No Accolades 4/23/14 – 9:07am

Author : Ask

BOC crammed LOA bonds through with no vote. They deserve a boot out of office
No accolades here! Nothing but disgust for all,of them BOC, BOE
All should resign

Posted in Government Issues, Greene County | Leave a comment

Pass ESplost 4/23/14 – 9:03am

Author : Ask

1000% agree. Finally a voice of reason. The only way to get our property taxes down is for this tax to pass and let all,people pay their share versus now it is just paid by property owners. Tourists, people just stopping at the intersection off I 20 for gas, all we share the burden, so if you think one penny will disrupt your daily lives,think again when you get that GC Dec 2014 tax bill

Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County | Leave a comment

Help 4/22/14 – 5:41pm

From: Susan

Looking for a good handy man at the lake. Minor tile repair is part of the list of things we need done. Anyone have a recommendation?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Changes In Services 4/21/14 – 7:14pm

From: Anonymous

Les,

Your post is very naive.  Did you compare what services were included in the General Fund in 2006 versus 2012?  Auditing standards require changes to what falls under the General Fund versus other county funds, so just picking out one number does not provide any meaningful information.

Did you consider the additional services such as county run ambulance services that are now under the county?  Did you consider the upgrades to the county’s 911 and public safety communications system?  Did you consider that just 3 years ago the county added a third 24/7 ambulance crew?  Should I go on?

The county’s tax base has substantially declined in the last 4 years, so you are flat wrong on this part of your post.

As far a population growth, you are certainly failing to consider part-time population, but even so, there has been growth in the population from 2006 -2012.

You also must fail to understand the concept of “Zero-Based” budgeting.  The County has kept expenses very low each year according to verifiable, knowledgeable, and measurable sources.  Please learn more about the county’s budget before you comment negatively on complex matters that you have obviously not properly researched.

Posted in Government Issues, Greene County, Real Estate Taxes | Leave a comment

Greene CO Budget 4/21/14 – 1:58pm

Author : Les Reed

Dear Anonymous;

In 2012 (the last year there are audited reports available) the Total Greene County General Fund Expenditures were $13,006,751. See page 26

http://www.greenecountyga.gov/Portals/0/finances/Audits/2012%20Greene%20County,%20Georgia%20CAFR.pdf

In 2006 the Total Greene County General Fund Expenditures were $11,150,032. See Page 17

http://www.greenecountyga.gov/Portals/0/finances/Audits/2006%20audit.pdf

However, $519.405 of the 2006 expenditures was for debt service and interest which I am going to subtract to make the fair comparison. This leaves $10,630,627 in operating expenditures in 2006.

The increase of $2,376,124 over the six years is a 22.35% increase. This is more than
1 1/2 times the increase in the Inflation Rate (+14 % CPI) over the same period of time. Greene County had almost no population growth between 2006 and 2012.

If Zero Based Budgeting is being used in Greene County it’s has not been able to keep expenditures at or below the inflation rate at a time of near zero population growth.

The reason County taxes have gone down is an increase in the tax base, not because sending has been reduced.

Posted in Greene County, Real Estate Taxes | Leave a comment

1949 “Penny” Cadillac 4/21/13 – 11:20pm

From: Pennies From Heven

I think what happen here is the man told his wife he needed to paint his car and when he told her how much it would cost, she told him to “save his pennies”.  The $383.00 Paint Job . . .1949 Cadillac, completely covered with 38,295 pennies! They were affixed one by one using Silicone. They added over 200 pounds to the vehicle’s weight. The entire project took 6 weeks. The pennies are American, and include an 1817 “Big Cent”, two Error Pennies, and four 1943 Steel pennies; (but who’s counting?).

And, it won’t scratch.

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ESplost Tax 4/21/14 – 7:57am

From:  Admin

TAXREP NO. 62

APRIL 18, 2014

CAN A LEOPARD CHANGE ITS SPOTS?

In the past some folks have said to me “You have never seen a tax that you liked”.  Considering how those taxes kept rising every year and was repeatedly misspent and poorly managed, I still think my opposition was mostly justified.  Let me say here and now, I am speaking predominately about the Greene County School taxes and not the Greene County BOC taxes.  I think Greene County Manager Byron Lombard has done an excellent job through the years managing the county’s budget. 


