Management Should Alert 12/5/14 – 12:19pm

From: Bill Noll

The latest Lake Ocoone New discusses several break ins since September.  Why doesn’t management alert residence about these instead of reading about it in the paper?

Posted in Reynolds Plantation, security | Leave a comment

Cost Of Lawsuit 12/5/14 – 12:16pm

Author : The Reynolds Curmudgeon

Good grief…how much will these law suits cost the TAXPAYERS?

And then what’ll happen IF the State Supreme Court rules against the LOA/BoC/BoE?

Then what?  Will they then appeal?…is that possible?

Next question…How much TAXPAYER money has been spent to date for the various law firms?  Surely someone knows.

Posted in Government Issues, Greene County, LOA | Leave a comment

Status Of Law Suit 12/4/14 – 8:40am

Author : Dee Lindsey

Johnathan,

To answer your question, oral arguments were of course held at the Georgia Supreme Court on October 6.  (The video is available on their website.)   As we were awaiting an opinion, an unsolicited supplemental brief was filed by the Appellants.  Of course, our attorney was obliged to file a response on behalf of the State of Georgia, et al, Appellees.

Ultimately, the Georgia Supreme Court will render an opinion.  It could come next week or it could come next April.

In January, the second suit is set to resume with depositions and a jury trial.  This case involves the defendants attempting (after the bonds were denied) a secondary land lease deal in direct violation of the court’s orders.  Originally scheduled for this past summer, we first consented to a request to postpone until after the October appeal and later, again until January.

Posted in Government Issues, Greene County, LOA | Leave a comment

Lawsuit Update? 12/2/14 – 6:00pm

Author : Johnathan Mearsk

Dee, can you give the readers of this this blog a update on the lawsuit?

Posted in Government Issues, Greene County, LOA | Leave a comment

Must Be United 12/2/14 – 7:00am

Author : Dee Lindsey

I feel many miss the point when it comes to local educational issues and they seem to speak past each other rather than addressing the issues head on.  For instance, I’ve been addressing the illegality of certain local political actions for over a year.  My distractors choose to ignore the legal facts.  Instead, they choose to point to the outstanding academic results culminating from a utopia of recent publicly funded social segregation.  They totally ignore the rule of law when it suits their purposes. When all else fails, they point to years of past failures as if to justify their own current failure to stay the course and obey the law.  I suppose it’s nice that certain engaged parents are suddenly spared the frustrations of  dealing with the negatives of public education.  However, such is not a reality in the real world.  For years, interested parents in poorer counties have hoped and prayed for an influx of new and influential parents which would finally allow them to
statistcly outweigh the generationally disadvantaged and ultimately lift all students in an academic high tide of forward achievement.   It’s unfortunate our local leadership managed to crush that hope by utilizing undue and illegal political influence to short circuit the school system and further widen the poverty gap rather than seek to narrow it.  I often hear of the “60-40 rule.”  It suggests that as long as 60% of the students perform at average to above average, the other 40% will tend to do better as well.  However, once the ratio drops below that 60-40 ratio, the greater number of underacheiving/disadvantaged students will tend to pull down the better performing students. I’m not an educational statistician but it makes perfect sense to my simple mind.  It also explains why we’re  now in the unfortunate position of having a divided public school system.  Unlike neighboring Morgan, Putnam, and Oglethorpe (systems forced to work together for mutual solutions), our local
political Einsteins managed to come up with a “better” and divisive solution whereby one group could more easily surpass the other and, in turn, point fingers at the failures of those left behind.  That’s great for the advantaged minority but does little to attract potential employers looking for a solid performing local school system.  When will we learn what so many many others already have?  That’s why I keep preaching the simple message of One Greene County.  Without a unified economic development effort, we set ourselves on a path of far greater economic disparity than we ever imagined before.  For a county to have been graced with so much sudden wealth, it’s a shame we’ve squandered so much and allowed ourselves to become so bitterly divided over it.  When will we ever learn the simple democratic principle of community – United we stand, divided we fall?

