Madison County Letters...

 July 12, 2000


Letter To The Editor
The Madison County Journal
Exclusively online

Interest of children should come first
Dear editor:
I'm a citizen of Clarke County. I have heard about a case of Madison County family that began in Walton County and also in Carnesville. It concerns a small, female child with great dignity that was ripped away from her at a very young age.
The child claims that a friend of her fathers was touching/fondling her in the wrong places, but after having been examined by a medical doctor, only evidence of an infection was found. But a child of such a young age should not know of any such things as what she was explaining to family and doctors.
Yet the family was torn apart when going to court and the court awarded custody to the drug addicted father that has no right to have the child. The concern here is that the law and public defenders are supposed to serve and protect and not let anything of harm come into our children's precious little lives. Things said and done to children hurt them and they never asked to be in this world in the first place. So why are some having to go through torture just to make their way? Why isn't the law helping in ways to protect instead of worrying about little nic-pic things that really don't matter or help at all?
It is sickening to know there are people out there working for the government and county that are worse off in the head to do this than a drunkard on the streets.
Our children were put here for us to love and let live out happy lives and good memories, not to have nightmares and things said and done.
Why does this world have to be so cruel? And why is there a county family and children service here when they're not here to protect the children. But they go into the wrong homes messing with the wrong people when all along if they were across the way, their problem would be found. They go to a home for uncleanness or because mom has a live-in friend instead of listening to the children crying out for help and they only turn their heads. They are so wrong for this and things need to be done to stop this insanity and give our children back their reason for being here with us - for loving and sharing.

Sincerely, Elizabeth Rodireges, Athens


Letter To The Editor
The Madison County Journal
July 12, 2000

DOT appeal is standard legal procedure
Dear editor:
I am responding to the Gauldings' July 5th letter concerning their legal fight with the Department of Transportation (DOT). For those who might just be tuning in, the Gauldings are complaining about DOT's "taking" of their land by condemnation under the state's power of eminent domain.
Let me state at the outset that I know nothing about the property values involved, but it certainly may be that the original DOT offer of $525 was ridiculously low, and perhaps the jury valuation of $50,000 was right on the mark. But that is not the reason for this letter. I do understand that the Gauldings are not lawyers, but either their lawyer did not explain things to them or the Gauldings are going at it alone. I am a practicing attorney and the Gauldings' letter alerted me to the fact that perhaps a primer in appellate procedure might be in order.
At this stage, all that DOT has done is to exercise its right to appeal - just as the Gauldings could have chosen to appeal had they lost at the trial court level. In fact, the state has apparently filed (judging by the Gauldings' letter) what are known as "the general grounds" (a euphemism for "boilerplate" language) in its Motion For New Trial (MFNT) -which is really just an appeal back to the trial court. At some point, the DOT will supplement these "general" grounds with specific claims as to what went wrong at the trial level. Perhaps the Gauldings would not like to hear that when a MFNT is lost, there is yet another appeal available - to a statewide appellate court in Atlanta. On the other hand, should the Gauldings lose at the MFNT level, then I guess that maybe they would like to know that there is yet another avenue of appeal. To digress, in most states, there is a right to appeal - or at least a right to attempt to appeal, from an adverse civil or criminal conviction.
In Georgia, the losing party generally has 30 days in which to file for an appeal (or, in this case, as previously described, to file a MFNT). Here, the DOT apparently filed its notice after 25 days but within the 30-day period specified under state law for filing an appeal. There is no requirement that either side tell the other that it "will" or "will not" appeal. One simply appeals, or else one does not appeal. Don't despair, Gauldings - it simply takes (a lot of) time. The state is now appealing and you too can appeal if you lose at this next level. This is all standard operating procedure and par for the course. You had the right to complain about the amount of money offered when the DOT took your land and you chose to take advantage of that right. The state is simply now exercising its own rights. This does not mean that you will lose. It just means that you might have to wait a bit before you finally prevail. If the jury verdict is ultimately upheld, you will get your money.

