Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Real estate values in Camden County.

Your Camden County home, as seen by (from top to bottom) yourself; your buyer; your lender; your appraiser; and your Camden County Tax Assessor.
Thanks to the readers who sent me this.

Cargo handling upgrades at Port of Savannah.

JDA, take note. http://savannahnow.com/node/698211

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Has anyone spotted a coyote hereabouts yet?

http://portal.tds.net/news/read.php?ps=1018&rip_id=%3CD977SU7G0%40news.ap.org%3E&_LT=HOME_LARSDCCLM_UNEWS&page=1

Opening a major can of worms!

Thanks to the reader who brought this AJC article to my attention. http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/stories/2009/03/29/tax_assessments_atlanta.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab Rodney, if you only knew!

Sunday Funnies; Volume 57.

1. Teaching Math In 1970 > > A logger sells a lorry load of timber for $1000. > His cost of production is 4/5 of the selling price. > What is his profit? > > 2.. Teaching Maths In 1980 > A logger sells a lorry load of timber for $1000. > His cost of production is 4/5 of the selling price, or $800. > What is his profit? > > 3. Teaching Maths In 1990 > A logger sells a lorry load of timber for $1000. > His cost of production is $800. > Did he make a profit? > 4. Teaching Maths In 2000 > A logger sells a lorry load of timber for $1000. > His cost of production is $800 and his profit is $200. > Your assignment: Underline the number 200. > > 5. Teaching Maths In 2008 > > A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is totally selfish > and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or > the preservation of our woodlands. > He does this so he can make a profit of $200. What do you think > of this way of making a living? > Topic for class participation after answering the question: > How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their > homes? (There are no wrong answers. > If you are upset about the plight of the animals in question > counselling will be available). > > >

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Another "tax revolt" meeting on Monday at 7:00 PM.

Details: http://www.topix.com/forum/city/kingsland-ga/T9FJ2KMOIFJN81478 P.S., I would appreciate it if someone who attends could fill us in on what happens. I have a 7:30PM appopintment for an echocardiogram that night. The UF/Shands satellite here does things at odd times. Damned good doctors, though.

Sorry I took so long....

to post the last batch of comments. I just got back this afternoon after spending the night in Savannah where I had to be early this morning. I took the GACE test to become a Georgia certified teacher of Political Science. Actually there were two tests, with 120 questions and four, two-part essay questions. I'm confident that I passed. Political science was my minor in college. I've previously passed the state certification exams for teaching Middle Grades Social Studies and Middle Grades Language Arts. I could not believe how many people were there this morning for testing. The test site serves multiple counties in SE Georgia. Not only were all of the huge parking lots at Johnson High School full, but people actually had to park out on the grass around the school. Man, Savannah is beautiful this time of year. It's just ablaze with blooming azaleas and dogwoods. I would say that well over 90% of residences are planted with multiple azaleas. By contrast, St. Marys may be "quaint" but well landscaped it ain't. Why is that?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

BOE's explanation of proposed zoning changes for FY10 school year.

http://www.camden.k12.ga.us/absolutenm/templates/?a=1373

So tell us, Tripp: Will you now do the right thing and ban yourself from TOPIX?

FROM TOPIX, Kingsland:

tommygun3 “Procrastinators unite tomorrow” Joined: Dec 18, 2007 Comments: 1006 White Oak ISP: Kingsland, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #1 Sunday Mar 22 Judged: 1 1 My wife and I have been started growing annuals and perennials, and are working on starting a nursery specializing in these and ground covering plants. Right now we only have our hobby greenhouse, but we do have it full of over 1,100 Marigolds, Petunias, and Dianthus. They will be ready for planting by the end of April. If any of you would like to buy any of these, we are reserving trays or even single plants now. Price per 4" cup plant is $1, or get a tray of 18 for $13.50. These plants are guaranteed to surpass the quality of any plant you get from your local do-it-yourself superstore. Our goal is to provide landscape companies and retail nurseries around the area from Darien to Jacksonville with a high quality and affordable plant locally, without having to order from Savannah or abroad. But, we must get our name out first. To do this we are offering these plants to you and offering to deliver them personally, if you wish, for no extra fee and no matter the quantity ordered. If you are interested in this please respond via email at trippcasey@gmail.com. We will also have a both at the Crawfish Festival on Saturday, April 25 offering annuals, perennials, and other plants from our hobby greenhouse. We plan to have our nursery, Plant Culture Nurseries, open and producing hundreds of thousands of the finest annuals and perennials by the end of this year. We would love to show you personally what our idea of perfection is compared what you will get from the garden departments of the superstores. So far we have reserved several trays, but we still have plenty left. To get your flowers, just email me with how many you want, and I will contact you back with my phone number. These plants will be ready for delivery by the end of April, and you pay when we deliver them. NO ADVANCED PAYMENT. C.O.D only please. Please support local businesses when you can. We all benefit when you do. Thank You

Quoted from Topix "Terms of Service." "Use of the Service. You may only display the content of the Service for your own personal use (i.e., non-commercial use) and may not otherwise copy, reproduce, alter, modify, create derivative works, or publicly display any content. For example, you may not do any of the following: use the Service to sell a product or service; use the Service to increase traffic to your Web site for commercial reasons, such as advertising sales; take the results from the Service and reformat and display them, or mirror any portion of the results on your Web site; or use the Service as part of a "meta-search" offering."

P.S.,

I don't want to alarm you, but are you aware of the drastic drop in the value of your property from the last figure you volunteered? North of $300,000 as I recall.

CASEY THOMAS G III & ASHLEY B PO BOX 566 WOODBINE, GA 31569 037 041A H/LAND W/S NEW POST RD E'LY PORT OF 37-0-41 L1 R4 2.00 Acres 16400 Improvement Value S 161,190 Total Value: $178,390

CASEY THOMAS G III & ASHLEY B 505 NEW POST ROAD WHITE OAK, GA 315682825 037 041B V/LAND W/S NEW POST RD 17720 S0 0 R4 4.00 Acres 17720 Improvement Value: $0.00 Total Value$17,720.

"Safe?" Oh, yeah: it sounds like it.

http://www.news4jax.com/video/19015321/index.html

Until the St. Marys DMA has 52 festivals, addicts might try this one.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-26/story/dariens_blessing_of_fleet_is_among_tops_to_do_in_state

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Found in legal ads of today's T&G.

Click on image to enlarge.

Oh, horse hockey! This was the political imposition of the will of busybody, religious bigots - pure and simple!

