Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tom Barton Gets It Right & Why Doesn't Pete Liakakis Support Black Candidates In County Elections?

Editorial Page Editor from the Savannah Morning News, Tom Barton, was the guest speaker this past Saturday at the Chatham County Republican Party second Saturday breakfast. Tom was dressed comfortably, shorts, sandals, and red UGA golf shirt. Part of his message was chilling though clear... with this years dramatic decline in housing value across Chatham County, next year's county budget is going to be rough going. I hope Commissioner's Gellatly and Farrell were listening. Their Republican (sic) loyalty is with Democrat Pete Liakakis who raised property taxes in 2005 and then failed in 06, and 07 to roll the millage back 100% after revalue was calculated. (BTW that's called a backdoor property tax). Essentially, Dave, Pat, and Helen are all supporting a democrat in Pete Liakakis.

Well, I guess my support for Obama makes me a democrat in the wings but since Pete I hear is not supporting Obama, maybe that's the reason Dave, Pat, and Helen are supporting Pete? So if Pete is a closet Republican, that would explain why he is not supporting Larry Chislom, Mike Jones or Gewn Fortson Waring. Pete claims to be a man beloved by the black community and maybe he is but why doesn't he support black candidates? Pete you really need to explain this.


Anonymous said...

Mr. McMasters

I am one of the Country Clubers you refered to in one of your prior blogs.
I talked to Helen, Pat and Dave at our recent Republican quarterly meeting. All three advised they are working on their own camapaign and are not supporting Pete or any other Democrat candidate. Nor are they seeking or even want Pete's support.

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster, you need tounderstand that John McMasters has never had anything positive to offer. He get's his jollys out of his insults. He is a pathetic person that is only running for public office because of his desire to have recognition. He is the new Jackie Sommers, run for everything and insult people along the way. John McMasters was born naked into the world and inherited everything he owns. While Pete may be a Dem, I can not bring myself to vote for this Jerk McMasters. I'll hold my nose and vote Dem in the chairman's race. I just wish the Republican Party could get rid of him!

john mcmasters said...


You really need new material, (that's a suggestion not an insult). My jollys come from discussing issues that don't get discussed, ideas that don't get mentioned and changing the lay of the land in the Kingdom of Chatham. No, I'm not moving back to california any time soon but I will run in every election until enough good stuff happens. Get used to it. Keep posting, every post improves my site's standing in google. You are helping me so thanks.


Anonymous said...

Pete has not supported anyone as far as we can tell. Your the only one running as a Republican and openly supporting 3 Democrats, in two full page news paper adds and in your blog. What are you smoking?

Anonymous said...

can't we all just get along? McMasters has good ideas and he is dedicated. Elections should be about ideas not a beauty contest or personality contest. Mac all the way!

Anonymous said...

These guys in county commission are a bunch of thugs running as a gang et al. Call 'em McMac, clean this place up!

Anonymous said...


art said...

your IQ is probably that of your vocabulary. ride the short bus too?

Anonymous said...

It's really nice that somebody is pointing to the out of control spending and overtaxation of Chatham County's people. Does anybody know about this? 152 million in new spending in 3.5 years??? Where did all that money go??? I see nothing to show for it except a fleet of brand new cars (not even fuel efficient ones!) and personal trainers for county employees. Shameful! Disgraceful! And, John, please tell Pete: When property VALUES go down, property TAXES should go down too.. John, send Pete packing cause he spent all the money and now he's asking for more!

Anonymous said...

Would Mcmaster's critics please address the issues he brings up. The low brow nature of some of these comments is depressing. McMasters is correct to point out the lack of fiscal discipline of the current county government. With the national economy facing a huge crisis, the county is ill prepared to deal with the tough times ahead. We need to take a hard, honest look at the county's financial situation instead of throwing rocks at the bearer of bad tidings.

Margaret said...

Been meaning to speak with you outside of the cut-throat SMN forums. Property values are declining. This one has dropped 33% in value over the past 10 months. I'm certain the county budget will be amputated by a similar percentage and it will be rough going. Sales tax revenue must surely plummet also. The rising cost in fuel and groceries has surely halted my spending habits and I'm sure others have followed suit.

Who ever wins this race will certainly face challenging decisions ahead. Some good programs may have to be cut back if not in full. Many fiscal matters may have to be met in the order of priority. If so, what do you believe are the most important priorities of this county?

Your support of Obama bothers me some. In part, being of this generation myself - I can understand his way of thinking, ideals and urge for change. Yet the conservative in me still stands strong. I believe we have become a nation too dependent upon our government and in doing so we're dragging the country down. Economically, morally and socially. I really feel there is a need to get back down to the basics and that there is a way to do just that while still embracing the changing moods of equality and compassion.

Your contender, I'm sick of quite frankly. In fact, the whole team needs a shake down. I don't believe that they will be able to withstand the challenges ahead. Their priorities are mixed up and they seem a little too comfortable and unchallenged at the present time. Lazy even.

