Charles Tate, Retiring Director of the IT Department
By Donny Kent
We're here today talking with the retiring director of the CCG Information Technology Department. Charles Tate.
Q: When did you start working for the CCG Charles? July 30, 1972
Q: Were you wearing bell-bottoms or polyester?
...and what music were you listening to? Neither...slight flare which I had no choice about back in those days...all the pants were flared. Pop music.
Q: You arrived just after the city/county consolidation. What did the first I.T. Department look like? The first DP Division (was a division back then) was in the basement of the old courthouse, so I never saw it. The one built with the Government Center Tower looks pretty much today like it did back then, except different equipment.
Q: How have you managed to keep up with changing technology all these years? It's been a challenge and in some cases we haven't kept up because of funding.
Q: Do you ever have a problem with people seeing technology on TV and then wanting you to implement it at work? Oh my gosh...all the time...it's one of the drawbacks of being in the Information Technology Dept....marketing hype.
Q: How many mainframe computers has the city gone through and what's going on with virtual computers? 8 mainframes. Virtual is the future both for personal computers and servers. We currently have 33 Virtual Servers and 800 Virtual Desktops.
Q: You manage a 3.7 million dollar budget. Does that keep you awake at night? The budget doesn't keep me awake, but the complex environment we work in does on many occasions worry me.
Q: Do your fellow department directors, elected officials, and employees call you at home? Not very often.
Q: Excluding Teresa, who was your favorite Mayor? Bobby Peters and Jim Wetherington.
Q: If you were suddenly crowned "King of Columbus, Georgia", what changes would you make in Columbus? I'm assuming you're talking about changes in the Consolidated Government operations. I would change the procurement regulations and processes.
Q: Do you have any retirement plans? ...and is there any truth to the rumor that you're considering running for an elected office? I don't have any plans right now...might work part time at Lowe's or St. Francis Hospital if those options come open. I have had many people ask me about running for one particular office and I probably would consider it if the timing was right.
Q: Do you have any sense of direction of where the computer industry is headed? Where will we be in 10 years? Virtual devices and I would think we/CCG I.T. will be out of the mainframe computing solution within 10 years probably less.
Q: You were working the morning of 9/11, when the planes hit the twin towers. At any time, did you feel like you were in any danger? I did not feel like we were in any danger. I was in the Sheriff's Office Training room in the basement of the Government Center when someone said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center...my first thought that it was a small 4 seat plane since an airline jet wouldn't be that far off course in the middle of New York City.
Q: Did the city experience any Y2K problems? We were very prepared for Y2K...Had a couple of minor issues, but were fixed in short order.
Q: Are you worried about viruses or hackers crippling our network? Always. There is only so much that can be done to prevent it.
Q: Are you good at telling people NO? Not really. It has to really be worth it and something I believe strongly against when I say no.
Q: You had heart surgery many years back. Did you find it hard to return to work? I didn't. I was tired of staying at home doing nothing; however, I was only 45 back then and still had plenty of energy and motivation.
Ron Hamlett, Retiring Manager of the Traffic Engineering Division
By Rosana Juestel
We're here today talking with Ron Hamlett, Traffic Engineering Manager who will be retiring the end of July.
Q: When did you start working for the CCG Ron? January 16, 1975
Q: Were you wearing bell-bottoms or polyester? ...and what music were you listening to? Both. I was listening to the Bee Gees, Clearwater and the Beatles
Q: You arrived just after the city/county consolidation. What did the first Engineering Department look like? Our department was similar to the one those days. It had 3 basic parts and we were located in the East Wing of the Government Center on the 1st Floor.
Q: How have you managed to keep up with changing technology all these years? We subscribed to several national magazines that help us keep up to date. We also members of the Institute of Transportation Engineers which is the Traffic Engineering's national agency. They do a lot of publications and articles that help us stay up to date. We use the internet to find information as well.
Q: What do you like most about your job? I like it because it's not boring. Every day is different and you are not on your desk all day. I meet with a lot of people like developers, Engineers, etc. I do things out in the field in the regular basis. I'm part of the whole process from the concept, design to the finish product. Other places may not involve all of that.
Q: What are you going to miss the most about your job? I'll miss the interaction with all the people that I have worked with throughout the years.
Q: Tell us about the traffic control center? The Traffic Control Center (TCC) a project we have been working for 15 years. It has 2 basic functions. One is the traffic signal operations which is the way signals work. Anytime we need to change something we have so physically send someone to fix it. The TCC creates a master here on a server with all intersections that we have tied to it. Right now, we have 118 out of 264 intersections. We are close to 50%. It will allows us to do a lot of things from the office without having to go out in the field. The second component is surveillance. We have cameras that we can use to monitor and watch for traffic. We can create preset plans for certain events to change the timing. The problem is that we have $4 million dollars invested, but we don't have any personnel to manage it.
