JASPER, Ga. – January’s meeting of the Pickens County Board of Commissioners brought with it the final budget report of FY 2018.
Entering the new year showcases departments both over and under. Most notably, the budget sat at 97.92% ($25,648,382) of total revenue collected.
On the other side, total expenditures came in at 92.72% ($24,287,881).
Individual Departments and Offices over-budget at the end of December include:
- Sheriff was budgeted at $6,663,915. The 2019 Actual was $6,759,370, achieving 101.43% of the budget.
- Probation & Drug Abuse Funds was budgeted at $27,500. The 2019 ACtual was $58,984, achieving 214.49% of the budget.
- General Gov Buildings was budgeted at $420,728. The 2019 Actual was $522,158, achieving 124.11% of the budget.
- Superior Court & Grant Admin was budgeted at $365,124. The 2019 Actual was $395,334, achieving 140.14% of the budget.
- Economic Development was budgeted at $56,273. The 2019 Actual was $56,768, achieving 100.88% of the budget.
Be sure to see the full budget provided by Pickens County below.
Thanksgiving 2018 has come and gone and about all we really know about it comes from
commercial sources. Through the constant drumming of the media we are basically told all we
need to know about Thanksgiving, when to start, when to stop and, by the way, ‘don’t forget
those great deals on Black Friday’ because, well, Christmas is just around the corner and after
all, America’s economy depends on commercialism. Their point is, It’s okay to go into debt but
don’t eat the Romaine lettuce. Is it who we really are? Apparently!
But this year I sense a distinct change in the atmosphere. I’ve heard more detailed explanations
of the real Pilgrims story at Plymouth, Mass. in attempts to correct the re-written history some
elements in our society want us to accept. I feel a perceptible shifting of moral values going on
and I sense a not so subtle shift back to religious faith especially as the destructive tenants of
Islam are flooding our country. The leadership of our churches, long beaten into compliance to
accept the dictates of a secular society, must return to their mission of spreading the gospel and
abandon the demand that we must accept the perverted deviancy of 1% of our population that
demands acceptance, without consequence.
What Americans know about Christmas is mostly suggested to us by the years of Macy’s Day
parades, Hollywood movies and Coca-Cola. TV quickly changed our values. Decades ago,
Coca-Cola embraced Clement Moore’s poem, A Christmas Carol, “Twas the Night Before
Christmas” and lo, we now have an indisputably accepted short, fat, happy ol’ elf who enters
homes down chimney pipes, never gets dirty and enjoys their product while winking at us.
When I was a little boy, a world war was underway yet the traditions of Christmas, and even
then they were commercial, were anticipated and observed. We decorated Christmas trees, had
special seasonal attractions and attended Church programs singing hymns while we little
children read or recited memorized snippets of scripture to the audience. I recall my surprise
upon learning that even Germans soldiers observed Christmas, indeed was responsible for
introducing the Christmas tree as a tradition. And, they sang “Silent Night.” What a revelation.
Among the big traditions were Christmas cards. My mother saved Christmas cards for years
and she gave them out in profuse qualities herself. Those that came to me, mostly from mothers
friends and sisters, were scenes depicted as cartoons. Family cards were actually incredible
works of art depicting scenes of happy home fires or snow, doubtless of a Victorian England, the
country where greeting cards and Santa Clause were introduced as a tradition.
Until Coca Cola’s depiction, St. Nick was tall and skinny, a poor emaciated figure, hungry
looking with a limp bag hanging over his shoulder. None of that has changed except Santa’s
size, but I am sensing once again, with Christmas day still weeks away, a change in the public
attitude, a realization that a prosperous America is returning even with all its social problems of
drug addictions, homelessness and hunger. I feel a sincere longing to return to our old traditions
where good cheer and happiness are not feigned but heartfelt; where charity is freely given
without conditions and people actually enjoy helping other people.
But, we must be careful and not allow the Left to peculate our good thing and introduce social
changes we know to be destructive to a free peoples. Government in the hands of Progressives,
will sweep all that away and the once shining city on the hill idea, as Ronald Reagan coined it,
will be but a footnote in history. We must strive to preserve all of our God given liberties.
