Labor Day Weekend

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Patriot Golf Day 8/30/14 – 10:04am

From:  WSJ 
Aug. 29, 2014 6:07 p.m. ET

 

Labor Day, golf and beer may sound like the ingredients for a pretty solid work break to millions of Americans. But thanks to Dan Rooney, a former fighter pilot and Iraq War veteran, they will add up to much more on thousands of courses across the country this weekend.

Seven years ago Mr. Rooney started the Folds of Honor Foundation to provide scholarships for the children of service members killed or disabled in our nation’s defense.

Getty Images

A golf course operator in civilian life, Mr. Rooney created Patriot Golf Day to help fund this educational mission. Every Labor Day weekend, duffers nationwide are asked to kick in a little extra on top of their greens fees to support Folds of Honor. In some places, for example, club pros or courses donate driving range fees collected on one of the weekend days. Thanks to help from the PGA and the U.S. Golf Association, more than a third of America’s roughly 14,000 golf courses are now celebrating Patriot Golf Day.

With additional help from lead sponsor Budweiser, Folds of Honor raises about $10 million per year and supports thousands of military families with scholarships covering everything from private grade school to cosmetology courses to graduate degree programs, depending on student needs. Mr. Rooney reports that while the kids express gratitude for the educational opportunities, he’s been struck by how often they also thank him for honoring the sacrifices of their loved ones.

This weekend all Americans should remember the sacrifices that allow us to savor these last days of summer as free people.

 

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Who’s The Person 8/28/14 – 8:33 pm

From: Phil Boswell

Who is the person who replied to my blog & will not put his name to his blog. Is he embarrassed about his opinion?

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Golf Course Condition EXCELLENT!!!! 8/28/14 – 2:57pm

From:  Sender Seender

To Phil Boswellpt:  I must play different Oconee and other courses her at Reynolds. I and all the people I play with (several large “groups”) see the course conditions as excellent.  Best ever in our years here.


We also think the food service and quality is excellent.

Is there room for improvement? Of course, there always is.  I guess we just have a different view of the world.     
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Poor Product 8/27/14 – 6:36pm

From: Phil Boswellpt

When are the members of Reynolds going to stand up  & demand better food service & better golf course conditions. Played the Oconee course today  & it was terrible. There is no excuse for this condition this time of year . Everybody makes excuses for the food services & golf courses but nobody complains.  We deserved better than we are getting. Do not sit back & accept.  & accept this poor product!

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Particulars? 8/27/14 6:24pm

From: Concerned

RC

Any particulars of burglary?   Heard homeowner hid while burglary taking place, very scary. Do you know if this is true?

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Burglary 8/27/14 – 3:45pm

Author : The Reynolds Curmudgeon

A burglary on Gussies Knoll and how do we learn about it?  From Reynolds ?  Nope!  From the police?  Nope?  From “Next Door”……yep!

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Greene CO FYI 8/25/14 – 7:32pm

Greene Co SO:  FYI:  the courthouse will be closed tomorrow from 12pm-3pm for Judge Cline’s funeral.

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We All Need To Think 8/19/14 – 2:11 pm

From: Bill Fielder

Think about it

“It is my understanding that ISO requires a 24-7 staffed firehouse within 5 road miles of your residence for your residence to obtain a ISO Class 4 rating. ISO does not require a full time staffing of 4 paid firefighters to obtain the rating. The distance from OSFD to the Linger Longer Reynolds’s  gate is just over 6 miles distance that would eliminate most home owners that live on the Plantation and some who live in The Landing from being eligible for the Class 4 rating.”

The Insurance service office does not require that a station be staffed with 24/7 employees however those employees do credit toward the number of available responders, which is a consideration during an ISO survey. It does require that the station have a minimal amount of equipment and available personnel to respond.  It does require that the station be within 5 miles of the property for said property to receive the lower rating in a split ISO rating. The current rating for OSFR is 6/9. To receive credit as a “6” the property must be within 5 road miles of OSFR station 91 on Carey Station rd OR within 5 road miles of OSFR station 92 located inside of The Plantation AND be within 1000ft of a recognized water source. Recognized water sources are pressurized fire hydrants or a static suction pointed that is credited by ISO.  OSFR staff has been diligently working with the Insurance Service Office to obtain credit for the Fire Boat (Marine 9) as a credible water source. They will
not have a final determination on whether or not the boat was credited until the ISO survey report is completed. If in fact Marine 9 did receive credit as a water source then every property within 1000ft of Lake Oconee and within 5 miles of a fire station, would receive the lower of the split rating. OSFR staff indicated to me that the representative from ISO that completed the on site survey made all indications that it would be credited.

