What about small counties?

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I seldom comment on letters such as “TSPLOST is a nonstarter” (July 18), but will make an exception.

Writer Eric Schumacher is very fortunate to live in Columbia County, one of the most affluent counties in the state. I live in Jenkins County, the county with the highest unemployment in the entire state, and one of the smallest counties.

Mr. Schumacher has access to great infrastructure and paved roads galore. They may not be what he likes, but we in Jenkins have none of that. Most of our roads are unpaved, and impassable when it rains. There are two bridges over the Ogeechee River that have been closed for two years and will not be replaced by the Georgia Department of Transportation until 2014.

This has been a real hardship for school buses and agricultural traffic for two years. There is one road in the county that needs repaving desperately. It is at the top of the list for repaving, but there is no money to do it, and there won’t be until passing of the transportation special-purpose local option sales tax that Mr. Schumacher wants to deny us.

What I suggest is that he counts his blessings as to where he lives, and thinks about the rest of us who have been suffering with no repairs for some time. The TSPLOST will give us the funds to fix everything that has been on the back burner for literally years here in Jenkins County, while we saw all that 29.9 cents gas tax go to larger, more affluent counties such as Columbia.

If you doubt what I am saying, just make a run down Ga. Highway 25 to Perkins-Greenfork Road and drive at the 55 mph from the Perkins post office to Ga. Highway 23. In many cases, you will be hard-pressed to know which is pavement and which are patches. Chuck holes abound as well, and many are getting larger by the day.

I grant everything Mr. Schumacher said about the TSPLOST may be true, but if he wants the roads, they don’t come free. Residents in Columbia County are not the only ones who will pay for it. We will, too, but perhaps finally we can reap some of the benefits instead of having all the road monies spent in Atlanta or the larger, wealthier counties.

Seth Benson

Millen

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seenitB4
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seenitB4 07/23/12 - 05:41 am
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Millen

I have been down your way & I know what you are saying is true.....I almost cried when I saw the neglect of that area....some of the small towns in Georgia have suffered the most....in jobs-- road repair & factories going away...
I do write to the Senators-Reps....I would suggest you call/write & get your friends to do so also...what is true is the squeak does get more attention.....nice letter btw.

TParty
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TParty 07/23/12 - 06:40 am
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If you want roads in Jenkins,

If you want roads in Jenkins, you should pay for them yourself. The private businesses up there should build them, don't use the 'givernment'. If your County is poor, it's because the people in your county are lazy, and lack the work ethic and knowledge that successful places have. Try to get jobs, instead of asking for handouts. Maybe there are too many regulations in Jenkins County that are preventing private businesses from moving into the area. Get rid of those regulations, and small businesses and big ones will open up in your area, and then the roads will be built. Don't rely on the government to build, because this is not a socialist nation like liberals want it to be.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 07/23/12 - 06:55 am
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Tparty

This county has lost so many jobs in the last few years that tv had a special on it.....if you had seen the program I'm sure you would have a different outlook...
These folks worked in factories (REALLY) these factories have been sent elsewhere...think India- China-etc.---when the decent jobs went away the only thing left was BurgerKIng....& you can't pay your bills on hamburger pay...
Usually country folks are very hard workers....they have gardens & just want a decent living---nothing fancy.....they like country living....I know some of them.....I have kin in some of these small towns.....very special people btw.....

TParty
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TParty 07/23/12 - 07:26 am
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Well, I'm going to blame the

Well, I'm going to blame the unions in the Jenkins county for causing companies to ship jobs else where. That's just the free market speaking anyways. Also, if the government just relaxed regulations like clear air and water, and how to dump toxins like they do in India-China, then factories can compete with nations that do not care about those things. It's killing businesses here in this country.

Not sure why the letter writer wants MY money for their roads though. They should cut expenses else where in the County instead of taking more of our hard earned money. I bet their teachers make too much money, and the police have high pensions.

And if you can't pay your bills working at one job, then just get another. Stop asking for hand outs!!

