The Citizen Newsletter

The Conservative Voice of Henry County

Issue # 355

July 7, 2012

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Contact The Citizen at hc.citizen@hccitizen.org

In This Issue:
Page Feature

2 2 3 3 3 4 6 8 8 9 10 12

Citizen Candidate Poll
Traffic Truth: Ballot Language Billy Copeland Honored HC Farm Bureau turns 75 Dale Has No Platform T-SPLOST Ballot Question Bias Stanley for Henry BoE Hampton ASRA Meeting July 12 TSPLOST: Conyers Protest Rallies GA DOT Gets $2 Billion Henry Herald Poses Queries Campaign Disclosure Reports
$7 Billion T-SPLOST to be controlled by Appointed Regional Board. VOTE NO on July 31st

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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.

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Tommy Smith, candidate for Chairman of Henry BoC Please find my position of the following issues:

I am adamantly against the creation of the T-SPLOST tax. The 2012-2013 Budget should be balanced from the top to the bottom. Not the other way around. In the event the amount of anticipated revenue is $105,000,000, then the 2012-2013 Budget should be $105,000,000. Not $115,000,000. The solution is very simple. Balance the county budget as you do at home. Henry County's millage rate is one of the highest in the state, it will take the BOC members several years to drop our millage rate. It appears that we are having to budget a substantial amount of tax money each year to pay for all of the needless, useless land that has been bought in the last several years. I firmly believe we can lower our taxes, over a period of time, substantially. Even though I have always thought that Henry County should own Bear Creek Airport, they could not have bought it at a worst time. At a time when the County had to fire 57 of our employees to pay for it. I cannot imagine us spending millions more of taxpayers money on the airport just to create jobs for others. Needless to say, I would suggest we put this project on the back burner until such a time we get our house in order. We need to find a way to give all of our employees some type of pay increase. We need to change our course now. We are in the process of losing the vast majority of our most experienced policeman to other higher paying departments. If you want to be safe and comfortable, vote for me. If you want to take a chance, you can vote for the other one.

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At this time no other candidates have responded.

TSPLOST opponents upset about wording on ballot
WSB TV on ballot language challenge.

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Channel 2 Action News political analyst Bill Crane said it is clear most state leaders, including Gov. Nathan Deal, are pushing for the sales tax. If you can t win the argument on its merits you shouldn t need to resort to tactics that are questionable to win the argument, Crane said That doesn t give permission to stack the deck. That doesn t give permission to be disingenuous about the ballot question.

Billy Copeland inducted into Municipal Government Hall of Fame
The Georgia Municipal Association inducted McDonough Mayor Billy Copeland into the Municipal Government Hall of Fame at the association s annual convention in Savannah Monday, June 25.
Young Harris Mayor Andrea Gibby and GMA President and Mayor of Eatonton John Reid induct McDonough Mayor Billy Copeland into the Municipal Government Hall of Fame. (photo: Henry County Times)

HTTP://WWW.HENRYCOUNTYTIMES.COM/ARCHIVES/2012/07.04.12/COMMUNITY_SUB1.HTM

The Hall of Fame honors municipal officials who exemplify the best in public service, and who, throughout their careers, have made extraordinary contributions to their communities and Georgia s cities.

is hosting a Farmer Appreciation Dinner on August 14 at the Senior Center in Locust Grove. All farmers, members and non-members are invited to enjoy a delicious free dinner, fellowship and fun. For more information, contact the HCFB at 770-957-2608. To learn more about the Farm Bureau, visit WWW. GFB.ORG.

