Good gosh but is it ever good to be back home here on our little island, even if it is only for an extended weekend.
Good food...good friends...good weather so far, and I've even managed to make some progress in my never ending real estate investment escapades which might end up yielding me a profit before the end of this calendar year if not sooner.
That said, I promised my readers a peek at my local political commentary, something with which I've managed to make quite a stir a couple of dozen times here over the past few years.
Most recently I've been lamenting the goings on at the highest level of local government, something which we have down here on the Southeastern Georgia coast called a "County Commission."
You might have one where you live...I don't know..but if you don't consider yourself lucky, because our County Commission is IN CHARGE and don't care what we think or want between election years.
County Commissions and more specifically, the individual County Commissioners, are to normal humans like ticks and fleas are to a dog....in as much as their day to day activities make you want to jump around, shake your head, and scratch.
Don't get me wrong, they're not all bad guys, they're not ALL corrupt, and most seem to be relatively normal honest hard working people the day we vote them into office, but then things change when we hand them the keys to the near quarter billion dollar county coffers loaded with tourist dollars here in Georgia's Golden isles.
We have an unfortunate yet obvious class struggle within the borders of our county, with only one incorporated city (Brunswick) in the aforementioned boundaries, and probably 99% of the tax revenue (OK, 75%) is generated on the 11 mile by 4 mile wide island we call St. Simons.
My problem isn't so much with the so-called "commissioners" being outright idiots or thieves, it's with their insistence in weaving and wobbling into areas into which they have little business and even less expertise, and proceeding to write stupid, unenforceable, mineless laws and policies with which they later find being used to bash them in their heads and make Glynn county the laughing stock of the state...something which isn't easy to do if you've spent more than a month living east of the Chattahoochee river and south of the Carolina's and Tennessee.
The latest upheaval which caused me to pound on my computer keyboard and hit the "send" key involved our little island's tourist "Trolley Tour Services", and the plight of a nice lady acquaintance named Bunny Marshal who's earned most of her living owning and operating a reliable tour service here for the past 15 years or so.
The link to the Brunswick News article in PDF form is here...
cliff notes version of the story would tell you that other tour operators have come to town over the past couple of years and had a hard time making a living, so instead of improving their service or understanding that the market is small here they have instead elected to go to the commissioners and complain, causing the commission as a
Avoid the subject at first, then after much consideration proceed to screw things up in entirety.
At first they're afraid of "legal action," so instead of letting the status be "quo" they take a defensive default position in which the original players lose yet the new players don't win what they want--economic success.
Then after two or three more rounds of complaints and concessions, what the public ends up receiving from our commission is not two or three options in the Trolley tour business on the Island....Noooooooo....
WE'LL PROBABLY END UP WITH NO TROLLEY TOURS FOR YOU TO TAKE WHEN YOU COME OVER HERE TO SEE WHAT I'VE BEEN RAVING ABOUT FOR THE PAST GOING ON FIVE YEARS.
That's right, according to Bunny, instead of the continuing quaint simple tour around world fameous poet Sidney Lanier's "Golden Isles" past "Bloody Marsh", Christ Church, and General Oglethorpe's Ft. Frederica, you may have to settle for...
a book from the bookstore and your own car for a self guided tour, else...
government...ya' got to love 'em.
Their latest assault on free enterprise has determined that "trolleys" cannot ring their "bells" while stopped in the village pier area--the place where the "tours" have originated since
"Trolleys" can only ring their "bells" now and legally annoy people as they drive down Frederica road and the outlying areas of the island.
The people standing around in the village tourist area (a place where people might actually WANT know that there is a trolley tour leaving) are officially protected from "bell ringing" according to the county attorney.
Now here's the text to what I wrote last Thursday which was published Friday in the print edition and here on The Brunswick News Website
I have a few questions for the so called "authorities" of Glynn County.
If I, as a private citizen, buy myself a nice shiny bronze bell and further, I happen to park myself and my bell adjacent to the trolley stop on St. Simons when I'm visiting the area, can I ring my bell whenever I want to?
Or does the local government require that I have to have license and/or a permit to ring my bell?
If noise is a problem in Village and the balance of the SSI waterfront, I'd like to know what measures are being taken to eliminate or minimize the sounds of construction as the new pool and other renovations are taking place.
Maybe I should offer my services ringing my new bell to cover the noise that the jackhammers and backhoes are making over the next year if you would like to pass another resolution to that effect.
Finally, using the same convoluted logic, one could not help but wonder how long it will be before some atheist tourist or local "activist" gets a commission resolution and a legal decision to make the local churches buy a permit else stop ringing the bells in their steeple towers for the same petty reasons Trolley company owners are dealing with today.
I think that that says what needs to be said on the matter...How about YOU?