Q: Do you have any retirement plans? Yes, I have family property in Thomaston, Ga and property in Marion County that I need to work on.
Q: As a Traffic Engineer, what sorts of trends do you see? In my career we've seen traffic go from not many families having two cars to families using more than two cars. The problem is that people are taking single trips on their car which loads places like schools. We got schools now that have 90% drop offs. It creates congestion which is the city's main congestion problem.
Q: Do you have any sense of direction of where the traffic engineering industry is headed? Where will it be in 10 years? Traffic Engineering goes through cycles. In the 50's it was more attention to pedestrians, now it is more oriented to driving. There is more technology now which is taking attention from drivers like texting. Personal technology is becoming a distraction that will cause more harm that we experienced with alcohol related accidents. Nowadays, we see cars that assist drivers with tasks like parking. I believe in the future car companies will create more tools to help drivers avoid these distractions.
Q: What might (someone) be surprised to know about you? I am a Vietnam veteran and that I used to have a pilot license.
Q: Excluding Teresa, who was your favorite Mayor? Whoever is in the office.
Q: What do you wish other people knew about Columbus? Columbus has all the amenities of a large city, but we have more city values. There is more interaction with people compared to large cities. Also, people think that we have traffic problems, but we really don't have those problems, people can go from one site of the city to the other in 20 min.
Welcome and Congrats to Our New Hires, Promotions, & Retirees
Bull Creek Golf Course
Clerk of Superior Court
Muscogee County Prison
Parks & Recreation
Matthew L Fuller
State Court Solicitor
Work Force Investment Act
Board of Equalization
Board of Equalization
Clerk of Superior Court
Senior Deputy Clerk
Human Resources Analyst
Human Resources Specialist
Inspections & Code Enforcement
Emergency Communication Technician II
Building Service Worker
Fleet Maintenance Technician II
Carson Thomas Maintenance Worker I
DS Field Training Officer
Deputy Sheriff BD
State Court Solicitor
Legal Administrative Clerk
Retirees Inspections & Code Enforcement
Electrical Inspector Coordinator
12.5 Years of Service
Fleet Maintenance Technician II
29.5 Years of Service
Heavy Equipment Operator
19.5 Years of Service
37 Years of Service
26 Years of Service
24.5 Years of Service
Judicial Administrative Technician
29.5 Years of Service
|Check out our archive section for previous editions here
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July is Park & Recreation Month
Be sure to check out your favorite recreation centers for special activities planned during the month of July to celebrate Park & Recreation Month.
August 3, 2014 is Friendship Day but you don't have to wait until then to celebrate the people in your life that you consider friends.
Have you wondered whether the people you call "friends" are really friends or just acquaintances? Here are some points for you to consider as you categorize your pals:
- Friends are kind and act as a positive influence in your life.
- Godly friends give good advice.
- Loyal friends love through difficult times.
- Faithful friends are a rare treasure.
- Reliable friends are hard to find.
- Wrong friends can have a negative influence.
- Sincere friends speak the truth in love, even when it hurts.
- True friends help strengthen each other.
Are you still unsure what or how to know if a person is a friend? We asked CCG employees to give us information on their best friends. Read on to see what they had to say.
