This and that from around Winder and Barrow County:
•Spring has arrived in our neck of the woods and I, for one, am more than glad.
The weather on Easter Sunday was perfect and on Monday as I looked out my office window at downtown Winder, I am looking forward to attending a local high school baseball game later in the week.
My good friends Steve, Brandie and Jessica Brown took the cover off their pool Sunday and I must say the water looked inviting, I think I’ll let it stay warm a little longer before taking the plunge, however.
I was beginning to wonder if it was ever going to arrive. Now, hopefully, it will stay. Good riddance to Old Man Winter for another year.
•This past Sunday, my better half Pam and I went for lunch along with her mom in downtown Winder and when we were leaving I noticed (once again) the old Peskins building and the deplorable shape it is now in.
Pam remembers actually shopping in the building back in the 1980s although from the looks of it now, one would think it has been abandoned for 50 years or more.
I mentioned in last week’s column how I didn’t understand why city officials allowed property owners to let buildings such as this one get to this point. I had hope for some kind of believable answer, or any answer for that matter, but as of this writing, none has been forthcoming. To be honest, I don’t expect one. I think we all truly know what the answer is.
I mean, the city not that long ago was harassing an honest couple who runs a business in the downtown area for it not following this rule and that rule.
Yet, some property owners are allowed to let buildings in the downtown area decay, crumble and become a legitimate hazard. I have a word to describe this hypocrisy, but since this is a family newspaper I guess I better not use it.
•Speaking of city officials, what in the world were they thinking last week holding yet another illegal meeting as they begin work on the new budget? Even after this newspaper called city officials out last year on not following the proper procedure, they tried once again to pull one over on the taxpayers by not giving proper notice of a meeting last Tuesday.
Fortunately, our governmental reporter Susan Norman caught word of the meeting and attended (the only paper that was there.)
Rest assured, we will continue to point out when Winder officials (or any governmental officials) aren’t doing what is required by law when it comes to open meetings. These people are supposed to be representing you in an open manner. The days of back-room politics are supposed to be long over. However, it appears some just can’t get that through their heads. Hopefully in time, they will learn.
•A thumbs up to Bethlehem officials for cracking down on property owners who are not keeping their land up to code. Bethlehem officials are also showing, like some, that they don’t play favorites as one of the property owners was none other than Barrow County chairman Danny Yearwood.
To enforce items like this, there can be no favoritism. Bethlehem mayor Sandy McNab and the entire council deserve praise for having the courage to step up and do what is right in enforcing the codes on the books.
Other officials would be wise to follow the lead of what is going on in Bethlehem.
Chris Bridges is editor of the Barrow Journal. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org