Pike County Times
PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor@pikecountytimes.com
 
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Welcome to the Pike County Times.com Letters to the Editor Page.

These editorials reflect the opinions of their authors and don't necessarily reflect my personal opinions. Feel free to express your opinion with a letter to the editor to: editor(@)pikecountytimes.com. [Remove the () after you cut and paste.]

Letter writing guidelines are as follows: I do not have a word limit. However, all editorials must be respectful even when hard points are made about any topic including local, state, or national politics.

If I have a problem with an editorial, I will let you know by email and it can either be resolved or not printed because I will proof your letter for grammatical errors, but I do not edit letters based on content. And last but not least, your editorial must be accompanied by your name and a county or city of residence.

 
Deep But Very True Thought

“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.” – Thomas Jefferson

 
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CITIZENS OF PIKE COUNTY.

5.17 .22

Dear Editor,

I am not a political person; I do not care for politics. Making sure I know the candidates well enough to make an informed decision when I vote is as deep as I get.

Over a year ago, I got involved in a conflict with the Pike County Manager, which was an attack against my wife. Hopefully the issue has been resolved, but the scars remain. Because of what happened and what I found out about the County Manager, I have become very interested in the actions of the County Manager.

I think it would be advisable if everyone in Pike County would make an effort to get to know the County Manager's job description and how he is fulfilling those functions. Everything the County Manager writes or says is a matter of public record; all citizens have access to public records.

I must state that I do not have first-hand knowledge of all these events, so I must say yes, they are my opinions, and it would be advisable for each of you to find out the truth for yourself.

Over a year ago, I made a written charge against the County Manager for public endangerment and unprofessionalism regarding a dangerous road condition that he refused to remedy. The conflict began.

The County Manager decided to establish 36 hours of work per week as the requirement for full-time employment, which he has the right to do, with the approval of the Board of Commissioners. What he does not have the right to do is tell the county's Constitutional Officers what to do.

The County Manager tried to force a Constitutional Officer to make one of their employees part-time; The County Manager failed.

Not having been able to impose his will on the Constitutional Officer, the County Manager changed the newly approved retirement plan to require a 36-hour workweek to qualify for retirement. The only person in the county who was going to retire was the same person The County Manager tried to force her to work a 36-hour workweek. I wonder if there could have been some leftover resentment from his failure to get his way? By the way, it took a vote of the County Board of Commissioners to ensure the thirty-one-year employee got the retirement she deserved. Unfortunately, it took this same employee four months to get a penny of her money after she retired. There has been no explanation from the County Manager why such a delay.

The infamous boat dock/rock issue. I have no opinion on this matter, but how the county manager deceived people to have the rocks removed shows me immaturity and a lack of integrity.

There appear to be several other issues, such as withholding money from a department budget because the County Manager did not think they needed the money the department asked for in their budget. It would appear the County Manager believes he knows best in all things.

I have spoken to several county employees and have only found one person who has anything nice to say about the County Manager. I have heard words like chauvinist, narcissist, and bully, which are the nice words.

My point is, do we want or need a person who will defy even the County Commissioners to get his way. A person who seems to act as if he was the ultimate authority and power in Pike County. I strongly suggest that every citizen start paying attention to what is happening in Pike County and contact your Commissioner when you see something wrong.

Ben Maxedon
Zebulon

[Note from the Editor: Pike County Times has been covering the actions of the county manager for some time including each of the situations named above.

The story behind his attempt to force a constitutional officer to bend to his will during a retirement discussion can be found here: www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC9.28.21.html.

Click here to read how the rocks were moved at the Shoals prior to a meeting with the county manager to discuss removing the rocks: www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BREAKINGNEWSflatshoals3.15.22.html

Withholding money from a budget could refer to the $16,000 that the county manager removed and refused to put back into Superior Court's budget last year (www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC9.28.21.html) or the reduction in the J. Joel Edwards Library budget this year (www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOCSCM4.21.22.html). Does there seem to be an unfortunate pattern here?

Pike County Times wrote an article on county manager's contract which can be read here along with a link to a copy of his contract which requires annual evaluations that have not been done to date over the two years that he has been employed here: www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/brandonrogers2.26.22.html. The evaluations by county commissioners are in the process but have still not been completed, and there is a 30 day window from June 30, 2022 in which to renew his contract. And there is also the matter of a $5,000 raise that he wrote for himself in the upcoming budget.]

