Claude Paquin's blog

District voting chickens coming home to roost

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Our Fayette county commission and school board are currently at the receiving end of a lawsuit seeking to compel our county to adopt district voting, and already fairly large sums of money are being spent on so-called pretrial discovery, with each side hiring alleged experts in the field of demography — the study of human populations, including their size, growth, density and distribution — who claim to be able to divine the race of the voters and who they vote for, in spite of the fact we vote anonymously and don’t disclose our race on the ballot. Read More»

Deciding who should be stuck with seniors’ bills

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Hardly a week goes by that I do not receive in the mail an invitation to a presentation, sometimes accompanied by a promise of a free meal, where the subjects on which I am to be educated include finding ways of getting Mom free nursing home care while still inheriting her estate.

Sticking the government with the cost of having old parents taken care of while keeping their money may have a certain appeal for many people, though they may piously feign indignation at the size of our annual federal deficits and our growing national debt. Read More»

Sales taxes: an unfinished story

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It was three years ago that the citizens of Fayette County raised their sales tax to 7 percent. It stayed at that level for one year, then came back down to today’s 6 percent.

In an effort to ensure our voters were exposed to what he thought might be an informed opinion on the subject before casting an important vote, The Citizen editor, aware of my tax expertise, suggested at the time that I contribute my thoughts on what our citizens were being asked to consider. Read More»

A teaching moment from a scam report

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What are we to make of a recent report in The Citizen that a 78-year-old woman had been scammed out of $4,000? It seems she was approached at the Fayette Pavilion by two women who, under pretense of obtaining reimbursement for an alleged flat tire repair to her car, drove her to the bank where she withdrew the cash and handed it to them.

A lot of people would simply buy this story, and of course think this is awful. Read More»

What we can learn from Maxwell-McCarty tiff

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Anyone who has ever taken a course on how to use a computer program of one kind or another knows how, during the presentation, unexpected problems can pop up. That might upset a lot of people, but I once had an instructor who viewed every glitch as a ULO, an “unscheduled learning opportunity.” We all ended up learning something we didn’t intend to, and nobody got upset. Read More»

English is Georgia’s official language; guess who’s breaking the law?

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Should English be the official language in Georgia?

Personally, I would think so. But obviously thousands and thousands of our best educated people in Georgia disagree.

It seems that every ten years or so our Georgia legislature gets excited about this. In 1986, our legislature adopted a resolution making English the official state language.

Thinking that was not enough, in 1996 our Georgia General Assembly enacted a statute (code section 50-3-100) designating English as our official language and requiring its use in governmental documents and records. Read More»

Fayette's dirt roads: the rest of the story

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Please allow me to tell you “the rest of the story” about dirt roads in Fayette County.

In an Aug. 10 Citizen report on our county’s 53 miles of dirt roads allegedly maintained by the Fayette Road Department, we were told that (1) the county has $1.8 million squirreled away to pave them, (2) the county scrapes these roads and treats them with “substances to tamp down dust and stabilize the soil to provide resistance from damage caused by vehicle tires and rains,” (3) the county “needs a minimum 60-foot-wide right of way to pave any of the roads,” and (4) “a few people” have said they don’t want their road paved and have refused to give the county the right-of-way the county needs. Read More»

Paquin: How to prove who’s legal, illegal

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In this political season, a lot of folks are getting all steamed up over illegal immigration, so I thought it might be helpful to bring a bit of fresh thinking to the subject.

Illegal immigration can take place two ways. One way is to run real quick across the border in a place where no one is looking. That seems to be the way most people think it happens. Read More»

Public transport is needed in Fayette

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With a fine intuitive sense of what might be his final destination, my friend and colleague, county commissioner Eric Maxwell, tells us he’ll fight MARTA till hell freezes over, and then he’ll fight it on the ice.

For a guy who, unlike me, is unlikely to have ever played ice hockey, that’s a bold challenge which I am willing to take up. I’ll do it right now, as I am not sure to be in Eric’s venue of choice later on.

Transportation is a vital need for all of us, from the first trip from the maternity ward to the last one to the graveyard. Read More»

Voters should authorize raising school tax by 2 mills

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Much has been made in recent times about the public debt we might all leave to our children and grandchildren and how we might all tighten our belts by cutting government spending.

For reasons I’ll explain shortly, I plainly disagree with the reasoning of those who rail against our federal government for its valiant attempts to right our financial ship of state. Read More»