The True Citizen
P.O.Box 948
Waynesboro, GA
30830
(706) 554-2111
Letters to Editor
10/22/03



EDITOR:

The Burke County 4-H Forestry teams won first place this year in both the Junior and Senior divisions, at the District Forestry Field Day competition. The senior team also went on to win second place at the state level competition. In addition to all of this, there are about 15 students who now know tree identification, insects and diseases, how to estimate board feet and how to pace and use a compass – and had a good time learning it!
None of this would have occurred if it had not been for the untiring work of three special people. We would like to publicly thank Mrs. Jane McDaniel, Mark Raines and Roosevelt McWilliams for their investment in the lives of these children. Many, many hours were spent by each of these adults to give these students valuable encouragement, experience and knowledge.
Mr. and Mrs. Scott Shepherd
Waynesboro



EDITOR:

I received my True Citizen today and read of Mrs. Emily “Lou” Applewhite Daniel’s passing.
I am a United Methodist minister specializing in Christian Education for the past 32 years. In classes with Sunday School teachers over all of these years, and in sermons, I have often cited an experience I had with Mrs. Daniel in her class when I was just 5 years old. My mother came to pick me up, and I overheard Mrs. Daniel say to her, “Myrtle, Grady has just been fascinated with our American flag today, and I’d like for you to let him take it home this week. He can bring it back next Sunday.” I do not remember what that Sunday’s lesson was about. I do remember well my surprise that Mrs. Daniel had noticed what I was interested in, cared about what I was interested in, and trusted me with that flag for a whole week. In that moment I learned that the church cares about me, that God cares about me, and that both God and the church saw me as important and to be trusted.
I have used the example, calling Mrs. Daniel by name, to emphasize that while our lesson is important, our planning is important, the most important element in our classroom is the student and how we relate to him or her. That is what really teaches and is the way Jesus taught. I will forever be grateful to Mrs. Daniel for that wonderful lesson. I am sure her ministry with 4 and 5 year olds over so many years affected many lives.
Grady W. Mills, II
Darlington, S.C.

EDITOR:

The True Citizen carried a front-page story in its Oct. 15, 2003 issue detailing the county administrator’s proposed 2004 budget. The writer erroneously stated that the present 2003 budget contains $244,000 in surplus revenue, which was returned to the taxpayers in December of 2002 through their tax bills.
As of this date, the taxpayers have not received one cent of the alleged surplus. The commissioners approved the rebate in February, 2003, well after the mailing of the 2002 tax bills. The much ballyhooed surplus is nothing more than wishful speculation at this time.
If, and that is a big if, the surplus materializes it would be rebated in the millage rate to be set by Burke commissioners over the next few weeks. Whatever the case, do not count on your property taxes going down.
The private side of the tax digest took a huge hit this year due to the tax assessor’s revaluation of property. Many property owners are reeling from the shock of the new assessments placed on private property. It appears that Burke’s land gentry will bear the brunt of the tax assessor’s blow.
Make no mistake about it folks, we are witnessing a major shift of the tax burdens in this county. It should be painfully clear to property owners that the onus of maintaining the fat budgets of Burke commissioners and the board of education has now been placed squarely on our backs. This trend is certain to continue with future devaluations of the utility digest.
Bill S. Hargrove
Waynesboro

EDITOR:

Last Tuesday night, Oct. 14, Jesse Stone, Republican candidate for mayor of Waynesboro, made a feeble attempt to dupe the Burke County Commissioners into voting to keep the closed by owner’s representative, Templeton Circle, in the county maintained road system.
The ultimate purpose being to allow the out-of-state owners to develop the property and circumvent the county requirement to pave this overgrown pig path. The net result is we, the citizens, would pay to pave the three-mile private road for the financial gain of the developer Davio Hogan, and the out-of-state descendants of the original owner. Talk about sticking it to us.
B. S. Harrison
Keysville
(Editor’s note: This road was among 26 the Burke County Commission approved for removal from the county road system last Tuesday night.)

EDITOR:

In the almost eight years that I have worked in Waynesboro, I have grown to love this community. Its spirit and unity have always impressed me. Waynes-boro is the kind of place you rarely find, where neighbors truly know each other and care about the community in which they live.
However, there are times I wonder if we are losing that spirit and the ability to “rally around each other.” Will Waynesboro become just like the other small “ghost” towns we drive through? These are places where small businesses are gone, the downtown is empty and people have to go elsewhere for events and entertainment.
People often comment they “wish we had this in town” or “would love to have that.” But look at what we have here. Are we supporting the businesses and events we already have?
Take for example, Waynes-boro Antiques & Fine Living. As a whole, the event far exceeded expectations. We had a great crowd, and I think everyone who attended had a wonderful time. On the other hand, there were many who could have attended but chose to “wait and see” rather than show up. If you can believe it, several walked through the market before the event began, rather than purchasing a ticket. And then there were those who told me over and again about the antiques, similar to the ones the event highlighted, which they planned to purchase elsewhere.
Waynes-boro will never reach its full potential without a commitment from the community to support what’s already here. We can’t get more stores if the ones we have aren’t profitable.
Our restaurants won’t survive if people go to dinner in Augusta because its $3 cheaper. And if we have a complaint or suggestion for a business, let them know. They can’t be what we want if we don’t tell them what we expect! And so the future of Waynesboro’s charming downtown and community events rests in our hands.
Do we want to preserve the charm and history of Waynesboro? Do we want our children to grow up and decide to stay in the community? Do we want this place to be one we can continue to be proud of?
If our answer is yes, then we know what to do. Support what is here and work to make it even better. The only thing limiting us is ourselves.
Cristi Williams
Aiken, S.C.


 


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