I wish that I could say the same thing about our departing School Superintendent.  I have written previously about the illegal management of the ELOST funds to build the palatial GC football stadium and track.  Yes, I said illegal.  For those of you who did not read my previous disclosure of the Georgia ELOST Law that was violated with this construction, here it is again. 

Article VIII, Section VI, Paragraph IV (b) 1 “The purpose or purposes for which the proceeds of the tax are to be used and may be expended include:  (1) Capital outlay projects for educational purposes;


Georgia Code O.C.G.A. 20-2-260 defines the terms Capital outlay projects and educational purposes. For your convenience copy and past the following link into your browser then read and save it: http://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-20/chapter-2/article-6/part-10/20-2-260


Under Paragraph (3)  “Capital Outlay” includes expenditures which result in the acquisition of fixed assets, existing buildings, improvements to sites, construction of buildings, and initial and additional equipment and furnishings for educational facilities.”


Under Paragraph (5) “Educational facilities”, it says Quote:  The following facilities arespecifically excluded:  swimming pools, tracks, stadiums, and other facilities or portions of facilities used for athletic competition …Unquote.  Ladies and gentlemen, I believe the School Superintendent, who supervised the construction of the project list, together with the approval of the Board of Education, illegally spent at least $4,083,473.75 million dollars of ELOST money to build a new football stadium, track, dressing rooms, concession stands, and other facilities used primarily for athletic competition.

 

THIS IS EXACTLY THE REASON I RESIGNED FROM THE ELOST COMMITTEE AND THIS IS THE REASON I HAVE OPPOSED ELOST EVER SINCE THEN.  THE MONEY WAS USED AS A SLUSH FUND.


QUESTION?

Now it is April 2014. How has the situation changed since two previous ELOST referendums failed at the ballot box?

 

ANSWERS:


1.  Dr./Supt. Barbara Pulliam-Davis has resigned and a Superintendent Search for her replacement has already closed with 25 applicants.  I am told that the BOE will soon interview the top 5 applicants.   This is very good news and is the number 1 factor in changing my mind.

2.  Thanks to Ms. Kathleen Mayers, who was the Chairwoman of the most recent ELOST Committee before she resigned, was very instrumental in making sure that there were no illegal “athletic facilities” projects listed in the 2014 referendum.  This was very good news and was the number 2 factor in changing my mind.

3.  I am told that Dr. Otho Tucker, currently serving as CEO of Lake Oconee Academy, has applied for the Greene County superintendent job.  This is also very good news to me.  Knowing what an excellent job he has done for LOA, and knowing his excellent qualifications and experience, I hope you will all join me and recommend to the Board of Education that he be unanimously selected to become the new superintendent of GC Schools.  I am told the voting will be soon, so call your BOE representative and make your wishes known.  This was the third factor that changed my mind on ELOST.

4. As far as TAXES are concerned, ELOST is probably one of the least intrusive taxes of all. As you have heard 10,000 times before, tourist and I-20 transients pay for a fairly large percentage of it. This was mind changer No. 4.

5.  I am 76 years old and by now Fran and I have pretty much already bought all of the high-ticket value “Stuff” in our home that we are going to buy.  Therefore, a one-penny sales tax on those types of items will not affect our lives very much.  I surmise that this would also be the case with many others in the Lake Oconee area.  This one was the number 5 mind changer.


So, I hope you agree with me that the ELOST situation has changed. And, Yes, my leopard spots have changed.  Now, I am hopeful that with the departure of Dr. Pulliam-Davis and the induction of Dr. Tucker as Superintendent, plus strict adherence to the ELOST projects listed in the ballot–together with important changes in leadership, governance and fiscal responsibility, that ELOST will pass.  I also expect to see the school taxes go down when ELOST passes due to strict budget and financial control.


Therefore, I will be voting FOR the ELOST and I hope all of you will join me.


Thanks for your support. 


Jimmy Shuman

 

Please Click on the Early Voting Attachment Below

 


 

Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County, LOA, Outside Publications, Real Estate Taxes | Leave a comment

It’s BOE 4/21/14 – 7:48am

From: anonymous

The Board of Commissioners practices conservative, zero-based budgeting as witnessed each year when attending their budget work sessions.  Their millage rate, one of the lowest for county commissions in Georgia, along with their national annual financial accounting awards should afford them positive credit…the Board of Education is where the mess is and continues!

Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County, Real Estate Taxes | Leave a comment

Legislative Problems 4/21/14 – 7:46am

Author : Les Reed 

Jimmy Carter tried to use Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB) in the State of Georgia when he was Governor in the early 70′s. It did not work. He tried again to use it in the Federal Government when he was President. You are old enough to remember how that went. No State or Federal Government has ever be able to make ZBB work!!
The problem is too many things in government and in industry can’t be changed. There are too many statutes that mandate spending. The problem is not in the budgeting process, but in the legislative process.

Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County, Real Estate Taxes | Leave a comment

15″ Cup On Oconee 18th Green 4/20/14 – 9:50pm

Author : Golf nut 

Here is a short video of Justin Miller and crew setting the 15″ cup on the 18th green on the Oconee. 
Posted in Golf Digest, Lake Oconee, Met Life, Pete _ Finch Tweeter, Reynolds Plantation, Ritz Carlton Lodge, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cool Idea 4/20/14 – 9:48am

From:  Admin

I thought you would be interested in the following story from The Wall Street Journal.

Big-Hole Golf: Clown Round? No, Cool Idea

http://on.wsj.com/1gHKmz7

Posted in Outside Publications | Leave a comment

Happy Easter 4/20/14

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Zero Base 4/19/14 – 5:18pm

Author : The Reynolds Curmudgeon

One final comment…for the day, that is….lol

Is there any taxing authority or governmental entity who uses “zero based” budgeting?   My, what a novel idea!   Having to PROVE you need every cent one intends to spend. …and not just adding to last year’s budget or final expenses paid.

Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County, LOA, Real Estate Taxes | Leave a comment

Nothing Will Change 4/19/14 – 5:13pm

Author : The Reynolds Curmudgeon

You all realize, of course, NOTHING will change if you keep saying it’s OK to tax…whatever the tax is based on….be it ESPLOST or property or ad valorem.

To the BoE and the BoC….when is enough more than enough????   What PROOF is there that MORE money is any answer?   Great high school football arena….how did that improve the graduation rates?

Do we need two separate school systems IF the loa gets all they’d like?   Can little old Greene County support such an endeavor?   Is it even warranted give the population? When is enough enough???

Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County, LOA, Real Estate Taxes | Leave a comment

Will Tax To Meet Budget 4/19/14 – 3:09pm

From: Withheled

Dash,

Great post!  Your numbers are accurate as they are public record and available to anyone who wishes to do a little research.  I took the insanity quote as a quick indicator that voting down ESPLOST for a third time and expecting the BOE to not raise taxes to make–up for that lost revenue stream is INSANITY.

Perhaps many fail to understand that the ESPLOST election is in May.  Budget for BOE is set in June/July.  There are only 2 out of 5 members of the BOE up for election this cycle.  Even the two up for election will decide upon the next budget and millage rate as they will be in office through the end of the calendar year even if defeated.  To make this simple, vote down ESPLOST and the current members of the BOE will be forced to obtain the revenue they say they need from property tax.

Regarding the funding included in the proposed ESPLOST to make the LOA bond payments, that has been included so that there can be a direct offset to the property tax in the amount of those annual payments.  So vote against ESPLOST, property taxes go up, vote for ESPLOST, property taxes go down.

As far as voting them out, yes several need to go including the current District One representative.  But guess what, most of us in the lake area paying the taxes will not get to vote in her election bid.  Let’s hope the people in that district will support her opposition, as we can also do.

Not to say I agree with the spending of the BOE, but if they have it in their minds that they need a certain amount of funding, and they can get that funding from sources like propert tax AND ESPLOST, I would rather give them the option of using ESPLOST over raising my property taxes any day.  Those elected to make those decisions can be changed from time to time during election cycles, but a one-cent sales tax funding stream is far more favorable and beneficial to us as property owners than having the entire burden placed on our property tax millage rate!!

Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County, Real Estate Taxes | Leave a comment

ESplost & Einstein 4/19/14 – 2:41pm

From:  Marvin Watson

Dear Dash

Thanks for the help understanding this ESPLOST thing, but I still have some problems with some of the proposed spending.

