Friday, August 15, 2008

Participation in the Community and in Elections; Character

Have you considered how few participated in electing those in office these days?

Consider the recent election.

In the primary only 26% voted which means that the "winner" only had to receive a nod from slightly over 13% of the electorate.

Commissioner Peter Pfeifer received 47% of the vote in the primary election yet due to Stuart Kourajian taking 13% of the vote, Pfeifer was forced into a run-off. If Kourajian had not been in the race Pfeifer would only have needed a bit over 3% of those voters to win outright. Given the fact that Kourajian lives in Peachtree City, it would be easily reasonable to assume the majority of Kourajian's votes would have gone to Pfeifer.

Yet due to his involvement in the election Pfeifer was forced into a run-off with Lee Hearn.

In the run-off, which always attracts a lower number, Pfeifer lost. Only 10.33% voted in that election. It is a known fact that the candidate with the higher number of votes in the main election typically loses or barely squeaks by in run-off elections.

It begs the question, was Kourajian a plant by those backing Hearn? It's doubtful any of us will ever know the answer to that question. Personally, I doubt he ran as a deliberate plant, however it is conceivable that some in Hearn's hidden camp encouraged Kourajian.

I read Janet Dunn's blogs on voter apathy and James Wingo's letter on the same subject. I have participated in a number of conversations on the same topic with my friends and acquaintances.

I find it difficult to have much confidence in our "leaders" when so few had anything to do with electing them.

Regarding the two previous blogs on lying, unfortunately we seem to be traveling the same route other metro-Atlanta counties have traveled.

Our schools have been good mainly, in my opinion, because of the participation and concern of parents. Similarly, our county has been great mainly due to the participation and concern of our citizens. As we experience growth and lose our connections, as our population ages and passes on, as the core population of "home-grown" individuals moves to other places, we change and devolve.

I believe those of us who have lived in the county for some time have lived through the "good old days" and we are unfortunately moving into a declining cycle. I sincerely believe if we had kept those in office who were concerned for the county and what was right above special interests I would not believe we were now on the downward slope toward mediocrity. I participate in this group and others in hopes we will be able to find candidates with the character of Peter Pfeifer, Greg Dunn and those who acted on principal.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lying doesn't seem to matter to voters

Doubt the school board fibs are going to make a hill of beans when it comes to the voters. They just voted for Herb Frady who was caugh lying during the campaign and he won. All the commissioners 'cept Pfeifer lied about going into exec session without an attorney then lied to cover it up and nobody cared one bit. Don't know what it takes to get peope involved and riled up but lying doesn't seem to rate. - S

A Lie

Granted, I'm hearing this second-hand, but a friend told me she was at a meeting a few nights ago and someone at the meeting informed the group that the School Board knew the deadline for putting the SPLOST question on the ballot back in May.

So? you may ask.

Well, according to their own statements in JULY, the School Board staff had to call an emergency meeting at the last minute because they had JUST discovered the deadline to get the SPLOST question on the ballot was Aug. 5th.

I was also told they did not want a lot of time for the public to have to deal with the issue and they purposely kept under the radar until the last possible minute to avoid public uproar.

I do not know if that last part is conjecture or supposed knowledge. However, although I can't reveal names, I know the first part regarding the question is from an extremely reliable initial source and have no doubt it's true.

I do not like being lied to by the School Board.

I did not like it when they included a recreational pool for the YMCA (another sneaky way to get something they've been wanting) in their proposal for the SPLOST. I've heard the actual BOARD was blind-sided by it being included but there is more than second-hand distance between that so-called knowledge and my ears so can't vouch for the truth. Put that one in the true rumor column.

I am going to work against the SPLOST. The majority of our tax money is going to the schools. We have a bond we're paying down already. Now we need a SPLOST?

Think about the reality of adding 1 cent to the tax number. It's not just a penny, it's a 20 percent increase in taxes. Don't ask me to explain that one, my accountant is the one who shared that with me and tried to explain that it wasn't a one-percent increase, that adding one-cent to the amount paid was actually the 20% increase. There IS a reason I have an accountant! Guys are supposed to be strong in the area of math. I must be the exception to the rule.

I believe if I were to give my accountant the School Board's budget she'd be able to come up with plenty of fat that could be cut. We're all tightening out belts, let the BOE do the same.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Circle the Wagons

I am unsure as to whether I want to even attempt to circle the wagons at this juncture. I know all but one of the current County Commissioners extremely well having grown up with most and association with others. I fear for our future.

I had at least held out some hope that one who didn't follow their pattern would remain on the Commission but that was not to be. Although he would have been ineffective in changing the direction, those of us who are not privy to the behind-the-scene rationalizations and motivations might have received a slight glimmer if Mr. Pfeifer had triumphed.

I am deeply concerned for our future. We will not know the impact of this election until the bill comes due and then it will be much too late.

We have elected masters at the art of politics and deception. Circle the wagons or pack them and prepare to head out for better territories.