The Henry County Farm Bureau

HC Farm Bureau celebrates 75 years

Dale Has No Platform
Candidate Dale Rutledge has confessed to Ethics Violation in accepting and spending funds for his campaign before filing the required documents with the Ethics Commission. That omission carries a fine of $1,000 from the Ethics Commission. A mainstay of the Rutledge campaign is the fact that Rep. Steve Davis was fined by the Commission. Davis never failed to file his Campaign Disclosure reports, Davis never failed to report all contributions received or monies spent. The fact is that 50+ candidates and elected officials in Henry County fell onto
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the list of violators -- and the innocence for most of these folks was tarnished by faulty bookkeeping and reporting INSIDE the Ethics Commission. In the words of a true neophyte in a campaign for state House, Rutledge states, "Ethics Reform - The current ethics laws have no enforcement teeth as their budget has been slashed over the years. Accountability is often missing. I have pledged to not accept more than $100 from any lobbyist without reform and will work to secure proper budgeting for those who oversee ethics in Georgia. I will sponsor legislation to stop the practice of campaign funds being paid to immediate family members." Admirable desire, but it s a non-starter in the Georgia House. The long suffered issues of ethics reform in Georgia will not be changed by a newbie in office. In fact the issues of poor funding and administrative juggling at the Ethics Commission (now the Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission) have thwarted any real enforcement for generations. Rutledge is correct that citizens are handed a "campaign funding only" set of rules to govern legislators. But in his promised legislation he would act alone with no support from House leadership or fellow representatives while charging into oblivion. The end result: no committee assignments, no influence, no benefit to Henry County or the rest of House District 109. These are the simple facts of inner workings under the Gold Dome. Rep. Steve Davis has been elected to four consecutive terms in the Georgia House. Committee assignments include: Appropriations, Member Information and Audits, Chair Insurance, Member State Institutions and Property, Member State Planning and Community Affairs, Secretary Subcommittee on Aviation, Vice Chair Subcommittee on Inmate Issues, Chair Subcommittee on Life and Health, Member Subcommittee on Property and Casualty, Member Subcommittee on State Properties, Member Transportation, Member Rep. Steve Davis has earned a leadership role in the House. He is endorsed by the Governor and every member of House Leadership. Davis was awarded a 100% ranking by both Georgia Right to Life and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. On the topic of Education, Rutledge is simply repeating the words of incumbent Rep. Steve Davis: "I support creating competition in our education system through charter schools, magnet schools, home schools, and I would support a school voucher system. Schools should not be run like factories; one size does not fit all. Parents should be able to choose what is best for their child." Rep. Davis has repeated this concern for competition and opportunity in education at every meeting, forum and event. Davis supported the FY 2013 state budget appropriating $7.17 billion in total state spending for K-12 education a slight increase from FY 2012. Davis voted for HR 1162 putting a constitutional amendment before voters this November that, if passed, will permit local communities an additional tool for providing their students access to the best possible education through public charter schools approved by either the local school board or the state.

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For the controversial Transportation Investment Act (T-SPLOST) Rutledge supports "Plan B" that Rep. Steve Davis has spoken about and championed since campaigning started: "There is a better way that allows local communities to control their own destiny through opt out provisions and local control. Rep. Davis has been instrumental in bringing $450 million to Henry County in transportation funding that is $150 million more than the county will see from T-SPLOST! So, what do we citizens gain by electing an inexperienced newcomer to the state House? NOTHING. We have everything to lose! Dale Rutledge has declined every opportunity to meet with Rep. Davis in a forum/debate setting. He declined the Newton County League of Women Voters. He declined the Republican Women of Henry County. It is clear that both Rutledge and his team know Rep. Steve Davis is experienced, competent and well informed. We cannot afford to lose an effective and respected representative.
Rep. Steve Davis (R-109)

Educated and informed voters have one clear choice for representation in the Georgia House: Rep. Steve Davis. Please visit HTTP://STEVE-DAVIS.ORG/BLOG/ for detailed information about Davis's successes for District 109.

The July 31st Ballot Question Atlanta Regional District T-SPLOST
Provides for local transportation projects to create jobs and reduce traffic congestion with citizen oversight. Shall Henry county s transportation system and the transportation network in this region and the state be improved by providing for a 1 percent special district sales and use tax for the purpose of transportation projects and programs for a period of ten years? There exist three major problems with this ballot question. First is the propaganda issued by supporters of the new tax saying the T-SPLOST would generate 200,000 jobs. The truth is that about 7,000 job years could be maintained in the state during the 10years of the program. Job years means the work hours associated with the projects, not actual employment for Georgians. Secondly is reduce traffic congestion provision. Various studies and reports question the actual congestion relief that may be provided by the official project list. Thirdly, the official project list has been created through compromise and political wrangling to appease geopolitical regions to accept and endorse the tax program. Citizens have seen the shifting political winds in Henry County move projects from one priority to another, and funds shift from one project to another in every SPLOST program. The official list has no meaning because the political decisions and changing priorities may completely remove projects from the List, or could add costs that make promised projects

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unfeasible. Georgia law allows this bait & switch, so do not be fooled into thinking an official project list provides any guarantees of full funding or project completion.

