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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
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June 12, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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June 12, 2019
 

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June 12, 2019 Page 5A at orter F- ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN by Don Daniel ( he other morning at the Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Issues breakfast, County Commission Chair- man Greg Tapley and Forsyth Mayor Eric Wilson gave updates on going-ons in their different realms. Mayor Wilson rightfully bragged how the city was working on several projects and how the city employees were working together under the concept of"Team Forsyth". Next time you see the highly visible Mayor, ask him about "Team Forsyth". Following the Mayor, Chair- man Tapley explained how the county was going to spend the 2020 Special Purpose Lo- cal Option Sales Tax, brag- ging how "my team" is going to spend the SPLOST money with road paving a major priority. I assume the Chairman's reference to "my team" refers to all county employees and as he explained, hiring of a county manager and a finance director made his "my team" complete. I guess since he thinks he has a "team" maybe we and all county employees should now refer to the chairman as "Coach Tapley". His using "my team" several times in his presentation brought out comments that are not printable. At the commission meeting, here are several unat- tributed comments: "I am not that familiar with ambulances"; 'A mechanical question"; "You need to number the pages": 'Td like to say something about it"; "The only question I have "; $30 bill"; "I think we need to give him a Mercedes"; "You came all the way over here?" I'VE BEEN hearing grumbling in regards to the tax assessments and assume by now you have received yours. If you are not happy with how much they think your property is worth, pay attention to the notice because you've got 45 days to file an appeal with the Monroe County Tax Assessors. You can't walk into the Tax Assessors office to complain or file an appeal. Your "This Is Not A Bill" tells you what have to do. The county manager, in cooperation with Lorri Rob- inson, county finance director, and of course those in the tax assessors' office, have compiled a list comparing Monroe County's millage rate to adjoining counties. Guess what? We have next to the lowest rate, 29.047, with Houston County being the lowest at 24.409. It's understandable why people are moving out of Macon- Bibb County with a millage rate of 39.966 The City of Forsyth has next to the lowest millage rate at 32.047 with Jackson coming in first at 30.43. The city of Jeffersonville is the highest at 46.965. Praise the Lord for Plant Schererl Here are some bills our tax money went to pay: Butts county got a check for $26,146.85 for supplying us with drinking water; we purchased $5,877.51 worth of electricity from Central Georgia EMC; Cherokee Culvert Company supplied pipe for $9,180.70; eight county employees got their wages garnished having to pay $1,631.72 and four others got garnished for $3,471 paid to Chapter 13; Trustee watching television costs us $3,112.56 paid to Forsyth Cablevision; $9,498.15 went to Ham's Auto Parts for a list of auto supplies; we got a lot of sand, $29,973.03, from Jerry Pate Turf and Irrigation; Monroe County Health Department got paid $9,998.42 for whatever. SheriffBrad Freeman got a check for $14.38 for travel. Thirty checks were writ- ten for a total of$116,820.18, which was only a half- months' gotta pay. HUMBLED is my expression upon receiving an award for this column from the Georgia Press Associa- tion. To be judged by your peers and thus honored by one's peers is quite an honor. Thanks to all the readers of "On The Outside Looking In". NO CORRECT answers to last week's The Ques- tion so here's the one for this week: cops were called to the Waffle House because a drunk customer didn't get a what? First correct answer after twelve noon on Thursday gets a certificate for Scoops single dip ice cream, dozen Dunkin donuts, Dairy Queen Blizzard, Whistle Stop fried green tomato appetizer, slice of lonah's pizza, slice of Shoney's strawberry pie, Forsyth Main Street t-shirt, sandwich, chips and drink at The Pickled Okra. IF YOU were in Forsyth Saturday you could have joined the Georgia Trust Expedition individuals tour of 19 local historic homes and sites in Forsyth. It was a total community effort by Forsyth Convention and Visitors Bureau, Forsyth Main Street, Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, the local Historical Society, several local restaurants and many others. THE LATEST food fad is no-meat hamburgers. Haven't seen them on the menu boards at our local Whopper/Diddly/DoodlyMacs but according to the Wall Street Journal fast food restaurants are experi- menting