Free America –> Fee America

Justice Anthony Kennedy says “the issuance of a permit is not a matter of grace.” What he means, I think, is that, if the conditions have been complied with, the individual tasked with issuing the permit has no option but to issue it. Of course, one reason he has no option, other than that he’s been hired to issue permits and that’s his job, is that a fee has been paid. Permits aren’t free; there’s a fee. Moreover, when one considers things like gun permits and permits to pollute, the fee associated with the permit, albeit typically justified as being based on a processing cost, in effect serves as a substitute for what might otherwise be considered amoral or even immoral behavior. Justified by a fee! Now, there’s a thought!

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SPLOST or slush fund?

While it is true that none of the currently sitting Glynn County Commissioners were in office when the Special Projects Local Option Sales Tax #5 was authorized by the voters in 2005, to be collected between 2007 and 2011 (Bob Coleman came into office in 2009), prudence would argue for a detailed review to determine why the voters balked at authorizing the collection of more dollars in 2011 when a goodly portion of the $98 million collected still remained to be spent. https://www.glynncounty.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/9903
That five years later there are still many millions sitting in some bank is also reason for concern. But, more significant, I think is the fact that while SPLOST dollars can only be spent for projects that are identified on the ballot, the law obviously doesn’t require that the dollars be spent as specified.

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The thin edge of the wedge.

Disputed quarter acre off S. Harrington

Disputed quarter acre off S. Harrington

In offering to trade this wedge of dirt for a third of the road, P & M Cedar Products was looking to acquire road access to marsh and wetlands that, for some reason, are still partially zoned for residential development. How did that happen? Well, if Hannah’s Marsh is an example, planners simply concluded, from maps, that tall trees signal high land when, in actuality, they’re swamps. Which also explains why, all over Saint Simons Island, we’re losing trees to development when the builders discover that they have to haul in several feet of fill-dirt to get up out of the water.
Anyway, the lawyer’s spiel was/is unconvincing.

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Our historic boat ramp.

Disputed quarter acre off S. Harrington

Disputed quarter acre off S. Harrington

Sometimes it takes a while for things to register. Which is why our Glynn County Commission has a tendency to rush things through by voting in bulk on the “consent” agenda. Fortunately, when they’re proposing to give public property away, state law requires a public hearing, giving the public an opportunity to argue that their property needs to be retained.

Delay, unlike denial, is good. It gives thoughtful people an opportunity to collect their thoughts (and memories) and speak up, as Jingle Davis has done for today’s edition of the Brunswick News.
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Dear Joe Biden

In response to your request, let me just say that the Democratic Party is in the dog house for a whole bunch of reasons–not just for dissing Senator Sanders’ candidacy. Since I’m not particularly keen on having Sanders (or Warren) leave the Senate, when the Democrats come to their senses and select Joe Biden as their candidate for the Presidency, I’ll contribute what I can.
Your loyalty to the party is admirable and prudent, but so far it hasn’t been returned.
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EL SPLOSTO II

Tell me this is not a scam. Eleven years ago, the citizens of Glynn County approved an additional penny in sales taxes to collect almost one hundred million dollars over five years.

Forty million of that hundred was pledged to rehabilitate aging sewer and water systems. Sixteen million was actually spent, half of that on new south of the river facilities, which have almost no users. In the mean time, the water and sewer systems for both the City of Brunswick and Glynn County have been palmed off to a new Commission, along with a forty million dollar debt. $41 million are still needed by the JWSC for restoration and rehabilitation, while the Glynn County Commission generously promises $13 million from a new SPLOST.

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