“All of Reynolds is currently rated by ISO at Class 6 and has held that rating even when OSFD was an all volunteer operation”

OSFR has not previously been evaluated by the insurance service office during the time that it has employed paid staff. An ISO rating cannot change unless a survey is completed. The only survey that has been completed since OSFR has been staffed 24/7 is the recent survey completed earlier this year in which no rating has yet been assigned for. Again, 24/7 staffing is not required by ISO however a minimum number of available responders is required (that includes volunteers or paid staff). The paid staff at OSFR does credit towards ISO staffing requirements. OSFR has also purchased additional equipment since the previous ISO survey.

“Big Canoe does have a ISO Class 4 rating and as I understand it is a mostly volunteer fire department. The department is paid for with POA fees. They have 5 fire houses inside the gates. Only one of these is staffed 24-7. Maybe the Reynolds POA should study this option. Here is some information on the Big Canoe Fire Department.”
OSFR is also mostly volunteer and mostly “support” volunteer at that. A support volunteer firefighter is not certified to actively participate in the mitigation of an emergency. Support firefighters that OSFR have on hand serve them very well in the aspect of getting fire apparatus’ to the emergency scene and assisting with certain non hazardous job functions. The support firefighter role is an essential function at OSFR and not to be taken for granite but to go along with those support firefighters, you have to have certified operations firefighters to actually mitigate the emergency. Understand that OSFR wants to provide the residents that it serves with the best possible service but it’s absolutely up to us, the residents, to determine what level of service that is. OSFR staff has worked diligently to lower the ISO rating and reduce the cost of homeowners insurance for property owners. There are more variables in the question than can be explained on this blog in
reference to staffing numbers that count for ISO and staffing numbers that matter in the real world when there is an emergency incident. Additional stations would not necessarily lower the rating for residents in the OSFR district. Currently OSFR has two locations. These two locations provide the majority of the properties in the Old Salem Fire district coverage within 5 road miles, which intern allows for said property to receive the lower of the split ISO rating. Adding a station would only encompass more properties to receive the lower of the split rating if they are currently the higher of the split classification. The added equipment or additional staffing that would come along with adding a station would be the only benefit to lowering the overall rating. This would be the same outcome, in reference to the overall rating, if equipment or staffing is added to a current OSFR location. In other words, just the aspect of adding another station would not further lower your ISO
rating if you are already receiving the lower of the split rating, it could affect your rating if you currently receive the higher of the split rating. As earlier stated, you would also have to be within 1000ft of a recognized water source for an additional station to affect your rating, as ISO requires that you be within 5 miles of a station AND within 1000ft of a recognized water source.

