Letters to the Editor

Defending Fort Benning

I am happy to live near Fort Benning and I know the soldiers and the many civilians who serve or work there spend a lot of money in this area. Their support of our economy is not a reason to urge the Army to leave Benning here.

What does the Army need? What role do the thousands of people at Fort Benning play in our national defense?

We need to think about these issues. I guess that the military relies more than ever on new technology to protect us and to fight our enemies. Benning must be a part of implementing the Army's goals, technological or otherwise, if it is to remain here.

I am not disparaging the soldiers and officers at Benning. I am always grateful that they serve in this dangerous time. But the number of people who train and serve at Benning may not be at the top of the Army's requirements today.

Instead of complaining about how much money this area will lose if Benning has to cut back, let's find out what the Army needs most right now. Then let's do what we can to help Benning be a part of that.

Bebe Bahnsen, Columbus

Just dig away

Richard Pryor had a movie titled “Which Way is Up?” and today I’m using that metaphor to ask the Republicans and their conservative counterparts what in the world you mean when you say that this economy is headed in the “wrong direction.”

Back when President Obama was sworn in, the American economy was in the hole, for lack of a better word, and some wise person said that when you are in a hole the first thing you do is stop digging if you wanna get out.

So President Obama put a stop to the digging and turned the American economy around. And if coming out of the hole is heading in the wrong direction, then red my neck and rebel my yell, ’cause you Republicans and conservatives is crazy as hell. Y’all want a pick or a shovel?

Randolph Jenkins, Columbus

Tax scam

Welcome to one of the most heavily taxed city/counties in millage rates in Georgia. There are 159 counties in Georgia, and Muscogee County is ranked third highest in school property tax and with the city’s property taxes ranked as one of the highest percentages collectively. Columbus is living proof of the adage that a city cannot tax itself into prosperity. It has been a deterrent to incoming businesses when surrounding counties have 30% less property taxes!

Mayor Tomlinson, Columbus Council and the school board want the citizens of Columbus to repeal the Tax Freeze on November 8, which would become a cash cow for them! They have lulled the voters into thinking that previous homeowners would be protected under the grandfather clause, which they know is being deceptive! They have handed out tax relief amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars of valued properties through tax abatements and now TADs, depleting our city’s/schools’ tax coffers. The majority of competing businesses in Columbus are subsidizing those businesses that are receiving tax relief, to their own financial detriment! Where is Chuck Williams?

Cm Tax Equalization Foundation, Inc., was founded by John Flournoy under the auspices of a Civil Rights non-profit corporation to contest the inequality of the Tax Freeze which was ruled in his favor by Superior Court Judge George M. Peagler Jr. Former Mayor Peters appealed this ruling to the Georgia Supreme Court, whereas their ruling favored the citizens of Columbus, but at a cost of $30,000 to the taxpayers. We won’t be that lucky this time around!

The Tax Equalization Committee, comprised mostly of Realtors, wanted the Tax Freeze lifted because they believed it would create more activity and sales.

If it passes this time, watch your property taxes double overnight, thanks to Mayor Tomlinson!

Paul S. Olson, Upatoi

Successful event

I would like to recognize Phenix City for the superb showcase last weekend at Garrett Stadium when Tuskegee played Albany State in the White Water Classic. This event has grown three years in a row.

Todd Hughes, Skip Hansberger, Shaun Culligan, Rebecca Harris and Eddie Lowe all did an outstanding job planning this year’s event which started on Thursday with a college fair, then a Friday concert, and Saturday a golf tournament, white water rafting race, kids zone, tailgating, then the game itself and another concert. It was an awesome time.

The tailgaters had Idle Hour Park smelling terrific. Two of the people cooking were Theodore Shephard and Terrance Kimber, who made the best BBQ sandwich and slaw I have ever had.

This event is really a showcase of our city, and from everything I heard, the folks from out of town were very pleased with what they saw.

Richard Day, Phenix City