Our presumptuous public servants

Georgia arranges for newly elected public servants to be trained. Apparently, the curriculum does not emphasize the importance of deference to the public that employs them. Either that, or Mr. O’Quinn was not paying attention.

I would note that the money wasted is the least of our problems. Incompetence is wasting our time and jeopardizing lives.

Dear Commissioner O’Quinn:

Gordon Jackson reports in the Brunswick News Online this morning that after Jeff Kilgore spoke during the public comment period last night, you “criticized him for making 67 open records requests the past three years, at taxpayer expense.”

Mr. Jackson did not report that I came to the podium as you were speaking and objected to the rudeness of your response. Had the county police chief not come to the podium and grasped my shoulder, I would have continued to point out that had you and other county commissioners paid attention to and acted on some of Mr. Kilgore’s advice, including the advice you and your colleagues ignored last night, tax payers could have been spared far greater expense.

(Not that it matters, but in recent years I have paid more than a thousand dollars to Glynn County for the cost of locating and copying documents in response to Georgia Open Records Act requests. I suspect Mr. Kilgore has paid even more.)

After I returned to my seat, you defended the waste of tax dollars Mr. Kilgore was objecting to by claiming (according to Mr. Jackson’s report) that “every new home built north of the intersection [of Sea Island and Frederica Road] will add to the traffic congestion, which is why the study is needed.”

Mr. Jackson also quotes you as saying “We are trying to find the best solution at that intersection”—but does not quote my shouted response that some problems cannot be solved.

When are you and your fellow commissioners going to hold public hearings on Saint Simons and the mainland devoted to whether or not the so-called traffic problems on Saint Simons can be “solved” by spending countless millions of dollars to accommodate even more traffic?

And now, to close on a positive note: thank you and your fellow commissioners for voting unanimously to defer the wholesale abandonment of alleys on East Beach and to deny the zoning change regarding the huge illegal dump site on Glyndale Drive. In both cases, you seemed to understand that county staff had not supplied you with sufficient information to vote in favor of those requests.


Julian Smith