DMPerryJr
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DMPerryJr 07/23/12 - 07:55 am
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I see the fish are biting

The bait must be extra fresh.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 07/23/12 - 09:29 am
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Small counties

People choose where they live for various reasons. Many live in rural areas because they like the peaceful life that they live there. In many ways I envy them. There is a downside , however. The letter writer has identified one of them. You can't have it both ways. You make your choice and have to live with the good and the bad.

dichotomy
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dichotomy 07/23/12 - 10:03 am
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TPARTY seems to be a typical

TPARTY seems to be a typical liberal pretending to be something they are not. Lies, misinformation, and misleading tactics....yep TPARTY appears to be a true Democrat. Kind of reminds me of Obama when he promised to cut the deficit in half in his first term, not let unemployment go over 8%, and that Obamacare would only cost $900 billion instead of the actual cost of $2.6 trillion. Just keep on being a pretender TPARTY 'cause your hero Obama is a pretender too.

Back to Jenkins County. I sympathize with your problems but most counties in GA have not been getting their fair share of the very high dedicated transportation taxes we already pay. All of the transportation taxes we are paying have been going mostly to the metro Atlanta area. The problem is NOT that we are not paying enough taxes. The problem is that they are not being fairly distributed. The answer is NOT to give the pigs more sloop, the problem is to whack the big pigs across the head and back them away from the trough. We don't need more taxes. We need a top to bottom gutting and reform of the entire system of distributing the transportation taxes we already pay and of the system for awarding road construction contracts. The current system is rife with fraud, waste, abuse, and political corruption. Giving them more money is simply feeding a big, bloated, wasteful, corrupt monster so that they can maintain the status quo.

TSPLOST in not the answer for Jenkins or any other non-metro Atlanta county. TSPLOST is simply buying heroin for a drug addict. Believe me, the various "governments" can probably do great things if they take ALL of your money and that is exactly where we are headed if we don't wean them now. We already pay a high gasoline tax, up to 6% state income tax, ridiculous Ad Valorem taxes, and now they want to push our sales tax to 8%. Some states to it all on nothing buy a 7% to 9% sales tax and they seem to do as good or better at maintaing their roads as GA does with many more and higher taxes. Could it be that we have more corruption, fraud, abuse, and waste than they do? The answer to our problem is to start getting rid of some politicians until they decide to reform the way our transportation taxes are allocated and disbursed. Vote NO on TSPLOST and make the people who created the problem solve the problem.

TParty
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TParty 07/23/12 - 10:21 am
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Yeah- I'm not a liberal, and

Yeah- I'm not a liberal, and I most certainly do not like Obama. The talking points I've been saying in this thread were the ones given out the other day when people were talking about businesses build themselves, without help from anyone. I am not an absolutist- where everyone is a liberal socialist if they do not fit my narrative. How you some how connect these talking points to Obama's lies and failures is beyond me.

This letter writer though is asking for more tax dollars to solve a problem he has. And again, the talking points today have been the talking points for years now. Regulations are bad, taxes are bad, private sector can solve everything.

Where I will give you credit- because you explained the problem exactly- is all the fraud waste and abuse that is going on.

You're right dich. that "We need a top to bottom gutting and reform of the entire system of distributing the transportation taxes we already pay and of the system for awarding road construction contracts."

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 07/23/12 - 10:50 am
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DOT

I had an occasion to visit the DOT district office in Tennille last year on official business. My escort took me all around the complex. It is massive. I got the impression that real work used to be done there. Now, 99% of the work is contracted out to engineers, accountants, office workers, surveyors, and inspectors. But they didn't downsize the number of DOT employees. Everyone is now a project manager over the contractors' project managers. We are paying double.

DMPerryJr
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DMPerryJr 07/23/12 - 01:08 pm
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I even hate the acronym

Because it still spells - "Give the taxpayer the shaft".

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 07/23/12 - 06:44 pm
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f4ther time

Your comment makes more sense than any that preceded it, including mine. Instead of complaining we need to take our reps to task and demand that they be responsible for the taxes we send to Atlanta and Washington. Until we do that we will spend our time complaining amongst ourselves and getting nothing done.

Eric_Schumacher
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Eric_Schumacher 07/25/12 - 07:44 pm
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Dear Mr. Benson

Mr. Benson,

I completely support you having high quality roads in Jenkins County, just not this way. Giving the area governments an additional $841 million doesn't ensure that Jenkins County will get any additional roadwork.

I agree, the roads don't come free. But they will cost a lot less and we'll get more and better roads if the money is used carefully and prudently. TSPLOST doesn't encourage these methods, it rewards the very opposite.

Sincerely,
Eric Schumacher

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