Michael Ryan, in the July 26, News-Times, had an outstanding letter to the editor about what is wrong with growth in Columbia County. He also gave his solution: "The answers are investing in the unique Southern rural culture that was already here."
Unfortunately, Ryan's answer is incomplete or even possibly incorrect. The real answer is: Install, very soon, a county commission which is not "in bed with" those who profit so heavily from this wild growth we currently are enduring. Until that is accomplished, the results will continue rapidly down the wrong road we now are travelling. Those who profit, apparently greatly - that is, the developers, real estate sales people, construction contractors and I'm confident a number of others - will continue to guide the actions of our commissioners in the direction Ryan and many others abhor.
Look at the result in the July primary. Ron Cross, our commission chairman, was re-elected by an apparently shockingly low, approximately 60 to 40 percent majority while running against an almost completely unknown and inactive opponent. Yet, I'm under the impression he considers this a big win and a "mandate" to continue his past practices.
I read or heard that he considers that his "incorporate and consolidate" idea still is going strong, no matter what the county residents desire. Do you suppose he considers it almost dead sure that either you will forget or it will go through in another election where almost no one will turn out to vote?
This "mandate" he now seems to be riding comes, according to The News-Times, from "the smallest turnout in more than 20 years." So what? He is in again. That is all that matters, since the entire Columbia County Commission, or at least all except possibly Lee Anderson, have voted with Cross to make Columbia County look like what Ryan calls suburban Atlanta, and which I consider Richmond County No. 2.
Our commissioners, who have no opposition in November, do not follow the desires of the residents. They follow those who profit from this wild, ugly growth. ...
Richard Netzley, Evans
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