I do have a couple of questions for you.  I know there is $7 million in the proposal for current LOA bond payments over the next five years.  I support LOA, but I think thatLOA bonds have already been funded by the last property tax increase.   Are you proposing that we pay that more than once?  I don’t think we need to “double dip”. 

That leaves $16.4 million to fund the things you call “Career Academy, Learning Cottages, Tech Equipment, ect.  Those have not been funded at present and seem to be on the “wish list” for the BOE.  This is where I have my problem with this proposal.  I have heard about similar programs (with GREAT names) for the last 25 years that have been funded with local property taxes or ESPLOST, yet we still have 40% of the high school freshmen drop out before graduating.  Do you think this is something that will help improve the grad rate?  If so, how?

Maybe this fellow ”Don” that posted early today has it right about Einstein and the Insanity thing.    Are we insane if we keep throwing money at the graduation rate problem here in Greene County? 
Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County, LOA, Real Estate Taxes | Leave a comment

No Funds, No Spend 4/19/14 – 11:11am

From: yogia7

dash, all
according to your logic if they don’t have funds then they shouldn’t spend or raise taxes.
vote no on esplost and vote them out if they raise taxes

u

Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County, Real Estate Taxes | Leave a comment

Saying No To Spending 4/19/14 – 8:03am

Author : Voters Past 

Hey Dash,

Why do you suppose the voters have voted ESPLOST down for the last two times it came up for the public vote? You state some impressive numbers but really are any of them fact or are they just truly estimations? A good pollester can make the numbers say just about anything. If the voters vote against the ESPLOST, isn’t that them saying to our County Government that we shouldn’t be spending all that money on specific unfair educational expansions that we have been saying NO to for years?

Thanks for not telling me how I should vote……

Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County, LOA, Real Estate Taxes | Leave a comment

Insanity 4/18/14 – 9:46pm

Author : Don

Dash, great post!
Albert Einstein said Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!

Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County | Leave a comment

Photo Exhibit 4/18/14 – 5:42 pm

 Anonymous

Saturday April 19th is the last day of the photography exhibition and contest at the Plaza Arts Center. There are some amazing images displayed this year and worth a look if you have time. The exhibit is open tomorrow from 10-4 and admission is free.

 

Posted in general | Leave a comment

Let History Be Your Teacher 4/18/14 – 5:34pm

Dash Riprock’ here.

Not surprisingly, there is a lot of information being tossed around concerning the upcoming ESPLOST vote.  Seems like Deja vu all over again…a reference to Yogi Berra (a well known New York Yankee baseball player if you didn’t get it).

If we didn’t learn through the previous 2 ESPLOST defeats, let us let history provide some answers.  What happens if ESPLOST is defeated?  Residents of Greene County will see a significant property tax increase.  Why?  Because if the BOE doesn’t have the funds in the General Fund (provided by current Greene County property taxes), they must raise the millage rate accordingly to collect the funds needed to provide Greene County Schools with what is needed to educate them…(i.e. Career Academy, Learning Cottages for expansion, Technology Equipment, Pay Down Outstanding Bonds, etc…)  Based on what ESPLOST is projected to generate over a 5 year period ($23.4 million) the BOE would have to raise the millage rate approximately 3 mil’s to cover that projection.  For you homeowners, let me give you an example of what that means for your property taxes.  For a home with a fair market value of $1,000,000 (40% assessed value is what you pay taxes on) so $400,000, each mil increase would
cost you $400.  So 1 mil increase=$400, 2 mil increase costs you $800 and a 3 mil increase would cost you $1,200.  That’s annually by the way.  So a 3 mil increase over 5 years would cost a homeowner an additional $6,000 in property taxes.  Not so good huh?

Now, what happens if ESPLOST is passed?  Well, we know that the amount of projected funds is in the $23.4 million ballpark over 5 years.  That gives the BOE that amount of money to use on those same projects, only they are not coming out of the General Fund to pay for it.  And by the way, 60% of those ESPLOST funds are generated by non residents of Greene County who come here to vacation,or recreate.  Which ultimately means that we are only paying for .40 cents out of each dollar for funding our Greene County Schools.  Who wouldn’t pay .40 cents to get a dollar in return?  When you go across the Putnam County bridge and buy anything over there, guess what, you’re paying an ESPLOST tax.  When you make a run over to Madision to do some shopping over there, guess what, you’re paying an ESPLOST tax.  Seems like everyone around us knows something we don’t?

