The Citizen Newsletter

The Conservative Voice of Henry County

Issue # 356

July 14, 2012

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Camp Horizon, a free one-day camp for kids age 616 who has experienced the loss of a loved one. Camp Horizon, now in its fifth year, is sponsored by the Sacred Journey Hospice Foundation, the non-profit arm of the hospice operating under the same name.

In This Issue:
Page Feature

1 2 4 4 5 6 8 8 8 9 9

Camp Horizon August 25th Citizen Candidate Poll

Carroll County TEA Party GA House 109 Endorsements Rutledge: Business Ethics Monday s Candidate Forum Stanley for Henry BoE Tommy Smith for Chairman Henry FOP Endorsements Lights For Liberty Stop Voter Apathy

The camp is designed to help children cope with grief, and trained professionals work in age appropriate small groups demonstrating therapeutic techniques to help the child feel less isolated and teach them how to deal with their grief. As they meet other children who have had similar experiences, the kids are able to interact in a fun, safe and caring environment. The camp blends traditional camp fun with grief techniques skillfully woven throughout each activity, which include crafts, team building games and groups sessions. The camp will be held Saturday, August 25th from 8:30 5:00 at Community Bible Church in Stockbridge (on Jodeco Road, just west of I-75). This year s theme is XTREME and we ll have activities that incorporate this theme, including rock climbing wall and entertainment by Air Elite 1 Dunking Team, an acrobatic basketball dunking team. To learn more about the Foundation and the camp visit our website at http://www.sacredjourneyhospice.org/ and for a quick peek at the fun the campers have, click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqE-Ebcyn7U.

Do you have a story to tell? Become a Citizen contributor. Submit your opinions, commentaries and articles to hc.citizen@hccitizen.org

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Candidate Poll
The Citizen asked candidates for the Henry County commission to state their positions regarding T-SPLOST, 2013 County Budget, County property tax/millage rates, The future of Atlanta Southern Regional Airport. We also invited any other comments they wanted to include. (Candidates shown in order comments were received.)

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Brian Preston, candidate for Henry BoC District 2
Below are my thoughts regarding each position you listed:

T-SPLOST: Infrastructure repairs and support are very important to Henry County. We are already behind on road repairs and improvements, and one of the key tools that will help us meet this need is the continuation of our local SPLOST. I believe that if T-SPLOST passes, our citizens will not support increasing our local sales tax rate to 8%, and it would mean the end of our locally controlled SPLOST. Therefore, I cannot support the T-SPLOST due to its potential impact on our local SPLOST. 2013 Budget: I am disappointed with our upcoming budget. There was a better way to balance the budget rather than increasing taxes by raising our millage rate to fill the $10 million budget deficit. For months, I have been proposing a three prong approach that would have balanced the budget without increasing taxes. The three prong approach would consist of taking up to $4 million from the rainy day fund (a double digit reduction in the Henry County tax digest is more than a normal rainy day), savings of $2-4 million by modernizing employee benefits, and reducing all department budgets by 3-5% (excluding public safety). Notice there was no mention of increasing taxes by raising the millage. If elected, I will continue to work hard on making good fiscal decisions for Henry County so that we can have the opportunity to grow into prosperity by working with our citizens and private businesses. County property tax/millage rates: In order for Henry County to be successful, we need more economic development. It will be harder for us to grow into prosperity if businesses are not willing to come to Henry County because our taxes and millage are not competitive. Currently, Henry County has a total millage rate (Schools, County, Water, and Hospital) of approximately 38.5 mills. If you compare our rate to the Georgia counties that are doing well economically, you will see that we are already at a disadvantage (Fayette = 30.45, Forsyth = 26.4, Oconee = 25, Newton = 34). Unfortunately, if we take a hard look at our total millage and where we are headed with potential increases, we will realize that we resemble a few of our neighbors (Clayton = 40, and DeKalb = 44). We need to work on making sure that we understand the basics of what brings a business to our community. Low taxes and a good quality of life are the foundation of good economic development. As your commissioner, I will work hard to make sure we are competitive for our existing business owners and for growing businesses that are looking for a community to invest in.

