I am writing in response to the many letters that Mrs. Janis Goode has written in your paper.
Mrs. Goode stated in the April 11 Coastal Courier that Ludowici Municipal Court Judge Larry Fowler Sr. was one of the highest paid judges for “this population” in Georgia. Mrs. Goode needs to do more research before she makes quotes that she can’t stand behind.
Here is the correct list of surrounding cities’ annual judges’ pay: Jesup — $12,000, Hinesville — $20,400, Screven — $2,100 (Judge Gordon holds court every two months), Baxley — $10,700, Walthourville — $6,000.
Judge Fowler’s annual pay was raised to $9,000 this year. He has been the judge of Ludowici since 1984 and had the same pay of $500 a month since he took office. I bet Mrs. Goode does not charge the same for a hair cut as she did in 1984. This is the same judge that Mrs. Goode threatened to slap during a council meeting. By law, Mrs. Goode should have been arrested. But she was not, and Judge Fowler would not press charges.
Judge Fowler has been in politics since 1972, when he was elected to the city council and continues to be elected as the municipal judge. The fact that he has not had any opposition in the past several elections is an indication that the majority of citizens believe he is doing the job that is required of him with skill.
The municipal judge is called on many times during the month, before and after holding court.
Mrs. Goode is publicly degrading the officials of Ludowici without regard to the damage she is causing to them or their families. She has stated that she doesn’t trust a word that James Fuller, Jim Fuller or Frank McClelland says. Mrs. Goode ran for mayor and did not win. It is apparent that the citizens of Ludowici elected the officials they wanted. I may not agree with of all the decisions that any one of these individuals has made, but I do not take my complaints to the newspapers.
While a person has the right to her own opinion and the freedom of speech given by the First Amendment, a person does not have the right to use the local newspapers to publicly degrade someone’s character. I believe that Mayor Warren, Tara Manning and most city employees have bent over backward to accommodate Mrs. Goode to no avail. There seems to be nothing anyone can do to make her happy — so why is she still here? If a person is as unhappy as Mrs. Goode seems to be with our town, it would seem they would move to some other place where they could be happy.
Terry D. Strickland