Remember, freedom is the goal, the Constitution is the way. Now, go get ‘em! (29Nov18)
2018 Georgia Election Results from Pickens County
Brian Kemp (R) – 11,326
Stacey Abrams (D) – 1,899
Ted Metz (L) – 130
Geoff Duncan (R) – 10,946
Sarah Riggs Amico (D) – 1,958
Secretary of State:
Brad Raffensperger (R) – 10,928
John Barrow (D) – 1,995
Smythe DuVal (L) – 238
Jim Beck (R) – 10,910
Janice Laws (D) – 1,835
Donnie Foster (L) – 350
State School Superintendent:
Otha Thornton (D) – 1,782
Richard Woods (R) – 11,292
Gary Black (R) – 11,232
Fred Swan (D) -1,806
Mark Butler (R) – 11,151
Richard Keatley (D) – 1,850
State House District 11:
Rick Jasperse (R) – 11,377
Lee Shiver (D) – 1,782
State Senate District 54:
Chuck Payne (R) – 4,268
Michael Morgan (D) – 553
The holidays are approaching; the season is a time for family, fellowship, friends and giving.
While this time is a bright one for many, it is important to remember those in our community that
are not as fortunate. Every year in Pickens County various civic groups, organizations, and
helpful neighbors come together around the holidays to assist those struggling in our community.
There are many ways you can contribute to those in need during the holiday season. On Saturday
November 10 th, “A Taste of Pickens” fundraiser will occur between 11:30-1:30 at Chattahoochee
Technical College to benefit C.A.R.E.S. (local food pantry). On Thanksgiving Day, Mary Ann’s
will host their annual community Thanksgiving. If you’re interested in donating or volunteering
for the community Thanksgiving meal, contact Mary Ann’s at 706-253-2225. If you would like
to assist in providing Christmas for a foster child, contact DFCS (Heidi Smith) at 706-692-4730
or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can donate Christmas gifts to other families in need through
Toys for Tots or the Lion’s Club “Fill A Stocking” program. Additional opportunities to assist
are available throughout our community, be on the lookout to find the best way you can
contribute to our neighbors in need!
Construction on Pickens County Fire Station #12 off Carlan Road is coming along well. They’re currently finalizing the interior of the building and construction is expected to be completed at the end of the year. Equipment is scheduled to be moved in at the beginning of 2019. Additionally, the property was purchased at the NW corner of Old 5 and Worley Crossroads for the relocation of a new Tate Fire Station. Currently, plans for grading and building specifications are being put together. Construction is planned to begin in Spring of 2019. These are both SPLOST (Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales-Tax) projects and were outlined on the 2014 SPLOST plan.
During the month of October, the 911 Operations Center received 1,669 total calls, 698 were
medical responses and fire related. The Pickens Animal Shelter brought in 95 animals, and 92
animals went out through various forms of adoption. Animal Control responded to 22 cases. The
Water Department installed three new meters. The Department of Planning and Development
issued 41 new permits. Basketball registration has ended at Pickens County Recreation
Department. A total of 347 kids signed up, making a total of 40 teams from instructional to 12-
year-old leagues. Games will start on December 1 st and run through the end of January. Public
Works resurfaced Lower Dowda Mill Road. They set a paving record resurfacing 31 miles of
roads this year. Currently, they are patching portions of several roads around the county. Overall
the Pickens County government departments are working hard for the citizens of Pickens
County. The Pickens County Board of Commissioners continues to do a great job of leading these
efforts. As work progresses, and projects continue, I will do my best to keep you informed of
Until the next time, stay safe, and shop local!
Blue Ridge, Ga. – After a heated runoff race, the results are in and Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp has beat out opponent Lt. Governor Casey Cagle for the Republican nomination.
What was polled as a tight race between the two candidates ended up being what some would consider a landslide victory for Kemp. Kemp received 69.46 percent of the vote statewide with Cagle pulling in 30.54 percent.
