Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"We The People"

In recent weeks I have published Blog Post regarding the "Redistricting of Georgia", the "Great Expectations - Macon Speaks" and the "City of Macon/Bibb County SPLOST Meetings."  The stated purpose of each of these events was to obtain input/comments from the citizens so that appropriate actions could be conducted.

It is my hope these meetings have provided our duly elected leaders and those seeking public office adequate information as regards the desires of "We The People." 

It is also my hope that "We The People," also perform our responsiblity as Voters and vote for future candidates who will work to meet the common good and improve the respective areas/districts for which they seek to represent.

I would therefore urge everyone to avail themselve to every opportunity to learn about the candidates and to also contact the candidates stating their concerns and desires for the future.  I certainly believe that by working together we can achieve the greatness that we all, each and everyone of us deserves.  Or as the old saying goes, you get what you elect. 

Georgia Redistricting Meeting

Monday, June 13, 2011

The State of Georgia conducted a Redistricting Meeting last evening at the Medical School on the Mercer University Campus in Macon, Georgia on Monday evening, June 13 from 5:00 P.M. through 7:00 P.M.

This meeting, which was one of twelve throughout the State of Georgia, was for the purpose of receiving comments from the Citizens of Georgia.  Each speaker was allowed three minutes to make their comments to the Redistricting Committee.

My comments are printed below in red ink:

  • As you conduct your work please be aware that you are working for "We The People" and focus on the fact that the districts you are drawing will allow  the election of representatives who will be "servant leaders."  Do not fall to the temptation of seeking Personal Power or Political Advantage for anyone.
  • Place Warner Robins Air Force Base and Fort Benning in the same U. S. Congressional District as well as Fort Gordon and Fort Stewart in the same U. S. Congressional District.  Additionally keep the metro areas of these bases in the same district.  This will allow the establishment of Districts with like minded interest to have appropriate representation in the U. S. Congress.
  • The current 8th U. S. Congressional District is probably the longest District in Georgia and is also known as the most obese and poorest District in the U. S. A.  What does the citizen (voter) on the North end of the District have in common with the citizen (voter) in the South end of the District.  Admittedly we as the entire population of District 8 like to eat and we do so with the fewest financial resources.
  • When looking at the current 12th U. S. Congressional District it appears that Fort Gordon and Fort Stewart are in the 12th, however a large number of citizens (voters) in the areas of these Forts do not live in the 12th District.  I see this as a reduction of influence by the citizens of this District. 
  • Now regarding the Georgia Senate Seat for Bibb County, it would be most proper to place  all of Bibb County in the Georgia Senate Seat.  The citizens (voters) of Bibb have much more in common with fellow Bibb County citizens than having a current Senate Seat that covers part of Bibb County and also Danville, Georgia.
  • I concluded my discussion with a reminder that I am glad that Georgia is obtaining an additional U. S. House of Representative Seat as a result of the 2010 Census.  I encouraged the Redistricting Committee to draw the lines so that all of Georgia is well represented for future growth without regard to politics.  Georgia is growing and will continue to grow with excellent representation that is focused on "We The People."  Thank You.
The next speaker addressed the Committee and summed up his comments with this phrase or words in this manner:

"Currently the elected officials choose the Voters versus The Voters choose the elected officials." 

A spokesman for the League of Women Voters requested a "fair redistricting process" and Justice Department pre-clearance.

The next speaker presented a three point focus to the committee:
  1. Reflect Communities.  Do not reflect political advantage.
  2. Openness in the process.  The citizens need the potential for review as the process is conducted. 
  3. Finally, equality. 
Another speaker spoke to the need to seek commonality of community.  Keep counties intact in so far as humanly possible.

Yet another addressed the committee: 

  • Keep counties intact in so far as humanly possible.
  • Keep in mind that each district have fair representation of all demographics.
Next a citizen presented a very brief message for the Committee:

    "Follow the Law, Stay out of Court"

Another speaker addressed the Committee:
  • The process must be fair, include all aspects of demographics
  • The timing of the Redistricting Meetings was questioned. 
  • More meetings need to be held in Rural Georgia.
One speaker noted that the Senate Panel of the Redistricting Committee did not include any women when women represent about half the population of Georgia.  This speaker also hoped that proposed maps would be available at this meeting so that citizens could make comments about the proposed lines.   Once the lines are drawn, allow opportunity for citizen comment.  Also obtain Justice Department pre-clearance to avoid costly litigation.

The next speaker reminded the Committee that we need better times so that more could attend these meetings and do not split counties.

An elected official of Taylor County urged the Committee keep Taylor County in House District 135.

The next speaker advised the Committee that their Good Judgement was Trusted.  Do not waste Georgia's resources in law suits.

Another citizen of a rural portion of a local county advised the Commitee to seek the advice of the currently elected officials.  Do the best redistricting scheme possible.