Posted in eSPLOST, Government Issues, Greene County, LOA | Leave a comment

Response Re Esplost

From: Todd Ciavola

Response from Todd Ciavola, Chairman ESPLOST Oversight Committee to Jimmy Shuman’s editorial dated November 27, 2014.

I would like to address Jimmy Shuman’s letter to the editor printed in the Herald Journal the week of November 24, 2014. I did not take on the challenge of helping to get the ESPLOST passed (after two failed attempts) and committing to five years of oversight along with some other concerned citizens, in order to get accolades or accumulate some power or prestige. I did it because it was the right thing to do for the children and taxpayers of Greene County.  Since the ESPLOST passed with 72% of the vote and carried all precincts, it seems that my friends and neighbors also agree.  Just because a few residents don’t agree with my positions, does not give them license to make spurious accusations, particularly in the newspaper and blogs.  I encourage all concerned citizens to email me at tciavola@yahoo.com to express their questions, concerns, or suggestions and maybe we could both learn something.  Then, if people still feel the urge to write an editorial, please do so with some
decorum.

Until recently, Jimmy Shuman was a supporter of the ESPLOST Oversight Committee and its roles and responsibilities. Since he did not call me, nor meet with me to discuss his concerns, I have no idea what made him change his position.  Furthermore, I am deeply saddened by his use of condescending rhetoric.  I have called Mr. Shuman twice and left voicemails, but I have not heard from him.  Therefore, in the absence of a clarification editorial from Mr. Shuman, I would like to offer my responses to the questions outlined in his letter. Specifically, he wants to know:

1.    Who put me in charge of the ESPLOST Oversight Committee and what authority do we have to make recommendations?  I refer Mr. Shuman to the BOE Resolution that was passed 5-0 and signed by all five BOE members on March 13, 2014 that does just this. The resolution was an important part of the passage of the ESPLOST referendum, as it shows a good faith effort on the part of the BOE to assure the voters that the monies will be spent wisely and on the projects in the approved ESPLOST Capital Outlay Projects List. It is important to note that the final authority as to the projects approved and monies spent rests with the BOE.
2.    Why can’t LOA use the additional funding it is receiving for the boom in enrollment at LOA to pay for the learning cottages? The answer is that the additional funds being received are for funding instructional and operations expenses for the new students, not for capital outlay projects. That’s the reason why 157 out of 159 Georgia counties have the ESPLOST tax – to fund capital outlay projects.
3.    Why is the committee recommending that the administration issue bonds to pay for the learning cottages?  First, the committee recommended that the BOE/administration issue bonds “as and when needed”… “using the proper mix of credit and cash reserves to mitigate the costs associated with the use of credit.”  Per the LOA Charter, which was approved by the BOE, the capital expense of the LOA cottages is a BOE financial obligation and $2.5MM was included in the BOE approved “ESPLOST Capital Outlay Projects List.”  There is no reason to wait to pay this obligation and continue to spend additional taxpayer money on higher-rate loan interest.  With BOE bond approval, it will be up to the administration to determine if it has the cash on hand or will need to issue bonds.
4.    Why did the ESPLOST committee recommendation “only” include $750,000 for non-LOA schools and why should the GCSS “put their needed projects on hold until LOAs self-inflicted debt service has been paid?” The answer is that the BOE/administration is not prepared to bring forth any other recommendations for ESPLOST funds until the 5-Year Strategic Plan is completed.  This is a wise decision, as the taxpayers would not want the ESPLOST money to be spent without a thoughtful long-range plan.  No additional projects are being put on hold because there are no other projects currently ready to go, as they are still in the planning stages. The ESPLOST Oversight Committee was simply recommending that the items approved by the BOE in the ESPLOST Capital Outlay Projects list and the 2014-2015 GCSS Budget due and payable now be addressed now.

In conclusion, I look forward to having reasonable, productive discussions with concerned citizens about how and when the ESPLOST monies are spent.  I encourage our residents to get involved and do some heavy lifting and to communicate face-to-face with their neighbors with mutual respect.