Get yourself a hard copy of today's T&G. In an act of flagrant political cowardice, St. Marys city council was cowed by fundamentalists religious bigots into imposing their will upon the community at large and depriving both a landlord and an entrepreneur of their rights to pursue legitimate, legal businesses. It seems that a man wanted to open a package shop in "The Camden Center there on Spur 40, across from the post office. In seems the folks in the pentecostal church across the street did not want it there (or anywhere in the known universe for that matter) because of there puritanical abhorrence of distilled spirits, whether consumed in one's private residence, or anywhere in the known universe, whether in moderation or to excess. Constitutionally guaranteed liberties be damned! Needless to say, they could not come straight out and say that they were going to take advantage of the political cowardice of some of our council members and mayor to impose their religious beliefs upon the rest of us and deprive the landlord of his property rights and the would-be package owner of his rights as well. Oh no - these paragons of virtue simply lied their holier-than-thou asses off by claiming to have concerns about increased crime in the neighborhood, "the children" having to endure the horrifying and potentially eternally damning SIGHT of the exterior of a package shop, etc. I may consume 4 beers a year - depending on how many times I go to a good Mexican restaurant. I consume about 3 to 4 tablespoons of good bourbon a year with my annual quart of holiday eggnog. A boozer I'm not - but if I were that's none of the church ladie's business. Alcohol is legal. The sale of alcohol is legal, so long as the applicant for a license complies with all state and local laws, which apparently this applicant DID. Hopefully, he will sue and win. And yes, I can't stand to be anywhere near a drunk and I'm concerned about drunk drivers. I'm not too crazy about a proliferation of bars and package shops. However, I'm more concerned with the protection of people's constitutional rights. I'll answer before you ask: Had this been before the county commission (i.e, had the location been out in the county), and the guy had all of his legal ducks in a row, and I had been on the commission, I would have voted for the license. I respect all citizen's rights to have whatever religious beliefs they want, so long as the exercise thereof does not deprive any other citizen of the exercise of any constitutionally guaranteed civil liberty.

Unfortunately, Mr. Hill's observations on today's college age college students is entirely consistent with mine of the last three years.

http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/03/25/opinion/1opinion3.25.txt

Today's extensive T&G coverage of Camden Board of Assessors debacle.

http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/03/25/news/top_stories/1topstory3.25.txt http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/03/25/news/top_stories/2topstory3.25.txt http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/03/25/news/top_stories/3topstory3.20.txt http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/03/25/opinion/2opinion3.25.txt http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/03/25/opinion/4opinion3.20.txt

Shoot first - argue later!

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/southflorida/story/966133.html

Well it's about time!

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-25/story/boards_want_to_retain_sign-ups

Rowland and Hardin met with angry MLCE parents Monday night.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-25/story/st_marys_parents_vow_to_never_stop_fighting_rezoning

Symbolic silliness comes to Camden.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-25/story/a_little_darkness_will_do_you_good

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New to Camden Commentary?

If so, welcome! You should know that when you finish reading this page, if you click on "Older Posts" at the bottom right corner of the page, the previous page will pop up. Just repeat the process for prior pages, all the way back to day one, if you like. By the way, I see that there have been 86 first time visitors today so far. If you don't mind, if you are a new reader, I would appreciate it if you would click on "comments" (below) and let me know how you heard about Camden Commentary and where you live - i.e., what city or county. Thanks.

Parents and children march in MLCE rezoning protest.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-24/story/protests_take_on_school_rezoning

Monday, March 23, 2009

Notice to MLCE and CRES parents.

Bogus information is posted on TOPIX Kingsland, stating that because Crooked River Elementary failed to meet AYP on 1 of 11 standards (academics) last year, that if your child is transferred there or is currently enrolled there, you may, as a matter of law, demand that your child be transferred to a better performing school of your choice. This information is not correct. For that to be true, the school would have had to fail to meet all AYP requirements two or more years in a row. It has not. Here is the actual language from NCLB. (b) SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT- (1) GENERAL REQUIREMENTS- (A) IDENTIFICATION- Subject to subparagraph (C), a local educational agency shall identify for school improvement any elementary school or secondary school served under this part that fails, for 2 consecutive years, to make adequate yearly progress as defined in the State's plan under section 1111(b)(2). (B) DEADLINE- The identification described in subparagraph (A) shall take place before the beginning of the school year following such failure to make adequate yearly progress. (C) APPLICATION- Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to a school if almost every student in each group specified in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v) enrolled in such school is meeting or exceeding the State's proficient level of academic achievement. (D) TARGETED ASSISTANCE SCHOOLS- To determine if an elementary school or a secondary school that is conducting a targeted assistance program under section 1115 should be identified for school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under this section, a local educational agency may choose to review the progress of only the students in the school who are served, or are eligible for services, under this part. (E) PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE- (i) IN GENERAL- In the case of a school identified for school improvement (which CRES has NOT been ) under this paragraph, the local educational agency shall, not later than the first day of the school year following such identification, provide all students enrolled in the school with the option to transfer to another public school served by the local educational agency, which may include a public charter school, that has not been identified for school improvement under this paragraph, unless such an option is prohibited by State law. (ii) RULE- In providing students the option to transfer to another public school, the local educational agency shall give priority to the lowest achieving children from low-income families, as determined by the local educational agency for purposes of allocating funds to schools under section 1113(c)(1). (F) TRANSFER- Students who use the option to transfer under subparagraph (E) and paragraph (5)(A), (7)(C)(i), or (8)(A)(i) or subsection (c)(10)(C)(vii) shall be enrolled in classes and other activities in the public school to which the students transfer in the same manner as all other children at the public school. Update: (My work is never done!) Now, you are getting further bogus info on TOPIX. The school has to be in the "needs improvement" category for 2 or more years before children can transfer out. Click on this link, where you will find that CRES WAS NOT in that category last year. http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/ayp2008/overview.asp?SchoolID=620-0187-c-6-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0&from=portal Moreover, once you get there, if you will click on all of the tabs and study the data, you will find that only children with disabilities (which includes profoundly intellectually diasabled) and blacks failed as groups to make AYP. Interestingly, the free/reduced lunch group made AYP.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Social Studies teacher you can only wish you had had!

Showing 6th graders a series of photos of Earth taken from space aboard the shuttle.

Interesting developments in public education elsewhere in Georgia.

http://savannahnow.com/node/692874

Sunday Funnies; Volume 56

(For Sarah, my Scottish housekeeper). A man is cupping his hand to scoop water from a Highland burn. A Gamekeeper shouts:'Dinnae drink tha waater! Et's foo ae coo's sheet an pish!' The man replies,'My Good fellow, I'm from England . Could you repeat that in English for me'? The keeper replies:'I said, use two hands - you spill less that way !!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

This strikes me as curious. Anyone else?

Click on images to enlarge.
Norm Covert is one of the 4 sitting members of the Camden County Board of Assessors who has declined the CCBOC's invitation to resign. On 5/31/2007, Norm and his wife bought .47 acres in Kingsland. Situated on the property was an improvement in the form of a 32' X 80' double wide mobile home. The sales price was $145,000. The 2008 FMV (Fair Market Value) was $145,000.
The 2009 market value is now $72,269. I know the market has fallen off, but I wonder what the comps were in Kingsland that caused a drop in FMV from $145,000 in 2007 to $72,269 in 2009. That's just shy of a 50% decrease in FMV in 2 years. Does a double wide built in 2000 depreciate that quickly?

Get ready, America!

Perhaps on Maxine's next pilgrimage to Caracas, Comrade Hugo will teach her the English word "nationalize."

It just gets curiouser and curiouser!