Kemp will now face the Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams for the seat of Georgia Governor.
Abrams and Kemp are not strangers, as they have gone head to head over election issues while Kemp has served as Secretary of State.
“All of these liberal groups that are going to be in play in Georgia supporting her (Abrams), I’ve fought,” Kemp said about his past experiences with Abrams.
Citing that he has already faced George Soros, Eric Holder, Thomas Perez, Common Cause Georgia and New Georgia Project, Kemp is confident that he can beat them again.
Kemp explained where some of these groups came into conflict with the Secretary of State office, “They sued us and several counties saying that we weren’t registering voters, 10 different counts. Then they wanted us to settle. I wouldn’t do it. I made them go to court and we won all 10 cases.”
“I know what’s coming,” Kemp said about his preparation for proceeding in the gubernatorial race. “I know how to fight.”
Reposted with permission from the Dustin Inman Society blog
While the liberal media ignores the fact, both candidates in the bruising two-month Georgia Republican gubernatorial primary race have avoided immigration issues where the eventual governor can make the biggest difference.
With run-off day looming tomorrow, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp have mostly kept their immigration focus away from topics that may offend the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and narrowed to “sanctuary cities” and on illegal aliens who have already committed additional crimes in the United States – or “criminal illegal aliens.”
The main driver of illegal immigration is illegal employment, which was not mentioned in either campaign.
In addition to black market labor, they are also both dodging obvious and voter-popular immigration issues where a governor can play a central role, including drivers licenses to illegal aliens and official English for government.
No mention of protecting jobs for American workers
When asked in a statewide December 2015 poll, “Who should get the future jobs in Georgia? – Americans, including legal immigrants already here, illegal immigrants already here, newly arrived legal immigrants and guest workers or it doesn’t matter, workers who will work for the lowest wage.” A whopping 90% of Republicans said Americans, including legal immigrants already here should get priority.
Silence on allowing voters to decide on constitutional official English
Nearly 86% of Republicans – and 76% of all voters polled – answered “yes” when asked “would you support an amendment to the Georgia constitution that makes English the official language of government?” in the same poll conducted by Atlanta-based Rosetta Stone Communications
Despite the objections of the business lobby and with a unanimous party-line vote, in 2016, the Republican-controlled Georgia state senate passed a Resolution that would have allowed all Georgia voters to answer a ballot question that year on English as the state’s constitutional official government language.
But the legislation quietly died with Democrat “no” votes when Republican House leadership instructed Republicans to stay away from a sub-committee hearing which killed the bill.
Official English is not a voluntary campaign topic for either of the Republican candidates for Georgia governor. This despite one metro-Atlanta school district boast that 140 foreign languages are spoken by its students.
While it is not widely understood by voters, currently, the state of ten million offers the written road rules portion of the drivers license exam in eleven foreign languages.
Drivers licenses for illegal aliens – not a campaign issue
The same statewide poll that asked about official constitutional official English showed that 80% of Republicans and 63% of all Georgians also want to end the practice of giving any drivers license to any illegal aliens.
Many voters are unaware of the fact that Republican Georgia has issued more than 20,000 drivers licenses and official state photo ID Cards to individuals who the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services classifies as lacking lawful immigration status – but who have been given work permits by both the Obama and Trump administrations.
This group of aliens includes recipients of the Obama DACA deferred action on deportation amnesty, aliens who have been granted deferred action outside of the DACA amnesty and aliens who have already been ordered to be deported by federal officials.
Work permits, officially known as Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) are issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services which is an agency in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The 2005 REAL ID Act implemented after the horror of 9/11 says that illegal aliens who have been granted deferred action on deportation or who have been ordered deported but then apply for permanent residence use that temporary condition as “evidence of lawful status” for the purpose of obtaining a federally approved drivers license or state ID card.
⦁ In a direct contradiction, USCIS says “Current law does not grant any legal status for the class of individuals who are current recipients of DACA. Recipients of DACA are currently unlawfully present in the U.S. with their removal deferred.”
