Jekyll Island

Getaway should remain accessible to average Georgians

I dearly hope the AJC’s reporting on the issue of affordability for Jekyll Island is seen and heeded by those who can do something about it.

In a rare instance of government foresight, Georgia lawmakers specified that Jekyll Island was to be affordable for the average Georgian —- “The Poor Man’s Playground,” as vintage bumper stickers proclaimed.

Let there be no more upscale hotels, no more buildings that block our view of the beach and the ocean, no more shops for the well-heeled. Hilton Head and similar locales are available for those who prefer that style of vacation.

Let us enjoy the turtles, the deer, the undisturbed dunes, the myriad varieties of birds and wildlife. There are enough buildings now! Jekyll Island Authority, please start speaking for the average Georgian as you were appointed to do!


Columnist wrong to praise job-killing pain

I was shocked to read Paul Krugman actually admit “EPA’s new carbon policy is a beginning, not an end” (Opinion, June 9) that “the Obama administration is doing something that really will impose at least some pain on some people.” How much pain on how many people? Oh, never mind; it doesn’t matter if it’s all for the greater glory of this administration. Stunningly, Krugman goes on to say, “It’s reasonable to argue that new rules aimed at limiting emissions would have some negative effect on GDP and family incomes.”

Yes, I guess the dismantling of the coal industry, which is Obama’s stated goal, would affect the GDP and family incomes when all those jobs are lost, and all the failed “clean energy” companies such as Solyndra aren’t around to produce jobs. Krugman is too busy distorting everything his critics argue to be bothered with facts. It’s interesting to note that when the global-warming alarmists couldn’t prove global warming, they decided to call it “climate change,” which has been going on since long before humans walked the earth — or drove SUV’s.


Gov. Deal has bolstered ethics commission

The assertions in a Jay Bookman column, “Deal’s solution to ethics crisis isn’t really solution,” (Opinion, June 11) are easily refuted. He writes that “Georgia’s political leadership over the last few years” has moved “to defang an already docile ethics commission.” He adds, “Its budget has been slashed; its authority has been significantly reduced; its supposed independence — necessary for any watchdog agency — has been badly compromised.”

The exact opposite has occurred under Gov. Nathan Deal’s leadership.

When Gov. Deal came into office, nearly all agencies except education were facing more cuts because of the Great Recession. Nevertheless, under Deal, the commission’s budget grew from $1.11 million in 2011 to $1.345 million in 2013.

In 2013, Deal proposed and the General Assembly passed an important law to give the commission rulemaking authority for the first time. In other words, the commission now has the ability to issue specific regulations to candidates and their campaign teams. This would give candidates clear do’s and don’ts, and it would provide the commission with greater consistency and credibility when issuing sanctions for those who broke the rules.

The governor has repeatedly stressed his disappointment that the commission hasn’t promulgated any rules with its new powers. This is another example that, contrary to the media’s belief, the governor does not direct nor control the independent commission’s actions.

Lastly, Bookman claims that the governor wants to change the law to “deny whisteblower status to state employees.” Wrong again. Deal wants to protect both whistleblowers and taxpayers. If a state agency goes through the proper HR policies to remove an employee for well-documented cause, that employee shouldn’t be able to sue the state as a “whistleblower” simply because he or she worked for an agency that does investigations. That’s common sense policy that saves Georgians’ tax dollars.