MORENO JULIAN W JR 501 VICTORIAS CIR SAINT MARYS, GA 31558 135T 029A H/L 29 VICTORIA LANDING PH 1 S0 R3 0.21 Acres: $50,000. Improvement Value $125,131 Total Value $175,131. So, there's the official data for my house - finally. To find yours, go to the T&G website. It's very simple: it's in alphabetical order by owner. Now, here's why I say it gets curiouser and curiouser. I just closed on this brand new house on December 1, 2008. I paid $186,500 for it. I spent another $2,400 on a cypress fence and $2,050 on a lawn sprinkler system. I listed both of those improvements on my property tax return. I would have bet money that my total value, this close to the original sale, would have come out to be the purchase price plus improvements, or close to it. I feared it might even be inexplicably higher. Instead, it turns out to be $15,719 less. Did I pay too much or (as I suspect is the case) have some of the original owners in the subdivision sold at a loss? Quien sabe? Whoa, Nellie. Hang on: it just dawned on me that if my .21 acres (I picked the smallest lot in the S/D for ease of lawn maintenance by my housekeeper) is ostensibly worth $50,000, then land in this S/D is worth damned nearly $250,000 an acre!? The hell you say! Oh, yeah and another curious thing: When I bought homeowner's insurance, I was told that the replacement cost (i.e., with no profit for the developer) was $154,000, yet the tax assessor says the market value of the house itself (minus the land) is only $125,131!? So let me get this straight: it is now worth less than the cost to rebuild it? If that is true, perhaps we do need to hire more firefighters.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A very eye opening read indeed.

Go here and read the PDF of the 28 sales used as the comparables in the reassessment of downtown St. Marys properties. The most interesting thing which I picked up on is that in many cases downtwon, particualrly as regards the old 850-900 square feet mill homes, you will often find that the value of the underlying land is at least 50% of the total value of the property and in some cases, the value of the land actually EXCEEDS the value of the house (or "improvement"). This is way out of whack, but I'm sure it represents reality. In newer construction - like mine - the value of the land rarely exceeds 20% of the total value. The "highest and best use" of many of those properties would truly involve bulldozing the house and building a McMansion on the land. You will seee that McMansions are already sprouting up on the marshfront lots. Perhaps, rather than being picked off one by one, those residents in the mill homes should band together and try to sell their homes in huge blocs for which a deep pocketed developer would pay way bigger bucks. They would no doubt get better prices that way. If losing the properties to people with deeper pockets is inevitable - and I believe it is - then they should surely take steps to get he highest possible value so that they may relocate. http://www.camdenwatchdog.com/

And now, the letter....

Click on image to enlarge. Trust me: now that I've seen these guys in action, there is not a ghost of a chance that the chairman wrote this letter, nor even all four of them working jointly. No, this letter was almost certainly written by Mr. Daniels, who is likely the hired tail wagging the appointed dog.

So that's the problem!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I went to the high noon meeting of the Camden County Board of Tax Assessors at the county annex today. What I saw was truly shocking, but explains a lot. The problem in a nut shell is that he board is composed of shockingly not ready for prime time players. I found out that the current chairman is literally a pulp wood logger from Woodbine, and probably a political appointee of former Commissioner Rhodes. Another is a former mill worker. Another is some sort of low-level IT functionary in civil service at the base. The fourth guy, I've not yet been able to find out what he does, but he showed up in jeans, a sport coat and a tee shirt. Now, normally, folks who volunteer for such public service boards are not in it for the money - and will be quick to tell you so. With this group, I'm not so sure $300.00 per month is not the primary motivation. We clearly are in desperate need of some public spirited, retired executives to step forward and replace this bunch. Now that I have seen this bunch, and watched them in action, I am now convinced that even $100,000 in legal fees to oust this bunch would be some of the best money the taxpayers ever spent. By the way, the meeting started at 12:08. The crowd grew restless wondering what the holdup was as all four were there way before noon. Turns out they were waiting for a clerk from the Assessor's office in Woodbine to drive down with a letter they had already composed and had typed via what was no doubt an unknown (as yet) illegal meeting prior to noon today. They started at 12:08 and went into executive session ( most likely illegally: The Open Meetings Law provides exceptions for certain closed meetings and some confidential actions, see: O.C.G.A § 50-14-3 in the Appendix. The most commonly used exceptions are for personnel matters (but only for discussion and deliberation, not votes); attorney -client discussion of actual suits or claims; and acquisition of real estate.) at 12: 10. About 15 minutes later , the crowd was allowed back in. They had magically produced a letter to the CCBOC during the executive session, even given the obvious total absence of a word processor in the Annex meeting room! A few citizens tried to ask questions but were rebuffed. Doug Vaught made it obvious he will be running for District 4 on the CCBOC next year with some major league grandstanding. Jim Stein gently tried to caution the poor, poor, hopelessly out-of-his-depth chairman that they were screwing up, but to no avail. They quickly voted to adjourn then left. Vaught was quick to announce that he personally had reserved the meeting room on the lake behind the Heritage Bank off of Spur 40 for another one of those "tea party" meetings on March 30th at 7:00 PM. Rogelio Rillo was of course there as was Greg "Erroll Flynn" Bird, replete with designer jeans and silver concho belt. My old friend Sandy was seated to my left. I'm expecting a copy of their letter to the CCBOC from a source shortly. I'll post it soon as I get it.

Camden JDA Board meeting.

I attended the 9:30 meeting of the Camden County JDA Board of Directors this morning at the county annex. There were a few more people there than usual (or so the board noted) but hardly a crowd. This was the first time I had attended one of their meetings. Here is my impression. All of the members seem to be fine gentlemen well met. They are all seemingly well educated and successful in their fields. I'm sure they would all feel right at home in any country club and on any golf course in America. Clearly, none are in it for the money. I believe they are all in it out of a sense of noblesse oblige. I believe they are all well intentioned and actually believe that they have done a really good job for the people of Camden County during their tenure. I, of course disagree. One expressed the opinion that the reason the public less than satisfied with their performance is a failure on the part of past executive directors to adequately impress upon the public just what a good job they are doing. Doing just that will be written into the job description for the new man. I truly believe that they all truly believe all of these things. I Think what we have here is an experiential inability on the part of these successful gentlemen to relate to the dire straits of the working poor in this county. Ergo, they have absolutely no sense of urgency to bring about the as yet unrealised flowering of a vibrant economy which Camden has been poised for for a least two decades now. I know this group has the innate ability, but they have not yet awakened to the severity and the urgency of the need. I addressed them at some length this morning on all that Camden had to offer to prospective businesses and tried to impress upon them that this search for a new JDA Executive Director is a golden opportunity for a fresh start with an aggressive search for new businesses and jobs in the community. I also asked that they not succumb to the temptation to give extra favor to local applicants, when in fact it was patently obvious from the spread sheet of the qualifications of the 47 candidates that the group from out-of-town was self-evidently more qualified than the locals by virtue not only of educational credentials but by the germaneness of their current jobs to the position offered. Hopefully, they will come around and we will see the dawn of a new day at the JDA. If not, then they should all go - well intentioned or not. By the way, the chairman says they have already narrowed down the candidates and may well announce a choice by their next monthly meeting. In other news, the chairman announced that "the Allen Company" (?) plans on building a 900,000 square foot distribution center behind Collision Auto Center off of Hwy 40 , across from the auto dealers. Apparently, the proximity of rail service to the Port of Jacksonville is what ostensibly "landed" that deal. No word as to how many jobs or pay scales as yet. They are also spending 90,000 to clear off another building lot up off of Harriet's Bluff Road at the county industrial park. No prospects - purely on spec. By the way, the moving and storage company that bought the old spec building is closing down their operation there and moving back to Jax. They continue to own the building, but he JDA sees their leaving as a good thing because they can now say there is a building readily available in the industrial park.

