Those same Gwinnett County protestors who blocked a tax hike approved by the county commission this spring have summoned themselves to order with another town hall meeting — this one at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Gwinnett County Justice and Administration Center.
The meeting is hosted by Gwinnett Citizens for Responsible Government. The group FreedomWorks is apparently picking up the tab.
The purpose of the meeting, organizers say, is to discuss the cuts imposed by the Gwinnett commission after it dropped plans for the 25 percent property tax hike.
“We knew when we stopped a tax increase there would be budget cuts, but we assumed the citizens would have input and suggestions to the budget cut process. This has not happened,” said Debbie Dooley in an e-mail exchange. “Many times when elected officials are denied a tax increase, they do retaliatory budget cuts. In other words their strategy is to cut programs they know are extremely important to tax payers in hopes to change voters minds about the tax increase. It is a ploy that has been played out by politicians many times.”
Sabrina Smith, another organizer, said taxpayers have been frustrated by County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister’s advice to review county spending records for themselves. “The information is not readily available for the average taxpayer to understand, and yet taxpayers are being asked to pay their taxes and accept the cuts in service that the commissioners have mandated,” she said.
We were sent a list of officials expected to attend the meeting. No one from the Gwinnett County Commission is listed.
On the other hand, Bannister and the commission have signed on to an months-long effort sponsored by the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce, dubbed “Engage Gwinnett,” intended to bring commissioners and other county officials together with taxpayers in a non-volatile setting.
The sessions will be attended by a professional mediator, and are intended to avoid the ugly, last-minute confrontations that marked this year’s passage of the county budget. About 30 “stakeholder” groups in the community and 10 “citizen leaders” have been invited to participate in the six-month process.
At the Saporta Report, Maria Saporta says she ran into Attorney General Thurbert Baker on Monday, and asked him about those rumors that the Democratic candidate for governor was being considered to fill a vacancy on the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
“It just ain’t so, meaning none of the above,” Baker said. “I’m not being considered, and I’m not interested. I’m interested in being the next governor of this state, and that’s taking up all of my time.”
Whoops. Slightly wrong answer. Running for governor and a day-job as attorney general is taking up all of his time — right?
From the same Kiwanis Club meeting on Monday, Dave Williams of the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported:
Leaders of Georgia’s congressional delegation will invite their colleagues from Florida and Alabama to a meeting to discuss the recent court ruling on water from Lake Lanier, U.S. Rep. David Scott said Tuesday.
The Atlanta Democrat said Reps. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, and Nathan Deal, R-Gainesville, have agreed to his suggestion that the Georgians seek to sit down with the other two states’ delegations when Congress goes back into session after Labor Day.
“They’re not going to ask us to get together,” Scott said following a luncheon speech. “They don’t need it. We’ve got to go to them.”
Most national news outlets gave heavy play to this morning to CIA documents that detailed Bush Administration guidelines on enhanced interrogation of terror suspects. This from the New York Times:
Two 17-watt fluorescent-tube bulbs — no more, no less — illuminated each cell, 24 hours a day. White noise played constantly but was never to exceed 79 decibels. A prisoner could be doused with 41-degree water but for only 20 minutes at a stretch.
The Central Intelligence Agency’s secret interrogation program operated under strict rules, and the rules were dictated from Washington with the painstaking, eye-glazing detail beloved by any bureaucracy.
Like the NYT, the Washington Post created a see-for-yourself-link to the actual document.
We’ve already reported that Saxby Chambliss, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has signed a letter protesting a decision by the U.S. Justice Department re-examining the case of CIA employees who crossed a line.
But what we didn’t know was that, according to accessnorthga.com, Chambliss has quickly signed on as a supporter of President Barack Obama’s decision to keep Ben Bernanke on as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
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