Sunday, August 13, 2006


"I was laid off this past week," a man told me at church this weekend. If the man worked at Char-Broil, it would be easy for everyone to show compassion. But he works with the state of Georgia - so Republicans under their breath might call it a victory....

BLOG EXCLUSIVE: Your blog has learned the Georgia Department of Revenue quietly laid off some employees this past week. It was a one-week furlough - and it wasn't even timed right, starting the Monday after the sales tax holiday ended.

It's not yet clear exactly how many full-time employees were laid off from the Georgia Department of Revenue. But I'm told the layoffs occurred because of a lack of work in Atlanta -- and perhaps because of the sales tax holiday. Don't you wish now you had bought something other than clothes and notebooks at those sales?

It's a bit hard to imagine the state revenue department having too little work for its employees to do. Isn't tax money of some sort going to Atlanta throughout the year? Aren't the lazy people who didn't file returns in April supposed to mail in extended returns this week?

One revenue employee who was laid off this past week told me with many companies, withholding taxes begin on the 15th of the month. So I guess on the 13th, they withhold the withholding - or they simply put a hold on it....

But the news of one-week layoffs is a bit surprising, considering the Georgia Department of Revenue just announced strong tax receipts for July at $1.24 billion, up $150 million from a year ago. Maybe a lot of drivers took Independence Day trips, looked at their gas receipts and parked their cars for the rest of the month.

I didn't ask the man what he did with his unscheduled and unpaid vacation. If I had known it was coming, he certainly could have helped me with my business budgeting....

My mother's last job before she died was with the Internal Revenue Service. Sometimes the work was seasonal, but she wound up working full-time - and encountering all sorts of interesting things. She lost track of how many people wrote checks to the INFERNAL Revenue.

Because federal tax returns are private matters, my mother didn't talk much about them. But she admitted to me once she reviewed the return of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. I have no way of knowing how many political payoffs were listed on Schedule A under "charitable contributions."


It's "Free Frisbee Sunday" in LaGrange and Columbus! We'll be at Grainger Park at 1:30 p.m. and Rigdon Park at 5:30 p.m., showing and telling all about Power Frisbee of Georgia. Please come visit -- and learn more about this new game at the official Power Frisbee web site; then offer your comments at the P.F.G. blog.

E-MAIL UPDATE: If the Mayor of Columbus says it, it must be so....

Mr Burkard,

I am indeed very fond of you, your blog, and moreover, you're writing style. The Blog of Columbus is most likely the funniest, non-biased, and satirical piece of literature about our community. I must admit sometimes I would like to see nicer things about my grandfather and we did work very hard to have a good party. After I read that someone had invited you but left no date, I urged to formally invite you and I'm glad you came. I hope you enjoyed it and I'm sorry I missed you. I would someday like to put a face to the blog. Thanks again for coming!


Bob Poydasheff's Grandson

PS...Even though you're tough to read, for some reason I don't think you're pulling for us based on your last entry. That's ok; there is still three months to change your mind if the former is indeed true ;)

Thanks for the nice words - and my apologies for being "tough to read." I'll try to write with shorter sentences from now on.

Sometimes it's better for a blogger like me to be "incognito" at an event like Mayor Bob Poydasheff's kickoff party. But the non-biased "journalist" part of me stayed in control Thursday night - and I refused to take any free soda and sandwiches, which might sway my opinion.

Regular blog readers know we DO try to be non-biased when it comes to elections -- so I can't really say I'm pulling for either candidate in the mayor's race. If someone called for a one-cent per-post tax on bloggers, that could change....

By the way, someone told me Mayor Poydasheff made the campaign rounds at a new coffee shop on First Avenue the other day - and shook the hand of at least one construction worker who lives in Phenix City. This worker did NOT seem moved enough to move across the river.

Now for other winners and losers from the weekend:

+ I thought sure I'd meet my sixth beggar of the year, when I filled up for gas at a downtown Spectrum. One man went to three car windows in about 15 seconds, seeking something. But he never walked toward me - so maybe someone told him how to walk over to the House of Mercy.

+ The Northern Little League team shut out Dunedin, Florida 5-0, to advance to the Little League World Series. The team bus returned to Columbus Saturday night, so their suitcases can be filled with homework for the next two weeks.

(A big crowd attended the welcome-home party for the Little League team at Psalmond Road Park. I assume somewhere in that group was former Phenix City Little League coach Tony Rasmus - taking down phone numbers for future recruiting.)

+ The South Atlantic League Commissioner showed up at Golden Park, and was amazed that the Columbus Catfish could not play a 7:00 p.m. game after an afternoon shower. He said Columbus city officials should do something about the drainage. Some of us have heard that complaint for years -- yet somehow LaGrange's Callaway Stadium had artificial turf added first.

(If that wasn't enough, the second game of a Saturday night doubleheader was called off when some of the lights failed. I jogged by Golden Park, and thought sure there were enough cars in the parking lot to turn on headlights and keep playing.)

+ A group from Selma, Alabama toured homes improved through Columbus NeighborWorks. WRBL reported the group from Selma wants to "rebuild" the city. If the people who gather at that bridge every March would stay over a couple of extra days....

+ Instant Message to the Georgia chapter of the Minuteman Project: About that sign I saw at your Atlanta rally, "Citizenship isn't given, it's earned" - if you were born in the U.S., how did you earn that?

SCHEDULED MONDAY (to be posted Sunday night): My half-hour under intense questioning....

People across metro Columbus and around the world read this blog every day. To advertise to them, offer a story tip or comment on this blog, write me - but be warned, I may post your e-mail comment and offer a reply.

BURKARD BULK MAIL INDEX: 7068 (- 338, 4.6%)

If you mention this blog in public, please be polite enough to let me know.

© 2003-06 Richard Burkard, all rights reserved.

site stats