Elba Island LNG tank farm doubling capacity.

http://savannahnow.com/node/692208

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hitler Jugen redux?

Have you pledged your allegiance to Dear Leader O yet? http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/03/the_knock_on_the_door.html Tell me what you think.

Interesting developments on the St. Marys tax front....

http://www.camdenwatchdog.com/

Update on JDA Director applicants.

Click on images to enlarge.
Thursday of last week, I reported that there were a total of 37 applicants for the JDA Director position. The last date for submission was last Tuesday. Well, I was informed this morning that over the next couple of days, more applications arrived which had been POSTMARKED by 3/10 and were therefor added to the spread sheet of applicants. It turns out there are now 47 applicants. Interestingly, the number of LOCAL applicants rose from 8 to 13. Apparently, local mail service is worse than I realized! I'm going to give you the new spreadsheet, minus the columns that list names and current positions. What you will see are. from left to right, city and state of residence; professional certification, if any; bachelor's degree (if any); and master's degree (if any). I wish that I could ethically share with you my knowledge of what these various candidates are currently doing for a living. It would be perfectly obvious to you, as it is to me, that not one of the local candidates can hold a candle to the vast majority of the out-of-town applicants by virtue of education and, especially, by virtue of their current occupations. Many of the out-of-towners are currently employed recruiting businesses. I can only conclude that based upon the past occupants of the seat - hired by this current board - the locals thought "Hey, what the hell , if it's going to be another GB appointment, I might just as well throw my resume at them - even if it is clearly a "hail Mary pass." The JDA Board will be having their first meeting (that we know of) since receiving the resumes and this spread sheet (prepared by County Administrator, Steve Howard) tomorrow - Friday, 20 March - at 9:30 AM at the County Annex next tot he Camden County Public Library on Gross Road. I'll be there to encourage them to finally do the right thing and hire an aggressive winner. Hope to see some of y'all there as well.

A reminder for new readers....

When you have read to the bottom of this page, simply click on "older posts" (bottom right corner) to bring up the previous page, then do it again for the one before that, and so on and so on for as far back as you care to read.

The facts on federal impact aid for local school systems.

http://www.nmfa.org/site/DocServer/Impact_Aid1-06.pdf?docID=6121

The illegal meeting that wasn't.

Well, the celebrated 11:00 AM "showdown at Shoney's never took place. Here's what happened. I just got this from someone who was there. It turns out that either yesterday late or early this morning, County Administrator Steve Howard convinced the 4 tax assessors that holding a meeting in violation of the Sunshine Law was really not a good idea - and an even worse idea to hold it at Shoney's. Now, as to whether or not Steve Howard had communicated this to the county commissioners well before eleven o'clock this morning I'll leave for you to decide. Even though the tax assessors were not coming and did not come, soon-to-be-up-for re-election Councilwoman Sears did show up, as did Sandy Feller. I was at school at the time. Sheriff Gregory, having been concerned about the possibility of a "disturbance" in Shoney's was also there, even though he knew that the assessors would not be there. I guess he decided that an abundance of caution was in order. I'm told there were about 9 or 10 citizens there. Among them were Tom Cyphers, Roger Rillo, of course, and Ed Clary. Now, the upshot of it is that the Board of Tax Assessors will now have their meeting tomorrow at the county annex, next to the Camden County Library, at - get this, "high noon." I'm sure that will be in the same room where the Camden County JDA Board is holding their meeting at 9:30. I'll be there for both. I would encourage as many as can to attend both. By the way, the field of candidates for the JDA Director job has grown from 32 when I last reported to 47. I'll do another post on that shortly. Update, 3/20. http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-20/story/assessors_talk_resignations_today

As I was saying....

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-18/story/camden_tells_tax_board_members_to_quit_or_else http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-18/story/brantley_camden_voters_ok_sales_tax_for_education

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tax assessors refuse to resign!

This just in: The tax assessors are going to have a meeting at Shoneys at 11 am tomorrow. Three have already said they will not resign: Rudolph, Lucree and Noble. That leaves Norm Covert to be heard from. Anyone up for lunch at Shoney's tomorrow? Update: The following e-mail from Commissioner Sears was received at 6:45 PM. Attention Everyone: The Camden County Board of Assessors has posted notice of an Emergency Meeting. This board is held to the same Sunshine Law Standards that all public and elected boards must follow and should follow them to the letter of the law. Emergency Meeting Notice Posted on the Door of the Tax Asssessors Office this afternoon. 24 hours notice is required 24 hours in advance notice required for all meetings - Confirmed this with press no notice was given about the meeting Meeting facility should be accessible and accommodate all persons wanting to attend. We have meeting facilities all over the county. Why would they meet in a restaurant when they know so many people are watching and wanting to be involved in their meetings now? Meeting must meet the criteria of being a true emergency. What is the emergency? The notice should clearly state the emergency and it did not do so. Meeting Details: Camden County Board of Assessors Emergency Meeting Shoney's 11am We should pack the house and demand that this meeting be cancelled and that the meeting should follow the Sunshine Law. We should also file an Sunshine Law Violation on the Board. The board should not spend one dime of taxpayer money during this meeting to feed themselves. Every meeting of this public board should be open to the public and proper minutes should be taken every time they meet. Charlene Sears 912.552.3715 Mobile charlenesears@comcast.net Some very good points. Latest update at 2107 HRS: I just had a call from Jim Stein. Seems he was at some sort of local Republican Party executive committee meeting tonight. Board of Assessors member Norm Covert was there. Covert, all nigh on 400 pounds of him, attempted to get up in Jim Stein's face. Told Jim that he was not going to resign and they were meeting tomorrow to decide what their course of action would be (implying legal action, I suppose.) Now you know those morons would be better advisded to sandpaper a wildcat's ass inside of a locked phone booth than to mess with Jim Stein. Jim told him that when they had the illegal meeting, that would just be one more misdemeanor that could be cited during a legal action to remove the whole lot of them for cause. I believe Jim told me that his parting words to Covert were something on the order of "You're obviously a damned fool" Amen.

St. Patricks Day in Savannah

http://savannahnow.com/

90,000-square-foot addition to the Southeast Georgia Health System's Camden Campus open for tours Saturday morning.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-18/story/camden_countys_hospital_doubles_in_size

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Allelujah!

