04 May 2020

Bess Tuggle's IMHO: The Week in Review - MBM mishaps; COV DDA; Rec Commission, etc.

Take 2. I got lost in the shuffle last week (aka – Marshall forgot me; gotta get my digs in where I can).

*Ed. note: guilty as charged 

My weather report for the week: Now, everyone sing with me! “You turn the heat off, you turn the heat on, you turn the heat off and you shake it all about. You do the Hokey-Pokey and you turn the A/C on! That’s what it’s all about!”

I’m finally starting to get my NEWS back! It doesn’t look like I’m missed a whole lot though.

Newton Citizen finally came through for me. (For those that don’t know, my checking account and credit card got swiped – thankfully none of our joint accounts were touched) The Newton Citizen even hand-addressed a back copy to help me get back up to snuff! (Thank you Ms. Mary!) My Epoch Times is back on track. It’s a little bit pricey, but worth it. I can justify the price because my TIME magazine won’t be renewed. I read about 3 pages; the rest is -way- too far right for me to stomach. The Smithsonian is going away too, but for different reasons. There might be 2 or 3 good articles, and the rest is all advertisements. I hate to say it, but my National Geographic is starting to head the same way. I’ve been getting Nat Geo since I was 12, but I want -real- articles, not just snippets between ads. Saving on those covers my Epoch, so the pots right. Television?!? Ha! Too much “He said, she said” Covid-19 bologna. When I feel like watching something on a screen I’m relegated to Steve Harvey “Family Feud” re-runs on YouTube and “Tim the Tool Man Taylor” on Laff TV (every night at 9:00, 2-3). Oh, and can’t forget those FB videos. Another fun one is YouTube movies! You can rent for $1.99-$3.99, get them for 48 hours, never have pick up or return (I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s been frustrated using Red Box because the one movie I’d like to see is not available yet or sold out).

I’ve read that there’s drive-thru testing for Covid-19 available at the Georgia Horse Park. There’s a site -somewhere- in Covington, too. I’m confused, though. If you test positive, you’ve got it. If you test negative you’ve either already had it or haven’t had it yet. What does this help, except to continue to skew statistics? I’m pretty sure my husband and I have already had it. Him first, then me 2 weeks later. I remember being up all night then telling him in the morning, exhausted, that I spent the night “sipping” air. We’re both fine now.

Opening up businesses is another confusing one. No, it’s not mandatory. Completely voluntary, opening and attending – but -why- do restaurants that plan to continue curb-side only meals lose off-premise alcohol consumption sales? (Per the 4/25/20 Newton Citizen) Sorry, I gotta have a Margarita with my Mexican food. If they decide to continue curb-side, and I respect their right to do so, why do they lose the right to serve those Margarita’s with the meal? Just ain’t right, folks. It just ain’t right.

It’s with sadness that I learned Newton County Juvenile Court Judge Roberts, 4 days before her retirement, passed away. From the accolades I’ve read, she well earned her retirement. At first I was relieved never to have met her. I got to know Judge Waters -way- too well when I had teenagers. He was wonderful, but I never want to relive those experiences. My condolences go out to the family and entire county for the loss of one so devoted to all of us.

Here’s a -good- one! “Covington Downtown Development Authority (DDA) approved 47 grant applications for small businesses in the Central Business District at its April 16 meeting” with grants not to exceed $2,000. Have any of these yo-yos ever run a business? It’s an honest question, because $2,000 is a drop in the bucket. Taxes, insurance, inventory, rent/mortgage, utilities, paychecks… IMHO this is a -JOKE-! I can only imagine the application process and who actually gets approved.

I try so hard to stay positive, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.

Another good one. The County Commissioners are encouraging us to continue to shelter in place. Okay. No problem there. Herein lies my gripe: “However, Banes said most county offices would continue to be closed for at least another two weeks and employees would continue to telecommute. All five commissioners agreed with the chairman and supported efforts to continue social distancing.” Well, folks, it looks like business as usual. I’ve -never- received a response from a commissioner, the tax commissioner’s office or the tax assessor when I called. Does the GPS office even exist? Planning and Zoning is another elusive creature. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate most of our county employees, but there are quite a few, usually the “higher-up,” that are “lacking” for want of a better word. When I go into an office I usually -do- get help, but those visits are few and far between – assuming I can find them.

The Covington City Council approved power rate increases. Surprised? We’ve seen this coming for a while. What I would like is a more comprehensive review of what rates are being paid by whom, and where the money is going. For some reason I see the city milking this, city residents paying more, and big business paying less. I’d also like to know just how much goes to Plant Vogtle and how much is eaten up in “administration fees” by the city and MEAG.

One last headline that caught my eye. “Newton County officials assured illegal bonuses will be repaid.” Now, Newton County Recreation Department can cut a check to the county for $28,500, employees will have 12 months to repay their part to the Rec. Department, but -where- is the money coming from to repay the county? Inquiring minds -want- to -know-! I have to wonder if this is just another example of a “use it or lose it” budget. And you can’t justify budget increases if the last budget not all used. Sounds like our school system to me, and yet another white-wash.

That’s it from me for this week (and last). Social distance. Get in touch with friends and relatives. Take time to smell, and -enjoy- the roses! My flowers are more fragrant than me – I wish you the same. Enjoy the slumming in place. Oops, I meant sheltering. This too shall pass. Enjoy it while we got it.

TPC Chief Staff Writer, Correspondent & Contributing Writer 

Bess Tuggle

A jack of all trades, Ms. Tuggle has been a Covington resident since the late 70’s. She's been a K-Mart cashier, cabinet builder, vet tech, office manager for a beef cattle ranch and water well company (where she was able to hold benefits for D.A.R.E. and Scouts), a court reporter, business manager, assistant at a private investigation firm, legal assistant, convenience store clerk, landscaper and elementary school substitute teacher.  Her greatest pleasure is being a wife, mother and grandmother.  Her stories are all real, and all names will be withheld to protect the innocent, and also maybe the guilty, depending on the crime & the Statute of Limitations.  


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