Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
July 24, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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July 24, 2019

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& EDITORIALS "Declare among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not." - Jeremiah 50:2 A 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 winner: Editorial Page excellence ~~ 2019, 2018 winner:. Best Headline Writing /O~fl~q~e~ 2019 winner:, Best C ify Service I~lff'~-~i~l 2019 winner. Best layout and Design ~Z~A~I 2019 winner:. Best Serious Column Don Daniel ~'l~eL'1~=~r~J ON THE PORCH by Will Davis ne of the great things about Monroe County, land a reason we are attracting more people out r of Bibb and Henry counties, is because families are looking for a community that shares their conservative values. I can't tell you how many times I've talked to a newcomer who exclaimed how excited they were to escape the twin plagues of liberal nile: a meddlesome government and crime. Oh sure, you may find more government services in Mc- Donough and Macon. But you'll also find more rules and regula- tions. And you'll find higher taxes. Well Monroe County commis- sioners surveyed that situation and decided what the county needs is to impose another regulation on local businesses, requiring a business license for $175, with renewals at $125. In essence to become more like Bibb and Henry counties. Local businesses are the backbone of this community. They provide our jobs. They pay our taxes. They support our schools whether by joining a booster club or talking to kids on career day And what is their thanks? Here's another hoop to jump through, you peasants! Of course, the county wanted to know how much money they could get their grimy hands on from the license. A survey found that Iones County took in $34,000 and Butts County $40,000. That's almost enough to fund commis- sioners' next junket to Savannah or Amelia Island. We can all understand the temptation. Thankfully, commissioner Eddie Rowland, after second- ing the motion to require business licenses, seemed to real- ize at Thursday's meeting that he might be making a mis- take. Rowland noted the perfectly common sense fact that legitimate businesses will comply and pay the fee, while the fly-by-night ones, the ones the county wants to get a-hold on, will not. And kudos to commissioner Larry Evans, who also opposed the new requirement. He noted that business owners can already buy a license if they want one. Commissioner George Emami also seemed to come around, conceding he doesn't want to require a license flit means it would cost the county more to enforce it than it would actually take in. Now we're getting somewhere. Finally, three taxpayers chimed in, including logging busi- ness owner Nipper Bunn, who pointed out that business owners shouldn't have to pay a fee just so county govern- ment can get more information about local businesses. The bottom is line is that local bus'messes don't work for the county government. Rather, the county government works for us. Most business owners already pay sales and property taxes in Monroe County that fund local govern- ment. To add a business fee on top of that is a form of double taxation. "Govemment already licenses and regulates businesses for health and safety reasons, plus a host of other reasons such as consumer protection,' said Reporter columnist Kyle Wingfield, president of the Georgia Public Policy Founda- tion. "Adding an additional layer of licensing only makes it that much more difficult and expensive for an entrepreneur to open a business, provide a good or service to custom- ers, create jobs, and generally enhance the prosperity of their family and their communi . It generally doesn't help anyone except government officials who want to make bus'messes pay for the license so they have more money to spen&" Wingfield is right. He knows that Monroe County is great because we value freedom. Monroe County is growing because we leave people alone. Monroe County needs to know what's making our county grow. And requiring busi- ness licenses goes in exactly the opposite direction of that. Glad to see that commissioners are coming around to that point of view as well. h~btonroeC(mnty www. is published every week by The Monroe County Reporter Inc. Will Davis, President. Robert M. Williams Jr Vice President Cheryl S. Williams, Secretary-Treasurer STAFF Will Davis ~ ~ Trellis Grant Publisher/Editor Business Manager Richard Dumas ~ @ Diane Glidewell News Editor Community Editor Carolyn Martel ~ Advertising Manager Amy Haisten Creative Director Official Organ of Monroe County and the City of Forsyth SO N. Jackson St PC) Box 795 Forsyth, ~ 31029 Periodicals Postage Paid at Forsyth, GA 31029 POSIIVbe~-IER: Send address changes to: THE MONROE COUNTY REPORTER. 478-994-2358 SUBSCRIPTION RATE: In County:. $40 Out of County: $48 Single Copy: $1 Deadlines noon on Friday prior to issue. Comments featomcl on opinion pages are the oeation of the writers, the do not necessarily reflect the opinions oflhe Reporter management. Publication No. USPS 997-840 GUEST COLUMN by Matt Perry This column is taken from a Face- book post by Matt Perry, Monroe County's Emergency Management Agency director, about how many different locals rallied to take care of passengers on a broken-down bus on 1-75 in Forsyth on Sunday. As many of you saw on Sunda ; 1-75 turned into a parking lot late in the afternoon. A Mega Bus, which can hold up to 100 passen- gers, had a mechanical issue that left it stranded just north of the weigh station. With temperatures into the mid-nineties, and a bus with no AC, passengers soon became overheated and EMS was needed. Not to men- tion, the traffic apps and those from the NSA listening in sensed the trouble and began rerouting motor- ists around the disabled bus, adding to our now growing mess. With no idea of how long it was going to be before a new bus would arrive, the decision was made by fire fighters to load up the passen- EVA chief Matt Perry gers and take them somewhere cool Thankfully, only 40 passengers were on the bus. A MegaBus broke down on 1-75 on Sunday, and EVA director Matt Perry said the