Sparks Continue to Fly In Loganville Election

Following a back and forth in the media between two Loganville City Council candidates and the mayor of Loganville, candidate Skip Baliles responds to comments by the mayor.

After a story, and follow up column by Loganville Mayor Ray Nunley appeared in the last two Sunday editions of The Walton Tribune, candidate for one of the three at-large seats on the , said he felt compelled to answer.

In the column, Nunley called out Baliles for comments in the Tribune that referred to current city council members as “caretakers.”

“My first reaction was 'just' not respond to the editorial written by Mayor Ray Nunley, but after thinking through the issues raised by him, I do have some observations,” Baliles said. “While listing these thoughts, I will always stand up for the mayor's right to share his opinions.”

Baliles said he felt that Nunley painted with a “very broad brush” in the column. He also questioned whether it was a way to discourage anyone running for elected office in Loganville to just “forget it” and allow the current office holders to maintain the status quo.

“When elected, I plan to work with the other five council members and Mayor Nunley to move the city forward. However, there are several things I will not do to get elected,” Baliles said. “I will not lie or steal; I will not be obligated to anyone, except the citizens of Loganville, for my vote on any issue; I will not allow anyone to use the election process to tell me who will or will not be my friends/acquaintances and I will not deny my God.”

Baliles said there we a few questions he wanted to ask Loganville voters. 

1. Do you feel as if Loganville is in the midst of a "Grand Plan?"

2. Are you satisfied with the current tax burden for the citizens of Loganville?

3. Are you satisfied with the cost of water in our community?

“The many citizens whom I have talked with, for the most part, are not satisfied and bring up these issues many times,” Baliles said.

In responding to what he considered to be an attack on the current city government by candidates Baliles and former mayor , Nunley said he couldn’t say whether the response in the Tribune would be his last.

“We’re going to defend ourselves whenever I see the need,” Nunley said.

The other three candidates on the ballot are incumbent city councilmen , and .