“However, insurers in many states no longer use the ISO ratings as they have found them to be unreliable in estimating the insurer’s costs.”
The State of Georgia insurance commission uses the ISO rating to determine Insurance rates.
“It looks to me as if most homeowners on the Plantation will not benefit from the extremely high cost of the OSFD. The Lake Oconee News reported the OSFD total budget for 2015 is estimated to be over $800,000. Almost twice the amount Oconee County spends for fire protection. The LOA news also reported that the $56,000 tax increase would pay the one half the cost of an additional paid firefighter. WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!”
The residents of the Plantation absolutely benefit from OSFR. Oconee County Fire Rescue is a county government that receives many benefits such as tax breaks and consolidation of overhead at the county level that OSFR does not receive benefit of since it is not a government agency. Oconee County also has the luxury of operating as a volunteer department with only a paid fire chief therefore they have no payroll expense. The difference in volunteers is that Oconee County has an abundance of certified operations volunteers. Old Salem has primarily support volunteers. If citizens in the Old Salem fire district would become certified as operations firefighters and volunteer for the fire department then OSFR wouldn’t need more staffing. That’s a community problem, not the fire departments problem. Someone tell me, particularly MR. REED, what the local fire department can do to attract you or your neighbors to volunteer to spend hundreds of hours becoming a certified operation
firefighter, then countless hours each year training and updating certifications. What can they do to convince YOU to get out of bed in the middle of the night or leave your job or activities during the day and respond to emergency calls. I’m not willing to do that. I would rather pay a little more money on my tax bill to insure that they have adequate staffing to operate the best way possible. I’ve talked to them, I know the facts, I know what they are trying to do and I understand it. I understand that the numbers that ISO require to make the rating go down on paper and make our insurance go down aren’t necessarily the same numbers or abilities needed to operate the right way. Again, the lack of willingness to become operations level volunteers is a community problem not the fire departments problem. The only thing they can do without volunteers is Hire people. $56,000 would pay for roughly half the cost of an additional paid position. Do the math.
1 position-
365 days a year, 24 hours a day = 8,760 Hours a year
$56,000 x2 = $112,000
$112,000/8760 hours= $12.78 per hour (average) probably plus or minus that number depending on which employee is filling that position on a certain day and their individual certifications/rank
That number is in line with typical pay at a Fire Department. Call around and ask.
“At the Commission Meeting this past Monday, Ed Bullard, Chairman of the County Commission, decided to defer voting on the proposed OSFD tax increase. This situation needs to be carefully studies who has a good knowledge of costs versus benefits. It looks like the current plan is good for Del Webb, Harbor Club and some Landing home owners, but not for those of us who live on the Plantation.”
I’m sure the vote was deferred so the county commission would have sufficient time to consider different budget options and make a sound decision rather than a spur of the moment one. You clearly do not have an understanding of any of it and should go find out facts in person. Harbor Club is not even in the Old Salem fire district. The ISO rating for Harbor Club is not reflective upon anything that happens at OSFR. Harbor Club is part of the Walker Church Fire District. Del Webb, The Landing, and The Plantation will all benefit equally from adding an additional person. The additional person isn’t going to change the ISO rating, but it will change the safety and efficiency of real world operations.   I can assure you no one over at the fire department has anything but your best interest in mind even if it may cost a little more money yearly on the tax bills. I know a lot of those guys over there and they only want the best for the community and to be able to operate safely and
efficiently.

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Useful Info 8/19/14 – 10:43am

From: Information Please

Les, thanks for the useful info. Obviously establishing ins rates is more complex than I thot, but something we need to be studying to see if we can improve our safety. Maybe we could get the Economic Development Commission to help fund another fire station – just kidding!

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Fire Safety Plan Needs More Study 8/18/14 – 7:16am

Author : Les Reed 

It is my understanding that ISO requires a 24-7 staffed firehouse within 5 road miles of your residence for your residence to obtain a ISO Class 4 rating. ISO does not require a full time staffing of 4 paid firefighters to obtain the rating. The distance from OSFD to the Linger Longer Reynold’s  gate is just over 6 miles distance that would eliminate most home owers that live on the Plantation and some who live in The Landing from being eligible for the Class 4 rating. All of Reynolds is currently rated by ISO at Class 6 and has held that rating even when OSFD was an all volunteer operation.

Here is a link to some information on ISO ratings.

https://www.pfafireprevention.org/businesses/iso_ratings

Big Canoe does have a ISO Class 4 rating and as I understand it is a mostly volunteer fire department. The department is paid for with POA fees. They have 5 fire houses inside the gates. Only one of these is staffed 24-7. Maybe the Reynolds POA should study this option. Here is some information on the Big Canoe Fire Department.

http://www.bigcanoenews.com/living/91-temp/2242-big-canoe-fire-department-awarded-improved-iso-rating

However, insurers in many states no longer use the ISO ratings as they have found them to be unreliable in estimating the insurer’s costs. Here is an interesting link

http://www.fireserviceinfo.com/iso.html

to an article on that issue.

It looks to me as if most homeowners on the Plantation will not benefit from the extremely high cost of the OSFD. The Lake Oconee News reported the OSFD total budget for 2015 is estimated to be over $800,000. Almost twice the amount Oconee County spends for fire protection. The LOA news also reported that the $56,000 tax increase would pay the one half the cost of an additional paid firefighter. WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!