Anonymous said...

John - Stay on the issues - keep hammering that YOU WILL NOT RAISE PROPERTY TAXES. Propose a total evaluation of all the County programs. Seize the mantle of reform. We can make up the difference in the declining values by reform!

Don't let them paint you as a disgruntled former elected official who looking to get his ego fed.

When the people of Chatham finally realize that Dave Simons and the special interests that he represents are the ones trying to pull all the strings it will be too late for Savannah, but keep fighting the good fight!

I already voted and you earned my vote!

Now we just need to get you over on the right side for President!

john McMasters said...

Margaret and the last blogger:

Your thoughts and questions are noted. I appreciate the questions. Let's set the Obama matter aside and talk about the county.

I have tried to encompass reform since my beginnings with public policy and a short term in office. When I experience first hand the unfairness of over valuing property to gain as much money for government as possible, I am outraged. Other people are too but those who get the breaks are not. That's how the game is played in the KINGDOM of Chatham.

OK, so there's all this money, 502 million is the current budget for the county and next year they will be lucky to have 450 million. Pete enabled a monster in growing county government. His friend the Sheriff asked for too much but Pete allowed it. The judges ask for too much and they got it. In 3.5 years the county has increased it's expenses by 152 million, 42%.

So is reform needed? You bet. Fiscal constraint is specifically what is badly needed. I have 12 or so ideas or policy changes to accomplish that but since Pete reads my blog I will hold off on that until we come face to face in the forums.

The question so many people have is after spending a half a billion dollars, why does the commission say we can't afford curbside recycling? Does that make any sense to you? When citizens ask why we don't have bike lanes and paths everywhere, the commission says "we don't have any money." Folks ask about our transit system, many people are looking at it like never before and because it is such a limited system they remain doubtful as to it's use.

What has this commission done in 4 years with the CAT system? Well, they hired their friend Joe Murray Rivers in a no bid contract, he in turn forgot to file the application to the Feds for matching money so smarter hybrid electric buses are out for now and then the Feds look at Teleiride and determine the system has been violating several federal laws in how they treated passengers. You would be hard pressed to say they haven't screwed the system up.

Yes reform is needed. The kabul that is THE TEAM has built themselves a box they shouldn't get out of. If they do it will be because not enough reporting is done in this town. The SMN is asleep at the switch or purposely favoring incompetent incumbents. They think I'm a conspiracy guy so I'll let you decide based on what you read in the SMN.

Then you have to factor in that many african americans vote based on what is said from the pulpit and a few key black ministers receive favors from the government officials so they are essentially paid off to back the crooked players.

Of course then you have a lot who say, well it's never going to change... it's always been this way. I for one have made public policy reform a hobby so I'm content running in 011, 012, 015, 016 etc.

More people will hear and listen to the need to reform local government. I had always been a smaller government thinker but I figured when government gets rotten - regulation and reform have to happen. Should have happened earlier but it didn't so it has to come now. I walked into a fixed game so I'm trying to even the odds.

Thanks for posting.


Margaret said...

Don't mean to be a doom-sayer, but what if our nation stumbles into another Great Depression? The widely talked about bailout could prove to be yet another band-aid on a broken ankle fix. I'm smart enough to realize that all America needs is one more swift kick in the a$$ and our economy is down for the 10 count.

Chatham County does have enough resources and we are in a great position to withstand and rise above such a gloomy scenario. I know we have plans in place for a natural disaster, but is there a plan for an economic one?

I don't believe the current team have the foresight to strengthen the foundations to withstand such a crunch. If our gas stations are empty, what sort of public transportation would we have to choose from? How do we put food on our tables and keep roofs over our heads? Will the county be ran by criminals, by the law or by hard working individuals working as a team to meet our provisions?

Call me gloomy, but I honestly do fear our county becoming Mad-Maxed. How would our county fare if it were Mad-McMastered instead?

Anonymous said...

John, thank you for the very articulate response.

I believe that it is necessary to rock the boat greatly.

You will never get even treatment by the Savannah Morning News, especially when Dave Simons claims to have enough information on Tom Barton to bury him and the Chamber of Commerce establishment establishment can't control you nor dictate public policy through you.

Harnessing the power of the blogs and new media are critical.

Savannah might be one of the last bastions where the AT&T internet guy won't be able to visit and claim he found the internet because some want to control every element of information.

I have great respect for Pete and some of the others (excluding Dean Kicklighter) who have participated in County Government. However, I think they are being sold a bag of goods that aren't going to hold true.

Why should we sell out the beauty of Savannah to all of the Chamber interests if in the end it destroys what makes Savannah great?

It doesn't make sense.

Unfortunately for Pete, he's about 20 years behind in the timeline in when he needed to serve. He would have been a great partner to John Rousakis, but in these times, we need someone with a new vision to articulate where we are going to go.

