FreeSpeech for 02-11-09

I am a Fayette County teacher and resident, and I am hopping mad. I have read several comments to the effect that all the school employees voted for the SPLOST. I did NOT vote for the SPLOST, and it’s not because I no longer have children attending Fayette County schools. I happen to believe that our trusted officials should manage our money responsibly. My fellow teachers, media specialists, school nurses, paraprofessionals, custodians, and cafeteria workers, who run the everyday workings of our school, are managing our resources responsibly. We have been turning out lights, turning off computers and monitors, leaving our building by 5 o’clock, all at the command of our goliath administration. We are enduring the awkwardness and incompatibilities of the cheaper OpenOffice programs. We are recycling and/or limiting use of paper. We are threatened daily, sometimes several times a day, with losing our jobs and benefits. We have been told we would lose the paraprofessionals; now, that’s a genius plan. In no other situation that I can conceive does an organization get such a bang for its buck than the schools do with paraprofessionals. For the pathetic, below-poverty-level pay they receive, they provide more direct student service and perform many of the least desirable duties in the school. Eliminating the school nurses was another brilliant suggestion; perhaps the board can find a cheaper way to administer to, not only the daily minor aches and pains, but also the medicinal and medical needs of students with chronic, serious illnesses. And let’s not forget the original plan of nicely asking all the teachers to return their cost of living raises. I predicted then that the board would use that as a tactic to place the blame on our refusal to do so (recall that they asked ever so nicely and stated that assent would have to be 100 percent; by the way, it wasn’t even put up for a vote). Now, sure enough, two choices are presented: either a 2.5 percent pay cut or a 3.5 percent pay cut for virtually all employees (please define “virtually”). Either way, we, the taxpayers and the school employees, pay for the ineptitude of the board and the top-heavy administration. Indeed, why does our superintendent need TWO assistants? Why are we building two new schools when we can’t fill the ones we have? Why do we have 99 acres of land for sale? Why do we have very expensive computer programs of very limited use? I am just a simple teacher, and these are simple questions. Someone with more intimate knowledge of the goings-on of the board will undoubtedly enlighten me. I am frustrated, as are my colleagues. I speak for many of them when I say I love Fayette County children and their families; I love working in these schools. I want to be here; I am lucky to be here and don’t want to work anywhere else. But our board of education made decisions that got us in our present mess; it is time for THEM to behave responsibly. We, the employees and the taxpayers, have done all we can.

FreeSpeech for 02-04-09

Hey, everyone, look at the newest money-making project set up by Fayetteville Police Department. They are running stings in construction areas in the city. I was returning from Senior Center and saw two motorists who had been stopped. Further investigation from me confirmed the fact that there were no signs in this area warning of this. Also, there was no construction going at the time. Citizens, wake up and demand that their shenanigans be stopped.

FreeSpeech for 01-28-09

Parents of kids in a certain second period American Literature class at Whitewater High School: ask your child how they felt about the teacher calling them racists on Tuesday, Inauguration Day. To preface this, let me say that the teacher was an emphatic Obama supporter during the election, and before the nominees were elected, opened discussion of which candidate the kids liked. The kids overwhelmingly supported McCain, and the teacher obviously took great offense to it, as you’ll see. Race was never part of that discussion. So the teacher picks the very moment that our country is jubilantly celebrating a long-awaited historic moment to give the kids a writing assignment about the day, saying, “Leave your racist comments out of it. I don’t care what you write. I’m not even going to read it. Just keep it to yourself.” My child was hurt and offended by the teacher’s remarks, but smartly kept quiet. Anyone that just showed such pettiness and poor judgment surely wouldn’t take kindly to being informed of their insulting behavior, and would most likely use their position of authority to pay back anyone that dared offend them. To the teacher: No matter which candidate anyone supported during the election, it’s over. President Obama is OUR president: mine, yours, and all other Americans. He won by over 50 percent, but enjoys an 80 percent approval rating. Translation: even people who didn’t vote for him are supporting him now, because he is OUR president, and all our hopes and well wishes are upon him now. It is not your job to campaign at school, instruct with political bias or intimidate and name-call your students into sharing your political views. But to your own point of racism, this: It is exactly people like you that keep racism alive and well. Even where there is no reasonable hint of it, you inject it into any situation you can and cause further divides. Did you not read “The Crucible” along with the children? Did you not hear/read/see the papers they wrote about how a soiled name meant social death? Are you willing to be the antagonist, assigning judgments on your students that they have to carry and suffer from? You need to apologize and set a good example for them. And parents: say something. Don’t keep staying quiet while our kids are indoctrinated in public school. Primary schools that indoctrinate young children into political ideology are found in communist countries and madrases, all of which instill in their children a deep hatred for America.