My desire to serve as a member of the Henry County School Board is about serving the communities and infrastructure of our county. Nothing is more important than our educational system for building our future. I want to make clear my top priorities as a school board member: First, I care about the students to be educated in our system, who are the future of our community. I wish be remembered as the man who improved education in my community. Secondly are the parents who chose to entrust us with their most valuable resource, their kids. Finally, I wish to take care of the educators by rewarding those who perform well and act as mentors to our future generation. With a 70% graduation rate, it is clear that Henry County schools are not meeting the needs of all the students. Henry County students and parents could benefit from educational initiatives. Some programs can be enhanced such as work based learning, which can more directly involve internships with local businesses. The fact that Henry County will enter 2013 with 38,000 students and less than 1,200 teachers creates a ratio of 32 to 1. The student-teacher ratio must become a high and key figure in the budgetary process whereby the student s environment and benefit outweigh other maintenance and operation concerns. Henry County Schools operates very well from a budgetary perspective. The system enjoys very productive relationships with many social, political and civic organizations. It is my intention in office to support operational procedures that work and challenge those that do not. Larry Stanley 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/

Seen on Facebook:
The point is HC needs to balance its budget. All I hear BJ and others on the BOC talk about is raising taxes, while they spend more and more. They sound like the tax and spend democrats of the Obama administration. I might agree with you if just once they demonstrated a real desire to cut spending.

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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 Seen on Facebook:
A vote for BJ Mathis is a vote for regional government, a desire for taxes like T-SPLOST, and a chairman with loyalties outside the job we need done in Henry County. One man's opinion: Gov. Deal is buying someone to 'deliver' the T-SPLOST vote in Henry, and Mathis is for sale. Let me say something very few point out, government at all levels is awash with my money, fed, state, local. When they learn to spend it on constitutionally mandated government services we have enough to go around. I have never, and I'm not going to start this year, voted myself a tax increase.

Henry County Elections Schedule
Register. Vote. It's that easy!
Calendar of Elections Below is the schedule for the 2012 elections: · July 2, 2012 DEADLINE FOR VOTER REGISTRATION/CHANGE OF ADDRESS FOR GENERAL PRIMARY/NONPARTISAN ELECTION · July 9, 2012 ADVANCED (ABSENTEE IN-PERSON) VOTING BEGINS · July 21, 2012 SATURDAY VOTING 9:00 am 4:00 pm · July 31, 2012 General Primary/Non-Partisan/Special Election. HOURS POLLS ARE OPEN Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. · August 21, 2012 DATE OF RUNOFF Date of General Primary/NonPartisan Election/Special Election Runoff. (Twenty-first day after General Primary/NonPartisan Election/Special Election Find your voting location at
HTTP://CO.HENRY.GA.US/REGISTRARS/VOTINGPRECINCTS.SHTML

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Seen on Facebook: BJ Mathis says.... "In tough times, families cut back and watch their spending. Our government needs to do the same. Just last month, under BJ's leadership, the board of commissioners voted to increase the county budget by $3 million. They DID NOT address the 2013 deficit of $10 million. Expect a property tax increase soon after the July 31st primary vote. That is NOT the leadership we expect. BJ Mathis has not performed as we need to meet the mandate of smaller government and lower spending.

If you live in Hampton, this is important.....
The Henry County Board of Commissioners will be hosting a public information open house on Thursday, July 12, 2012 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Hampton Elementary School to discuss the proposed expansion plans for the Atlanta South Regional Airport expansion. The meeting will focus on the Draft Supplemental Environment Assessment prepared for the proposed runway extension and other airport improvements. The meeting will be informal and the public is invited to drop in anytime during open house hours to view the proposed project concept and have their questions answered by county representatives. In addition, written statements will be accepted at the meeting as well as during the 10-day comment period following the open house meeting. All of the comments submitted will be included in the Final Supplemental Environmental Assessment document, and all comments received will get a response. The comment period will close on July 23, 2012, and written statements may be submitted to Airport Manager Kevin Donahue, Atlanta South Regional Airport, 474 Speedway Blvd., Hampton, GA 30228, or emailed to kdonahue@avports.com. Donahue may also be reached at 770.288.7834. Hampton Elementary School is located at 10 Central Avenue in Hampton. The meeting will be held in the cafeteria.

Protests against T-SPLOST planned
TWO Conyers Rallies Planned
RockdaleCitizen.com

CONYERS -- Josie Dean, organizer of the Rockdale Think Tank, is spearheading a protest effort against the T-SPLOST referendum that will be on the July 31 ballot. Dean said she and members of other civic and political organizations are planning to protest the referendum on July 10, at 9 a.m., in front of 901 Main St., the Rockdale County Assembly Hall, just prior to the 10 a.m. Board of Commissioners meeting.

