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Southern Eyes

According to The Mirror, I ought to be skinny -- really skinny. Unfortunately, according to the mirror, I'm not. Each week, Billy (my writing cohort) and I feel stretched thin to the max as we cover every aspect of McDuffie County news.

Only The Mirror offers coverage of crime; all governments; the public school system and Briarwood; county fire, city fire, county sheriff, city police and emergency departments; Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Toombs Judicial Circuit court system; soldiers and armed forces; tourism; planning and zoning; development authority; public utilities; hospital authority; health department; art council; arts and entertainment; celebrities; chamber of commerce; activities council; Town of Dearing; senior center, retirement and nursing homes; sports; recreation and leisure services; fundraisers; social agencies, churches, and charities; clubs and organizations; and feature stories seemingly about everybody and everything.

Each week as we look at our paper, Billy says "that's a lot of news for 50 cents."

Understandably and regrettably, we occasionally miss something. If we do, someone usually is quick to bring it to us. We thank you. I personally want to thank everyone who provides details so we can do our job.

I thank the readers for your loyalty.

I urge you to pay attention to governmental meeting stories. All meetings are open to the public, so there are no secrets in the stories. We keep you informed so you're able to hold officials accountable. If a law is broken, obviously the story will say so. But most of the time, the story does not say "so-and-so wasted thousands of dollars that should have gone over there." The stories give the facts. It is up to the reader to decide if you approve of what is done.

If you do or don't approve, please write a letter to the editor, attend the meetings and/or talk to the officials. As Americans, you have this privilege and right to freedom of speech. Please don't waste it.

I want to thank our local officials, who are used to us asking questions. I got a good laugh this week when Dearing Mayor Sean Kelley called me to, um, cover his backside. All governmental boards know the state's Sunshine Laws require them to notify the legal organ if a majority of the board members are meeting in the same place.

Sean called to tell me that he and the Dearing Town Council members would be sitting at the same table at the Chamber of Commerce Banquet. I thanked him. If three of them raise their hands at the same time during the dinner, I'll make a note. Don't worry, you'll be the first to know.

Web posted on Thursday, January 28, 2010

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