At the Commission Meeting this past Monday, Ed Bullard, Chairman of the County Commission, decided to defer voting on the proposed OSFD tax increase. This situation needs to be carefully studies who has a good knowledge of costs versus benefits. It looks like the current plan is good for Del Webb, Harbor Club and some Landing home owners, but not for those of us who live on the Plantation.

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Old Salem FS 8/16/14 – 2:22 pm

From: Information Please

Some time ago I heard that if the Old Salem Fire Rescue had the four paid certified firefighters on duty at all times to meet national standards for our district, not only would we be better protected, but that the cost in increased taxes would be far outweighed by the cumulative savings on everyone’s fire insurance policies. There is always great resistance to increased taxes since nobody wants to pay them and the elected officials don’t want to be blamed for them. It would seem though that if this is true we ought to be having a truthful discussion about it. Does anyone have some facts and figures that would help.

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Greene Co Alert 8/15/14 – 8:48am

GREENE CO SO: wreck with possible injuries, I-20 near Veazey Rd, avoid 
The area and watch for responders 
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Costs Seem Out Of Control 8/10/14 – 7:00pm

Author : Les Reed

Dear Mr. Horn:

As you refuse to post any facts, which is surprising as you are the Treasurer of the OSFD, I would suggest you bring to the Commission meeting tomorrow the following facts to justify your request for a tax increase.

1. The Old Salem Fire Department’s  yearly expenses, starting two years before the property tax was approved, up to the current 2015 request.

2. Tyler Moore, Deputy Chief of Operations, Old Salem Fire Rescue referenced an inadequacy the fire department had against NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards. NFPA creates and maintains private, copyrighted, standards and codes for usage and adoption by local governments. This includes publications from model building codes to the many on equipment utilized by firefighter while engaging in hazardous material (hazmat) response, rescue response, and some firefighting. We need to know what standards are being used to determine OSFD’s inadequatecies and why does OSFD fail to meet and why.

3. ISO has already audited the OSFD to see if a lower rating is warranted. Any expenditures from the proposed tax increase cannot affect the new rating. Why are statements being made that the increased property tax rate will affect the current ISO rating?

4. Mr. Moore also claims that OSFD has inadequate volunteers to continue as a volunteer department. Somehow Woodville, population 320 and Siloam, population 281 can find enough volunteers. Why not spend some money to find out why OSFD has such a hard time attracting and maintaining volunteers?

5. You might present some facts on how the spending of OSFD stacks up against fure departments in other counties in Georgia. For instance, Oconee County, population 33,600 (twice as many folks as Greene County and about 10 times the population served by the OSFD) is only spending two thirds the amount of money OSFD is budgeting for 2015. The fire budget for all of Greene C0unty will exceed $800,000 if your proposed increased is approved.

The amount that the taxpayers are paying for fire protection in Greene County seems to be completely out of control. Hopefully you have some facts that you are willing to share with the Commissioners and the taxpayers that might support your proposed tax increase. Up to now you have been mostly fluff and bubble.

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Meeting Tomorrow 8/10/14 – 3:10pm

Author : Jack Horn 

Thank you for your “comments”. I neither have the time, inclination or patience to get into a “blog-fest” with you or anyone for that matter. But if you would like to learn “facts” about Old Salem, I’d suggest you and any of your friends attend the County Commissioners meeting tomorrow (Monday) at 5:00 PM.

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No Blind Support 8/9/14 – 11:00am

From: Will Johnson

To:  Jack Horn

I see you’re on the Old Salem Fire Department Board of Directors.  You stated that I “need to get (my) facts straight before launching.”  Since you are directly involved, please provide corrections to any of the information I posted where I am not accurate.  The accuracy of information for our fellow residents is vital, so the greater details you can provide as to where I was wrong the better.  I anxiously await your response as failure to provide corrected information serves to confirm my understanding.

I ask everyone to re-read my post before blindly supporting a tax increase…we should seek (demand) efficiency first!