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Dean likened opposition to the T-SPLOST to a "David and Goliath" clash, with taxpayers in Rockdale going up against DeKalb, Fulton and other metro counties. The basis for the opposition in Rockdale, Dean said, is that Rockdale taxpayers will be asked to pay more over the course of the tax than they are likely to see in return. State economists predict that $6.14 billion will be generated in the Atlanta Region over 10 years by the sales tax. The funds will be used for transportation projects throughout the 10-county region and the city of Atlanta. Rockdale County is expected to generate $104 million over the course of 10 years and should receive $94.3 million in road projects, making Rockdale what some would call a "donor county." Dean said Rockdale voters should not be asked to fund road improvements that benefit other metro area residents. "The tax is to support Atlanta and people who go to Braves games and all those things," said Dean. "If they are going to do that, they need to go up on the Braves tickets." Don Williamson, chairman of the Rockdale Republican Party, sent out an email this week calling on members to vote against the T-SPLOST. The email noted Tuesday's anti-T-SPLOST protest and a

"Defeat the T-SPLOST Rally" at the pavilion in Olde Town on July 14 at 10 a.m.
"Taxes are bad enough as it is, but we don't need to be giving our money away to other counties to help fund their projects when Rockdale has its own projects that can make better use of our own money," Williamson wrote in the email.

Georgia gets $2 billion under transportation bill
The Georgia Department of Transportation will get infrastructure money under a U-S House resolution President Obama recently signed into law. Under the new law, the Georgia Department of Transportation will receive at least $2 billion. The state can use the money for infrastructure maintenance, which includes roads and transit.

JOHN DOUGLAS COMMENTED: The GA Dept of Transportation has an annual budget of over $1 billion, now this $2 billion is coming and the elite tell us they want us to vote to tax ourselves another $6+ billion July 31st in the Transportation sales tax vote. Are we finally going to have streets paved with gold? Stunning. But my opponent is for the tax hike and I am opposed. Vote NO July 31st to higher taxes. This is lunacy. Government's lust for taxes never ends.

24 days to the Republican primary. Vote NO to the biggest tax increase in GA history. Dont forget the new Health tax John Roberts and his liberal buddies gave us and the end of the Bush tax cuts in December. How many hands can the government get in my pockets???
Sen. John Douglas is running for District One Commissioner for the Newton County Board of Commissioners.

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The Henry Daily Herald posted questions to candidates. Here you will see some of those responses: District 2 Board of Education
§ Larry Stanley, 57 Twenty-two years, a Henry County resident Account manager in sales Married to June Stanley, with two children from a previous marriage

Andrew, 23, and Michael, 18.

Q: What one special experience do you have that you believe is beneficial to the position for which you are a candidate? A: I have 12 years experience of active participation in local government with emphasis on government spending. Q: What is the first budget item, or program, you would cut to help balance the school board s general operations budget? A: I don t believe there is a single department or program that should be eliminated; however, every budget can be cut with close scrutiny. § Josh Hinton, 31 Twenty-seven years, a Henry County resident Risk management advisor Single, no children Q: What one special experience do you have that you believe is beneficial to the position for which you are a candidate? A: N/A Q: What is the first budget item, or program, you would cut to help balance the school board s general operations budget? A: N/A

Read more at

HTTP://WWW.HENRYHERALD.COM/NEWS/2012/JUL/06/HENRY-COUNTY-BOARD-EDUCATION/

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State House Rep.-District 109
§ Steve Davis (Incumbent) (R) , 41 Real Estate Broker married with three children Henry County resident for 20 years Q: What one special experience do you have that you believe is beneficial to the position for which you are a candidate? A: I currently serve on six committees in the Georgia House. I believe I have shown the ability to handle multiple issues and make wise decisions that reflect the values and principles of my district. Q: What changes would you like to make if you win? A: I would like to see us eliminate the "alphabet soup" of transportation agencies. We have entirely to many organizations that have a hand in transportation decisions. We need some consolidation and elimination of duplicative services between these agencies. § Dale Rutledge (R), 48 President and owner of Expo Link Cargo Married, two daughters Henry County resident for 48 years Q: What one special experience do you have that you believe is beneficial to the position for which you are a candidate? A: As a conservative Christian husband, father and business owner I will listen to those whom I represent and will respectfully serve. Q: What changes would you like to make if you win? A: Return honesty and moral behavior to our district so those who elected me to office will not have to question my character or intent.

Read more at HTTP://WWW.HENRYHERALD.COM/NEWS/2012/JUL/07/HOUSE-SEATS-190-111/

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Awesome or Inept?
Campaign Disclosure reports are interesting. One candidate for Henry County Board of Education PAID HIMSELF for every campaign expenditure. He apparently made his own signs & printed his own flyers. He even paid himself the Qualifying Fee due to the county. This guy must be awesome OR, he cannot fill out a simple form.

HTTP://MEDIA.ETHICS.GA.GOV/SEARCH/CAMPAIGN/CAMPAIGN_BYEXPENDITURES_RFR.ASPX?NAMEID=15737&FILERID=C2012000514&CDRI

D=60954&NAME=HINTON,%20JOSHUA%20RYAN&YEAR=2012&REPORT=JUNE%2030TH%20-%20ELECTION%20YEAR

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