Connecticut port open, which means those sailors won't be moving to Georgia.
A key component in this decision was a letter from former president Jimmy Carter, who pleaded with the commission to save the Connecticut station - even though he had helped bring the Kingsland base to his home state of Georgia in 1978.
So now, the theory: Elections are coming up next year. Democrats will want to portray Georgia's Republicans as powerless to stop the loss of four bases from the state, something that previous Democrat leaders were able to do. Did Carter stab his fellow Georgians in the back just so Democrats could wound Republicans at the polls?
Not a bad theory, as conspiracies go.
Hear from expert
There are plenty of theories about why some Columbia County officials are discussing the idea of incorporating Evans, and then consolidating Evans-Columbia County.
Monday night, we can count on hearing some pretty solid information about what it all means.
Ralph Walker, professor emeritus of Augusta State University and the reigning expert on consolidation, will be speaking to Columbia County's Democratic Party in its monthly meeting at the Government Complex Auditorium.
Ordinarily, the Democrats' meetings have about as much drama as a dental insurance seminar, and with fewer people. But ever since commissioners floated this trial balloon of consolidation, the speculation has run rampant.
Monday's session should provide a good opportunity to hear what the concept itself means, all coming from an expert who isn't pushing a point of view.
It may not dispel any of the conspiracy theories, but it should make everyone a little smarter.
Time runs out
I don't want to pick on the folks building the Furys Ferry Road expansion that started last century.
But there was an exchange in the latest County Commission meeting that shouldn't pass without becoming part of the historical record.
It seems commissioners had a request from Reeves Construction Co. to lease a piece of county-owned land. The company needed a temporary home for its Furys Ferry construction office trailer.
The company's original lease had expired - because too much time had passed since the job started.
Commissioners, most of them suppressing smirks, approved the request without comment. "We don't need to talk about Furys Ferry any more," said Chairman Ron Cross - who no doubt is more than a little tired of the county being blamed for the slow pace of construction on the state-run project.
And while we're at it: The unfinished portion of the bike path on Evans-to-Locks Road is part of the Furys Ferry project. So quit beating up commissioners for that one, too, folks - it's not their fault.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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