Originally created 01/19/00

Praises Columbia County services

Re the Jan. 12 article on the plan to revise Columbia County government:

I was totally confused after reading the comments of Sen. Joey Brush, R-Appling, Rep. Bill Jackson, R-Appling, and Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Evans. It sounded as if these representatives were saying our county commissioners were not responsive to the people and were not doing a good job in their duties, and were throwing money around like shoppers at after-Christmas sales.

I've been a real estate agent for over 10 years. During this time some of my buyers and sellers have run into problems that I needed help from Columbia County to resolve. I have frequently called the commissioner for the area involved. I've called planning and zoning, the water works, roads and bridges, and the animal shelter. If I didn't know where to go to get help, I called Steve Szablewski, the county administrator, who has always responded to my questions. In all these years, with the many different types of problems, I have always received courteous, prompt and caring answers andor help for some frequently not-easily solved problems. ...

My customers who have moved here from all over the world frequently tell me that they are amazed at how easy it is to get help and how pleasant the people are. To understand how much of a compliment that really is, you have to take into account that Columbia County is one of the fastest growing counties in Georgia. And instead of gripes about "growing pains" caused by poor planning, I hear compliments on service!

As for the "loose money" comments, the finance committee develops an annual budget with input from all departments in accordance with strict state guidelines, which is overseen by the commissioners. If anyone has questions as to how the money is spent, it is public record and easily available. ...

Starr Crawford, Augusta


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