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LETTER: Sen. Ron Ramsey 'uncomfortable' in making decision

Sen. Ramsey seems unwilling to trulyrepresent Rockdale constituents

The taxpayers of Rockdale County can thank state Senator Ron Ramsey, D-Decatur, for wasting their taxpayer dollars as he claims on "being uncomfortable" in making a decision that affects all voters of Rockdale County. Last year, the Rockdale Board of Commissioners hired a lobbyist to help push through the legislation that was deemed needed for the county. In an effort to take some of the politics out of certain elected offices, the Board of Commissioners asked Rep. Pam Stephenson and the Rockdale delegation to put through a bill that would change the Magistrate Court judge from a partisan to a non-partisan position.

Judges have to exercise impartiality as part of their position, and removing the partisan label of a Democrat or Republican from their name is only common sense. Rep. Stephenson and the three remaining Democrat representatives did their part and passed the legislation and sent it on to the state Senate last year. Due to the bill first going into a committee, it did not resurface until this year. Sen. Rick Jeffares is doing his part to follow the wishes of the voters and the Board of Commissioners, but it takes two to tango to get the bill finally approved.

This is where, for whatever reason, Sen. Ramsey has stated since the Town Hall Forum earlier this month, that he was uncomfortable with approving the bill. Never mind that the taxpayers have footed the bill for a lobbyist to help push it through or the fact that our Board of Commissioners has spent taxpayer dollars on having the proposal drawn up in the first place or even the fact that the House has already done their job by pushing the bill through.

If Sen. Ramsey cares that little for the voters of Rockdale, then maybe a vote for his opponent, whether it is a Democrat or a Republican, is in order. He only has one job: to serve and carry out the will of his constituents and so far, Rockdale seems to be completely excluded from the senator's decision-making ability!

Sen. Jeffares went a step further by drafting a bill for making the last judgeship, Probate Court, a nonpartisan position as well along with working to help our Board of Elections with some guidance so they can elect the at-large member in a more fair method. If Sen. Ramsey would agree to sign off on these two bills to send them to the House would be a sign of his being willing to work for the common good of Rockdale. So far, he is proving to be nothing more than an "obstructionist" and for whatever reason, seems to wear this title proudly.

-- Don Williamson

Chairman, Rockdale GOP

Parents the 'third rail' of education

The most important step to building a sound education system (K-12) is to face the cold hard truth ... the public school cannot educate every child. "No Child Left Behind" is an idealistic facade that doesn't have a prayer. Our schools are infested with pseudo-pedagogy that has given us the "new math" (now on the way out), whole language, unrealistic teacher evaluations, top-heavy administrators who are part of the problem and not the solution, and state legislators who want to fund "charter schools" with local tax funds.

The vast majority of four teachers are competent, dedicated and devoted to their work. They love working with our children, and they take pride in their students. Yet they are increasingly asked to do more of what should be the responsibility of the "weak link" in education ... the parents. That's the third rail of education. Everybody knows it but is afraid to say it. There, I just said it. Teachers are expected to teach good behavior, morals, manners, politeness, cooperation, respect, patriotism, sharing, not to mention a firm grasp of the subject matter.

The solution is right there before us. If a child who reaches the third or fourth grade cannot behave, disrupts his class to the detriment of classroom instruction, is repeatedly belligerent to the teacher or administrator, then that child, after a due process hearing, should be sent home ... permanently for the rest of the year.

Such a program would substantially increase teacher retention and would surely improve the "third rail" of education.

-- Wheeler Davidson

Oxford