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The future of Atlanta Southern Regional Airport: The timing of the airport purchase was not ideal for Henry County in light of the economic downturn of the last few years. However, I am confident that in the long-term (5-7 years in the future) we can turn the lemons of Atlanta Southern Regional Airport into lemonade. I am hopeful that, if we are careful with our decisions, we can bring good jobs to the community and capitalize off our great geographic location. The key component is to make good, cautious, and well thought out decisions. I would welcome the opportunity to use my background as a CPA and business consultant to help make sure we are as efficient as possible with our decisions.

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John Douglas, Candidate for Newton County BoC District 1

What is your opinion of the T-SPLOST? Should the voters approve or disapprove the T-SPLOST, and why? My official answer to T SPLOST: Unlike my opponent who favors the tax hike, I am opposed to the T SPLOST. It would be the largest tax increase in Georgia history, 14%, government never gets enough money and would surely want more later, the Bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of this year meaning federal taxes will rise in 2013 and we now have the health care tax coming on top of all the other taxes already paid. I have never voted for a tax increase in 12 years of holding public office and will not start now. Those NO votes include voting against the first ever Republican state budget in 2003 which contained tax increases, and another NO vote against allowing the Falcons to take Fulton County tax dollars for a new stadium. NO means NO.

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T-SPLOST

Vincent Lotti, Candidate for Henry County BoC District 2

The main problem that I have with TSPLOST is we would be forced to send OUR money to Atlanta, only for them to send a portion of it back to us. The project list of roads to be improved in Henry County is, in my opinion, a great list but I fail to see the importance of allowing Atlanta to control our money. I believe it would be more beneficial to allow the people of Henry County to vote on the project list under a local SPLOST vote and allow us to keep 100% of our money. If the people choose to endure another tax, they should reap the maximum amount of benefit for their money. County Budget It is no secret that our budget as major deficiencies that need to be corrected. I believe we should prioritize our government and our government spending. The time has come where we must differentiate between WANTS and NEEDS and spending must reflect this mentality. For instance, we need Public
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Safety. We must get back to providing basic governmental functions to the people and when the economy improves we can consider adding those wants back in to the equation. Let me be clear however, I do NOT believe in balancing the budget on the backs of the employees. These individuals have not received a raise in 5+ years and have been forced to undertake furlough days. Raising their healthcare costs or instituting penalties would be nothing more than asking the employees to balance the budget out of their pocket. Property Tax/Mileage Rate I despise the idea of raising taxes for several reasons. The economy is such that people cannot afford more taxes, nor can we tax our way out of the current budget problems. If at all possible, we need to take a collaborative approach to try to balance our budget without the need of raising taxes. My fear however, is given the budget deficit we are currently in we may have left ourselves no other alternative. All avenues should and need to be explored before a tax increase is even considered. The people of Henry County, and their declining home values, cannot afford another tax. The Future of the Airport This has been a hot button issue for District 2 for quite some time. My opinion is we need to find a way to make it profitable now, not years from now. We are currently in possession of it and it needs to start yielding gains for the people of District 2 and all of Henry County. If this cannot be achieved, if the airport cannot begin to provide the service of financial or opportunity increase to the county, other alternatives must be explored. The time has come for a return on our investment.

