Editorial Roundup: Georgia

Valdosta Daily Times. October 24, 2021.

Editorial: S.Ga. must remain vigilant for Moody

Moody Air Force Base is inextricably tied to the economy, culture and quality of life in Valdosta, Lowndes County and South Georgia.

It is difficult to imagine what our community would be like without Moody.

It is still nearly unbelievable that 30 years ago we almost lost our base.

We encourage city and county government, the General Assembly, Georgia’s federal lawmakers, our local chamber of commerce and the entire community to remain ever vigilant.

No, we do not believe there is a present danger to losing Moody, but we also know that 30 years ago Moody had been recognized as the best air base in the world and was seen as a crucial part of the U.S. military’s arsenal of bases just months before it was placed on a federal list of base closures.

What saved Moody, more than anything, was the community.

Delegations from Valdosta, Lowndes County and Georgia strategized, lobbied and leveraged their influence and connections all the way to the Pentagon.

At the time, it was estimated the loss of Moody could have meant the loss of $150 million or more annually, in 1991 dollars to South Georgia’s economy.

And it would be near impossible to measure the loss to our community beyond the dollars and cents.

Jimmy Rainwater, Troy Tolbert and Parker Greene are generally credited with saving Moody Air Force Base.

They certainly deserve the credit.

But they were not alone.

There were others, including Joe Prater, Gill Autry, Dan McIsaac and Bob Ator.

And then there was Chandler Carter, Dean Failor, Dick Clark, Leigh Dominey, Norman Huggins and Bill Amos. Other Moody Support Committee members included Southern Circuit Judge H. Arthur McLane, Lowndes County Commission Chairman Fred DeLoach; Jewel Ivey, Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce president; Curtis Crosby of Atkinson County; Bill Perry of Berrien County; C.J. Keel of Brooks County; Wallace Jernigan of Clinch County; Max Lockwood of Coffee County; J. Hinton Reeves of Colquitt County; Jim Paulk of Cook County; Jack Carter of Echols County; Orton Bryan of Hamilton County, Fla.; Emory Walters of Irwin County; Larry Lee of Lanier County; Cary A. Hardee of Madison County, Fla; Jerry Rainey of Thomas County; Jimmy Allen of Tift County, rounding out the Moody Support Committee.

The point is, it took people, a lot of caring, passionate, hard-working people.

It also took money, lots of money.

It took a plan, a well thought-out plan.

And — perhaps most importantly — it took an entire community.

On June 30, 1991, in a 5-2 vote, BRAC commissioners voted to keep Moody AFB open. “I believe the Air Force has underestimated the overall military value of Moody,” said BRAC Commissioner William L. Ball III, who was the commission member who personally toured the base. “It is a highly efficient base. … It affords really ideal training.”

The Air Force probably also underestimated the passion of a community for its base.

Again, we do not see any present danger, but what we wanted to say today — as we look back on what happened 30 years ago — is that the people of Valdosta, Lowndes County and South Georgia must never lose their understanding of and appreciation for what Moody Air Force Base means to our economy, our culture and our quality of life.

We can’t help but remember what Mayor Rainwater said as he reflected on that day when Moody was saved 30 years ago, “It was the most gut-wrenching thing I’ve ever sat through. … It is such a tremendous victory, my heart almost stopped.”

We don’t ever want to come that close again.

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Dalton Daily Citizen. October 26, 2021.

Editorial: Give Whitfield County commissioners input during the budget-setting process

Members of the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners have begun the arduous task of setting the 2022 budget.

As part of that planning process, commissioners are meeting with department heads and constitutional officers to discuss their needs during a series of workshops, which are open to the public. Attendees will have the chance to comment on the budget. The workshops are on the fifth floor conference room of the Wells Fargo Bank building, 201 S. Hamilton St. in downtown Dalton.

The meeting dates and times are:

• Today, 5:30 p.m.: Board of Elections, extension office, fire department, Magistrate Court and tax assessor’s office.

• Thursday, 5:30 p.m.: Clerk of Superior Court, 911/Emergency Management Agency, Public Defender’s Office and Superior Court/Drug Court.

• Monday, 5:30 p.m.: Coroner, Probate Court, Public Works Department and tax commissioner.

• Wednesday, Nov. 3, 5:30 p.m.: Sheriff’s office, Juvenile Court.

We applaud commissioners for making these workshops accessible to the public, and we thank them for publicizing the meetings.

The county budget isn’t small peanuts -- the 2021 budget includes some $51 million in spending. Let’s not forget that money is your money. You should have a say in how it’s spent. If you don’t voice your opinion, either during these workshops or to commissioners by phone, email or in person, then you are missing out on the opportunity to tell your elected officials what the county’s priorities should be.

We urge Whitfield County taxpayers to speak to commissioners during the budgeting process. The budget is typically approved in December, and commissioners must hold two public hearings before they approve the budget, so there’s time to let your voice be heard.

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Rome News-Tribune. October 23, 2021.

Editorial: A weekend filled with Braves baseball, Chiaha and schnauzers

Chiaha Harvest Fair returns to Rome this weekend bringing a whole lot of things we love about fall.

This year’s festival takes place at the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds and will feature food, live music and of course lots of beautiful and unique arts and crafts.

We encourage you to take your family to the fairgrounds to experience this popular Rome event. It’s a great community gathering. Enjoy some hot cider and kettle corn, and walk around looking at the different artists and crafters, many of them local. There are always unique pieces to see and purchase.

What a great opportunity get some early Christmas shopping done all in one place and support local artists as well.

And there’ll be great live music playing all weekend. Many of the performers are Rome natives.

Some of the musicians in the lineup include Kindred Fire, Lucas Smith, The Etowah Jacks, Russell Cook and the Sweet Teeth, Pierce Pettis and even the Rome High School Red & Gold Elite Singers.

Chiaha runs Saturday and Sunday at the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds. We hope to see you there.

Schnauzers for days

Chiaha isn’t the only event people are excited about this weekend.

Schnauzerfest is back. Lots and lots of folks from all over the region and the country are in town just for this event. Thousands of people and their miniature, standard and giant schnauzer dogs will be all over downtown Rome.

Make them feel welcome. They’re bringing lots of business and spending lots of money in Rome.

Many of their activities are taking place at the Forum River Center and include a schnauzer agility contest, a schnauzer Best in Show contest, and yes, even a Schnauzer Idol singing competition. There’s even an attempt at the Guinness World Record for the largest dog walk of a single breed. There will be vendors, schnauzer rescues and demonstrations on schnauzer grooming.

So if you happen to see the same dog walking past you on Broad Street over and over again, you’re not going crazy. This entire festival is dedicated to the breed and there will be LOTS of them around.

One. More. Game.

We’re in Braves Country and that means that many readers will tune in for tonight’s Game 6 of the National League Championship Series.

The Braves lead the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 and need one more win to get to the World Series. Just one more game.

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