Don Daniel

Just in case you need reminding, “the elect me” season is nibbling way at our attention span because come Tuesday, Nov. 3, those of us who care about our democracy will cast a vote for president and on the local front. The rumors of who is and who is not running have not reached fever pitch yet, but get ready for a grueling, lambasting hot air summer.

For who you are going to vote, surely your vote has not been cast in stone yet. There just may be some crawlers out of the woodwork to make a final and absolute marking of the ballot now. In preparation for the election, you can go by the county administration and “practice” and learn how to cast your ballot on the new voting machines. There’s going to be a demonstration at the county administration building, Friday, Feb. 14 and Friday, Feb. 21 from 1-5 p.m. 

According to the ad in last week’s paper and I assume in this week’s edition, there will be demonstrations on how to cast your ballot for your candidate(s) with a “mock” election. No actual candidate’s names will be used. 

My stepdad was the election supervisor in Emanuel County for many, many years. He predicted when “you-mark -’em” paper ballots were replaced with machines, suspicion on who got the most votes would always be in doubt. With all the electronic voting we have to use just to cast a ballot, there’s suspicion on the reliability of the machines. This creates the possibility of a recount, and automatically fans the suspicion that there was interference. 

Personally, the simplest way to vote is the original paper ballot. But under the guise of keeping the voting honest, we now are using voting method(s) that are more complex than a pencil. 

IF YOU are contemplating becoming a crown-wearer, throne-sitter,  first of all you have to qualify. Make sure you haven’t maxed out your credit cards, be willing to beg, justify with the truth, promise without fulfilling---if elected---but promise anyway, have a thick skin and an open mind, then you plop down your qualifying fee. That’s right, you gotta pay to play. 

If you are gonna run for sheriff, you are going to have to plop down $1,779.86. Hey, want to be county commission chairman? Then open your billfolds to pay $234. If you just want to be a good-old-boy (girl) district 1 or 2 county commissioner, write a check, use a credit card or pay with cash, $216 will get you on the ballot.

Already, there are rumors of challengers with the most rumored for the board of education districts 2, 4 and 6 seats. With the qualifying fee for BOE thrones being only $27, suspicion is that these throne vacancies could be the most crowded with throne-seekers.

Qualifying to become a “legitimate” politician begins at 9 a.m. on Monday, March 2 and will end at noon five days later on Friday, March 6.

FORSYTH’S THEY-who-think-they-are television stars have approved over $4-million for a new modern “new south look” city hall. By the time you read this, construction should be underway with a move-in date of sometime next year.

I am sure grand-opening ceremonies will be a fan-fare that will only compare with the not-Christmas Parade with enough local dignitaries that would qualify for a Fourth of July parade. Oops, can we call it a “Fourth of July” parade or rename it so no will be offended?

Here are a few unattributed council member comments: “I don’t expect you to keep the numbers in your head”; “It does say a lot”; “We need money to promote”; “Make it $119 for a room”; “Proud to be a part of the team”.

THE FIRST correct answer to The Question was Durinda Whitlock identifying Donna Wilson as Monroe County’s Citizen of the Year. Durinda receives a certificate for a Dairy Queen Blizzard, Scoops single dip of ice cream, slice of Shoney’s strawberry pie, pizza slice at Jonah’s, Whistle Stop fried green tomato appetizer, dozen Dunkin donuts, and a Forsyth Main Street t-shirt.

Here’s The Question for this week: According to a special section----“Progress Forward---- in last week’s paper, the oldest business in continuous service in Monroe County is what? First correct answer after 12 noon on Thursday gets the goodie certificate.

OVER AT county commission, it was bill-paying time. Here are a few “outstanding” payments: $17,936.10 was paid to B&H Photo and Video for other equipment; $19,206.65 paid to Butts County for water; $684.20 to Central Georgia EMC for various electricity places; City of Forsyth $3,352.28 for supplying utilities and energy; $14,684 to Davis Plumbing Company; $7,476 to Dupree Alben for basketball referees; Forsyth Feed and Seed, $5,071.95 for work boots and straw; $4,621.32 to Forsyth Cablenet for various hook-up; $60,374 to Georgia Rescue Supply, Inc. for other equipment; Paid $17,004.60 to the Georgia Public Safety Training Center for inmate meals; $5,448.64 to Ham Auto Parts; Harbin Engineering, P.C. for professional services; $26,352.16 to Interceptor Public Safety for equipment; Macon Water Authority, $6,513; Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, $900 for annual meeting; Municipal Emergency Services, $83,838. 84 for “other equipment”; $4,885.88 paid to Office Depot for general supplies; Smyrna Police Distributors got a check for $50,513 for leg irons, uniforms and a lot more stuff; $24,189.16 to Univirtual Solutions for monitoring and $53,693.39 to Williams Communication.

Eighty seven checks were written for a total amount of taxpayer money paid, $634,150.99.

AND THIS from Paran Preacher, John Tarrer: “If the pastor doesn’t shake my hand Sunday then I’m tearing up the church bulletin”.

Don Daniel is the founder and former publisher of The Monroe County Reporter. Email him at tullaybear@bellsouth.net  to answer The Question or make a comment. Don’t forget to listen to The Reporter On The Radio on Majic 100 Sunday mornings at 7.