Rational voters prevail! ESPLOST passes! Shirley Wise just called me from Judge Gillette's office. With 15 of 16 precincts reporting, the Yes votes are 1,534; the irrational No votes are 1,222. there are five absentee ballots to be counted. The problem is that there is one machine acting up at that 16th precinct so they can't give a final count until tomorrow, but there were not enough total votes cast at that one to make it mathematically possible for ESPLOST not to have passed. I'm really glad to know that my school ad valorem taxes will not have to build these new schools and make all of those repairs. By the way, the JDA Board is having their next meeting at the county annex in Kingsland at 9:30 AM this coming Friday, 3/20. I asked the commissioners tonight to try to attend, as I will. This will be where they start discussing the list of applicants. Thankfully, we calm, rational voters today, by a narrow margin, gave them the advantage of a continued good educational infrastructure that the new director can use as a drawing card for new businesses. I would encourage all who can attend to be there to let them know that damn it, we expect them to make good use of it. We do not expect them to hire a local GOB with no credentials. We expect a qualified "go getter" and nothing less will do.

Commissioner Berry finally wins one - a BIG one!

Click on image to enlarge.
Flash: This just in! CCBOC voted unanimously tonight on a resolution of "no confidence" requesting that 4 of the 5 members of the Camden County Board of Tax Assessors resign NLT 4:00 PM, March 20th, 2009! This was Berry's idea from the git go. His only initial support, by way of an immediate second for purposes of discussion was Commissioner Sears (up for re-election next year in hard hit District 4.) After Berry had his say, Commissioner Keene came up with a number of reasons why it should not be done. For instance, without a valid, trained up Board of Assessors, the state would not approve the digest. St. David, the unflagging patron saint of GOBs, was, of course against it, favoring a highly suggestive letter as to what they (the Board of Assessors) should do about the current reassessment debacle. Rainer also pointed out, correctly, that they could not be forced to resign. Berry then included in his motion that they cut their salaries out of the budget if they refused. Zell was of course on the fence. The opposition thought they had a winner with the cons, but Berry got a recess (yes, a recess with a seconded motion pending on the floor -a first for me) during which he had someone research the dates available for the state mandated 40 hour training course to certify four replacements in a timely matter. Turns our there were three classes available very shortly and way before any of the opponents dire consequences would have been triggered. Keen and Zell came over. St. David reluctantly agreed. Then, they took a second, 15 minute recess (yes, the seconded motion was still pending) while Brent Greene got to a word processor and cranked out a resolution, a copy of which I'll scan and add here in just a minute. The passage was applauded by the audience. P.S., The fifth and newest member, whose name escapes me at the moment, was just appointed by Commissioner Berry about two regular meetings ago, so he was held blameless. Somebody? What's his name? My friend - and a good friend of all Camden taxpayers, Jim Stein, was in rare form tonight. During the questions from the public section of the work session, he went into attorney cross examination mode on poor, hapless, feckless Mr. Daniels, the chief tax assessor. St. David had to come to his rescue. He then went on to address the commissioners twice during their regular meeting. Referring to Mr. Daniels and company, with perfect timing and deadpan delivery, Jim said that "getting information from that bunch is like trying to pull teeth from a running, greased rhino." The crowd ate it up.
In the second public address portion, he went on to tel everyone what a "suck egg dog" was and that he had had a pet Beagle when he was a boy in Mcintosh county that turned into a suck egg dog. (It would literally sneak into the hen house, bite the eggs, then suck out the contents.) He said he learned at that early age that you had two choices: you could either teach the dog to lay eggs or get rid of him. The analogy to the tax assessors was not lost on the appreciative audience.

There are now less than 5 hours remaining...

to get to the polls and do the rational thing - vote YES on ESPLOST. Have you voted yet?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Erin go bragh!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, 'Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!' Miraculously, a parking place appeared.Paddy looked up again and said, 'Never mind, I found one.' Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal, and says to the first man he meets, 'Do you want to go to heaven?' The man said, 'I do, Father.' The priest said, 'Then stand over there against the wall.'Then the priest asked the second man, 'Do you want to go to heaven?' 'Certainly, Father,' was the man's reply. 'Then stand over there against the wall,' said the priest.Then Father Murphy walked up to O'Toole and said, 'Do you want to go to heaven?'O'Toole said, 'No, I don't Father.' The priest said, 'I don't believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to heaven?' O'Toole said, 'Oh, when I die, yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now.' Gallagher opened the morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the obituary column that he had died. He quickly phoned his best friend, Finney. 'Did you see the paper?' asked Gallagher. 'They say I died!!''Yes, I saw it!' replied Finney. 'Where are ye callin' from?' An Irish priest is driving down to New York and gets stopped for speeding in Connecticut . The state trooper smells alcohol on the priest's breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car. He says, 'Sir, have you been drinking?' 'Just water,' says the priest.The trooper says, 'Then why do I smell wine?'The priest looks at the bottle and says, 'Good Lord! He's done it again!' Walking into the bar, Mike said to Charlie the bartender, 'Pour me a stiff one - just had another fight with the little woman.' 'Oh yeah?' said Charlie, 'And how did this one end?' 'When it was over,' Mike replied, 'She came to me on her hands and knees. 'Really,' said Charles, 'Now that's a switch! What did she say?' ‘She said, 'Come out from under the bed, you little chicken.' Flynn staggered home very late after another evening with his drinking buddy, Paddy. He took off his shoes to avoid waking his wife, Mary. He tiptoed as quietly as he could toward the stairs leading to their upstairs bedroom, but misjudged the bottom step. As he caught himself by grabbing the banister, his body swung around and he landed heavily on his rump. A whiskey bottle in each back pocket broke and made the landing especially painful. Managing not to yell, Flynn sprung up, pulled down his pants, and looked in the hall mirror to see that his butt cheeks were cut and bleeding. He managed to quietly find a full box of Band-Aids and began putting a Band-Aid as best he could on each place he saw blood. He then hid the now almost empty Band-Aid box and shuffled and stumbled his way to bed. In the morning, Flynn woke up with searing pain in both his head and butt and Mary staring at him from across the room. She said, 'You were drunk again last night weren't you?' Flynn said, 'Why do you say such a mean thing?' 'Well,' Mary said, 'it could be the open front door, it could be the broken glass at the bottom of the stairs, it could be the drops of blood trailing through the house, it could be your bloodshot eyes, but mostly.....it's all those Band-Aids stuck on the hall mirror.’

Remember to vote YES tomorrow on ESPLOST!

It's the only issue on the ballot. You should be in and out in 5 minutes or less.

Jim Stein has not received a satisfactory response from the tax assessor - so far :-)! Stand by!

Click on images to enlarge.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cool! I finally saw a night launch of the shuttle!

Man, that was gorgeous when the exhaust plume got high enough that the setting Sun's rays hit it. A rare sunset in the east effect. Man, that thing has got some serious acceleration! Anyone else see it?

Pentagon rethinking two war doctrine.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/washington/15military.html?_r=1

More ESPLOST facts.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-15/story/camden_schools_hope_for_passage_of_1-cent_sales_tax

Sunday Funnies; Volume 55

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Reassessments to headline county agenda Tuesday night.

