A call for real leadership
June 05, 2014 10:07 PM | 1948 views | 6 6 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

Buzz Ahrens just won another term as chairman of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners. He campaigned on his leadership ability, even while that ability failed due to the Bobo Boondoggle.

I now ask him and his fellow commissioners to show real leadership ability. The nation is going through a period where the role of government is expanding rapidly. Some say unconstitutionally. The call is for less government; smaller government and fewer regulations. If you like the trend toward bigger government, stop reading this letter and go about your business. Otherwise continue reading and see if there is an alternative in the county to change the trend.

Buzz says that the BoC must spend SPLOST funds to build a new Animal Shelter. That is a half-truth. In 2010 the SPLOST ballot question included funds for Animal Shelter facilities. It included dozens of items. The voters passed the SPLOST. So Buzz says the BoC must build the shelter.

The half truth is that the commissioners can opt out of spending the funds on this project. I know because I have been through this with the commissioners before. Last time it was about the Aquatic Center. They claimed they had so spend the funds. We proved they did not have to spend the funds. A simple two-thirds vote of the BoC would allow them this option.

A little history on the Animal Shelter. It was built in 1993. Usually buildings last 30 to 50 years. It should be scheduled in the Capital Improvement Plan to be updated between 2023 and 2043, 30 to 50 years later. Not 2015, unless the facility has been overused or was poorly built, such that its useful life has expired.

Due to a nonprofit campaign of neutering and spaying, the facility has seen a decline in use. For the past five years animal intake has been declining significantly, due to the work of the nonprofit program.

I do not dispute that the facility is in poor condition. I dispute that it is a necessary function of government. It should be privatized. Here is where we need real leadership to change the trend.

Privatize the Animal Shelter. Let a nonprofit or a private organization take over the function for the county. The animal shelter is not an essential service that can only be performed by government.

Let’s ask the BoC to exhibit some real leadership. Let’s ask them to reverse the trend towards big government. Let’s show the state and national government that Cherokee County can help reverse the trend by reducing government. Do not let the BoC hide behind the SPLOST law.

There are options in that law to accomplish this goal. There are options available to the commissioners that will allow them to drop this item and use the funds for an essential purpose. Let’s ask the BoC for real leadership not just campaign platitudes.

Bill McNiff

Ball Ground

Comments
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Sheila Corbin
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June 06, 2014
Obviously Mr. McNiff and Mr. Marx were not around in the 1990's to see the appalling conditions that animals were kept in when this service WAS privatized. And run by the Humane Society!

Another thing to consider is if you want smaller government, what do you want to give up? Do you want to give up EMS services, Fire services, Public Safety? You cannot have the level of services that the people of Cherokee County have come to expect without some give and take somewhere. Think about it next time you hear of a crime or an accident and see the brave men and women who fulfill those services rushing to help. If it were you, would you want to have smaller government and not have someone available to help you?
Karl Marx
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June 06, 2014
MS. Corbin, Sorry you are using the same old lame excuse “HOW would YOU like it if we CUT FIRE and AMBULANCE. Good God cut the unnecessary crap. If you having a problem with smaller government try France where they have a 95% tax rate of better yet Cuba where everything is provided and they tell you where and when to buy your bread. I lived here back when we had NO fire or ambulance service and we survived. You ask what do I want to give up, everything we CANNOT afford that is not necessary function of government. Maybe you would like to have 5 new animal shelters and 3 new bankrupt Ball Ground Recycling centers and a new water park in every district for your neighbors to pay for rather than have Fire and Ambulance service. So why do you want to force everyone else to PAY for your desires? Pay for those YOURSELF. I ask YOU when is the unnecessary spending going to end. Now grow up or move somewhere where you will be happy.
Sheila Corbin
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June 08, 2014
Hey Mr. Marx, I did move somewhere else after living and working in Cherokee County for 28 years. We moved to Woodstock before 575 was even a wish, so don't lecture me on how good it used to be, "in the good old days". At the time, there was one red light in Woodstock, at Hwy. 92 and Hwy 5, and no place to eat or shop for groceries. We had to go to Cobb County for that. And yes, the budget for the County then was probably somewhere around $500,000.

So why you cut the unnecessary crap and move yourself?
Patrick Thompson
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June 06, 2014
How about an effective government that is a good steward of our taxpayer dollars...no private company whose goal is to maximize profits is fit for taking care of defenseless animals in need of shelter...we are a big County and we deserve public servants like Mr Ahrens who work for us and our needs...the private market ends precipitously and doesn't do well with needs like this...
Karrl Marx
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June 06, 2014
Ok Patrick, don’t talk about effective local government without explaining the Ball Ground Recycling bankruptcy and how it put a 2 mortgage on every home in Cherokee County. Not so effective government was it? I not surprised you’re a Buzz Ahrens fan because he has voted to spend every dime he can get his hand on. So far where is the promised return on investment he promised? The airport, Nope, Ball Ground Recycling, NADA, the water park, that's funny, the horse park, now that’s a joke. Where is it? We do not have an “Effective Government in Cherokee County” and we haven’t since Trammel Carmichael was Commissioner.
Karl Marx
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June 06, 2014
Bravo Mr McNiff. Unfortunately Republicans have shown there is nothing behind the words smaller government and lower taxes except platitudes. This is a good test to see just where the Commissioners stand. Will they vote not to spend the money or will the vote to expand government and increase spending? Will the temptation be too great or will true leadership prevail? It looks like the chairman has already chosen as he did with TSPLOST and everything else he has touched. Buzz does not believe in smaller government or lower taxes. We will see who the true fiscal conservatives are with this project.
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