The Carroll County Tea Party invites you to our Thursday July 19 open meeting from
7 til 9pm at the Stallings Center Rotary Room (118 S. White St. Carrollton GA). This month, we're pleased to have the following people speaking: - Mr. David Pennington, Mayor of Dalton GA, will be speaking on T-SPLOST. - Dr. Jody Hice, host of syndicated radio program "The Jody Hice Show," will be speaking on Radical Islam / Sharia Law. - Ashley Hendrix (Republican candidate for Carroll County Commissioner, District 3) - Terry Turner (candidate for Carroll County Board of Education, District 1) - Sammy Eady & Jamie Godbee (Republican candidates for Carroll County Coroner)

GA House 109 Endorsements
Dale Rutledge : None

Steve Davis :
NRA GRTL American Conservative Union Georgia Carry Georgia Chamber National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
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Henry County FOP And of course every constitutional officer of Georgia and all House Leadership. And yes Dale Rutledge has declined every forum and debate from the beginning of the campaign. He has never been a member of the Republican Party (State or Local).

Dale Rutledge (Candidate-GA109) State has No Record of Company s Workers Comp Insurance; Denied Injury Claim to His Own Brother
Proof of Right by Joanie Scott HTTP://PROOFOFRIGHT.WORDPRESS.COM/2012/07/11/DALE-RUTLEDGE-CANDIDATE-GA109STATE-HAS-NO-RECORDOF-WORKERS COMP-INSURANCE-DENIED-INJURY-CLAIM-TO-HIS-OWN-BROTHER/

Dale Rutledge, candidate for Georgia House District 109, is, according to his campaign website, the former owner of Rover, Inc. He has based his entire campaign on exactly one issue; ethics. According to the Georgia Secretary of State website Rutledge formed his company, Rover Inc., on December 6, 2001. The company formation DOCUMENTS name three individuals as members of the Board of Directors; Dale Rutledge, Kevin Fisher, and Chuck Farrell. The fact that the company was formed with three officers on the Board of Directors met the criteria which required them to purchase and maintain workers compensation insurance. SBWC is the state agency tasked with ensuring employers adhere to workers compensation insurance laws and also maintains employers records of insurance coverage in order to confirm the responsible insuring entity in the event of a work-related accident or injury. However, DOCUMENTS OBTAINED from Georgia SBWC show Rover, Inc. failed to maintain any workers compensation insurance at all for their first three years in business.

CRIMINAL PROVISION: Employers refusing or willfully neglecting to secure insurance coverage as required by law shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $1,000.00 or more than $10,000.00 or imprisonment not to exceed 12 months, or both.
Rover, Inc. never reported any injured workers to the Georgia SBWC. But, according to Rutledge s own sister, Joyce LaWanda Rutledge, their mentally challenged younger brother, Douglas, was injured on the job while working for his brothers company at Rover Sanitation. In a sworn court affidavit the sister stated:

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[T]his isn t the first time Roger Dale has treated his brother this way. While Douglas Lanier was working for him at Rover Sanitation and had to go on disability for a time, Roger Dale wouldn t help him. Douglas said that Dale had him sign a form waiving workers compensation and promised him he would help him if needed. The day came and Dale wouldn t.
If Dale Rutledge is willing to break laws for the sake of his own wallet and at the expense of his own family members and employees, can he even remotely be trusted to the right thing as an elected official?
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Read the full article at Proof of Right
We at The Citizen are not interested in finding "dirt on Dale Rutledge." We would, however, like to hear him pronounce a platform on the real issues affecting us. He has no depth or he would meet/debate Steve Davis instead of dodging every invitation.