Work session begins at 4:00; regular meeting a 6:00. Link to agenda: http://www.co.camden.ga.us/archive.asp?AMID=&Type=&ADID=544

Debunking another bald faced lie from, where else, TOPIX Kingsland.

The lie du jour: Mom Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #22 1 hr ago Judged: 1 Jay Moreno has become the Camden School System's biggest cheerleader. He has repeatedly posted information straight from the school system on his web site. Moreno has become the face of the Camden County School System. Even more reason to vote the E-SPLOST down. P.S. My teacher friend says word is circulating throughout the school system for teachers to get out and vote or their jobs may be in jeopardy. I knew these type of tactics would be employed once the school system realized their plans were in doubt. I also see the local paper has chimed in with not only an endorsement but multiple stories touting the school systems awards and accomplishments. They even selected a school system employee as their guest columnist for the edition. The big final push is one folks and we all lose if you don't vote. The truth: In the course of my student teaching ( for which I am not compensated - it is a college course for which I pay tuition), I attended the after school meeting on ESPLOST at CMS. The representative from the school administration went to great pains to make it abundantly clear that no one's job would be affected in any way whatsoever. The law does not allow salaries to be paid with ESPLOST funds. They are strictly fo capital needs. Those funds for salaries come from ad valorem taxes, state funding, federal funding, and military impact funds - not ESPLOST. This is just another deliberate lie from the ESPLOST opponents. If you will compare my coverage of the rezoning to that in the T&G, you will see that I got just exactly the same press release from the school system as did the T&G and the GTU. How? I sent them an e-mail and asked for it. I also solicit such information from the county. Does that make me a spokesperson for the county commission? I hardly think so.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Seen around town ....

There was another bad accident at the intersection in front of the hospital this morning. Here's what I saw when I passed by on Kings Bay Road at 10:30 AM. The injured were either already hauled off or inside of the one ambulance that was still on scene. As usual, all police cars from St. Marys and Kingsland were there, plus a fire engine. The two wrecked vehicles were still where they had come to rest. Both were up on the grass in front of that defunct doctors office on the southwest corner of the intersection. A white Jeep Grand Cherokee was on the grass, parallel to the road, pointed south (towards Walgreens) and about 10 feet off the edge of the road. Not quite sure where most of the body damage was. The other car, I believe a late model Taurus, was on the grass headed west. It had heavy front end damage from the collision with the jeep, after which it went of the road and nose dived straight into the dirt as the landscape rose. It was pretty well totalled. What in the hell is it going to take to get protected turn signals put up at that intersection? They should have been there from day one.

Parents protest school rezoning.

http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/03/13/news/top_stories/1topstory3.13.txt I pass by MLCE every weekday morning about 7:20 Am. The ladies with their placards and brochures were back out there again this morning.

Personally, I've never seen a Hispanic wandering lost, bewildered, and starving inside of an English language Super Walmart. Have y'all?

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bd371350-0f2c-11de-ba10-0000779fd2ac.html

T&G supports ESPLOST.

http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/03/13/opinion/02opinion3.13.txt

FYI: Straight from the current edition of the "Handbook for Georgia County Commissioners."

Click on images to enlarge.

Some facts on school rezoning.

Affected Neighborhoods From CRES to SMES – Old Jefferson/Pines Apts/Harbor Pines/East side of Martha Drive to credit union (TOTAL = 114 students) From MLC to CRES – Sugarmill Plantation (north side of Colerain Rd) includes McIntosh/New Savannah/Millers Trace/Mill Creek/Ashton Pines (TOTAL = 177 students) From SES to MLC – Colerain Oaks (TOTAL = 52 students) Goals To balance student populations among elementary schools in the St Marys area To balance the proportion of free & reduced students among schools To create capacity for future growth in St Marys schools To avoid moving students in the middle of the school year when the new St Marys Elementary School is opened Conclusion The attendance zones for our school district are defined in Camden County Schools Policy AD Proposed changes were presented to the BOE March 5, 2009 As always, a change in policy is published and made available for public review and comment for 30 days prior to a vote by the Board 3/13: See map in today's T&G: http://www.tribune-georgian.com/

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jim Stein - and, by extension, all Camden taxpayers - get an "up yours" type of non responsive "response" from tax assessors.

Click on image to enlarge. Here's a sample of the garbage they sent to Jim Stein in "compliance" with his FOI Request. Just a lot of undecipherable numbers with no explanation.Fax Transmission STEIN & GUY, P. C. P.O. BOX 5130 ST. MARYS, GEORGIA 31558 (912) 729-3635 Fax: (912) 729-2248 To: Camden County Tax Assessors Date: Fax #: 576-3014 Pages: 2, including this cover sheet. From: JAMES E. STEIN Subject: Requested Records COMMENTS: I have spent my afternoon going through the junk you sent me that comes no where near giving us information that was posted in error, premature or what ever excuse you gave for removing the figures. I want the requested information. You know exactly what I want. The figures that relate to the parcels that were posted. A simple solution would be to post those figures again. I can explain to the Court how I am getting nothing. I have done it before and I am confident I can do it now. Send me the information and you can avoid legal fees and expenses. That is reasonable for you to do and would be more in line with serving the public. You created those figures and I am entitled to the same. ****

Latest District 2 poll closed earlier today.

Top right corner. If the usual TOPIX cyber vandals have not queered the results, Zell might be in for a tough re-election bid.

Right whale tranquilized and cut cut free of ropes.

http://savannahnow.com/node/687250

Well isn't that special!

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-12/story/st_marys_board_to_grow_under_bill It was no doubt sorely needed, what with the ever increasing hordes of tourists detouring 18 miles off their route to Florida to tour downtown St. Marys.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

T&G letters on ESPLOST: Pro and Con.

http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/03/11/opinion/letters/12letter3.6.txt http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/03/11/opinion/letters/07letter3.11.txt

Thirty-seven apply for JDA director position.