FreeSpeech for 01-21-09

I’m thrilled to see that Don Haddix is running for mayor. He’s got my vote. But then again for all the damage Logsdon has done to our community I’d vote for Osama bin Laden before I’d vote for Logsdon.

FreeSpeech for 01-14-09

We can really tell that the signals on the recently upgraded Ga. Highway 74 are back on demand mode again. They click away erratically, doing a great job of stopping nearly every vehicle. The approach lanes on most of the cross streets aren’t set up properly. Vehicles will pull up in the right lanes, then turn right on red and go on and not even need the light. But the light will cycle anyway, stopping all the highway traffic for no reason. The exit from Panasonic is poor. The right lane is marked for straight and right turns and the left lane is marked for left turns. Right-turning traffic doesn’t always need the light, but is blocked by traffic waiting to go straight. The left lane should be for straight and left turns, since these need the light. The right lane should be for right turns only, and its sensor should trip the light only if those cars are waiting an excessive amount of time. Georgia has the lamest road design and traffic control I’ve ever seen.

FreeSpeech for 01-07-09

I find it appalling that citizens of Peachtree City would point out actual patrol cars for possibly performing traffic violations. First off, saying a police officer was speeding without lights is a laughable accusation. You do know that they have different ways to respond to different calls. Certain calls include lights and sirens while others may not. In any instance, the officer is to respond as quickly as he or she may. Also, to complain about officers taking their cars home is an added expense to the citizens is ridiculous. It is a major crime deterrent. So driving 5-10 miles back to their houses is going to cause major wear and tear on the cars, but responding to petty calls isn’t? Do you understand that while most people would run from danger, these fine women and men are trained to run toward it? It’s ridiculous to attack these individuals, and it makes me sick to think that although you complain and pick on these individuals, they would be there to help you with just one phone call. So if you are a citizen that respects the work these officers do, I ask you to thank them the next time you see them. Could you imagine being hated or disrespected by people for simply doing your job? Yes, they chose their profession, but I thank them for making that choice. Without them, our streets and neighborhoods would be a lot less safe.

FreeSpeech for 12-31-08

To the person questioning why the police officers are able to take their patrol cars home, the answer is simple. When they had to leave it at the PD for it to be repaired, they had no where to park all the patrol cars. It would have cost the city MORE money to find a place to store all the patrol cars. As for complaining about the wear and tear on the cars, a few extra miles a day won’t put that much more wear and tear on these cars. Can you really complain about this when these officers put their life on the line to protect the citizens of Peachtree City on a daily basis? Can you complain when they (as well as a few other professions) should be getting paid better for the job they do? They put their lives on the line every in a second to protect you, but you feel free to toss them to the wolves. It is frustrating to read the Free Speech and see people always complaining about the police officers. Do you even stop to think about what they risk on a daily basis? All are sons or daughters, some are husbands or wives and others are fathers or mothers. Another thing, how many holidays does your job allow for you to stay at home? Last time I checked, these officers report to work 24/7, 365 days a year. They don’t get off Christmas, just because they worked Thanksgiving. Yes, some may get to take off, but most are up at 6 a.m. getting ready to go and protect you. Would you like it if they didn’t have to report to work certain days of the year, allowing criminals to run the streets? You find it so easy to tear these officers apart, but when was the last time you looked at one and said thank you?

FreeSpeech for 12-24-08

Attention, law enforcement: lights on while raining IS the law and includes YOU! You could make a lot more money stopping folks that don’t abide by that law instead of stopping someone doing 40 in a 35. Both are dangerous.