community rallied to show Southern hospitality. TAKING A LIKENS TO YOU by Dale Likens few years ago my wife and I visited our families in Ohio and while there decided to drive a few more miles north to watch the sun- set on Lake Erie. We arrived a little early, of course, to make sure we didn't miss the magic and splendor we had heard would leave us spellbound and breathless. While a number of other people gathered near a small, outdoor snack shop on the beach, Karen and I wandered to a spot we assumed must be the chosen spot to relax and watch the spectacular setting of the sun because a few others were already gathered. "Is this your first time here?" An older lady smiled and asked us as we approached her and her hus- band. "Yes, it is;' Karen returned with a smile. "Well, you chose a perfect day" the older lady said. "Where are you from? Do you live nearby?" "Well, not quite! We're from Georgia!" Karen laughed in return. "Many years ago we used to live in Ohio, but this is our first time to view a sunset on Lake Erie." "I promise you will be glad you came. I guarantee you it is some- thing you'll remember for a long time!" Quickly 10 or 15 others left the snack shop and rushed to our side, laughing and joking as they settled in beside us and behind us. Across the far stretch of the calm, blue waters of Lake Erie the orange ball began to drop suddenly as though it were New Year's Eve in New York City. Excitedly the people around us began counting the seconds until the sun would finally plummet into Lake Erie. "One, two, three!" they called in unison. Then in the blink of an eye the large, round, orange sun dipped quickly into the water while those around us began to cheer. Within moments the immeasurable, blue waters of Lake Erie seemed to swal- low the sun in one gulp and almost immediately the sun was gone. "That was spectacular!" I heard someone say to her friend as everyone seemed to wander back to the beach. "We need .to come back and see that againV "You certainly were right about the splen- dor!" Karen said to her new friend. "We'll have to come back again sometime!" As we drove home from Lake Erie that eve- ning I reminded Karen of the Seven Great Wonders of the Ancient World. I recalled the Great Pyra- mids of Egypt, the Hanging Gar- dens of Babylon and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Of course, I couldn't remember any of the others; I was surprised I remembered that many. "I'm sure we'll never be blessed enough to see the Seven Great Won- ders of the Ancient World since only one or two exist today, but we don't need those wonders anyhow;' I said as we drove along. "But the sunset at Lake Erie made me think of all the wonders of the world we do see around us each day:' "Do you mean like a precious baby's first cry when it's born? Or the pleasure of cuddling your own baby in your arms for the first time:' She caught on right away. "That's exactly what I mean!" I an- swered quickly. ' md what about the thousands of other beautiful won- ders of this world we see each day but never stop to praise God? What about the sunrise each morning? Or rainbows after a rain; sometimes Trying to find transportation for 3 dozen wear hot, inconvenienced travelers on a Sunday afternoon, with a gridlocked town isn't the easiest task for most folks, but this is Forsyth. Believe it or not, we've dealt with the stranded folks a time or 100 and after a few phone calls, we had a plan (que Hannibal Smith and the *A-Team theme song here). It took a couple of calls, but our Board Of Education had us a driver and a bus within 10 minutes headed to the interstate. Jody Barfield of the Forsyth United Methodist Church, when asked, without hesitation said, "bring em!" and Ms. Terri Totten and John New from the Red Cross mobilized their staff and relief was on the way. These sweaty, stressed and tired travelers were met with open arms, a cold drink and air conditioner. It took over 5 hours to get a replacement bus here. During that time though, our little county showed yet again, exactly what Southern hospitality was all about. What started out as a disaster in the making was soon handled all because strangers were willing to help strangers. I don't know about you, but I love it when a plan comes together. A huge thank you to: Battalion Chief Wesley Jackson and his team with MCES Jackson Daniel and Jake Davis with the BOE Driver Isaac Holmes Jody Barfield and the crew at The FUMC Terri Totten and the Red Cross The 911 dispatchers and deputies who helped at the scene. The DOT CHAMPs team who stayed with the bus double rainbows?" "Or what about the pictures Dale and Patty sent recently of those gor- geous, colorful flowers they found hidden in the desert of Arizona," Karen continued where I left off. "That's exactly what I mean!" I said. "I was thinking of the beauty of the aurora borealis for instance. And what about the Big Dipper and the Seven Sisters in our nightly sky?" "I suppose our list of God's won- ders all around us could go on and on and on if we think a little harder" Karen began to laugh. "We've only begun!" "Hey, Hon! Look quickly right there, in the sky!" I said excitedly as I pointed out the front window of the car. "What was that?" Karen asked as the object flew quickly through the enormous cluster of stars that brightened the evening sky. "That, my dear, sweet wife is one of the great wonders of God's cre- ation you and I have been speaking of! That was a comet speeding by our earth and you and I have once more been blessed beyond words!" Suddenly all had become quiet in our car. Then Karen spoke again. "I was thinking of those two fawns we saw the other day in our backyard in Georgia. Weren't they fun to watch as they nibbled at the wild flowers in our backyard?" "God surely is good to us, Hon! We have more glorious wonders around us each and every day than we realize" I leaned forward on the steering wheel of the car and gazed into the vast number of stars that glimmered in the night air. "The sunset on Lake Erie surely was stupendous! Wasn't it, Hon?" Karen said softly as she, too, gazed into the star-studded heavens. "Praise God!" we said together as we often do. God bless! Dale Likens is an author who lives in Monroe County. i