Click on image to enlarge. Yesterday was the last day to apply. I have in front of me a spread sheet which list the names, cities of residence, professional certifications, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and current/latest positions. So as not to reveal the identities of the applicants at this stage of the process, I've cut off all but the columns you see. Note that a "CEcD" is a professional designation meaning "Certified Economic Developer." Here is a link to the certifying organization's website. http://www.iedconline.org/?p=Certification. Obviously, the compiler of this spreadsheet is fully cognizant of the political realities facing the CCBOC, as witnessed by the fact that the 8 local applicants are listed first. Note that NONE of the locals have the professional designation CEcD. Moreover, only 3 of the eight have a bachelor's degree. Two of those also have master's degrees. Trust me on this - in the "Current Position" column, only one has a position directly related to recruitment of businesses and one just tangentially. The remaining seven are not even remotely related. Now, lets look at the "damned outsiders" who have applied for the job. Of the 29, all but 2 have bachelor's degrees. Moreover, 17 have master's degrees. A cursory review will quickly show you that the vast majority of said degrees are in fields that are clearly germane to the field of economic development. The three candidates with degrees which arguably are not have ALL earned the CEcD designation AND are currently in economic development positions. Here's the employment picture for the D.O. applicants.
County economic development directors: 3. Municipal director of economic development: 4.
Economic development consultants: 4. County managers: 1. City managers: 1. Directors or associates of economic development companies: 13. Port authority strategic planner: 1.
If this job search were likened to a naval battle, the locals have arrived in rowboats armed with air rifles: the "damned outsiders" are more like heavy cruisers and battle wagons. Please communicate to both our county commissioners and the JDA board that we, the long suffering citizens of the county, have had enough of good ol' boyism. Let them know that you would take a very dim view of any but the most highly qualified applicants being in the final selection process and that the local applicants are clearly not nearly so qualified as the others.
Moreover, I would encourage the county commission to tell the JDA board (who, unfortunately, have the final say so in who they hire) that IF they hire an unqualified local, their funding will be cut off immediately.
To e-mail county commissioners, click here:
To find out who the JDA directors are, click here:
Unfortunately, their e-mail addresses are not listed. Sending an e-mail to their web site would be a complete waste of time. It probably has not been checked for messages in years. If anyone has good e-mail addresses for any of the board members, please send them to me.
This would be a good time to acquaint any of your unaware friends of the existence of this blog.
Remember, you don't need to memorize the URL. Just tell them to Google "Camden Commentary." It's there.

Thanks for the warning! I'll order pontoons for my wheelchair ASAP!

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,508509,00.html

Oh, yeah, a resolution and scads of solidarity: that'll work!

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-11/story/st_marys_council_asks_county_to_reject_proposed_tax_digest

Another 320 jobs we did not even try for, much less get.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-11/story/company_to_open_in_douglas_offer_jobs

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Two flaming examples of the egregious illogic which reigns supreme on TOPIX Kingsland.

http://www.topix.com/forum/city/kingsland-ga/TNM3D9OJDDUD7ERUS http://www.topix.com/forum/city/kingsland-ga/TC4ECU9IK7LGH8BQS

Attorney Jim Stein files FOIR for disappeared "working assessments."

Click on image to enlarge. E-mailed to me this afternoon by Jim Stein.

Let me get this straight: You can no longer go on line anonymously to get the numbers, but if you will call the assessors office and identify

yourself, they will give them to you over the phone? Verry interesting! ----- Original Message ----- From: Tom Cyphers To: Tom Cyphers Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 11:25 AM Subject: Property tax information You have read about new property tax evaluation numbers that appeared on the http://www.camdencountymaps.com/ county website. The Tax Assessor’s Office (576-3241) has characterized these figures as “working numbers” These re-evaluation figures disappeared form the website. So, many, many folks simply didn’t have the advantage of seeing the “working numbers”. The Board of Tax Assessors has agreed to release these numbers if you will call their office. They ask that you have your parcel number ready and you can obtain the parcel number at http://www.camdencountymaps.com/. The valuation number shown for your property may not be the same as the sneak preview “working number” that the Tax Assessor’s Office will provide you. They can explain the concept of “working numbers”. For additional information, please visit http://www.camdenwatchdog.org/. Note from Jay: Y'all definitely want to click on the above link and watch the video of Steve Berry's comments at the last CCBOC meeting. I was there. He was spot on. Anyone know who the proprietor(s) of this blog is/are? Looks promising.

A solution?

Mr. Feller has purportedly come up with a solution to the property tax situation. See his idea on his blog. http://www.camdenganews.com/blog/. Here is the referenced section of the code in its entirety. § 48-5-304. Approval of tax digests when assessments in arbitration or on appeal; procedure; withholding of grants by Office of Treasury and Fiscal Services (a) The commissioner shall not be required to disapprove or withhold approval of the digest of any county solely because appeals have been filed or arbitrations demanded on the assessment of any property or number of properties in the county. In such cases, the assessment or assessments fixed by the board of tax assessors shall be listed together with the return value on the assessments and forwarded in a separate listing to the commissioner at the time the digest is filed for examination and approval. The commissioner shall not approve any digest when the assessed value that is in dispute for any property or properties on appeal or in arbitration exceeds 3 percent of the total assessed value of the total taxable tangible digest of the county for the same year. In any year when a complete revaluation or reappraisal program is implemented, the commissioner shall not approve a digest when 5 percent or more of the property by assessed value in dispute is in arbitration or on appeal and 5 percent or more of the number of properties is in arbitration or on appeal. When the assessed value in dispute on any one appeal or arbitration exceeds 1.5 percent of the total assessed value of the total taxable digest of the county for the same year, such appeal or arbitration may be excluded by the commissioner in making his or her determination of whether the digest may be approved under the limitations of the Code section.(b) The Office of Treasury and Fiscal Services shall withhold any and all grants appropriated to any county until the county tax digest for the previous calendar year has been submitted to the commissioner as required by law. While I can see where this idea might be as wildly popular at first glance as Sandy hopes, I would hasten to point out that it could be TOO popular. Suppose the goal of 3% contested assessments is exceeded by a factor of 10. It would take quite a while to deal with protests from 30% or more of the county freeholders. "Good," you say? Bear in mind that until the state approves the digest, the county literally can not, by law, send out the tax bills. You could well have a situation where the counties revenue stream dries up and there is ZERO cash flow for daily operations. As we know, the incumbents (i.e., the Terrible Troika) have used the "rainy day" funds over the last decade or so to hold down the millage, thus insuring their incumbent advantage at the polls. It would not be there when needed. I would suggest that it would be rather a Pyrrhic victory if we had maybe one ambulance and one county patrol car covering the whole county, not to mention massive lay offs of all other county personnel. The only alternative to draconian cuts would be massive borrowing. I think this plan bears a good bit more thinking through. Here is Sandy's intent, clarified in his own words: sandy feller Saint Marys, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #2 40 min ago english translation if all of you and i mean all of you appeal then the state will not approve the tax digest.no tax digest no millage rate no millage rate no tax bill. check www.camdenganews.com/ for all the details (And no money to run county government!) Now, on the other hand, Commissioner Berry's idea of paying a $40,000 to $50,000 fine to the state for the "privilege" of basing everyone's taxes on a lower, prior year's tax digest, is a good one and quite a bargain. It would give us breathing room and time to come up with a definitive cure for what ails the tax assessor's office.

President Obama's address on education reform.

http://interactive.foxnews.com/livestream/live.html?chanId=1 It occurs to me that parents with children in middle and/or high school might want to sit down with them and watch this together. I particularly like the stance on student responsibilities. Ooops! Sorry, that was a link to live streaming which has now moved on to something else. As soon as the video becomes available on any media, I'll bring you a proper link. Okay, here it is from C-Span: http://www.cspan.org/Watch/watch.aspx?MediaId=HP-A-16224 Later coverage:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/10/obama-higher-education-standards-key-competitiveness/

Tax revenues way down all over Georgia.

http://www.news4jax.com/news/18877473/detail.html

Brantley considering establishing a county police force.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-10/story/overspending_on_overtime

So... how did the property tax business go yesterday??

Anyone want to give a first hand report? By the way, these new antibiotics are clearly working. I should be back to 100% in a few days.

