Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.
Governor Nathan Deal announced an idea to do something that we think is long overdue in state and federal government: consolidate and streamline government agencies.
When times were good, and everybody who wanted a job had one, we could carry the inefficiency that government creates, but those days are long gone.
The governor wants to privatize Georgia’s civilian aviation wing and sell some airplanes.
He wants to streamline Georgia’s human resources area, and eliminate 40 jobs.
And did you know we have more than 1,900 state workers assigned to the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute? That budget is $185 million….
The group that came up with these proposals estimates, they would save the state $3 billion.
We say, just as Georgia families tighten their belts and do with less, the government, which doesn’t have a dollar, that it doesn’t first TAKE from taxpayers, should do the same.
TEACHERS SUSPENDED ON THE JOB
We’ve been critical of the Dougherty County School Board and Superintendent Joshua Murfree the last couple of years for poor decisions and poor leadership. But we want to be the first to praise the administration when they do things right.
School system leaders are handling the fallout from the state investigation into CRCT cheating well. 13 teachers and three principals admitted to some form of cheating. The board did the right thing by quickly removing them from their schools.
Those employees can’t be fired before individual hearings, which could be months away. And the system must continue to pay them. Instead of suspending them, and essentially giving the accused cheaters a free vacation, the superintendent and board members are forcing them to show up to work every day. They’re essentially in detention at the system’s administrative and storage complex. We can only hope they’re forced to write “I will not cheat on the CRCT” on a chalkboard.
The system could have hired substitute teachers to take the place of those educators, but they made a better decision. They’ll fill the vacancies with Early Intervention Program teachers who are already in the schools working one-on-one with struggling students. They’re better qualified than substitutes and won’t cost any extra tax money.
The Dougherty County School System will feel the effects of the cheating scandal for a long time to come. But so far, leaders are making smart decisions to minimize the cost of the scandal and the disruption to students.
New Year: Get involved!
It’s a new year. It’s time to get involved to make our community a better place.
We recognize the Albany community has its share of issues, as do many other communities.
If you want a better community… take stock in what we have and do your part to improve the place we call home.
We have some exciting projects to look forward to as we kick off our new year.
These major construction projects will create jobs and improve Albany’s appearance.
Demolition of the old Broad Avenue Bridge should begin in a few months to make way for a new bridge.
Later this year, …Construction should begin on a Downtown Albany Transportation Center .
Also, work soon begins on a new terminal at Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.
A better look and more jobs. Let’s not sit back and complain about what could be, Rather celebrate this new year by supporting improvements in our community .
A year ago, state lawmakers promised a major overhaul of Georgia’s tax system. They ended up not having the guts to tackle the controversial issue, so nothing happened.
It could come up again in the General Assembly session that’s about to begin, and some leaders have suggested re-implementing a state sales tax on groceries. We think that’s a bad idea.
Food isn’t a luxury item you can choose not to buy when money is tight. It’s a necessity that’s becoming more difficult for many Georgians to afford. A regressive grocery tax would hurt those who can least afford it the most.
Georgia leaders do need to take a serious look at reforming the tax code to make it more equitable and to increase revenue. But they should not put an extra burden on struggling and hard-working Georgians.