Image Link 09/22/2016

Editorial: Chris Richardson - Robert Rowland / Cloning at Its Worse

Is Elbert County a great place to live? My 23 year residency in this county proves that I obviously like this place......wonderful people, desirable rural environment, peaceful surroundings, and the list goes on.

But do we have some serious issues facing us? Let me count the ways:

  • Per the financial auditor, the "elephant in the room" is the fact that our assets are declining at the rate of $3 million per year.
  • Not a single department head in Elbert County has the qualifications, experience or education to match their job description.
  • The 2016 EC approved budget, sent to the state at the end of 2015, shows $3 million more in expenses than revenues (add that to the continually declining assets!).
  • The county spent $3 million more in 2015 (per the auditor) than the commissioners had approved when that budget was sent to the state at the end of 2014.
  • The county should have spent $1.7 million more on roads in 2015 than it actually did (per our depreciation allowance).
  • Some of the 1% Road and Bridge tax, passed by citizens in 2007, is actually going to the General Fund (vague language in the ballot issue facilitated this).
  • The work environment amongst employees has been described by Commissioner Danny Willcox as, "The most toxic work environment I have seen in my entire working career."
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Yet my opponent in the upcoming commissioner election, Chris Richardson (a 5-year EC resident sporting an endorsement by Robert Rowland) writes about our "positive fiscal outlook....with no worries," about "individual departments working together," and about the benefits of "leasing vehicles." Somehow these comments don't jive with the present situation.

Richardson also states that critics of our county are only "invested in the past." Perhaps he needs a reality check, perhaps he needs to listen to the financial experts waving the warning flags, or perhaps he needs to exit the good ol' boy crowd.

And perhaps the citizens of Elbert County need to realize that more-of-the-same won't fix what ails us.

Jill Duvall
Commissioner Candidate
District 1