FreeSpeech for 12-10-08

Please say it ain’t so: no Santa coming round Peachtree City neighborhoods on the fire truck?? Let me get this straight: due to budget cuts and vehicle “wear and tear,” this fun tradition has been canceled. Wow, what a disappointment. My kids are older, but we all still loved running outside to see the annual Santa visit to our neighborhood when the sirens announced his coming in the weeks before Christmas. It is something I am sure they will talk about at their family gatherings when they look back on their childhood Christmas memories. I would be outraged if my children were younger and I had to try and explain to a disappointed group why something so traditional wasn’t going to happen. I mean, really, is there that much wear and tear to the vehicles that it has to be abolished? Budget cuts: I know gas for them is costly, but it is cheaper now than it was last year. I don’t know, it just is very disappointing to me that this had to be axed, especially when so many of all ages enjoy it, and I am sure there are plenty of others young and old that feel the same way. Maybe it was due to lack of enthusiasm from neighborhoods, but if that’s the reason, then don’t hide behind something like wear and tear on the vehicles. That sounds too much like Scrooge.

FreeSpeech for 12-03-08

Kathy Cox’s true character has been revealed. Knowing full well that money she borrowed was owed to debtors, she instead decided to give away $1 million in winnings from a game show as a gift. Give me a break! I’d be mad as heck if I were someone to whom she owed, say, $500 grand. She tried to look like an angel but instead now looks like a true scam artist. I say take her to court and force her to pay up by giving up the rest of her assets. Else the next chump will see the easy way out and also give away owed money. She made a promise to pay back her debtors when she borrowed the money. Make her keep her promise now that the facts have come to light.

FreeSpeech for 11-26-08

Happy Thanksgiving to all and a special thanks to our soldiers, our police, our firefighters and all others who help keep us safe. As bad as the news is out there now, we still have the best darn country, the nicest people and the most freedoms anywhere. Let’s focus on this for a day and forget the rest. God bless!

FreeSpeech for 11-19-08

In the past two weeks I’ve read two separate articles referring to the median on Ga. Highway 74 being unsafe because people traveling north can’t make a left into the post office or Waffle House, or make a left coming out of these locations. Are these people idiots? I’ve lived in Peachtree City for five years and can tell you that in a town where you can get from one side of town to the other on a golf cart, there is always another way to get somewhere. The writers of the articles claim the median makes northbound traffic wanting to go the post office/Waffle House to make a U-turn at 74/54. That is crazy. There is an opening to make a left turn onto Clover Reach, which will bring you in behind these places. You can also make a left at Paschall Road and a right on Clovergreen. There is a light at this intersection and much safer than making a U-turn, or cross three lanes of southbound traffic and competing with northbound traffic at the same time while causing a back-up in the post office parking lot. When I first moved here, I was given a golf cart map, which has most cart paths as well as the complete street map of the city. I recommend these writers, as well as anyone else confused by the median on Hwy. 74, get one.

FreeSpeech for 11-12-08

For all of you that voted for the ESPLOST, you made a huge mistake by caving. The district cannot manage money correctly, and all you did was give them more to mismanage. Mark my word that the district will be asking for more money within two years, and all who voted yes will be the first to complain. I can promise you that the education of the children will not get any better, they will waste the money on non-essentials, we will continue to pay for sports, band. You caved, now you will pay.

FreeSpeech for 11-05-08

Why for the last two years do a few city employees continue to try and force the citizens of Peachtree City into a contract with one provider for curbside pick up? We do not want this; we will not have our freedom of choice taken away not even for our trash pickup. We are adults capable of making our own decisions. Please investigate why these employees are wasting taxpayer dollars and time to keep pushing an already defeated proposition. How much of our time and money was wasted this year? Who is responsible for them and why are they out of control? What do they gain other than more power and control? When is enough, enough? We want to know.