Grant October 11, 2011 at 06:39 PM
Lol wut? Gotta give the guy credit, didnt say much but got his name and face out there for free...
Mike Jones October 12, 2011 at 01:11 AM
Skip, I feel unwanted. Wonder what's being hidden? I don't intend to have a spitting contest with the Mayor. I disagree with spending 1/2 Million $ for plans to increase sewer capacity when we won't need it for years-yet on 9/1/11, our water and sewer rates went up 8%. The Mayor's sewer rate did not go up because he developed his subdivision without sewer, recreation facilities or sidewalks! How'd he do that? In 2009 the Mayor signed a 5 year Employment Contract with the City Manager paying an income of $94,000+ annually, plus 5% annual cost of living raise ( no other employees got raises); annual incentive bonus; free health insurance and retirement benefits; +$700 per month transportation allowance (he lives 2+ miles from City Hall.) (A City with only 10,000 residents-you do the math) We are in the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression. Citizens are losing their homes; jobs; their businesses; forecosures are increasing. America and Loganville have a great future, if we will CUT OUR SPENDING, REDUCE OUR TAXES AND HELP THE LOCAL BUSINESSES WE HAVE BY CUTTING REGULATIONS. EXAMPLE: go by City Hall now --at a cost of tens of thousands $ the City has dug up a newly paved parking lot to plant 10 trees. I WILL NOT VOTE FOR ANY TAX MEASURE UNTIL OUR UNEMPLOYMENT IS 5% OR LESS. I will not be a rubber stamp for the Mayor or any other special interest group. It is time to elect an independent Council. Thanks for your vote and support. Mike
Grant October 12, 2011 at 12:49 PM
Mike writes "America and Loganville have a great future, if we will CUT OUR SPENDING, REDUCE OUR TAXES AND HELP THE LOCAL BUSINESSES WE HAVE BY CUTTING REGULATIONS. " So , I guess you'll be voting FOR both Sunday sales issues Mike ? Cutting those ridiculous regulations to help our local businesses? Awesome , glad to see you turn the corner. Have a nice day ..
"B" October 12, 2011 at 01:15 PM
I agree!
godcountry October 12, 2011 at 08:04 PM
Mr. Jones- I just don’t see the cuts you are calling for being positive for the residents. The cuts are already factored because growth has been frozen for several years yet the population has continued to increase. Therefore, we have city employees attempting to serve a much larger populace with smaller staffs and budgets. I know several of these diligent city employees and they should be celebrated for doing more with less. They have not has raises, promotions, and additional help hired on but continue to serve us effectively. I can understand reigning in growth and belt tightening during difficult times but to further cut and reduce could impact the services provides by the city. I want someone to take a position of growing our city, not cutting services...Clearly, that is not you and therefore can not support you as a candidate.
Mike Jones October 12, 2011 at 11:50 PM
godcountry, I agree with you. I don't intend to cut services or workers. We need to priortize our spending. For instance, we have a HUGE monthly cell phone expense; wholesale purchase of tires; conversion of vehicles from gas to natural gas; just to name a few things. These savings can be used to give our workers much needed raises that they have earned. I would rather spend savings for salaries that cell phones, etc. The City Manager has a five year contract that gives him a 5% annual increase in pay while our other employees get none. Not fair. Let's use that fat to help our employees. Thanks for your comments. Mike Jones
Grant October 13, 2011 at 02:03 AM
So Mike, no response on the Sunday Sales issues that currently send people and their money to other cities & counties on Sundays? Figured as much, I'm sure the voters of Loganville will get this one right and our local restaurants & merchants won't continue to suffer due to unwarranted government interference. It would seem that you see it the same way?
Grant October 13, 2011 at 02:05 AM
As for the rest Mike writes: "For instance, we have a HUGE monthly cell phone expense; wholesale purchase of tires; conversion of vehicles from gas to natural gas; just to name a few things" Are you suggesting that the city should do away with cell phones? Maybe we can equip city personnel with tin cans attached by strings? I'd be willing to bet the use of cell phones SAVES the people of Loganville way more money than they cost. I assume you have figures to dispute that? Tires? Every municipality has vehicles Mike. That means maintenance, tires and fuel. Exactly what is your plan to save vast amounts of money on tires? Tell the police to drive slow? Ridiculous! Vehicle maintenance is a TINY & necessary expense in the grand scheme of things but typical of you to take a weak shot. Speaking of ridiculous, converting city vehicles to Natural Gas? I know math is hard but facts do exist. I see figures of around $12,000 PER VEHICLE to convert and that doesn't include coming up with a fueling station. Do you have some sort of real plan, some FACTS to support your opinion or are you just gonna repeat history ,take weak shots at current officials and make things up as you go? .
godcountry October 13, 2011 at 02:25 AM
Mr. Jones-thanks for your reply. I understand your position better.
Tammy Osier October 13, 2011 at 10:49 AM
I'm thinking that Grant has a point on this one. I have a hard time understanding why we cut things that might be necessary like phones and tires. Cutting frilly things such as trees etc...? Sure, let private citizens decorate. I agree there (with both). I've been responding to the story on shots fired in the park on the south side of Gwinnett. Precisely the reason that our taxes need to be used on more security and less trees and frilly things. It's a great fear of mine as I think of Atlanta when they made cuts in their security so many years ago (Firefighters, Police...). The problems with young people firing shots is nothing new to that area; we're just now hearing about it on the Patch, that's all. As those types of things get more prevalent just outside our county, expect more growth here...and more of the same type of problems. We now have the best system in place in the state of Georgia, and I truly hope that we have enough sense to listen to the taxpayers whose monies are being spent. This is a good debate. I believe Loganville is the best kept secret in Georgia and I hope that citizens here believe that too.
Gail Lane October 13, 2011 at 03:14 PM
Mr. Jones - Either you are uninformed, don't understand or are completely skewing the facts. SPLOST money has funded the Pecan/Broad St. Streetscape project. NOT tax dollars from the general fund. Improvements will include the parking area with sidewalks, greenspace, benches and lamps (I understand much of this will be done by the day of the festival). If you are referring to the parking lot that resulted in the removal of the buildings, that was done years ago and also funded by a SPLOST. SPLOST funds are not just distributed willy-nilly. The paperwork involving administration of that funding is pretty rigorous and specific. The projects that are being done are what THOSE particular funds were allotted and petitioned for; so there's no "additional" tax burden on the citizens and the funds cannot be redistributed for other projects. If anyone is still confused, the website is pretty informative www.gasplost.org/
Tammy Osier October 14, 2011 at 03:00 AM
I'm looking forward to the question and answer sessions. I think we have some very viable candidates running for council. Loganville has always been fortunate in that respect. Times are hard right now. I hope that hashing things out will result in some good decisions.
Kimberly Garrett Williams October 15, 2011 at 09:54 PM
I agree 100%! If you want someone on the council that really and truly cares about this town and it's citizens, Vote for Mike Jones. I grew up here and even went to school with Mike's son. I stand behind what Mike Jones says and believe he really cares. There are too many people currently on the council with their hands in each other's pockets. We need a better mix of people in there that care about the city and not how it will effect their pocket or list of friends. This town was great when Mike Jones was mayor. Don't get me wrong I will always love this town but when too many people have other agendas when running this town, something is up. The rules need to be followed by everyone and need to be the same for everyone. And I believe Mike Jones will do what he says he will do!
Grant October 17, 2011 at 12:38 PM
Kimberly writes "There are too many people currently on the council with their hands in each other's pockets. We need a better mix of people in there that care about the city and not how it will effect their pocket or list of friends" Have you any evidence or examples to support this statement Kimberly? Or , like Mike, are you just spouting nonsense and taking random potshots at City officials with nothing to substantiate your claims?


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