Monday s Candidate Forum
The Henry 912 Project held a candidate forum in McDonough on Monday, July 9th. Among those participating was Henry BoC Chairman BJ Mathis. In the Question/Answer period the county budget was first to be addressed. The Citizen s editor asked her to confirm or deny the coming property tax hike, AND whether citizens could expect a reversal and reduction to that increase as the economy improves. She did not address the second part of the question. In fairness, BJ was on fire that night. She performed very well, showing her experience and command of the topics. And we cannot lay all blame on her for the borrow & spend mentality. The entire board defends those decisions. § BJ said there will be a millage rate hike to cover the $10 million 2013 revenue deficit. In the same Q&A BJ said the only way to cut the budget is to layoff police & fire employees. And there is no way she is willing to destroy our quality of life by cutting Park & Rec. BJ justified the increase in the millage rate as being revenue neutral. My home value declined 37% so I can pay the same as last year and it's not a tax hike. Only two or three attendees agreed with the fuzzy math, and they came to the forum with the Chairman. Another attendee queried the Chairman about land purchases made by the County. From the Chairman s responses we learned some things most of the attendees did not know. § We are still paying for the Nash Farm property. The County paid to the Court $8 million by check, which was eventually returned when litigation was resolved. The County then took a 10-year loan with repayment tied to future revenues from countywide impact fees. We will pay on that loan at least until 2016. § The topic of the golf course came up. The County bought Cotton Fields for $22 million. But they paid only one-half that amount up front. The remaining debt will be retired in a future SPLOST. Two sources have said, There is a balloon payment due in 2017. If, in fact, the County used SPLOST II or SPLOST III funds even for the down payment on Cotton Fields, what project list did it ever appear on? And how can we say the golf course is (1) a capital expense (buildings), (2) a transportation item, or (3) a park or library? The County leased Cotton Fields back to the original owner to operate the course. He pays the county $2,000 per month. Interest accruing on the remaining unpaid balance is $3,400 per month. This math is not fuzzy. It is downright wasteful and negligent. Yet our commissioners justify the purchase as an investment.

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The Citizen has posed a few direct queries to the County Finance Director asking for details of both these
real estate transactions and their financing. When that information is made available it will be printed here.

After listening to Mathis, someone has been playing fast and loose. As matters of principle the mentality that borrows against a future SPLOST (which is illegal) or impact fees is not a conservative or prudent course. BJ DID SAY some debt would be retired in "the next SPLOST." This one really grabbed several people. In each SPLOST program there is a supposed project list to be funded and completed within the program s life of 5 or 6 years. Projects may be abandoned if they are deemed untenable within scope of the program. New or made-up projects MAY NOT be added because the voters never approved the concept of things the commissioners may dream up. And think about this: WHAT IF Henry voters get trapped in the T-SPLOST tax, raising our sales tax to 8%? Is there any chance voters will be smart enough to deny any future local taxes? And then, where will the BoC get that pot o money they have been accustomed to playing with? Borrow and Spend. Just like the federal government. Who will bail out Henry County?

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Allow me to take your voice to the Henry School Board
WWW.STANLEYFORBOE.ORG

PLEASE MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION Elect Larry Stanley to Henry's school board

Campaign Video: HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/PHOTO.PHP?V=10151221857822942 Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum: HTTP://PLAYER.VIMEO.COM/VIDEO/44583622 Henry Daily Herald candidate responses: HTTP://WWW.HENRYHERALD.COM/NEWS/2012/JUN/26/HENRY-BOE-CANDIDATES-RESPOND/
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TOMMY SMITH

Candidate and future Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Henry County NEW CHAIRMAN / NEW LEADERSHIP
Endorsed by Henry County Fraternal Order of Police

FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE HENRY COUNTY LODGE 95
Henry County FOP Lodge 95 has chosen to endorse the following commission candidates:
District 1, Bo Moss District 2, Vincent Lotti District 3, Ken Sherman Chairman, Tommy Smith

Lights for Liberty Drive
Saturday, July 21 * 10:00am 2 Laps around I-285, Center Lane, Flashers On Details at WWW.TRAFFICTRUTH.NET and
WWW.LIGHTSFORLIBERTY.COM