I’m not trying to tell you how you should vote in the upcoming ESPLOST election.  I’ve just lived here long enough and have seen the result of 2 consecutive ESPLOST defeats.  I’m not your accountant either, although if you ask me it wouldn’t take one to figure out what the right way to go is.

Hopefully I’ve provided some information which you can use in making an educated decision in the upcoming ESPLOST election.  Thanks.  Have a great day!

Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County, LOA, Real Estate Taxes | Leave a comment

Greene County Schools 4/16/14 – 8:11pm

From:  Marvin Watson
BTW, I did not mean to infer with the last post that the problem with graduation rate in this county is due to the BOE, administrators, faculty, or facilities  of the system.

There may be some problem there now, but in the early 1990′s, data did not indicate that to be the problem, at least to me.   I was shown that any motivated student could get a good high school education in the system and 60% did.

Motivation to achieve by the individual student seemed to be the major problem at that time. 
Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County | Leave a comment

ESplost 4/16/14 – 4:56pm

From:  Marvin Watson
to Withheld

SAY WHAT???  “LOA is trying to improve the school system as a whole.  Funds generated by ESPLOST will do just that”

I am sorry but I’m still lost.  Maybe you could explain the above statement a little better for me.  I have heard about spending money to improve the education system here in Greene County for the last 25 years. 

GUESS, WHAT?  WHEN I CAME HERE IN 1990 THE GRADUATION RATE WAS 60% OF THE INCOMING FRESHMEN.    LAST YEAR AFTER SPENDING MAYBE $600  MILLION, OR SO, IN THE LAST 25 YEARS, THE GRAD RATE WAS STILL 60%.  THROWING MONEY AT THE PROBLEM, AS YOU SUGGEST, DOES NOT SEEM TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM. 

Do you see why I need help understanding?
Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County, LOA | Leave a comment

Vote No 4/16/14 – 9:20am

From: yogia7

withheld

vote no on esplost. then if they raise taxes vote them out. I will work to do just that.!!!!!!!!

Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County | Leave a comment

Pls Explain 4/16/14 – 9:17am

Author : The Reynolds Curmudgeon

To Withheld….please explain your comment about how by building an entire “new” school entity the loa will improve the WHOLE school system in GREENE County…..

Posted in Greene County, LOA | Leave a comment

Helping System 4/15/14 – 10:35pm

From: Withheld

Despite the picture some have chosen to paint, LOA is trying to improve the school system as a whole.  Funds generated by ESPLOST will do just that.  a vote against ESPLOST WILL result in higher property taxes…that is an inarguable fact.  LOA is simply trying to do the right thing…simple as that.

Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County, LOA, Real Estate Taxes | Leave a comment

Signs 4/15/14 – 5:37pm

From:  Marvin Watson

I’m lost.  Why would LOA be pushing the ESPLOST?  There is $7 million in it for LOA bonds but that is going to be paid with or without ESPLOST. 

Posted in eSPLOST, Greene County | Leave a comment

Need Three Things 4/15/14 – 5:35pm

From: Just Wondering

Re:  Not enough eat out.
No, plenty of our members eat out all the time.  It just happens to be at Cuscowillow, Silver Moon, da corroda etc…  Could be the same at the Club restaurants, but it requires three things all together:  Good food, good service, and actually being open for business.

Posted in Club operations, Reynolds Plantation | Leave a comment

Not Enough Eat Out 4/15/14 – 2:40pm

From:  Sender Sender

Club Closings

To “What The?” and “What’s Going On?”

  These club schedules have been in place for years, with certain clubs closed on certain days of the week. Not enough of our members eat out enough to keep the mall open every day of the week.
If you have questions, why not go to people who know, e.g. the Food and Beverage Committee. You can go to the reynolds.net website and go tot the Board of Advisors link to ask you questions.
Posted in Club operations, Reynolds Plantation | Leave a comment

Confusing Everyone 4/15/14 – 7:34am

From: WhatThe?

It seems that every time I try to eat at a clubhouse it is closed and/or they have changed the scheduled day they are open. They are honestly just confusing everyone. Then they wonder why more people arent eating at there. Duh!

Posted in Club operations, Reynolds Plantation | Leave a comment