with different no-meat burgers and they are big sellers. If you see a local restaurant offering the no- meat burgers, let me know. I'll treat us both. Donald Daniel is the founder and former publisher of The Monroe County Reporter. Email him at mediadr@ bellsouth.net. LETTERS TO THE e To the Editor: Monroe County sent out 2019 tax notices Friday but they were mailed with an error. Whether it is pennies or dollars difference on your bill, it is the principle and the County did not check before they were mailed out. Go to Part C, School. Mul- tiply the net taxable amount by the millage (0.015716) and it does not equal the amount shown under Esti- mated Tax. Diversified Corp. of Chattanooga, Tenn. is the company the county uses for these notices. They used the millage rate for the 2018,gKH notices, 0.015734. Why are we paying a com- pany that does not check their soft- ware program or even care to proof a mailing before all our residents see this? Why is a county employee not taking the time to check and do their job thoroughly? Frankly, this is yet another piece to add to the list or as I call it a fire of complaints. I was paying my water bill on Friday so I stopped into. the tax office to be nice and make them aware of this error. I was sent into the office of chief tax appraiser Bob Simmons. It was a nightmare he was rude, disrespectful and unprofessional. I did not deserve this. Explaining to him the difference in 2018 and 2019 notices, he liter- ally threw my 2018 notice back at me, then told me "what is your problem? Your taxes went down?" (Yes, because I am 66 and get a $4 exemption). I was not there to dispute any part of my bill except for the error I found. He got upset & wasn't listening to me. He was bullying me, jumped out of his chair and got nose to nose in my face and could not intimidate me so he told me to leave his office. I didn't and he would not commit at this point to admit to the error or tell anyone about it. I told him my taxes help pay his salary and he jumped up again, reached toward his back pocket for his wallet and said to me, "Let me give you $2 back". Unbeliev- able! When I tried to explain again, he asked me what is wrong with me and made circles with his hand on the side of his head. I asked him if he is calling me crazy and he said, "Am I saying anything?'; he was silent & kept on doing this gesture, so I said you seem to be implying that I am cra . He tried over and over to irritate me and was annoyed that it was Friday afternoon and at this point past 5 p.m. I can go on with his other antics, but I feel this all was inappropriate behavior for a County official that could have respectfully said, "Thank you for bringing this to my attention, I will look into this and get it corrected". I would have been satisfied with that response. No, he told me it would cost $$$$$ to resend out notices. He should have thought about that before they were mailed. Serene Sanchez High Falls CHELSEA CHAT by Chelsea. Madden Losing a loved one is never easy. We all know that gut- wrenching feeling - and we all know that saying good- bye is something we never expect and don't want to do. The pain of waking up and going about a nor- mal routine seems impossible and the holidays just aren't the same. The idea of going to work is painful and even the simplest tasks are a thousand times harder to complete. In my own experience, when I lost my dear friend, Macy Morgan, all of the above was true. I felt help- less, hopeless, and lost. I hadn't felt that kind of sadness before, so I was unsure how to handle it. To tell the truth, I didn't handle it for the longest time - but I suppose denial is a part of the grieving process. After some time went by, I real- ized that my happiest memories with Macy were right here in For- syth - singing in the choir together at First Baptist, playing hide-and- seek at Walmart, or enjoying our favorite weekend tradition of a girls' night with our other best friends. These memories were especially daunting and difficult to deal with; each memory was so close to home, literally. Losing someone in a small town didn't sit well with me, espe- cially in a town as small as Forsyth. Chelsea Madden with her late friend Macy Morgan of Forsyth. In Forsyth, everyone knows every- one and when something happens, it is out there for all to see. There were so many times I wished that no one knew about what hap- pened jfist so I didn't have to run into someone around town and fake being okay. Small town living had it perks, but during this time, I wanted to be as far away from this town as I could get. I wanted to be in a big city, where no one knew Macy or me, or anything about us because each and every time I would look back on our friendship, I saw Forsyth. I saw lost time. I saw sorrow. But then one day, I saw hope. What Macy gave me were some of the greatest memories I could ever ask for, in a town that has the best people and some of the most comforting places. I met Macy