JohnCook 2 years, 10 months ago on BOC approves 2030 master plan for water, wastewater services

Absolutely the correct stance on this issue--we should not trust the Professional Engineers that we pay a salary to advise us regarding the infrastructure so we get a product that will last, and require the least maintenance. Instead , we should allow the developers to use the cheapest pipe available so the taxpayers can be required to replace it within a few years.

The developers have run the County for years, given each other congratulatory slaps on the back, and laughed all the way to the bank while the taxpayers pay for their shortcuts.

If you do the job right the first time, you avoid a lot of maintenance.


JohnCook 2 years, 11 months ago on Oversight weak on expense system for lawmakers

His "inadvertent mistake" was that he thought Georgians are such bumpkins that he wouldn't get caught.

He's a professional accountant. Are all CPAs so inept that they don't know how to keep simple expense reports? Are we really expected to believe that he made inadvertent mistakes 18 times? Those were only the stuff with enough evidence to be proven.

His website brags about ethics reform. The laws were changed so we must prove that the malfeasance was intentional before he can be recalled. That's why he says it was inadvertent. Bannister always insisted that he didn't think anything improper was done, also.

We own the government. If they don't do the job, you have to let them go.

He has opposition in November. It's time to send a shot across the bow of corrupt politicians. Vote him out on November 6.


JohnCook 2 years, 11 months ago on Oversight weak on expense system for lawmakers

The government belongs to us. They forget who they work for. They think we work (pay tax) to them.

When they don't do the job, you have to let them go!

Send a shot across the bow of these corrupt politicians. He does have opposition on November 6. Vote the crook out of office.


JohnCook 3 years ago on Balfour to pay $5,000 to settle ethics case

Isn't it a shame that neither Republicans nor Democrats will police their own? There's a motto down at the Capitol among our legislators that says, "We protect our own." They did.

Do they honestly expect us to feel better that they finally, "after at least 30 years," decided that one of their members did something egregious enough to give a slap on the wrist instead of completely covering up the misdeed?

Did he really say "inadvertently made some mistakes?" Was the inadvertent mistake that he didn't expect to get caught?

His Senate biography says he is "a member of the American Institute of CPA's and the Georgia Society of CPA's." Are we expected to believe that a professional accountant trained to keep an accurate account of expenses would inadvertently make that many "mistakes" regarding falsified expenses when he was not even in town? I wonder if the Georgia Board of Accountancy would be interested in an accountant that steals from the Georgia treasury and files false reports. Probably not since he is a "powerful" State Senator and the Board is appointed by the Governor.

And isn't it shocking and a surprise that "Balfour does not face any criminal charges?"

What's that question regarding moral turpitude? . . . “does the [crime], disregarding its felony punishment, meet the test as being contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, good morals or man’s duty to man?”

I got the impression that he signed his name swearing accuracy of all of those false reports for those "18 days." Would you merely get a slap on the wrist if you did the same?

He was also not a proponent of the legislation to cap lobbyists gifts to himself before he got caught in this disgraceful affair.

His re-election campaign website brags about his efforts for ethics reform. If you read the legislation, you may come to the conclusion that they define bribe differently from the dictionary so they won't have to go to jail for accepting them!

This is an embarrassment to Georgia and Gwinnett and to all Republicans! He does face opposition in November. Is it time to send a shot across the bow, or will you glibly vote to re-elect a crook?


JohnCook 3 years ago on Group questions school board funding to Chamber

This certainly has the appearance of money laundering. State law prohibits any government entity from advocating for a referendum for a SPLOST from which they benefit. I attended a public meeting in November in which an employee of Progress Gwinnett and the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce advocated for passage of both the Transportation SPLOST and for the Education SPLOST. The Gwinnett County Government would have benefited from the Transportation SPLOST and the Gwinnett School System benefited from the Education SPLOST. Isn't it convenient that the Chamber invented a solution so both government entities could give money to the Chamber for a purpose other than advocating for passage of these SPLOST issues while the Chamber did the advocating "dirty work?"


JohnCook 3 years ago on Teacher at odds with sick leave policy

Have you noticed the arrogance of the School Board? THEY passed rules requiring that before you can speak to them in their "public" board meetings, you must contact them, request a form, submit the completed form by 5 PM on Monday prior to the Thursday meeting. It seems that they have forgotten that government is "of [We The People], by the people, and for the people." The "by the people" part means "government is the car and we are the driver." It is sad that they have forgotten this important part of our heritage.

We bought that microphone and we allow them to use it. Instead, they restrict our right to use it. They have no right to restrict our freedom of speech in this manner. They are not our "rulers;" they are our representatives.

It is time for us to start replacing them until they grasp this important aspect of government.


JohnCook 3 years ago on LETTERS: Commissioner responds to Partnership Gwinnett concerns

Commissioner Heard, I appreciate the work of our Gwinnett Commissioners to shrink our government during a recession when many of our residents have been cut in hours or in wages. Your compassion and empathy is appreciated.

I still must ask, "What is our Gwinnett Commissioner's mission statement?" I would suggest that it should be: "As little as possible; Only as much as is needed." If that motto had been adopted years ago, Gwinnett's most embarrassing failures could have been avoided.

Another motto to remember: "Anything the government sticks its finger into will eventually suffer as a result of that finger." Therefore, government should leave to the people and to private enterprise anything that can be done by private entities. The businesses associated in the Chamber of Commerce managed to attract new business to Gwinnett for many years without taxpayer funds. Then they got lazy and developed a scheme to get taxpayer dollars. I asked the Financial Officer of Gwinnett Schools if the Gwinnett Chamber would continue to develop business in Gwinnett without diverting tax money from education. He would not answer the question.

In 2009, Gwinnett tax payer money was also going to more than a dozen charities. While charities perform needed tasks in our community, it is neither the responsibility nor the duty of government to force the widow in my neighborhood to contribute to the charities of the Commissioners' choice. You have a fiduciary responsibility to that widow and the many underemployed taxpayers in Gwinnett to not spend any more money than they would think is absolutely necessary.

The frills are nice, but let those who want the nicer amenities to improve quality of life raise the funds to pay for the things that are not absolutely necessary. About 20 years ago, parents in the Parkview community wanted soccer fields. They collected league fees, rented land across from Parkview High, graded and leveled the fields, and started a soccer association. People accomplish more with less than government can because government must comply with bidding and other transparency regulations.

Government does not create jobs. Entepreneurs and businesses create jobs. Use our tax money to address the real problems that we are not allowed to fix, stop heaping additional taxes, rules, and regulations upon us, and the community will be free to develop and flourish. Our Commissioners continue to address symptoms rather than the causes of those symptoms. That sort of grasping at straws will never accomplish good government.