Posted in eSPLOST, Government Issues, Greene County, LOA | Leave a comment

Only In Greene 11/30/14 – 7:12pm

From: Lake Resident

Only in Greene County would you have residents doing everything possible to stop the growth of the number one school in the state, a National Blue Ribbon School at that.

Posted in General Observations, Government Issues, Greene County, LOA | Leave a comment

ESPLOST Funds 11/28/14 – 11:23am

From: Jimmy Shuman

THE PROPER USE OF ESPLOST FUNDS

Will someone please tell me who anointed Todd Ciavola the supreme commander of the usage and the usage priority of taxpayer ELOST funds? I still call it ELOST.  Unfortunately, there is a recent well-known precedent to this currently unfolding scenario.   Our dearly departed ex- Supt. Dr. Barbara Pulliam appointed herself as the CEO of the previous ELOST funds. Nobody, especially the BOE, ever   challenged her on this.   What did she do?  She built a $4,083,473.75 million palatial football stadium and track, which as it turns out, is a COMPLETELY illegal use of ELOST funds!  In case you are doubtful about this Ga. Law, please refer to O.C.G.A 20-2-260  Paragraph (5), where it specifically excludes swimming pools, tracks, and stadiums used for athletic competition.

Let’s take a look at what Commander Ciavola wants to do with this ELOST money now that it is beginning to trickle in.  Several months ago LOA tried several ways to finance new additions to their school.  They had exceeded their capacity to handle any more students.  It turns out there was no BOE or BOC financing available so they decided to buy and install sufficient “learning cottages” to accommodate more students.  As I understand it, LOA planned to pay for these temporary facilities with their own funding.  So, the learning cottages were built and the LOA suddenly opened their doors to 112 more new students this year.  So, you may be thinking that was very benevolent of the LOA.  Guess what?  According to the LOA charter petition on page 19, the Greene County School System has to pay LOA $10,247.27 per student every year, including the 3% yearly escalations.  Here is the math:  $10,247.27 per student X 112 new students  =  $1,147,694.20 million that the BOE pays the LOA yearly.
That kind of money will buy a lot of learning cottages.  But, as the TV commercials say, Wait there’s more!  Now, before the ink is hardly dry on the ELOST election, here comes Commander Ciavola wanting the taxpayers to float an $8 million bond to payoff the LOA learning cottages because the ELOST money is inadequate to do it “quickly.”  This proposal of course, is using uncollected ELOST money as collateral and asking the taxpayers to rescue the LOA board from having to spend their own money for this expansion.  What a deal!   Hello, Dr. Barbara, wherever you are.

Mr. Ciavola recently came before the BOE and asked for $3.8 million for LOA to pay off the learning cottages and offered only $750,000 for the other Greene County School system security upgrades.

It is just not fair to the rest of the Greene County School system to put their needed projects on hold until LOA’s self-inflicted debt service has been paid.  I just don’t believe Mr. Ciavola’s statement that the taxpayers of this county are “expecting that the ELOST projects will be completed as soon as possible.”  I DO believe that the taxpayers are expecting Mr. Ciavola and his committee to be fair and equal to ALL of the schools in Greene County, not just LOA. Maybe he should take a new poll now on this subject and see how the Union Point taxpayers and others in the county feel about his proposal that puts everything else in the County on the back burner, while he takes care of LOA with the ELOST funds.

Finally, I want to thank the BOE for approving the funding of the county school safety security system.  I hope the BOE will now recognize the inequitable and prejudiced components of Mr. Ciavola’s $8 Million Bond recommendation and reject this proposal and its huge interests costs.

Thanks.   Jimmy Shuman

Posted in ELOST, eSPLOST, Government Issues, Greene County, LOA, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving 2014

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Do We Know The Difference 11/21/14 – 1:15pm

From: LES REED

But then there is this information that implies the earth may just be warming.

http://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/

Posted in General Observations | Leave a comment

Nice Try 11/20/14 – 8:57am

Author : THE REYNOLDS CURMUDGEON

Marvin:

When the “global warming” alarmists [deceitful?] realized the earth was in a “cooling stage” [as earth will do now and then] they realized they were losing the battle to INTELLIGENT people so they changed the verbiage to “climate change”.