Lights For Liberty Drive A demonstration that everyone and anyone can participate in. We will all converge on to 285 s outer loop at 10am on Saturday morning July 21st and go (counter clockwise) for 2 laps or about 2 hours. We should drive the speed limit in the center or second right hand lane with our flashers on.
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Please don't impede traffic. We only want positive coverage. We are hoping to have hundreds of cars on the loop at the same time, coming in from all directions at the same time. Set up a caravan if we can from your area. Display signage or decorate your car in protest of the NEW TAX and send a message to the politicians that WE DO NOT SUPPORT IT!!! There are car magnets available for sale to put on your car (visit HTTP://TRAFFICTRUTH.NET) or get creative on your own, whatever you want to do it is fine. We ask that you keep this protest to the TSPLOST only. American flags are always welcome! Double the cars and put your friend, wife, son, or daughter in the spare car and bring them along. The more cars we have the better our visibility and the media will come! Tell your friends, co-workers, neighbors, family member, and get involved!!!!!!!! We will have an opportunity to show our feelings on other subjects later this year. This is the first demonstration, NOT the last! Please visit Lightsforliberty.com for more information and staging locations around the area. If you have any questions feel free to contact me on my cell 678-460-6609 or email PATTI@LIGHTSFORLIBERTY.COM or YELLOWSTONE95@GMAIL.COM

Stop Voter Apathy and Stand Up
For Yourselves
By Mike Moon We The People of the United States in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. The above is the Preamble to the United States Constitution. It means so much to so many people not only in our nation, but to others around the world who do not have such a document to protect them. For example: Right here in Henry County, Georgia there is likely to be about 15% of the registered voters to vote in this primary in July. That means that roughly 13,650 people will turn out to vote. Of the 203,000+ citizens of the county there are about 130,000 registered voters.

There are people in our nation right now who came here to become citizens so they could have this privilege that our people take for granted. Those new citizens could not have legal elections in their countries and looked at our nation of freedom for that hope. Our citizens born and raised here just don t seem to get it. These new citizens from far away nations are making better citizens than those who proudly call themselves Americans. They are not proud enough to vote for what is right in our nation. That is why free nations of the past have failed, because their people didn t care enough to stand and vote. That s how the Hitler Regime took many countries in Europe because the people didn t go and vote against the horror to come. I remember growing up during the Civil Rights Era. I can still see and hear Dr. King and those who stood with him to bring his people a better chance at voting especially in the deep South. Now many of those that the Civil Rights Leaders helped give free elections to would not take the time to stop and vote. We have white Americans who speak volumes, but will remain at home on election day.
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I often wonder if they will still enjoy remaining home when our way of life is gone and a military state will exist in our nation. Don t say it can t happen because it can. I Pledge Allegiance To The Flag Of The United States of America, And To The Republic For Which It Stands, One Nation Under God Indivisible With Liberty and Justice For All. Those words that so many died for to give us a safe place to go and vote; and what do we do we make excuses. Voter Apathy is a disease of the mind. Citizens think that their vote won t count and they don t want to vote because the line is too long. In this day and time, voting is not that way. They have early voting, which has helped drastically with the long lines on Election Day. So, there is really no excuse other than being very lazy, ill, or dead. Please my friends and neighbors, get out and vote because our way of life is dying and we can stop it if we just try. Think about this: there was an election some two thousand years ago that changed the course of human history. A Roman Governor named Pontius Pilate gave the people of Jerusalem the chance to vote on the release of a prisoner for Passover. They chose a thief and a murderer over the Son of God. Jesus shed His precious blood on the cross that day not only to save us from our sins, but to make sure we would be here today. But don t forget He will come quickly so don t tarry around because you may not have time. Then, just 236 years ago a few people in a wilderness land decided they wanted their freedom from the Mighty British Empire. They formed a new nation out of 13 small colonies that many did not hold out that they would survive. They almost did not survive during the Civil War of some 150 years ago. Now we face a new war. The war of survival for so many families who have lost their homes, jobs, and everything. The war of survival for the elderly who must choose between food and their medications to live one week to the next. These people need help and not going to vote is not going to help them. Some of them could be your parents. They gave you everything, can t you vote to help them? So, if you are prepared to explain to your grandchildren about the late great United States, then stay home and watch television. By the way: Is the Price Right?

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