Things to ponder

Whoa there! That’s what I was thinking last week as there was meeting after meeting, and numerous festivities over the weekend to cover. But it’s a new week as the countdown to Christmas starts to press upon those of us who haven’t already gotten into the spirit of this time of year.
I’m getting there, though it is ever so slowly. I just have to be able to slow down a little to evaluate, get into panic mode on decorations and wrapping presents and then the last minute rush for a present I have forgotten.
I know my family will fall on the floor when they find out that I have conceded on the Christmas tree. I am a ‘go to the tree farm and cut down a Christmas tree’ person. I love the smell and how they look and have yet to find an artificial one that looks like the real deal. However, with David’s change in schedule and a friend offering me the use of an artificial tree, I have decided to take her up on it. There, I said it. My family still probably won’t believe it until they see it. Just makes sense with all that’s going on this year and the fact that I am behind the eight ball.
Besides our creative staff member, Kristi Watkins, can make any tree appealing. She is blessed with talent in that area and others as well. She agreed to help me with a few things to make mine look great. If you attend tonight’s open house at the office you will see what I mean. Our office tree that was really scrawny and not very attractive has been transformed by Kristi into a thing of beauty.
Depending on how mine turns out, this could be a new era for us in our house with Christmas trees. We shall see.
This weekend’s parades and downtown activities has kept us in a tailspin going back and forth, but was wonderful to watch unfold.
Thanks to my staff, I took a few days off afterwards and am hoping that was just the ticket to get me through the rest of the year. Friday was a whirlwind though, trying to get everything written and in order for them so they don’t panic about anything. This time of year we are always blessed with an abundance of news and that makes putting pages together a lot easier, even though we sometimes have to pick and choose what to get in when pages are limited. It certainly keeps life at the newspaper interesting and never the same each week.
Wednesday of last week I attended a called meeting of the Crawford County Board of Commissioners. They were meeting with Rep. Robert Dickey and Senator John Kennedy. Kennedy was unable to attend. They were discussing all types of issues including the possibility of consolidation of city and county.
While that might not sit well with some people because they can come up with all kind of scenarios and reasons to object, however, all of that usually comes down to perceived loss of power and voice. As things are today, consolidation makes all kinds of sense with entities struggling to scrape together every single dollar they can and trying to find new revenue streams without having to raise ad valorem taxes.
Crawford County has not raised those taxes in seven years now but, as County Manager, Pat Kelly noted, things are starting to get really tight. The City of Roberta has struggled ever since I have been here which will be eight years next year.
There were a lot of misconceptions which came to light at the meeting with one being lack of representation. Even as things are now, everyone in Crawford, even if they live in the city are represented, because the city is a part of the county. What usually happens in consolidation is that you start over with a clean slate and elected officials would have to seek election. It also does not mean less law enforcement protection or less services. It could mean a reduction in property taxes as city residents would not have to pay both city and county taxes. It also could mean the millage rate would not have to be raised for several years. It would mean elimination of duplicate services which makes sense anyway.
But don’t go getting bent out of joint. Before this could even take place it would have to be put on the ballot for voters to decide and since this was just a first step, there will be many other discussions. These discussions will include public meetings I’m sure. But it is something to consider. From my viewpoint, when you look at the pros and cons, there are way more pros than cons.
The county would also like public input into whether or not citizens would be interested in having bulky waste items — stoves, refrigerators, etc. — picked up on a regular basis. If done on a monthly service this would add roughly 76 cents to each person’s garbarage fee. If done on a quarterly basis that cost would be $1.57 per household. If it would not be utilized, the commissioners do not want to go down that road to enter into a contract with the waste disposal company. The question has been put on the county’s website for you to vote either yes or no, so let them know so they can make a decision based on citizen input. The idea was proposed by a senior citizen who said they don’t have a way to dispose of those items. Let your voice be heard.
Blessings this week to each of you.©

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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About vsimmons54

Veteran journalist of 40 years. Editor, Motivational Speaker, Ordained Minister, CEO of A Light in the Darkness Ministries, Lensclusive Photography, Babbling Brook Consulting and Design, event planner and author. I love to write and speak and I love Jesus. I also do copy writing and editing. Recently co-authored Vanished Towns Revisited.
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