Gas prices are soaring. Road costs are outrageous. There is no relief in site. Yet, CAT and the CAT Board want to continue the same failed plans of public transit that don't help solve any problems?

The community is demanding cooperation with the City of Savannah on curbside recycling yet the County Commissioners claim that they can't afford to participate? I'd say, they can't affort NOT to participate.

Property values are falling and instead of reforming county government to make it more efficient, County Commissioners turn a deaf eye to reality and continue the status quo.

Make no mistake, Chatham County is a good place to call home. However, it can be a GREAT place to call home.

John. My suggestion to you is to extrapolate in the forums what your policy positions mean and how they will make Chatham County a great place to live. Voters need the dots connected.

Also as for the Republican Members of the Commission -- how many of them attended the fundraiser tonight with scandal plagued Jack Abramoff pal Ralph Reed?

The fact that the Republican Party (CLUB) of Chatham County thought it was appropriate to bring in a scandal plagued person like Ralph Reed speaks volumes of the local Republican Party and explains why so many people have resigned and have nothing to do with the party...

Keep up the good work John!

Margaret said...

Email me last posting Anon - regarding your statement:

"I have great respect for Pete and some of the others (excluding Dean Kicklighter)"

I recently moved from the 4th to the 7th and am trying to get the jist of things out here politically. Kicklighter is running uncontested, but I'm not very knowledgeable about what he is and is not doing out here or for our county.

I went to the town hall type meeting out at Triplet park Mon night, there were lots of groans and grumbles. Read: new middle school and Garden City complex.

It was hard to read Kicklighter. Wish and need to know more for future references.

Dean Kicklighter said...


Please feel free to email or call me if you have any questions and/or concerns. I served on the County Commission with Mr. McMasters before he lost his seat so his interpretation of my service may possibly be a little jaded.


Dean Kicklighter

Ph: 912-507-1343

Dean Kicklighter said...


As for you, the "anonymous" blogger who respects some of the people on the county commission excluding myself, I’m not a person who believes I can please every single person in the county because I do my best to give my honest opinion on every issue. In doing so, some people may agree with my position and others may disagree.

Your lack of respect for me does not bother me because I can tell that you are not a person of respect nor are you respected by those who know you because you lack the key ingredient that most respected people maintain.

A person of respect is a person of courage thus far no one can possibly respect you because you lack the courage to even state your name.

I shouldn't even be addressing you because the content of any and all unsigned messages should be disregarded because one can assume that unsigned messages are purposely riddled with inaccuracies, false and slanderous statements.


Dean Kicklighter

Anonymous said...

John I guess you know that Kicklighter is reading and reacting to your blog.

How funny.

Someone doth protest loudly!

john mcmasters said...

I would say contact Dean and come to your own conclusion. Dean was against the police merger (which has been a big success) and he supported Liakakis over Murray in 04 so he helped this commission become the special interest devoted commission it is.

Dean voted with the gang of 5, he was a member of the gang of 5 but this commission only wants people to think Murray, McMasters and Rayno were the gang of 5. They forgave Dean and Dave Gellatly. Truth be known, this commission is the gang of 9, even worse than the gang of 5. They give 1/2 of SPLOST away to the cities though SPLOST is a county tax. This money distributed to Dean's cities allow the cities to have low taxes and Chatham County gets scraps. Ah, but Dean is a county rep right? Wrong, Dean works for Pooler, Garden City, port Wentworth and Bloomingdale before he votes for Chatham County.They care more about government than policy, they are spoon fed by the county manager, seen any original thinking from this group? I didn't think so.

152 million in new spending, a half a billion dollar annual budget and simple sound policies like recycling and bike lanes they claim there's no money. That should tell you something.

110 million dollar jail that shouldn't cost more than 60 million, a new arena, chamber of commerce pork projects and we get low wage jobs from their leadership. If people would pay attention, they would be better representatives but since locally the KINGDOM of CHATHAM is still in the name of the game. It is however changing and in the near future we will see it change. Watch for a tipping point. I see it on 012.

Talk with Dean and decide for yourself.


Margaret said...

Well so far I see Mr. Kicklighter has bite. Gotta like that in a fellow. =O)

I am not very fond of Pete in the least and feel strongly on my convictions. Odd how he never answers anybody unless you're from SMN or WTOC.

Nothing to really ask you yet Dean, I am impressed with what I am discovering out here so far. The Garden City complex would go perfect in it's slated slot. Not sure about the school, but my daughter is in Kindergarten at the moment. Hopefully she'll be in Private school before the middle years roll around.

The merger. Well being from the fourth I felt it was successful for Savannah but not necessarily the county. We used to know our sheriffs by name until Metro rolled in. I suspect it's the same here, or rather with Pooler and Garden City having their own departments who needs a merger right?

I'm only for a new county jail if the inmates are made to sleep and share cells in shifts. With any addition including a work place to have them stamp out street signs, bust rocks or sort our recyclables to pay back the county in rent for the millions it takes to build it.