Speaking of school funding and vouchers.....

http://portal.tds.net/news/read.php?ps=1018&rip_id=%3CD96R3UM00%40news.ap.org%3E&_LT=HOME_LARSDCCLM_UNEWS

Monday, March 9, 2009

No Joe, it ain't so....

Joe Kingsland, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #160 46 min ago Remember the parent that spoke about her child that had a problem dealing with groups? What was this child subjected to to make her this way? Maybe she needs a private school. Public schools are not for special needs No, Joe, actually, they are, by federal law. One thing I love about the typical TOPIX poster is that they never let not knowing what in the hell they're talking about slow them down.

This just in...

Well, actually it came in a litle earlier while I was asleep. ----- Original Message ----- From: Bert Guy To: Bert Guy Sent: Sunday, March 08, 2009 10:34 PM Subject: Tax Assessment Meeting Tomorrow, Monday March 9, 2009 there will be a work session at St. Marys City Hall at 4:30 P.M. and the regular council meeting at 6:00 P.M. the issue of tax assessments will be discussed at both meetings and they are both open to the public. Please attend if your schedule permits. There will also be a Board of Assessors meeting tomorrow night at 6:00 P.M. in the Assessor’s office in the back of the historic courthouse in Woodbine. If you attend the meeting at the Board of Assessors Office you will need to enter from the back door of the assessors’ office because the main entrance of the building will be closed at that time. After the end of the City Council meeting we will have a meeting at J’s Restaurant and Pub. We have a consultant from Atlanta who has traveled to be here to help us with our efforts to combat the outrageous assessments. Please join is at J’s too. Thanks, Bert Guy

Remember: Property tax work session at 4:30 today; regular council meeting a 6:00 PM; both at St. Marys City Hall.

Could someone give us an eyewitness account afterwards? This morning, after fighting a persistent cold for 28 days, I was diagnosed by x-ray with literal "walking pneumonia." I won't be out and about for the next few days.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Very interesting data on Rick Roger's blog this morning.

http://www.schoolpolice.blogspot.com/ Thanks, Rick. Good job. Note: When you pull up the data on Georgia high school rankings, there is data on the far right side of the spreadsheet as to expenditures per student. To view it, you will need to go to the arrow at the bottom right corner and move over to the right. I would encourage all readers to look at some of the other high schools. Clearly, we are not far from needing to split into two high schools, although those to whom football is far more important than academic achievement will of course thwart that for years to come. Note the ratio of money spent in the school itself versus at the administrative building. I realize that the intent is to say that becuase we are only at #115, we should therefor vote no for ESPLOST. Think about that and tell me what you think. I've been exploring these peoples' web site. Very interesting. Here is a view of the Camden systemm as a whole. http://reportcard.gppf.org/Default.aspx . When you get there, choose the "all grades" button, then select Camden County.

Shouldn't this be funded with equal parts user fees, Greenie donations, and SPLOST dollars?

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-08/story/group_pushes_for_rail-to-trail_project_along_georgias_coast

Sunday Funnies; Volume 54

Don't talk to my parrot . Wanda's dishwasher quit working so she called in a repairman. Since she had to go to work the next day, she told the repairman, 'I'll leave the key under the mat. Fix the dishwasher, leave the bill on the counter, and I'll mail you a check. Oh, by the way don't worry about my dog Spike. He won't bother you.' 'But, whatever you do, do NOT, under ANY circumstances, talk to my parrot! 'I MUST STRESS TO YOU: DO NOT TALK TO MY PARROT!!!' When the repairman arrived at Wanda's apartment the following day, he discovered the biggest, meanest looking dog he has ever seen. But, just as she had said, the dog just lay there on the carpet watching the repairman go about his work. The parrot, however, drove him nuts the whole time with his incessant yelling, cursing and name calling.Finally the repairman couldn't contain himself any longer and yelled, 'Shut up, you stupid, ugly bird!' To which the parrot replied, 'Get him Spike!' See - Men just don't listen!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Camden jail escapee arrested while trying to sneak back into jail.

http://www.news4jax.com/news/18878160/detail.html Well, at least Tommy did not drive him to the store in his offical vehicle and buy him a six pack. That's progress. http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-08/story/inmate_captured_sneaking_into_jail

Advance ESPLOST voting starts Monday, March 9th.

You can vote Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM in the two usual places in Woodbine and Kingsland.

Important St. Marys City Council work session and regular meeting Monday, March 9th.

Work session at 4:30 PM in council chambers. Agenda:http://www.ci.st-marys.ga.us/agendas/2009/3%209%2009%20Council%20Work%20Session%20Agenda.pdf Regular meeting at 6:00 PM. Agenda:http://www.ci.st-marys.ga.us/agendas/2009/3%209%2009%20Revised%20City%20Council%20Agenda.pdf Property tax relief is on both agendas.

Georgia legislature to vote on school vouchers next week.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-07/story/legislature_to_vote_on_school_vouchers I support vouchers, by the way.

Big plans ahead for College of Coastal Georgia.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-03-07/story/brunswick_school_looks_ahead Needless to say, this will have a positive impact on the local campus in Kingsland. Hopefully, one will be able to complete most programs here without the need of taking very many courses on the Brunswick campus.This will make the job of a good, aggressive JDA director a bit easier. The downside is that the college is giving up all of its vocational programs. At some point in the future, we should probably explore having a technical / vocational school in Camden County, perhaps based upon the FCCJ model.

Friday, March 6, 2009

What do school nurses do?

FROM TOPIX: anonymous Saint Marys, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #2 Friday Feb 20 What about the fact that we are spending $672,095.00 + benefits for 16 school nurses. No wonder Perdue is talking about no longer funding this. He said the same job could be carried out by a paraprofessional for 1/3 of the cost. ye heard Saint Marys, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #68 42 min ago Birdy wrote: what do the nurses do? hold a rag on the cut until the ambulance gets there,,,,,,,,,ye heard The, uh, folks, over on TOPIX are now trashing the need for school nurses. Well, I'm sure that school nurses do much I'm not aware of, but here are some things I know they do. For one thing, if a kid needs to take medications on a regular basis, or even, say, antibiotics for an episodic illness, they are not allowed to carry them on their persons and take them on their own. Their meds have to be checked at the nurses office, then administered by the nurse. This includes injectables in some cases. I'm talking anything from aspirin to neuroleptics. There is a zero tolerance for the kids self-administering. When kids take sick in school, the nurses do the triaging and decide whether the parents need to be called to come get the children. Trust me: they are very busy this time of the year. When kids are injured horsing around, the nurses deal with that (followed by the disciplinarians). Nurses give visual acuity exams. Nurses assist young ladies with unexpected feminine emergencies. In the event of an older staff member having a heart attack, the nurses would be on scene before the EMTs could get there. Ditto in the rare event of a kid going down with a seizure or whatever. In short, as an ex-Chief Hospital Corpsman, I think that the idea of replacing the nurses with lesser trained and possibly unlicensed individuals, as proposed by the governor, is a very bad idea. Oh, and I'm sure they are involved in records of immunizations, as well.