Letters to the Editor

County should keep crowding in mind

I read with interest the article ("Commission, school board meet Tuesday," Aug. 14) about the so-called annual meeting between the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education.

Frankly, I think meeting annually falls way short of keeping each body informed as to what the county commission is doing toward managing infrastructure (which includes schools) and what the school board is doing to handle the current and projected student population in our school clusters so as to avoid overcrowding.

Later, I see "Recommended approval for" in eight out of the 12 cases heard by the Gwinnett Planning Commission on Aug. 2 ("Zoning cases - action taken," Aug. 14). I wonder how much, if any, consideration was given to the effect said recommended approvals were given to the school cluster in those applications involving rezoning for residential construction. Unless objections came from concerned citizens about the possibility of school overcrowding, I would imagine that absolutely no consideration was given to this matter.

On all rezoning applications that will affect a school cluster, before any decision is made on said application, the Commissioners' appointed member and the member of the Planning Commission whose district the rezoning application is in should touch base with the elected school board member for that district to determine what affect the rezoning would have on the school cluster. Now, that isn't so complicated, is it?

The attorney general has ruled that school overcrowding is a valid reason to deny rezoning applications and development permits. There are no complex problems in business or government. There are only intelligent solutions. However, sometimes it takes backbone to make those decisions, especially when it comes to saying no to a rezoning application or development permit that will overcrowd a school cluster.

The most disgusting sight that I have seen in the 26 years that I have lived in Gwinnett County is a new school with temporary classroom trailers on site on opening day. Some of the current members sitting on the school board have contributed to this fiasco.

- James H. Orr Jr.


Media's priorities lost

Oh, how the media loves a cause. I have friends that work in the media, and over the years I have gone to them a number of times with story ideas. You know, community-based stories such as traffic problems or building permits granted. Most of the time the stories are rejected. "It doesn't affect enough people," they say. So I have come to believe that the gauge by which a story is deemed news is by how many people it effects. That makes sense.

Then along came Cindy Sheehan.

I'm sorry the woman lost her son while serving his country in Iraq, and I can't imagine the grief she is dealing with. I have sons also. I applaud her for her efforts to protest what she believes is an unjust war. That is her right in our society. But why is the media there?

As a juxtaposition to that scenario, I was driving from Winder toward Loganville and passed a gas station. Out in front of this gas station there was one man holding a sign that said the owner of this business supports terrorists that kill Americans or something to that effect. I don't know if he is still there or not. But I haven't seen that on the news.

- John Reed