Sincerely, Roger Baruch, Colbert


Letter To The Editor
The Madison County Journal
July 12, 2000

Mayor thanks festival helpers
Dear editor:
We wish to thank all who helped with the Colbert July 4th Celebration. To the workers, sponsors, entertainers, and those who attended, we thank you very much.

Sincerely, John A Waggoner, Colbert Mayor

Madison County Opinion Page

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Letter To The Editor
The Madison County Journal
Exclusively online

Give Mr. Gaulding the money he deserves
Dear editor:
It is with great interest that I read of the plight of Mr. Harold Gaulding concerning his dealings with the DOT. When will this injustice stop? A jury of12 taxpaying citizens of Madison County has awarded just compensation to a man who is being abused by the state. These12 citizens have made a decision based on facts presented and should not be overruled. The judgment was fair and the state is simply crying sour grapes because one man stood up to them. We, as citizens and taxpayers of Madison County, should be allowed to determine our own fate. Today, land grabbing and deceit. Tomorrow, who knows? Give Mr. Gaulding the money he deserves.

Sincerely, Mike Rock, Colbert


Letter To The Editor
The Madison County Journal
Exclusively online

BOE should support library
Dear editor:
I would like to publicly urge the Madison County Board of Education to suppport the public library through appropriate funding. Public libraries are vital to the health and well-being of a community.
I am especially proud of our library, which our family uses on a regular basis. I hope the board will reconsider its position on funding, and support education in madison County through this excellent public service.

Sincerely, Michael Hill, Transco Road



Letter To The Editor
The Madison County Journal
July 12, 2000

School board wrong in not aiding library
Dear editor:
The Madison County Board of Education is making a terrible mistake by not supporting the public library.
Currently, the number one challenge to Georgia's economy is lack of a skilled workforce. The state is experiencing tremendous economic growth and businesses are desperate for workers at all levels. So far, the majority of this workforce has come out of the metropolitan Atlanta area, but more and more, thanks to our improved education system and the burgeoning technical schools, businesses are combing the countryside for workers who can read and write, will show up for work, and are computer literate.
The sign of a healthy, forward-thinking community is a community whose leaders support institutions like our public libraries which offer not only reading programs, books, information, and ties to other communities, but also Internet access and computer classes. By failing to contribute to our library's budget, the Board of Education is limiting our citizens' opportunities for economic advancement right here in the county, forcing people to seek work elsewhere or settle for a lower standard of living.
So far, I have not heard a reasonable argument for not including the public library in the BOE budget. I hope the board will reconsider its position on this and find the funds to meet the needs of the library. Madison Countians deserve access to information, education and intelligent recreation.

Sincerely, Melissa Tufts, Comer


Letter To The Editor
The Madison County Journal
July 12, 2000

Appreciates support for injured man
Dear editor:
On behalf of Charles and Martha McCarty, we wish to thank everyone who helped in any way with the benefit fund on July 4th. To all of the friends who gave their time - thank you! To all the friends who made a donation - thank you! A special thanks to all the people who donated money because they care, even though they don't know Charles and Martha personally.
Our prayer is for a miracle for Charles, so that he may someday be able to walk again.
Again, thank each one who gave in any way and may God Bless each of you.
Please remember there are funds established at both local banks.

Sincerely, Linda and Harold Gaulding


Letter To The Editor
The Madison County Journal
July 12, 2000

Doug Benton will be missed
Dear editor:
In regards to the shocking murder of Doug Benton, I am one of his neighbors. I read the newspaper and watch the news on television, but the reality of all the violence doesn't become reality until it happens in our backyard. I'm an Atlanta native and I moved here to the country to get away from such violence. It just seems that you can't escape violence no matter where you live. Doug Benton will be greatly missed by all who knew him. We will miss the sound of his Harley every evening and seeing him throw up his hand to give a wave as we drove by. We will miss watching his 4-year-old son riding his four-wheeler around in the yard as his daddy watched with pride.

Sincerely, Robin Cruickshank, Colbert


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