|Banks County Opinions...||
March 28, 2001
The Banks County News
March 28, 2001
Flag project has brought out
negative side of Banks County
The flag project has unveiled a side of Banks County that is not pleasant.
A group of concerned citizens in opposition to the flag proposed for the county that includes the St. Andrew's Cross had planned a meeting. An area meeting hall was promised to them, and then the offer was rescinded.
A person who wrote a letter to the editor opposing the flag project had someone go to her employer and complain.
Letters to the editor with false claims in them have flooded this newspaper. Many of the letters sing the praises of chamber president Bonnie Johnson. The work she has done for the chamber has never been questioned. She has worked tirelessly for the organization. But one letter in this week's paper was a bit deceiving in stating that she does it all without pay. While she has never received a salary, Mrs. Johnson did receive a $10,400 "honorarium" from the chamber in December. This is a fact that not many chamber members are even aware of. Executive assistant Sherry Ward states that this is for her "eight years of service" and "outstanding leadership."
Letter-writers and Mrs. Johnson herself have also accused this newspaper of printing slanderous remarks, including a personal column written by a reporter. This reporter only put her opinion about remarks made by Mrs. Johnson, which is what an editorial page is all about.
As for the flag project itself, board of commissioners and chamber officials said it was an effort to unite the county and bring it together. It has not united the county. Instead, it has pulled people apart. At least one member of the chamber has resigned and others are publicly distancing themselves from the action. Some of the cities want no part of the flag that is proposed to feature six small stars representing each town. If the intent of the flag project was really to unite the county, it has failed miserably.
It's time for the county officials to put aside this flag effort and get down to more important issues. A special purpose local option sales tax has just passed. The county has plenty of work ahead in planning and implementing the projects approved in this vote. The county water system and industrial development are other areas commissioners need to be concentrating on. Banks County officials need to get down to business and not waste time on this flag project.
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