⦁ Through an official spokesperson, USCIS has provided a breakdown of the classification codes contained on the work permits that illustrate the immigration status of the bearer.
⦁ USCIS also operates the SAVE verification system for official agencies to determine immigration status of applicants for public benefits. Drivers licenses and ID cards are public benefits in Georgia.
⦁ Appointed by current governor, Nathan Deal, Georgia’s Attorney General, Chris Carr, has told an Atlanta NPR affiliate that “We have continuously and clearly taken the position in ongoing legal cases that DACA does not confer legal status.” (July 17, 2017 WABE News).
Georgia is among the states that issues the identical drivers license to legal immigrants with ‘green cards’ and foreigners who entered the US lawfully on temporary visas – including Mercedes Benz executives – as are issued to the aliens the state Attorney General and USCIS says lack legal status. The defacto national ID, these credentials are used as valid ID to enter military bases, federal buildings and board airliners in America’s airports.
Drivers license issued to all non-citizens in Georgia, legal status or illegal status. Photo: DDS
Sponsored by conservative state Senator Josh McKoon, in 2016, legislation passed the Georgia Senate by a two-thirds majority – with every Republican vote except one – that would have clearly marked driving and ID credentials to note the illegal immigration status of the bearer. That measure was allowed to expire without a hearing in the GOP House, controlled by business-oriented Speaker David Ralston. McKoon also sponsored the official English Resolution.
Most Georgians do not realize that under state law the same aliens USCIS says have no lawful status but have been issued a work permit are eligible for state unemployment benefits.
The jobs-for Americans, drivers license/illegal alien/unemployment benefits issue is not a topic in either Republican candidate’s campaign for the Republican nomination for Georgia governor.
Georgians deserve to now where the candidates stand.
The powerful Georgia business lobby has long worked against protecting jobs and wages for legal workers, use of E-Verify, immigration enforcement and official English. Georgia ranks ahead of Arizona in its population of illegal aliens, according to estimates from DHS and the Pew Research Center. One estimate is that the crime of illegal immigration costs Georgia taxpayers $2.4 billion annually.
The current governor, two-term, business-first Republican Nathan Deal, has avoided the illegal immigration issue since his first year in office. But, Deal boasts that Georgia is named number one state in which to do business by Site Selection magazine.
The influx of migrants and the anti-enforcement power of the business lobby will eventually result in a Democrat in the Georgia governor’s office. This year’s far-left, anti-enforcement candidate for the office, Stacey Abrams, has a real chance of winning and has recently received a one million-dollar donation from Georgia Soros.
On July 24th – it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for a strong leader who is prepared to be our state’s next CEO. As your state Senator, I want you to know that I’m 100% behind Casey Cagle for governor. I have served with him for 8 years in the Senate now and I am confident that he is the best choice on the ballot.
Casey is a proven, consistent leader who has always delivered for our state – as well as our community and North Georgia. Due to his leadership as Lt. Governor, Georgia has been named the number one state to do business for five straight years, and we’ve added nearly 700,000 jobs and 40,000 new businesses. This year, Casey was the leader who fought to deliver the largest tax cut in Georgia history.
Casey has also led to advance nationally renowned education reform measures – including the Charter Systems Act, College and Career Academy Network, and GA CATT apprenticeship program – which have been integral in transforming Georgia’s one-size-fits-all education system into a revolutionary model that puts students first. Not every student needs to get a four year liberal arts degree to be successful, and Casey is leading to prioritize workforce development so that all Georgia’s students graduate from high school with post-secondary experience or technical training that gives them the skills to attain rewarding careers.
Casey has stood up for our conservative principles his entire career. He has led to outlaw and defund sanctuary cities in Georgia, expand gun rights (earning him an A+ rating from the NRA), protect innocent life (earning him the Champion for Life award from the Georgia Life Alliance), and reform our adoption/foster care system to give faith-based organizations more opportunities to help children find loving homes.
Please join me in supporting Casey Cagle and voting to elect him as our next Governor on July 24th. I have been honored to serve as your Senator and I look forward to working with the next Governor to continue the progress we have made.