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DFACS chair: Lee a bad landlord

LEESBURG, Ga. -- The chairwoman of the Lee County Department of Family and Children Services took the Lee County Commission to task at the board's work session Tuesday night, arguing that the county had been a bad landlord in its maintenance of an office the agency rents.

Despite assurances from Commission Chairman Ed Duffy that more than $44,000 has been included in the Fiscal Year 2013 and 2014 county budgets for repairs of the office building, Alison Singletary said that did little to alleviate existing concerns.

"We can't wait that long," Singletary said when informed of the planned infusion of money for repairs.

Duffy told Singletary and DFACS Director Vickie Bell that the county had allocated $4,000 in its current budget for maintenance on the county-owned building and that that funding had been used. But Singletary said DFACS should not be treated as a county entity.

"We're tenants; we're entitled to regular maintenance," she said.

Duffy offered commiseration, saying, "We understand your problems," but Singletary cut him off.

"That doesn't help fix my rotting fascia," she said. "You ageed to make repairs."

"As long as there's money available ... " Duffy started, but Singletary again cut him off. "That's not what (the lease between the county and DFACS) says," she said.

Duffy countered by saying, "If I were you, I'd be pleased ..." only to be cut off by Singletary, who said, "You're not me. We're a tenant, and we deserve to have maintenance done whether you have money in your budget or not. That's not my concern."

County Administrator Tony Massey told Singletary he and Maintenance Supervisor John Patrick would meet with her to go over concerns after Commissioner Dennis Roland said, "I tend to agree with Ms. Singletary; if I rented a house, I'd expect the landlord to keep it up."

The exchange came after Lee Economic Development Director Winston Oxford and Planning and Engineering Director Bob Alexander made a push for votes to approve the regional 1 percent special transportation tax that will be on the July 31 primary ballots.

"Let me begin by saying that this one penny sales tax is something that we might not particularly like, but I'm here to tell you, we have got to do it if Southwest Georgia stands a chance in the future of creating as well as saving jobs in our part of the world," Oxford said after Alexander outlined the so-called T-SPLOST projects that would impact the county. "You see, according to the entire economic development community throughout the world, transportation is the No. 1 important consideration that a company makes when they are looking to expand or relocate.

"Without the avenues of getting their products to their target markets, businesses have no chance of success."

Oxford warned that Atlanta has spent $9 million on a campaign to push the regional tax in the state's capital city.

"The state Legislature is already controlled by officials from metro Atlanta, and if T-SPLOST passes in metro Atlanta and not Southwest Georgia ... well, do you really think they'll give a hoot about this region?

"Every penny of this special tax collected in Southwest Georgia will stay in Southwest Georgia. It will not go to Atlanta. The regions that pass this measure, they'll be the winners. They'll be the economic engine in Georgia for the next 10 years."

Commissioner Rick Muggridge said the special tax is important to the entire region.

"Forget the $26 million that will come into Lee County and the $30 million that Dougherty County will get that will have a huge impact on our county," Muggridge said. "Improvement on (State Highway) 133, which is very important to our friends at the Marine Corps Logistics Base (in Albany) and all the jobs there, is reason enough for me to vote for T-SPLOST."

Comments

DoctorDorite 1 year, 11 months ago

Splost started out a good thing and now has evolved into a slush fund for pet projects while they ignore items like the DFACS building. Proud to see someone like Ms. Singletary put the squeeze on Duffy and his clone, bet they get on the ball now and fix her complaints since she nailed them to the wall. I still say VOTE'em OUT !!

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chinaberry25 1 year, 11 months ago

If I were DFAS, I would give my notice and find another building. Surely you could pick up one cheap. As far as the SPLOSH, do not spend your money yet. I am AGAINST it. I would rather see toll roads than a SPLOSH. Tax the folks who use them not everybody. We already have one SPLOSH for roads and I quote, the money got diverted to another project. Philema has been 4 laned years ago and Lee Co has yet to take up their end.

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myside 1 year, 11 months ago

SPLOST has become the golden goose for politicians to increase taxes.. Any excuse fo cover their inability to operate financially is, "We need more income to operate and SPLOST is the best thing to bring in that money". Every one of these SPLOST schemes is simply a tax increase with no guarantee that the money will be spent on its original purpose. SPLOST is not a one time tax increase, it is a never ending tool for politicians to raise taxes.

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justme 1 year, 11 months ago

"IF I WERE YOU, I'D BE PLEASED...", I don't think she was Duffy and how does it feel to be put in place by a woman ? Too bad Ms. Singletary did not STS outta you, something you really need to knock you off your high horse. I'm sure if the folks at the golf course were complianing you would have your old arse out there with boards and hammer in hand.

GIVE IT UP DUFFY, WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF YOUR TUNNEL VISION.

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Cartman 1 year, 11 months ago

T-SPLOST, E-SPLOST, SPLOST. I am against SPLOST of any kind. You are voting to voluntarily pay a tax. You are still paying the property, income, or advalorem tax that formerly paid for those items. It's not replacing anything. It's an ADDITIONAL sales tax. Politicians spend the money without guilt, because you approved it. Any tax on anybody is collectively a tax on all of us. Vote NO.

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 11 months ago

Cartman, if you have a facebook page you are welcome to join Georgians Who Are Against T-SPLOST.

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Jacob 1 year, 11 months ago

I agree Cartman. Enough is enough. Heck, tell DFACS to move to Dougherty County and take their government teat suckers with them.

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justme 1 year, 11 months ago

Be nice Jacob as someone from your family could have need of DFACS one day in the future. We never know what lies ahead on the road of life.

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DoctorDorite 1 year, 11 months ago

Please citizens of Lee Co. research SPLOST and where it goes. I just read in the local paper where they have allotted 10 million of your self-taxing dollars to extend Forrester Drive ? why is that needed ? where are they planning on extending it to ? its already as long as it can be made, from U.S 19 and dead-ends at Philema Rd. This sounds like a little fund diversion is gonna take place for their special projects ? I think the citizens had better wake up and realize special interest and developers are running the county. I say VOTE'em OUT !!

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WeAreThey 1 year, 11 months ago

If a Forrester extension is truly on the project list, it can be only there to help out certain real estate developers - especially those who buy land-locked properties on the cheap and get the county to bring the road to them.

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DoctorDorite 1 year, 11 months ago

Yep, it says so on the front page of the Lee Co. Ledger, straight out of the horses mouth, read it yourself, I even went back and double checked myself thinking I may have mis-read. Its there in black & white !

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Cartman 1 year, 11 months ago

Meanwhile, Armena Road getting paved has fallen down the list again. I believe its been on the list for about a dozen years. Why would you pave only a portion of the road? The whole Hwy 32 and Pinewood areas of Lee County needs a more direct access to 82 and Albany. Quicker Sheriff's response time as well. Unfortunately, no one important enough to any Commissioners lives near that road.

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