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Open negotiations on SDS appreciated

The residents of Rabun County have witnessed active negotiations concerning the issue of re-establishing what is known as a Service Strategy (SDS) between representatives of Rabun County and the county’s municipalities. An SDS gives local governments and authorities the opportunity to reach agreement on the delivery of mutually agreed upon services in a cost effective manner. Rabun County is one of only six counties in Georgia (159 counties) without and SDS. What is of significance is that negotiations between representatives of the county and its municipalities have been conducted in a truly open manner in that these discussions have been open to the public, not behind closed doors, and extensively covered by The Clayton Tribune in an unbiased, objective manner — a shining example of democracy in action.

Contrast the above with the 16 July, two hour international-level negotiation which transpired in Helsinki, Finland, solely in private, between P residents Trump (USA) and Putin (Russian Federation). But first, take into consideration the political experience and backgrounds of the two Presidents. Trump is the only individual to serve as President having not served in the military or having political office at any level. His most successful background was in the private, capitalist sector where the goal to maximize your income and profits. President Putin, conversely, entered the ranks of the KGB directly following graduation from college and left the ranks of the KGB, as a lieutenant colonel, after 16 years of service and entered politics in 1991; he won his first election in 2000 and has subsequently served as either President or Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and will not leave the Presidency until 2024.

In closing, contrast the conduct of what is taking place in terms of open negotiations in Rabun County and what has been reported, as of one week later, following the closed one on one Presidential level discussions in Helsinki: absolutely nothing from the Trump administration but conversely rumors of unconfirmed agreements emanating from Moscow. Wouldn’t it be beneficial if the openness example of Rabun County were mirrored by the Trump administration?

Wade J. Williams, Clayton