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Where’s the Beef? What an ‘80’s Ad Tells Us About Georgia Politics in 2022

5.7.22

Dear Editor,

In 1984, Wendy’s launched a nation-wide advertising blitz that became one the most effective messaging campaigns ever. A tiny, elderly woman at a fast-food restaurant examined the burger she ordered and, finding a giant hamburger bun and not much else, loudly and with indignant outrage, demanded to know, “Where’s the beef”?

That single ad exploded Wendy’s from the chain no one had ever heard of to rock star status among major fast-food restaurants. But it did more.

“Where’s the beef” became the rallying cry against every form of misrepresentation and deceit.

Consider this: despite more than 60 law suits, innumerable recounts, audits, signature checks, blue lights, searches for bamboo paper, blaming the Italians and continuing efforts to arouse outrage over, ”massive voter fraud” in the 2020 election, there has never been any persuasive evidence presented in any state by anyone of any such thing. None. Ever. Period.

The tiny old lady yelling, “where’s the beef” has a more important message for our state and our nation than ever before.

Where, indeed, is the “beef”?

Bruce Menke
Athens, GA

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Thoughts on Public vs Private With Regard to Oil Sales

3.21.22

This should make Americans ask the fundamental question: what is the difference between what a public non-profit utility company provides and what a private for-profit oil company provides? After all they both sell energy to all United States citizens. The difference is that natural gas and electricity are sold in the form of a public good whereas oil is sold in the form of a private good. Accordingly, on the grounds of promoting national security, the United States Congress should convert all oil companies to utility companies. This would eliminate the windfall profits and force the oil industry to earn just enough income to cover operating expenses just as natural gas and electric utility companies are required to do. The resulting drop in gasoline prices would further stimulate the economy and lighten the energy stranglehold upon the United States by the Middle East. It would also eliminate the influence of the oil lobby. In this case, desperate times call for deliberate measures. But as pathetic as the energy policy is in the United States the effort to develop alternative sources of energy won't really be accelerated until the oil dries up and the Saudi's place solar cells all across their desert and then sell us the electricity.

Joe Bialek
Cleveland, Ohio

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Thoughts on Life and Abortion

12.20.21

Life begins at the point of conception. No one can deny that after a human being is conceived it will develop into the very same being as those debating this issue. What astounds me is that those who favor abortion went through an identical development stage as the being they are condemning to death. Would these very same people agree that a similar choice should have been made about their own existence? How many human lives have been lost that could have added to our society in so many ways?

Abortion today is used primarily as a birth control of convenience because people are too self-centered to take precautions. They prefer their own pleasurable self-indulgence over the care and sanctity of the life they created. What ever happened to taking responsibility for one's actions in this country? Is it too much to ask a woman who has conceived to place the child into adoption? Nine months of discomfort is nothing compared to life in prison for voluntary manslaughter! And what about consenting to sex with a male; is that part of the equation too? Or has abortion just become another extension of the women's liberation movement started in the late 60's which coincidently boosted membership on or about the same date as Roe V. Wade?

Does the father of the child have a say in this? And what about the constitution of the United States? Are not all people conceived in this country deserving of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? I believe abortion is a crime against humanity and should be outlawed. We need to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision and get back to cherishing life in this country. For a country that murders it's children cannot be far from self destruction.

Back in 1973 a Supreme Court decision {Roe v. Wade} legalized abortion by a 7-2 vote. Six of the seven justices in the majority were Republican appointees. The only Democrat appointee, Byron White, voted against Roe v. Wade. Back then the Republican motto was government is best that governs least. Hence the Republicans giveth and the Republicans taketh away.

Joe Bialek
Cleveland, Ohio

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Vision and Results: Why I’m Running for Lieutenant Governor

10.21.21

John Adams once said, “Always stand on principle – even if you stand alone.” That sentiment has been the foundation for my calling to public service. Being true to who I am – and the people I am honored to serve – will always be my foundation and guiding principal. But unfortunately, for too many politicians in our country, those words ring hollow. They are more concerned about their own self-promotion, ambition, or political self-interests.

That contrast has been on vivid display in Georgia over the past few years. Too many politicians in our state have put their own interests ahead of those who elected them. Politicians who are more concerned with their next TV appearance or book deal and are willing to compromise their values at the drop of a hat to get ahead.