Nice try on their part but few believed them then and even fewer believe them now.

RC

Posted in General Observations | Leave a comment

Brrrr—– 11/19/14 – 7:38pm

From:  Marvin Watson
I’LL BET THOSE FOLKS IN BUFFALO, NY ARE WONDERING ABOUT THIS THING CALLED ”GLOBAL WARMING”.   IN FACT, IT DOESN’T SEEM VERY WARM IN GREENE COUNTY GEORGIA AT PRESENT.
Posted in General Observations | Leave a comment

Interesting 11/8/14 – 11:57am

interesting for golfers – from:  admin

http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-debate-over-third-party-tee-time-services-1415408449

Posted in golf, Outside Publications | Leave a comment

Must Watch Out 11/6/14 – 8:47pm

Author : THE REYNOLDS CURMUDGEON

As to the recent “break-in”….does any one have details they could share?

There is NO place completely “safe and secure”…outside of a maximum security prison and even then they have issues.

We must be vigilant…and watch out for our neighbors’ houses….especially those in relatively remote or “hidden” neighborhoods…or those with many weekenders.

Posted in Reynolds Plantation, security | Leave a comment

How Secure 11/6/14 – 3:37pm

From: Linda Fox

I just heard that there was another break in ..Angel Pond area….how many does that make??? How secure is the security gate…police say NOT

signed..anxious resident

Posted in Reynolds Plantation, security | Leave a comment

BOE 11/5/14 6:22pmn

From: Lake Resident

I will agree with Reynolds Curmudgeon, except for the local BOE elections.  You think it’s bad now, just wait.  The BOE candidate from Dist. 1 says she’s for ALL children and will work with everyone, but she has never voted in favor or for LOA.  Even if it’s free, she’ll vote against it.

She has the track record to prove that.

 

Posted in Government Issues, Greene County, LOA | Leave a comment

Great 11/5/14 – 11:01am

Author : THE REYNOLDS CURMUDGEON

It was a GREAT evening for Georgia and America last evening…at least I think so.

Posted in General Observations | Leave a comment

About Our Area 10/30/14 – 6:26pm

From: Lake Resident

Great Article to read about Lake Oconee!

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2291193

Posted in Outside Publications, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Program In Putnam 10/16/14 – 12:04pm

From: Donna Silva

Putnam County High School (PCHS) is offering a new program to students beginning in the 2014-2015 school year! PCHS was awarded a $2.4 million grant from the US Department of Labor last spring, and with the funding, PCHS developed the Youth Empowerment for Success (YES) Program. YES students will complete all requirements for achievement of a high school diploma, while earning college credit. YES Program courses include academic dual-enrollment as well as technical classes in the areas of healthcare, information technology, and welding. PCHS has partnered with colleges, community, and businesses in order to ensure meaningful and transferable experiences for program students. Within the YES Program, students will also learn the soft skills necessary for life after high school and have an assortment of ways to explore opportunities available to them post-graduation. Students will be able to explore the world of work through career fairs and employer site visits, as well as obtain
on-the-job training during internships and job shadowing. They also will have a chance to look into institutions of higher education by recruitment visits, college fairs, and campus tours. Additionally, each YES Program student will be able to hear guest speakers from high-demand industries, participate in mentorships, and work on service learning projects. The YES Program was created with the main goal of providing students with the education, skills, and opportunities that will help them be successful when they leave PCHS!

Please join us for an informational meeting on Tuesday, October 28th at 6:00pm in the PCHS Café!  Contact Katherine Reid or Donna Silva at 706-485-9971 to RSPV or for more information

Posted in Government Issues, Putnam County | Leave a comment

A Tremendous Success 10/10/14 – 9:28pm

From: Rusty Moses

Kudos to everyone involved with the Big Break tournament last week.  The Great Waters course was great shape, the players gave us some exciting golf, and the staff and volunteers did a great job.  The views of Reynolds from the Met Life blimp showed the Golf Channel audience the beauty of  Reynolds/Lake Oconee that we all enjoy.  We had a Golf Channel employee for dinner during the tournament, and she said everyone was raving about the beauty and hospitality of Reynolds Plantation.
All in all, I think the week was a tremendous success, and I look forward to the tournament returning next year.