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Need More Buyers 8/8/14 – 7:40pm

From:  Non Buyer

I hear you are trying to think of ways to attract non golfers to buy here.. Here is a novel approach you might want to consider: think about this …..
Why would someone who does not play golf  (but are avid tennis players and love the lake)want to move here now? They would have to buy a golf membership for a minimum of $25,000 (which is no longer refundable) just to be able to protect their property and not have to restrict their future buyers to another non golfer when they are ready to sell. $25,000 is a lot of money to throw away as if it has no value, it just has a powerful negative impact! It would seem that you could open up the real estate market a good bit by not restricting the market to only golfers! What your market needs is More Buyers! Here’s a smart way to attract them! Apparently you are not aware of the fact that now most clubs are all but giving away memberships to attract new members!

“Why I didn’t buy at Reynolds Plantation even though I liked it”

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Warning 8/6/14 – 10:49am

From: Wary Grandma

Forewarning:  Received a call from a young man who I assumed was my Grandson. He had a tale about being in jail and needing money right away.  Was embarrassed & wanted the deal to be just between us.  Red flags went up with me so hung up and called Grandson and of course found out the call was not from him.  Just wonder how they got my land phone number and wondered if they might be hitting on areas like the Plantation knowing we are all most likely grandparents with a little cash.

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2nd Tuesday 8/5/14 7:56pm

Author : Jack Horn 

Suggest you get your facts straight. Much of what you say is untrue, And you should try to learn a little about how OSFR operates and what it does. Try attending one of the OSFR Board meetings, usually 2nd Tuesday of each month.

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Attend Meetings 8/5/14 – 7:49pm

Author : Jack Horn 

comment on “Old Salem FD”

Seems like you need to get your facts straight before launching. Most of what you say is wrong. You should try attending one of the monthly OSFR Board meetings.


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Meetings Not Attended 8/5/14 – 8:44am

From: Tyler Moore

The Old Salem Fire Rescue Department is required to hold open meetings for discussion and explanation for the community to attend when requesting a budget increase. No one attended these meetings. The Old Salem Fire Rescue board of directors also meets monthly to discuss budget and other agenda items, rarely do citizens attend. I would encourage you to contact the fire department administration and or the board of directors  for an explanation of the tax increase request. Personnel is the biggest problem the fire department faces. The increase would be primarily to provide an addition firefighter as we only staff two firefighters per shift as of now. Two firefighters is an inadequate number for the amount and size of construction that the Old Salem Fire Department is responsible for providing services to. It’s actually inadequate for any residential fire per NFPA requirements.  Staffing additional firefighters would also increase the efficiency of equipment response to emergency
calls. Feel free to contact the Fire Chief for a detailed budget analysis. Also remember that staffing is the majority of the  operating expense for emergency services since the clock roles 24 hrs a day 7 days a week. It’s standard throughout the industry for payroll to be the largest operating cost in fully paid or combination paid/volunteer fire  departments. The comparison to other fire departments in the county  is not a true reflection of any one fire department being more frugal with funding than another. Other departments are not staffed with paid personnel and have enough volunteers living within their community to operate that way. We simply do not.  Without a tax increase Old Salem can not provide a better service than what is currently being provided with 2 firefighters.

Tyler Moore
Deputy Chief of Operations
Old Salem Fire Rescue

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Old Salem FD 8/5/14 – 8:37am

From: Will Johnson

Thanks Les for the information.  It appears that this proposed tax increase will affect a lot more property owners than those in Reynolds Plantation as it will be assessed against all property owners in the Old Salem Fire Department area that includes Del Webb, Landing, Salem Plantation, Vintage Club, Lake Oconee Village, Parks Mill area, and other commercial properties.  Seems like taking more money from employers will only hurt economic development as this money could be used to employ more people instead of padding the fire department’s comparatively inflated budget.

According to one of my neighbors that volunteers with the Old Salem FD, the Fire Chief gets paid over $55,000.00 per year and is never there.  The Chief has another full-time job elsewhere, and lives somewhere in Athens.  What’s worse, I was told the Fire Chief is allowed to drive a truck to and from home each day that is owned by the Fire Department and takes this truck to his other full-time job, all at our expense.  Who is responsible for making sure the chief is actually working to earn the high salary, and if he lives in Athens and has another full-time job, when is he available to be Fire Chief?  Why should we pay for the truck for him to commute to another job?

