Georgia limits public access to archives

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ATLANTA — Citing budget cuts, Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced Thursday that he is ending the public’s ability to walk in any time to the state archives, making Georgia the only state without a central location to visit, research and review historical records without previous arrangements.

The last day that members of the public can drop in will be Oct. 31.

Kemp, whose office oversees the archives, said that when Gov. Nathan Deal ordered a further 3 percent reduction in spending because of weak tax collections, the choice came down to services the secretary of state’s office provides for businesses or the archives.

“We have tried to protect the services that the agency provides in support of putting people to work, starting small businesses, and providing public safety,” Kemp said in a statement from his office.

Deal ordered the spending cuts to all state agencies except for the Department of Education.

Kemp said his agency has no more excess to eliminate and is left to dropping services to the public to reach the $733,000 reduction target.

He will also lay off staffers, but didn’t say how many or who.

The public can still access the official documents and museum pieces at the archives, but they will require an appointment.

As word spread among members of the genealogical community who often comb the records, frequent visitors registered disappointment.

“Every time I’ve been there, it’s been very busy,” said Tom McConnell, a history buff from Henry County.

He praised the staff for its helpfulness and the usefulness of the collection. Though more genealogical information is showing up on the Internet with each passing day, some details are available only at the archives.

Kemp vowed to get funding to reopen the facility when the General Assembly returns in January to consider Deal’s latest reductions.

“I will fight during this legislative session to have this cut restored so the people will have a place to meet, research and review the historical records of Georgia,” Kemp said.

He expressed frustration because his agency collects three times more in fees and fines from professional licenses and corporate registrations than the legislature appropriates to it for operations.

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dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 09/13/12 - 10:14 pm
1
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Typical

... government operation, "...agency collects three times more in fees and fines from professional licenses and corporate registrations than the legislature appropriates..." and those monies are tossed in the general fund to hand out in pork. Like the $3 tax to dispose of tires; there is no money to dispose of tires, despite over 700,000 tires being replaced in Georgia last year.

Riverman1
90455
Points
Riverman1 09/14/12 - 05:12 am
1
1
I'm sure he could have cut

I'm sure he could have cut something else. There's power in having information and the fewer who have access the more power the holder has.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 09/14/12 - 06:04 am
1
0
We live in a Digital Scanner Age

So why aren't these document just scanned in and placed on line with free access?

Then have appointments for those that have to touch the real physical document.

seenitB4
93610
Points
seenitB4 09/14/12 - 06:55 am
0
0
This ticks me

The Board of education needs to invest in some spanking paddles.....now how much would they cost??
GEEZ...I am so sick of money thrown out the window in SOME places & other places cut cut cut.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 09/14/12 - 07:02 am
1
0
"Like the $3 tax to dispose of tires"

Taxes for causes, without substance.
Just where can I turn in a few tires I have accumulated over the years that I already paid the disposal fee.

Bantana
2071
Points
Bantana 09/14/12 - 07:56 am
1
1
Tires?

uh...maybe you can turn them in where you bought them?

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 09/14/12 - 08:23 am
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Weak Tax Collections

This is all beacuse of weak tax collections. So, I guess a lot of folks don't think they need to pay their taxes. Kinda like the ANIC here.. I never did read their excuse why they could not pay.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 09/15/12 - 08:48 am
0
0
Tires and Taxes

I was told without a receipt it would be $5 a tire.

This may become a surprise to some.
But, it seems there ways to collect taxes and avoid using them for what we are being taxed to use them for.

Locally the SPLOST "The Patch" tax comes to mind.

GA level the Tire tax

On a National level = Social Security, Internet Access tax and etc..

When taxes are placed in to GENERAL FUNDS and not a separate accounts, they get lost as was the intention.

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