It is amazing the lengths that our county leadership will go to convince citizens of the need to build a new courthouse for their personal glory. But they continued to do so by calling WSB Channel 2 News and having the Rockdale Citizen report on the incident regarding the roof. The WSB report did not articulate that the location where the ceiling fell was where a roofing company was replacing the roof. The headline should be focused on the potential of the vendor not taking the appropriate measures to secure the area for potential bad weather after “jack hammering” on the structure. Incidentally, the images clearly show this damage occurred to an isolated corner of a room being used for storage.

But, instead of accurately addressing the issue, the clerk and BOC chairman took to the airways to exploit this event. The clerk demanding, “to all involved, that the risk is to workers and public” regarding the “storage area,” and that the county is not asking for a Taj Mahal. This statement was then followed by the chairman’s blaming “I told you so” comment to the citizens that it is time to stop putting Band-aids on the problems. He also commented the incident occurred on a building built in 1939 (wrong building, Mr. Chairman). Making threatening, blaming and inaccurate statements instead of holding a vendor accountable is not the leadership tactic that Rockdale County needs.

As a refresher, the county leadership did ask for a Taj Mahal with a $144 million referendum that was voted down by a 2 to 1 ratio. Leadership’s response to the defeat was to shift responsibilities and delegate the tasks of evaluating the issues, exploring the needs and seeking public input to a citizen committee in order to recommend feasible solutions to the Rockdale BOC. The BOC chairman pledged to this committee that he, the BOC and county staff would not engage in, interfere with, or influence the committee’s task, work and process. But this pledge has continuously been violated with the chairman, the clerk and staff attending committee meetings. The clerk has gone as far as to pitch concerns during her introduction to a jury pool, of which I was a member. Needless to say, the bond of trust once again is broken.

If the committee is allowed to follow due process without interference, it will be able to provide solutions that will not cost $144 million. The committee will work through the process by using rational thoughts, such as the fact that replacing roofs requiring repairs is common. After all, the average citizen doesn’t build a new house in order to repair problems with their roof.

In my opinion, their comments are out of order and place their personal agenda ahead of the hard work and commitment of voluntary citizen servants. Rockdale residents should be wary and highly skeptical of these actions and comments. I’ll put my trust in the Citizen Committee and look forward to them making a recommendation that safeguards the taxpayer while reasonably and feasibly addressing the issues with our historic courthouse.

Albert Kersh


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