Rusty Moses

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Much? 10/10/14 – 9:20pm

Author : The Reynolds Curmudgeon

PLEASE…someone…anyone…tell us TAXPAYERS how much the attorneys hired by the boc etal to take this case to the State Supreme Court will cost US????

PLEASE……

RC

Posted in Government Issues, Greene County, LOA | Leave a comment

Oral Arguments Re LOA 10/8/2014 – 7:34pm

From: Golfing Girl

Want to listen to the roughly 30 minute supreme court case involving the development authority and LOA?  Here is the link.  Once there select the VIEW next to the case a little down the page.  About a 30 minute live taping of the oral arguments.

http://www.gasupreme.us/media/oa/

Posted in Government Issues, Greene County, LOA | Leave a comment

Don’t Get Dander Up 10/1/14 – 11:31am

Author : The Reynolds Curmudgeon

OK…OK…before the loa supporters get their “dander up” [whatever that means] I KNOW all too well the loa is NOT a “semi private” school…but it sure seems that way at times.  Oops!  There I go again….lol.

Relax folks it’s a beautiful day at the lake.

Posted in Government Issues, Greene County, LOA | Leave a comment

“Semi-Private” 10/1/14 – 11:24am

Author : The Reynolds Curmudgeon

A ” semi private” school paid for by TAXPAYERS…perhaps the “TAXPAYERS” should also assist Nathaniel Greene?

Posted in Government Issues, Greene County, LOA | Leave a comment

LOA, National Blue Ribbon 9/30/14 – 11:00pm

From: LES REED

Lake Oconee Academy selected as one of the best schools in the nation.

A dozen schools in Georgia were honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools because of high academic achievement or success in closing the performance gap between different groups of students, the U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday.

The Georgia schools were among 337 chosen for Blue Ribbon designation.

Four of the Georgia schools — Blessed Trinity Catholic High in Roswell, Pinecrest Academy in Cumming, Saint Jude the Apostle Catholic School in Atlanta and Savannah Christian Prep Middle in Savannah — are private.

The eight public schools honored are: Big A Elementary in Eastanollee, Centralhatchee Elementary in Franklin, Elite Scholars Academy Charter in Morrow, Lake Oconee Academy in Greensboro, Medlock Bridge Elementary in Johns Creek, South Forsyth Middle in Cumming, Stallings Island Middle in Martinez and Wadsworth Magnet School for High Achievers in Decatur.

Nationally, 287 Blue Ribbon schools are public, and 50 are private. All will be recognized during a ceremony Nov. 10-11 in Washington, D.C.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Big Break Thanks 9/30/14 – 10:00pm

Author : James Brooks
Thanks to Mercer Reynolds for Big Break. He is the one that made it happen.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Big Break Invitational Preview 9/30/14 – 11:00am

From: Proud Member

Live Today 3pm Golf Channel

http://www.golfchannel.com/media/big-break-invitational-preview/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More People 9/29/14 – 4:50pm

Author : The Reynolds Curmudgeon

Tim:

I suspect,  like usual, it’s about $$$$$$$$.  How to get more people to play and pay.

RC

Posted in golf, Reynolds Plantation | Leave a comment

Goofiness Gone 9/29/14 – 8:35am

From: Tim Smith

Subject: 15 inch holes

Does ANYONE like the idea of 15 inch holes on golf courses?   I’ve become generally loyal to TMAG brand, but IMO this is a really dumb idea.  Would love to see this goofiness gone from real golf courses…have them try it on mini-golf.

Tim Smith

Posted in golf | Leave a comment

Alert: Greene Co SO 9/24/14 – 2:16pm

GREENE CO SO: Hay field fire, Veazey Rd in the area of Syrup Mill Crossing,
watch for responders and avoid the area
Posted in Greene County | Leave a comment