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Local governments spending way too much
Letter to the editor

Editor, I’m appalled — to say the least — at the extravagant salary paid to Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Valya Lee.  
LCSS Chief Information Officer Dr. Patti Crane stated that the purpose of last week’s press conference, in her words, was “to enlighten the Liberty County community and all media outlets concerning the recent salary adjustment” for Lee.  
Crane carefully inserted the “politically correct” term in her press release to camouflage this pay raise they’re in denial about. Well, I am truly enlightened.
Liberty County and Hinesville residents struggle to pay ever-increasing property taxes. Lee’s salary situation is one of many reasons we citizens struggle financially to make ends meet. Lee’s salary exceeds the salaries of our congressional representatives and is just about equivalent to what the president of the United States makes annually.  
Question: if Lee is paid such an outrageous amount of money, just what are the salaries paid to our other city and county department supervisors? Huh? Please, someone advise us. Is there anyone looking out for city and county taxpayers? Is there no discipline or self-control regarding government salaries in our small, rural community? Is there anyone monitoring excessive and needless local-government spending? Finally, is there anyone looking out for “we the people” of Hinesville and Liberty County? What is going on?
Recently, I read a Coastal Courier article about Mayor Jim Thomas wanting to make frequent visits to Washington, D.C. He says he wants to do so to stress the importance of Fort Stewart and the relationship it shares with the city. We have a representative in the U.S. House of Representatives and also two senators in the U.S. Senate who already do this!  Thomas, his staff and others in our local government also want to take junkets to China, Korea and other exotic locations. In my opinion, they are like a gang of drunken sailors on shore leave, just throwing our money at anything and everything with no accountability.
Local leaders also want to take retreats to resorts and discuss new issues and plans they intend to inflict upon us unsuspecting residents and citizens. Really? I think this is a ploy to discuss future spending plans or “wish lists” submitted to our commissioners by each of the various local government entities that thrive and live off the sweat of our collective brow.  
My fellow citizens, it’s all one big shopping spree, and no one is minding the store. If Hinesville or Liberty County were private businesses, corporations or industries, the city and the county would have been bankrupt long ago. Instead, our elected representatives levy huge tax increases on us. In my opinion, the aforementioned are undisciplined, out-of-control, non-representative, greedy, tricky foxes who intentionally fail to represent us. I think such tyrants have no respect for the tax-paying citizens of our city or county. It was because of such conditions that pilgrims left King George’s England and came to America.
In closing, I just do not have the words to describe the abuse we taxpayers suffer at the hands of our so-called elected representatives, public servants, appointed agency department heads and supervisors.  I’m sure it will only get worse.  

— John Howard

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