FreeSpeech for 10-22-08

Drunken cheerleaders at the McIntosh High School football game received a mere slap of the wrist. Why only a 25 percent suspension from the remaining games (what is that, one- or two-game suspension?)? Why were the police and the juvenile court not brought in? Alcohol counseling is optional? If this had been several regular, nobody kids on a golf cart, they would be in juvenile court. Instead, this is the icon of football; yes, we must kneel. And the most distressing aspect is the parents. They are more concerned that these girls might miss a cheer tournament. I am nauseated by the whole thing. For all the unrecognized, hard-working parents with kids that are working hard and trying to avoid peer pressure, I salute you. To these cheerleaders and their parents, please move and take your hero Janet Smola with you.

FreeSpeech for 10-15-08

“Free Speech is watching you.”

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I want to commend Gail Sparrow, the board, guardians, doctor, nurse and EMTs for all their hard work in the planning and arranging for the flight for WWII vets on Oct. 8 to see the WWII Memorial. Thanks to the Baptist Church for the use of their buses, the Methodist Church for their hospitality and the deputies who provided the escort. It was a wonderful day that we will never forget. Thank you.

FreeSpeech for 10-01-08

It’s obvious that the Fayetteville Fire Department is proud of their trucks. They put them on display daily in the fire lane of our local grocery stores while they shop for their lunch/dinner. Boy, I wish I could designate my own parking spaces. I thought the fire lane was for emergencies.

FreeSpeech for 9-17-08

In Peachtree City, we have heard over and over again that we need to “tighten our belts” on spending because the poor national economy has made money scarce. The City Council even voted to charge every person using the recreation facility, the Gathering Place, $10 per year to help make ends meet. The seniors attending a meeting with the mayor and several City Council members agreed to the charge, all in the spirit of doing our part. Well, it seems that not everyone is willing to make that sacrifice. No other recreation building in Peachtree City is going to be similarly charged. To make it worse, our mayor and city manager have billed taxpayers $5,688 for two round-trip tickets to China — money that would have allowed over 500 local seniors on fixed incomes to use the Gathering Place for a year. Finally, in an age when both major candidates in the upcoming Presidential election are trying to get their party members to stop taking money from big business, why would anyone consider it morally right to accept entertainment and food from a company trying to establish itself in our town? Do we really want those people, the mayor and city manager, making decisions for us concerning that company and land use, construction, etc. I don’t; do you?

FreeSpeech for 9-03-08

Peachtree City mayor and city manager, I hope your vacation in China was all you thought it would be. We all know it was given to you, “gratis,“ for your total cooperation with the powers that be at Sany Corp. These are the things that happen when our city managers give away the farm.

FreeSpeech for 8-27-08

For those of you concerned with the plan to consolidate trash collecting in PTC, let me put your minds at ease: We are a long way from socialism; your individual rights are intact, so relax. I realize you want the right to continue to pay more for your trash service with little or no recycling or green waste service, but this program will offer PTC residents more for less. The city is acting as an aggregate purchaser on your behalf, which gives it leverage to negotiate prices at or below your current rates, with recycling and green waste thrown in for FREE. For those of you that insist on spending hours doing your own recycling so you can pocket $6, keep going, Sparky! Good luck finding a place for all those glass bottles that nobody will take. Think long and hard about the amount of recyclable material that gets thrown out with the regular trash. By offering FREE recycling bins, doesn’t that encourage people to actually recycle and continue the “Green “ campaign? Math lesson for those of you that think three garbage company trucks is as hard on the streets as 1: One truck collecting trash on an entire street means one truck from point A to B. Three trucks collecting trash on an entire street cover the same point A to B, so three times the impact. DUH! Folks, the plan makes sense and is good for your pocketbook, the environment, and our streets. Spend more time and energy on truly worthwhile causes like “Keep PTC Beautiful” or helping those less fortunate through a local church or charity.

FreeSpeech for 8-20-08

So, Peachtree City officials are studying having one company for trash pick-up. Judging from the article, one requirement of the successful vendor will be city fee and tariff collector. By the looks of it, the city has already made out its wish list of fees and silly requirements of its citizens, which smells a bit like socialism. If this goes through, as they are planning, your trash bill will be six pages long once all their sneaky fees are added, and you’ll be left with no freedom of choice at all.