I am perplexed as to how the Old Salem Fire Department Board of Directors would not be more accountable to our community and more responsible with our money.  Before asking for a tax increase, they should use the money they have efficiently, which ceasing the use of the commuting vehicle at our expense would be the obvious step #1.  I was told we only have two firefighters on shift every day, so why do we need to pay a chief that kind of salary to oversee such a small staff?  Why can’t the chief be one of those working a shift, or better yet, use that money to add a third or even fourth firefighter.

Does the Board of Commissioners have a say in this?  If so, they should make these demands on our behalf.  We should not be forced to pay more in taxes until the current funding has better oversight.  More growth equals more revenue for the fire department, so let them grow as revenue increases from new construction, not additional taxes.  This fire department has been one mess after another over and over again…here we go again!

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Old Salem Fire Dept 8/4/14 – 12:45pm

From: Jimmy Britt

Subject- Old Salem Fire Dept.                  Les- Thanks for your post. I invite anyone to call me at 706-453-2500 or e-mail @ jbritt@greenecountyga.gov  in regard to the increase for the department. If I am not available I will get back to you as soon as possible.                    Jimmy Britt

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Fire Dept Tax Increase 8/4/14 – 11:46am

From: Les Reed

Please note that the Old Salem Fire Department Board has requested a property tax increase. This tax will affect all Reynolds Plantation Property Owners. It is a mil rate tax that increases as your property value increases.
In the past this fire department was funded by $100 contributions from the residents and approximately $25,000 from the county. About 10 years ago a Special Fire District Tax replaced this funding with the promise from the Board that they would not go wild with tax payers money. Before the Special Tax Funding the total fire department’s budget was less than $100,000 per year.
With the proposed tax increase the total fire tax would generate over $600,000 per year. In 2006 it generated $304,000.
Other fire departments in the county operate on much lower budgets. Here are the 2012 numbers
Siloam Fire          $21,544.82
Woodville Fire       $12,036.69
Liberty Fire         $38,043.06
Walker Church Fire   $97,727.70
Old Salem Fire       $529,291.00
This increase is being sought with no indication of how the money is to be spend. It is justified with the hope that fire insurance rates might come down.
Hope is not a plan. Call your Commissioners and tell them what you think of this tax increase.

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The Landing 7/25/14 – 9:28am

From: Jill Press

Just for clarification…yesterday the “new Manager” had the day off! The Manager of the day yesterday was Michael from the Creek Club, who was substituting for Rob…the real new Manager. Michael is truly a class act and I’m sure he was doing his best, but unfortunately it was only for the day!

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Credit To Landing 7/23/14 – 7:30pm

From: Marcia Schaefer

Have just come from a day of bridge & lunch at The Landing and want to congratulate the new Manager and his staff on their performance.  He checked often to see we had all we needed and if we were lacking he made every effort to amend the situation.  GOOD JOB!!!!

As we are always quick to gripe, lets give credit when due!

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Get It 7/22/14 – 12:05pm

Author : The Reynolds Curmudgeon

To “sender sender”:

Question….when did you learn the Great Waters course would be closed for two days [Monday and Tuesday this week]?    Perhaps if and when you tried to make a tee time a month or so ago?  Or as  I did when I went on the RP web-site.

Did you know there would be “qualifying” rounds for the US Amateur being played those days?  I didn’t until I went on the web-site Monday.

Get the point?

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Greene Co SO Alert 7/22/14 – 9:20am

Greene County Sheriff’s Office Georgia
Tuesday July 22nd, 2014 :: 09:10 a.m. EDT
Advisory

Community Announcement

 Let your voice be heard, GO VOTE!
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Want Consistency 7/19/14 – 8:27am

Author : The Reynolds Curmudgeon

Hey “sender-sender”:

Please re-read the posts…..no one wants to be  ”spoon fed”….but how about “consistency”?

Posted in Club Management, Club operations, Managememt, Reynolds Plantation | Leave a comment

Spoon Fed 7/18/14 – 4:06pm

From:  Sender Sender

To: Those who want to be spoon fed

The golf course and restaurant schedules are posted on the reynolds.net web site all the time. Given that they will not all be open every day and for every meal, what else do you want? Take some initiative! We don’t need to be spoon fed.

Posted in Club Management, Club operations, golf, Managememt, Real Estate Sales, Reynolds Plantation | Leave a comment