The Metro Spirit’s August 18th edition contained a magnificent spread on the “new” Columbia County Administrator Scott Johnson who was Deputy Administrator under Steve Szablewski who retired recently. The article titled “New Blood” was written by Eric Johnson, and if what Johnson said that Johnson said is what Johnson said, then Johnson is every bit as disillusioned as Szablewski and Ron Cross regarding Columbia County’s spending and money management.
As you read this, keep in mind what Democrats (namely Obama) state regarding spending.
Eric Johnson wrote:
“Johnson says all the time how lucky Columbia County is to have so much money, but he says people need to understand that it’s not just luck…” “‘Even though we’ve lowered the millage rate the last two years, we’ve cut back to where we’re tightening our belts, too.'” “He points out that they’ve managed to tighten those belts without furloughs and that they’ve not just cut the budget, they’ve also underspent that budget, meaning they’ve ended up with a fund balance that they’ve passed off to the taxpayers in the form of more millage reductions.”
Columbia County’s debt is in the $160,000,000 neighborhood and has increased year after year; apparently Scott Johnson forgot to mention that. So Scott, what belt was tightened? You reduced the millage did you? Then why have property tax bills increased? You didn’t increase the assessed values of homes did you? We pointed out in an earlier piece that that is exactly what you and Steve and Ron did…almost. County Attorney Doug Batchelor was immune to that gift from Ron Cross & Co. So we have the County lawyer escaping his property being assessed at a level on par with those with similar properties. We have the County Chief Magistrate Judge (Bobby Christine) endorsing Ron Cross in public, a judicial canon violation. We have the County Chief Magistrate Judge (Bobby Christine) serving as Ben Harbin’s campaign committee chairman for years, a judicial canon violation. The local Republican establishment network shields him from being called out publicly, but we will (especially as election time approaches).
Our opinion is that this interview indicates Scott Johnson either doesn’t know what he’s talking about or he is intentionally hiding the truth. This reminds us of how Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid concoct projected budgets for 5-10 years that increase debt by, let’s say $6 trillion. They then fake negotiating with Republicans and then run to the media claiming that they cut the debt because the now projected deficit is, let’s say $4.75 trillion. Columbia County does the same thing and gets away with it because they buy neat stuff and the debt keeps getting repackaged. Wake up people.