in this town, and I'll cherish that fact forever. I didn't always like being asked how I was doing, but where else would I get that kind of sincerity? These people cared about Macy and they cared about me. Even if they didn't know me personally, they still offered a warm hug and a sweet smile. You see, when tragedy strikes, Forsythians always come together to show support, spread love, and pray for one another. Now when I look around Forsyth, I still see Macy - but this time it is different. I don't see the what ifs or the coulda, shoulda, wouldas. I see a part of her in every Forsythian. I see kindness. I see friendship. I see hope. Chelsea Madden of Forsyth is a graduate student seeking her Mas- ters of Fine Arts in writing with the Savannah College of Art and Design. She is an administrative assistant at the engineering firm Hodges, Harbin, Newberry 6, Tribble in Macon. STOREY TELLER by Bailey Storey as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a writer. It didn't matter what it was, as long as I could take my ideas and put them onto paper, I was ecstatic. I was that kid in school who always went above and beyond with projects because I loved being able to share the information I had learned. While my peers were complaining about having to write essays or narratives, I was over- joyed. Writing those things allowed me to express my ideas and creativity in a way I enjoyed, so while everyone else moaned and groaned and begged the teacher not to give us the work, I immediately jumped into the assign- ment. However, my real passions are creative and investigative writing. I find it easy to lose myself making up char- acters and stories, and I can spend hours writing down information I find interesting. I believe my love for writing stems from the fact I've been reading my entire life. Growing up, I could read novel after novel like they were children's stories. I found it easy to breeze through a book with 200 pages in a matter of days. As I got older, it grew harder and harder to balance reading and writing with schoolwork. I was constantly stressed about school and grades, and felt pressured into believ- ing my education was the only thing that mattered. After my sophomore year at Mary Persons, I hit a point where I was stressed about school that I felt physically and emotionally drained. It was like nothing mattered anymore than getting good grades. I realized that focusing on nothing but school and leaving no time for other things in my life wasn't healthy. So I decided to focus less on school and more on myself and my emotions. I would come home and do my homework or study for an hour or so, but then I would dedicate the rest of my afternoon to the things I loved, reading and writ- ing. I managed to keep my grades up without stressing to the breaking point, and I was able to have the "me time" that allowed me to regain my sense of purpose. I have lived in Monroe County my entire life. I've attended Monroe County Schools since pre-k, and I graduated with honors from Mary Persons on May 24. Growing up here has been a wild ride. I have learned what it means to have people who care about you and your dreams. I have gained friends and lost them. And I have been able to grow into the person I am today by studying the society we live in. While I loved being able to grow and learn here, I have always considered myself to be a "city girl". I find myself now comfortable surrounded by bright lights and constant city noise than quiet, small town living. It's my dream to live and work in Atlanta, and I am trying to start building my path to accomplish that dream. I found out about the opportunity for an internship at the Reporter after my stepmom sent me a post she had seen on Facebook. I applied with the idea that it would help me find out what it means to be a journalist. I am earning a more in-depth look into our community, and I am hop- ing to experience things I normally wouldn't. By doing this intemship, I am hoping to get a hands-on experi- ence in studying the way journalists report on current issues, events, and people. I am hoping it will help me with my intended study in college, as well as with my future career. In April, I was accepted into my sec- ond choice school, Valdosta State. My intended major of study is English, and I'm going to be on a journalism track for editing and reporting. For many years I was intending to study creative writing, but around Christ- mas -- with a bit of a push from my aunt -- I decided I would much rather become an investigative journalist, though I plan to continue working with creative writing on the side. I am hoping to minor in either History or Mass Media Communications. But for the next eight weeks I'll be here. If you have a story idea for me, email to baile aUysa.storey@grnafl.com. Bailey Storey of Forsyth, a 2019 graduate of Mary Persons, is the sum- mer intern for the Report She plans to attend Valdosta State in the fall majoring in journalism. I