FreeSpeech for 8-13-08

One need look no further than the newly reorganized Evening/Voluntary Alternative School to see yet another example of the disgraceful way the the Fayette County Board of Education mismanages funds. Is anyone aware that there are a total of four classroom teachers for this school, but there are two-half-time principals in addition to one full-time principal/director of this school? Yes, that’s a total of TWO full-time principals assigned to supervise a grand total of four teachers and a handful of students. How can this practice possibly be justified? Can someone please investigate this? Can someone find out how much these three administrators are being paid to supervise four teachers? Do we want to pay more sales tax to condone such reckless fiscal practices?

FreeSpeech for 8-06-08

I read the comment from someone questioning the political affiliation of Ann Jackson. It was signed by a C.J. Packard. Is it just a coincidence that Jim Whitlock owned a night club in Forest Park by that name? C.J. Packard’s operated on Jonesboro Road across from Fort Gillem between 1990 and 1991, complete with a ladies night that featured free drinks for the ladies and male exotic dancers. This was after Mr. Whitlock’s “epiphany” in 1984 when he embraced Republican values. His ownership of the night club, C.J. Packard’s, was between his stint as a pastor and his career defending drunk drivers. He has been a pastor, then a night club owner, now a criminal defense lawyer. What next? Our probate judge?

FreeSpeech for 7-30-08

When the government wanted to bail out the airlines after 9/11 (which Delta did not accept), the public was outraged. Now, the government is helping out with this mortgage mess, which is a LOT more, and not a sound. What gives?

FreeSpeech for 7-23-08

Lake Lanier is lower than it was at this time last year. Kedron Lake is dropping like a rock. And we still have morons pouring water on their stupid lawns. Could you possibly find something else upon which to build your self-image beside a green lawn? Put your ego in the back seat and your brain in the front seat.

FreeSpeech for 7-16-08

So if I contributed to Robert Horgan’s campaign for Fayette County commissioner, would that make me a horgan donor?

FreeSpeech for 6-25-08

As expected, Cyndi Plunkett caved and voted with Logsdon and his cronies for a shopping center that very few of us wanted. I’ll remember your vote on this at the next election, Cyndi. And hats off to you, Don Haddix and Doug Sturbaum, for voting against it. I’ll remember your vote also at the next election. Logsdon, you don’t even have to guess.

FreeSpeech for 6-11-08

I don’t think I can vote for a Fayetteville attorney who is running for probate judge. He broke one of the ten commandments, and it was so bad his daughter didn’t even mention him in her wedding announcement. On top of that he used to be a Baptist preacher.

FreeSpeech 6-4-08

Alright, I’ve been waiting, but no one is saying what needs to be said about [Fayette County’s] defined benefits plan. Sad to say not even this paper [is], which is usually pretty good on local issues. Everyone needs to know defined benefits are a payoff to county employees, especially the sheriff and fire department. This is an organized effort by county employees to put their needs in front of that of the Fayette County. I love our emergency workers and police and have always supported them. I still do, which is why this is so hard to write. I was hoping someone else would bring this up, but I think everyone else (including me) is afraid because of possible retribution. I support full paid sick leave and regular pay raises, but retirement benefits that go on forever will bankrupt Fayette County as they have every other government agency or corporation. Don’t let the commissioners get away with it. I don’t know who this Lee Hearn is, but I hope he offers some kind of compromise between Horgan and Dunn. Keep your ears open and look out for anyone who supports draining county funds for their own political gain.

FreeSpeech for 5-28-08

[Fayette County sheriff’s candidate Dave] Simmons and campaign helpers: please be mindful of Fayette County laws and ordinances. Your sign was placed on my private property without permission. I most certainly did remove your offensive sign. How dare you complain that Mr. Wayne Hannah’s sign was left up. I am supporting Mr. Hannah, not someone retired for 12 years from a high-crime city. This time I assumed that this breach of protocol was perpetrated by hooligan teens. So I simply threw the offensive sign in the trash. In the future I will be calling the police and pressing charges for criminal trespass and littering on my property. Please try to obey the laws of our county. It would be in your best interest to at least appear to be law-abiding.

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