An increasing number of Columbia County citizens are becoming angry at the monthly publication, "Endless Opportunities," which comes in the mail with our water bills and is written by County Commission Chairman Ron Cross, because the publication is used by Cross at taxpayer expense to give his personal and political views on county matters.
The May issue of "Endless Opportunities" is a good example of Cross' personal and political views, wherein he states that the 2008 Georgia Legislature was dysfunctional and wasted time, and Cross called them "idiots."
Then, Cross proceeded in the May issue of "Endless Opportunities" to state that the Georgia Department of Transportation was bankrupt and Cross wrote that he would just have to replace the special-purpose, local-option sales tax (SPLOST) program on the November ballot to get more taxes for his county transportation projects even though the current SPLOST program does not run out until January 2011.
Thankfully, two local newspaper reporters investigated these matters and the comments of Cross. Donnie Fetter in The Augusta Chronicle on May 12 wrote an article after his investigation that Georgia DOT cutbacks would not affect Columbia and Richmond County transportation projects. That was followed by an article from Brandon Larrabee in The Chronicle on June 29 wherein a summary was presented of helpful Georgia legislation passed this year.
It is hard to understand Cross' big appetite for SPLOST, which is another 1-cent sales tax program to be on the ballot during a time of a sagging economy, the dollar losing value, gasoline and all products going to record prices almost daily, county property owners facing higher taxes from increased valuations, and a lot of county citizens having to cut back on their daily expenses. It sometimes appears Cross is trying to help special groups before he leaves office. County citizens need to vote on matters on the November 2008 ballot that are in their interests.
Columbia County citizens appreciate The Chronicle and The News-Times researching county matters and writing articles with all the facts to the interest of county citizens.
If "Endless Opportunities" is to be written in the future, it should not be written and mailed at taxpayers' expense by an elected politician, but should be written by our county administrator.
Hubert L. Rose
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