I was dismayed on reading that Sheriff John Darr and the sheriff's department regularly exceed their annual budget by a little over $2 million each year. The total deficit is approaching $9 million. There is no excuse for such fiscal irresponsibility and profligate spending.
However, I was even more alarmed to read that the Mayor and the city council have limited authority over how the sheriff spends the money allocated to him by the city council. Being concerned with law enforcement does not give "King John" the right to establish an independent kingdom accountable to no one.
The city council sets the annual budget for the Columbus Consolidated Government departments, and the sheriff's department needs to operate within their budget. The city council and the financial office of the Columbus Consolidated Government need to make quite certain that the sheriff operates within these confines.
Thomas D. Orr
An earnest plea
This is in reference to the letter dated Jan. 28 concerning the possible closing of the Edgewood Senior Center.
I am currently a member of the Edgewood Senior Center and have been for several years. I thoroughly enjoy meeting my dear friends and sharing a meal with them during the week. We senors certainly eat a more healthy and well balanced meal at the Center than one made at home and eaten alone. Not only are we more healthy, but our lives are much happier. Our Center serves one of the better meals than those served at the other three senior centers.
I trust and pray that the Edgewood Senior Center will never be closed. I invite those who doubt our benefits to just visit the Center on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and see for yourself how blessed our members are and enjoy a nourishing mean with us. Afterwards we play cards or games, and bingo on Thursdays.
Don't deny our seniors this "family" atmosphere we enjoy so much. We truly are better citizens by having our Senior Center.
Yes, it matters
"What difference does it make?" Thanks to Hillary Clinton this phrase has entered the realm of major discussion and thought. My immediate reaction, and that of many, is one of non-agreement.
The tragedy of Benghazi does make a difference no matter the time, past or present. It brings to the attention of many the human thoughts and acts singularly and massively, the beliefs and deeds both executed and unexecuted of those involved. Directly and indirectly the decisions of Benghazi affect us all.
It can be said that everything we do matters. Our lives may be affected knowingly or unknowingly by a fragment of anything and everything. Ask a leader of industry, a successful writer, anyone achieving a respectful standard of life, what mattered in their personal development. Their answers will vary from a major happening to a minor occurrence. The influence of a belief act, word, or incident may determine the success or failure of a persons development and possibly their entire life.
What does it matter? It depends on you. Does it matter if you kiss your wife and children before bed each night? Does it matter if you smile at or with everyone you meet during the day? Does it matter if you care enough to do the best you can on your job, your studies, and being an all around caring individual? You can bet your last buck it does, and it makes a difference in your world and the worlds of others.
So let's make it matter. And by doing so, make our world a better place.
Did not speak for us
I and other Georgia lawyers have received calls and emails about the local advertisement that a Savannah-area lawyer ran during the Super Bowl.
Although I cannot speak for all lawyers, I firmly believe most members of the State Bar of Georgia do not condone or approve of advertising that uses sensationalism and "over-the-top" graphics in an attempt to get business. Nonetheless, the right to free speech is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that lawyer advertising is protected under the First Amendment. Therefore, the Bar's ability to control the content of ads is very limited.
Notwithstanding, I assure you that Georgia lawyers engage in a level of professionalism beyond the bare minimum. Most of us follow The Lawyers' Creed, an aspirational statement endorsed by the Supreme Court of Georgia, which states in part:
As a lawyer, I will aspire:
To consider the effect of my conduct on the image of our systems of justice including the social effect of advertising methods. As a professional, I should ensure that any advertisement of my services is consistent with the dignity of the justice system and a learned profession.
The best lawyer advertising is designed to educate the public about the law or to help people in need find a lawyer. I encourage any member of the public to fully investigate the qualifications of a lawyer and not select a lawyer solely based upon the content of an advertisement.
President, State Bar of Georgia