Please note that during the course of the meeting that there were several breaks to allow newcomers to register to make comments.  The meeting was scheduled to last until 7:00 P.M. and the Redistricting Committee would be present until that time.  I departed the meeting at about 6:40 P.M.  We were also informed that each of the twelve meetings throughout the State of Georgia were being recorded so that an accurate record would be available.

It is my hope that the Redistricting Committee takes all the concerns of the citizens (voters) into consideration as they redraw the Georgia Districts to represent "We The People" in the most appropriate manner. 

Thursday, June 09, 2011

All-American Soap Box Derby

I have fond memories of the Soap Box Derby held in Macon, Georgia in the Mid 1980s.  I had two Sons who raced down Eisenhower Parkway on July 4th.  I also recall that a young Frank Malloy was the Race Announcer.  I believe that the Soap Box Derby was held for at least two years before it was discontinued for the second time. 

I also know that the tradition of the Soap Box Derby continues in the United States.  To see what is currently happening I would urge you to visit:

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Great Expectations

"Macon Speaks"

Last Evening, June 7th I attended the "Macon Speaks" public forum at the Shrine Temple on Mecca Drive in South Bibb County.

The purpose of the meeting which was sponsored by several organizations to glean information from the Citizens of Macon and Bibb for the upcoming City of Macon Primary and the General Election.  The input from the Citizens will be used to fashion questions for the upcoming public forums where the Candidates will hopefully answer questions/concerns that the people have generated.

I attended the meeting with a prepared list of Comments/Concerns which I publish here:

  • Keep your Campaign Real!!  Tell us what you are going to do!
  • When elected work to accomplish what you stated you would do during the campaign!
  • If an incumbent - Tell Us your success stories!
  • Keep your Campaign positive!
  • Remember that you are campaigning to serve "We The People!"
  • When elected strive for the "common" good of all citizens!!
  • Always work for what is best for the long term versus short term gradification!
  • Remember that not all of your actions as an elected official will be popular!!
  • Remember "Teamwork!"
The meeting started a few minutes later than the 6:30 P.M. start time with seventeen attendees.  The crowd grew to about 22 within a matter of about 20 minutes.

We were all given touch pads to vote our concerns on twelve pre-developed concerns.  The results were interesting.  Education was placed at the top of the list by the majority of the attendees.  A vision for Macon was also a priority concern.  In fact all twelve of the pre-developed concerns received a high priority vote.

We then had the opportunity to develop several concerns which included reducing crime, budgeting as well as several other items.

The Fanning Institute of the University of Georgia conducted the meeting and will do three more within the next week.  The Great Expectations - Macon Speaks are well announced in the local print and electronic media.

Here’s when and where the three remaining neighborhood meetings will be held in which residents can express their concerns on issues most important to them in the upcoming city election:
10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 11, Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, 2789 Millerfield Road.

5:30-7 p.m. June 14, Museum of Arts & Sciences, 4182 Forsyth Road, Macon
7-8:30 p.m. June 14, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, 301 Cherry Street, Macon.
After everyone presented their concerns and the event was concluding I heard the following comments:

"More People need to be Involved!"  This from a 23 year old male.

"Pass the Torch to Younger People!"  from a young female.

"Establish a Vision and Keep on Focus!!!"

I left the meeting feeling confident that the People of Macon will be more focused on who they elect this Fall.  The general mood of the group was that this is the year that the young citizens will be involved.  In fact over half of the attendees were of the younger ages which has not been very common in previous events that focused on elections.

I sincerely hope that the future will be much brighter for the Middle Georgia Area and I hope that the electors of Macon take their responsibilities very serious.


Saturday, June 04, 2011

Gaudet All-Star Baseball Camp

The 25th Annual Camp

Friday, June 3, 2011

Macon, Georgia

 The Historic Luther Williams Field in Macon, Georgia was the site of the 25th Annual Gaudet All-Star Baseball Camp.  394 Campers participated in this Camp and represented 101 Elementary and Middle Schools from throughout Middle Georgia.

 As part of the opening ceremonies the Campers were led onto the field and greeted by civic leaders, government officials and members of the law enforcement community.  The morning session was for six, seven, eight and nine year old Campers.  The afternoon session was for ten, eleven and twelve year old campers. 

 There were six stations where the campers learned about the various aspects of the game of baseball.  Shown here is a demonstration on how to set up to be a great Catcher.

 Of course everyone learned how to bat the ball and were given plenty of time to hone this skill.  In addition to the swinging opportunity, experienced players gave the campers points on how to improve their batting.

 Outfield practice was the emphasis of this station.  Here you see two camp instructors showing the campers the hows of this aspect of the game of baseball.

This is a view of Luther Williams Field at the end of the Camp Day.  The temperature equaled a record set many years ago.  The high for the day was recorded as 103 degrees.  The camp staff provided plenty of water for the Campers and the Instructors.  While I did not count the volunteers I was informed that this camp had over 100.  Thus there were 3.94 campers for each volunteer.  The check in staff, the group leaders and the instructors  all played a vital part of this successful camp and all appeared to  enjoy the camp.