Looks like we have a few run-offs

Clockwise from top left: Gary Barham, Bill Toney, Elizabeth “BJ” Mathis, Tommy Smith

Following the elections on July 31st we as a county have found ourselves with a few run-offs as well as some wins that needed to happen.

First and foremost, Dale Rutledge was able to win against Steve Davis in District 109 for the State House seat.

Second, in District 3  there will be a run-off between Gary Barham and Bill Toney. I first heard of Mr. Barham when I attended the Fraternal Order of Police’s Forum with several candidates running for office/re-election and I enjoyed what he had to say. I also heard Bill Toney for the first time at the same Forum. Ken Sherman saw a defeat in District 3, but has since thrown his support behind Gary Barham as seen on the I ♥ McDonough, Georgia page.

Third, in District 1 we saw Bo Moss win against Warren Holder by a margin of around 15 votes. Because the number is so low, Mr. Holder has asked for a recount that is scheduled for Monday August 6th.

Last, our current Chairman Elizabeth “BJ” Mathis is in a run-off with candidate Tommy Smith for the spot of Chairman of the BOC. I believe it is evident in my earlier posts that I would like to see BJ Mathis back in office because I like what she has done for the county. Not only has she brought jobs for the people here during these tough economic times, but she has made improvements to the county that will entice businesses to set up camp here. I think we all agree that improving the economy is something we really need during these tough times. Jane Rutledge, another candidate for Chairman of the Board, saw a defeat in the July 31st Primary.

And that folks is where we stand. Now we need people to get out and vote again on August 21st so we can keep the right people in office.

Regarding Tommy Smith

On July 8, 2012 Tommy was polled by The Citizen on the T-SPLOST tax, the 2013 County Budget, property taxes/millage rates, and the future of the Atlanta South Regional Airport. He stated that he was “adamantly against” the transportation tax. The “Budget should be balanced from the top to the bottom.” He then proceeded to explain that he could somehow reduce the budget another $10 Million down to $105 Million.

Right now the budget is $17 Million less than it was when BJ Mathis was Chairman first took office, and that is with cuts to departments so major areas [public safety: police, fire, Sheriff, jail etc] are funded to keep the public safe. To take any more money out of the budget would be to lose jobs in our government, and that means less service. Can we really afford to cut the budget so dangerously low that we risk the loss of services? I think you know the answer to that one.

Tommy also said, “Henry County’s millage rate is one of the highest in the state,” a bold statement considering that according to the Georgia Department of Revenue Henry County has one of the lowest millage rates in the metro area.

Here’s a breakdown of the adjacent counties:

  1. Newton: 10.910 Mils
  2. Henry: 11.750 Mils
  3. Spalding: 15.010 Mils
  4. Clayton: 15.813 Mils
  5. Rockdale: 16.910 Mils
  6. Butts: 16.913 Mils
  7. Dekalb: 19.400 Mils

None of these rates include the school millage, but only what the county government uses to run the government.

As you can see, Henry County is doing far better than the surrounding counties when it comes to our millage rates. See what happens when you research?

He went on to say that, “We are having to budget a substantial amount of tax money each year to pay for all of the needless, useless land that has been bought in the last several years.” However, the majority of land purchases in the county have either been paid for using special fees that could only be used for those types of purchases (Impact fees charged on new construction and also using SPLOST) , or with money given to us in grants [as is the case with Tara Field]. I’ll go into that in a little more detail in an upcoming post. Case in point: half-truths and false statements are unsafe to the citizens of Henry County and must be stopped.

Especially since he also claimed that, “The County had to fire 57 of employees to pay for [the airport].” If the FAA pays $15 Million of the $17.7 Million to acquire the airport, then the only cost we have to pay for a fully functional airport that can attract businesses to Henry County is a mere $2.7 Million. I’d say that if we get an opportunity to purchase an airport for 85.5% off of the original price, who wouldn’t take it? The 57 jobs where he insinuates these people were fired, is another half truth, many of the people took retirement and new people were just not hired to take their place.

Tommy Smith was also heard mentioning at the 912 Forum say that he wished to lower the budget and raise pay for county employees. My only concern is this: how do you plan to do this Mr. Smith? The math doesn’t make sense to me.

But with an impressive record of assumptions and bold claims, it’s a good reminder to the folks of Henry County that whenever you hear a politician speak have your sign ready:

Photo courtesy of xkcd.com

4th of July – Trea Pipkin

I hope everyone had a spectacular 4th of July! I was out and about at Nash Farm for the festivities and had a really great time. I also have to applaud the efforts of BJ Mathis and Vincent Lotti for being present as well. Both were really approachable and made the event seem more lively with their booths! Along with vendors selling good food, the music and of course the fireworks were amazing. I’d recommend anyone to attend next year if they get the chance, it’s well worth the $5/person charge. Continue reading

I’m Voting to Re-Elect BJ Mathis for Chairman

Now my family and I have been supporters of BJ Mathis for a long time now, and it comes as no surprise that on July 31st I will be voting for her to be re-elected as our Chairman of the Board of Commissioners. I don’t need any more convincing to cast my vote for her, but that is in part due to the kind of information that I’ve been given regarding her success in the county. Many other people though aren’t getting the sort of information they need to make an accurate decision. Continue reading

Introduction

First I’d like to say that this blog will be used to shed light on candidates running for election in the county as well as examine some of the decisions that the county makes to the best of my ability. I do not advocate the use of slander or libel to downplay the political workers in this county, and I do not believe in spreading falsities about people even if I don’t agree with them politically.

I hope that this blog serves to educate you and your feelings about the people running the county.