I’m running for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia to restore real, servant leadership to our state. As a proven business leader, consistent conservative, and uncompromising champion for Georgia values, I’m working to put the people of our state back in charge.

Like President Trump, I’m a business leader and political outsider. That’s why back in 2016, I was the first elected official in Georgia to endorse him for President. I admired his experience as a businessman and outsider, his ability to bring new people into the conservative movement, and most of all, his promise to put America first again – and knew he was the right person at the right time for the job. Just last week, I was proud to receive the full endorsement from President Trump in our race.

Like President Trump, I’ve been underestimated and counted out – and I’ve always risen to the occasion. At the University of Georgia, I tried out for the football team. People said I was too small and too slow, but I worked hard, earned a scholarship, and became a four-year letterman elected permanent team captain for the 2002 SEC Championship season. As a businessman, I have helped establish and build many ventures employing hundreds of Georgians.

In 2012, I felt a calling to public service – so I ran for the State Senate to make a difference in my community. Since then, I have used my business experience as an outsider to advance my district’s economic development by attracting new businesses and creating thousands of jobs and opportunities. I know how to get our economy moving, and I understand that, in order for hardworking Georgians to thrive, we have to cut red tape and lower taxes – starting with the state income tax.

I also stand very strongly behind our men and women in law enforcement. As Lieutenant Governor, I will increase funding for our local law enforcement officers, giving them the tools and resources needed to protect Georgia communities and crack down on the sex traffickers, gang members, and repeat offenders that put our families at risk. I will strengthen officers’ retirement benefits so communities are able to grow and retain a stable public safety workforce. I will also work to stop illegal immigration by standing strong to finish the border wall and enforce a legal immigration system that rewards those who follow the rules.

Another major pillar of my plan for Georgia is continuing the fight for election integrity. S.B. 202 went a long way, but the work to restore confidence and security in our elections is far from over. I will call for a full, statewide investigation into the many documented irregularities in the 2020 elections in Georgia to get to the bottom of what happened. I will also ensure the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has the tools required to investigate and respond to future cases of potential voter fraud in real time.

Finally, our education system in Georgia is broken, and I want to fix it. I will work to build a world class K-12 and higher education system in Georgia by investing in teachers and students, prioritizing school choice, increasing access to vocational and technical education, and lowering the cost of post-secondary degrees. Furthermore, Critical Race Theory is a hateful and divisive ideology that has no place in our schools, and I will work to ban its instruction in our children’s classrooms. We must instead emphasize civics-based education centered around unity and an understanding of and respect for our nation’s founding principles.

We have reached an inflection point in American history. With left-wing radicals tearing our country apart, everyday Georgians need – and deserve – someone who will stand up to the liberal mob and fight for a better future for all. I will always stand strong on my conservative principles, and I will never compromise our values or sell you out. For lower taxes, for more jobs, for better education, for safer communities, for more secure elections, and to advance President Trump’s America First Agenda, I am running for Lieutenant Governor, and I hope you’ll join me.

Burt Jones
Butts County

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Numerical Placards Help In Emergency Situations

11.16.20

Pike County Residents,

I am an emergency medical services worker whose service includes all of Pike County. I am concerned about our ambulances and the rescue vehicles struggling to locate residences that are not clearly marked by a numerical address.

When a resident is having a heart attack, stroke, or serious bleeding issue, seconds may mean the difference in a resident’s survival or demise. If our vehicles lose cell and radio signals in a rural area, we could arrive at the scene much later than desired. A simple numerical placard near the roadway would be the perfect solution to aid the police, fire, and emergency services in completing their roles successfully.

This has been done in many rural counties for the same reasons and has been a success for the first responders and delivery vehicles, mail carriers, and passers-by. A second suggestion would be to keep the trees and bushes surrounding street signs that are already in place to ensure that their visibility is 100% from the roadway.

Tonie P. Biles
Pike County

[Note from the Editor: The Pike County Emergency Service Auxillary is selling reflective address signs to Pike County citizens. Proceeds benefit all emergency services personnel with disaster assistance in the form of gatorade, water, and other necessary items. Green signs are 6 inches by 18 inches with 4 inch reflective numbers on each side. To order, call 770-468-8633 for more information. All orders for reflective address signs must be made in writing.]

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