"If I tell you about my best friend, I am already partial...it is my daughter Mallory Jackson. We are mom and daughter, co-workers and friends. We make each other laugh, understand each other's silly sayings and goofy humor, share creative ability, work well together, communicate well and often, enjoy each other's company and would be friends even if we weren't related. As a surprise, she arranged a trip to Las Vegas as a gift for the two of us to do something fun and by ourselves. She is without question my best friend." - Beverly Robidoux, UGA Cooperative Extension
"My best friend is loyal and kind. She has been by my side for ten years, through thick and thin. We laugh together, we cry together, and best of all, we eat together!" - Ciji Brewer, Public Works
"My BFF is Anna! She & I have been friends since high school, which wasn't very long ago because I am still a spring chicken. I didn't fancy her when we first met; she was loud & pretty aggressive. She had a crush on my brother and befriended me to get to him. These girls aren't loyal. We ended up being really close, though. One time on Fort Benning, we sneaked out to meet Albert & Dante in Bouton Heights to hold hands & talk about love. The conversations got pretty scholarly & long story short, she saved me from getting murdered by parents when they caught us sneaking back in. We still laugh about that! Anna introduced me to Kevin Gates, grenadine, wax, gardening, sewing, The Lonely Island (score!) and she shaved half of my head!!! That's why I "went natural." This summer she's teaching me to swim...or drown. whichever happens first! Gooooo Anna!!! Now the government loves you, too!" Kamira Wright, Magistrate Court
"Sometimes in Life you are blessed when a SPECIAL PERSON comes into your life. My best friend for the past 40 years is Cindy. She is very generous; not only with gifts, but with her time and advice. She is a good listener, and if all I want to do is vent, she is loyal and very honest. If you don't want to hear the truth, DON'T ASK HER LOL!! I've been able to count on her through all of my ups and downs even when she was not asked, never thinking "what's in it for me?" - Sandy Hobbs, Public Works
This is my bestie, Patti Meadows, on the right. She works in the Property Tax Office. We have known each other for over 20 years. She is one of the sweetest women I know. She is always helpful and hardly ever gets mad. She is always there for me. She was there for me when my Daddy passed away, getting me panty hose that I had forgotten on the day of his visitation. - Becky Voyles, Finance
CCG Human Resources Department Community Charitable Project
"But how shall we expect charity towards others, when we are uncharitable to ourselves? Charity begins at home is the voices of the world". Sir Thomas Browne
Reather Hollowell, Department Head for the CCG Human Resources Department, heeded the sentiments of Sir Thomas Browne, an English philosopher, when she challenged her staff to adopt a charitable project that would benefit the community. Instead of directing the staff to support a specific project, Ms. Hollowell asked for suggestions. Sherry Evans made an impassioned plea for the four legged occupants who reside at the Animal Control Center. Sherry said that other animal groups have better name recognition and therefore receive more funds. The CCG Animal Control Center faces continuous financial struggles.
The staff agreed with Sherry and began to bring in food, shampoo, money, leashes, collars and other items needed by the Animal Control Center. We captured some of the donations and the generous staff in the picture below.
CCG Annual Public Services Recognition Week
The CCG Annual Public Services Recognition Week was celebrated during May 5-9, 2014. We had a terrific week of fun activities for our city employees!! We would like to take this time to "Thank" the following employee volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure that their fellow co-workers enjoyed this special week!!
Heather Battle, Susan Brown, Holli Browder, Michael Burgess, Verona Campbell, Lisa Castile, Barbara Coppage, Deborah Crumbley. Emily Davenport, Samantha Davis, Kelly Denham, Sherry Evans, Jackie Goodwin, Tommy Groce, Julie Harbuck, Lionel Haynes, Doris Hill, Shanta Johnson, Corey Jones, Jo Ann Jones, Charleen Kendrick, Brandon Love, Linda Lunsford, Jenni McDonald, Kelly Nalls, Alina Phillips, Ameika Pitts, Carson Revelle, Eben Risper, Sheila Risper, Drale Short, Cynthia Sims, Teresa Snellings, Cindy Sprouse, Stacie Stone-Cook, Chloe Welks, Sofia White, Deborah Whitley, and Shanoa Young
We would also wish to thank our Community Sponsors: Kinetic Credit Union, Liberty Mutual, 12th Street Deli, Speakeasy, and Dean Foods!!
Congratulations to our 2014 PSRW Sports Tournament Winners:
Horseshoe Winners: 1st- Matt McLemore & Jeff Sharpe- Information Technology
2nd- James White & Johnny Clark- Public Works:
Badminton Winners: 1st- Donny Kent, IT & Suzanne Kraus, Judge Gottfried
2nd- Jenny Teague & Ricardo Negron- Information
Kickball Winners: 1st- Parks & Rec: Community Schools Division
2nd- District Attorney's Office
Softball Winners: 1st- Muscogee County Sheriff's Office
2nd- Columbus Police Department
2014 PSRW Photo Gallery brought to you by Donny Kent-IT & Kevin Robertson-Finance!!
2014 CCG Corporate Tennis Team Win
The Columbus Regional Tennis Association (CORTA) hosted its Annual Corporate Tennis League from April 2- May 21. We are proud to announce that the 2014 CCG Corporate Tennis Team WON in their division! They played hard & represented the CCG well!! Congratulations!!
2014 CCG Corporate Tennis Team
Juan Del Toro- Engineering
Kim and Peter Hoffman
Rosana Juestel- Planning
Donny Kent- IT
Suzanne Kraus- Judge Gottfried's Office
Max Patrick- Tax Commissioner's Office
Carlos Tavera Casas- Public Works
Check the Slideshow
Employee Recognition Program Winners
2013-2014 Year Winners and 1st Quarter 2014 Winners
2013-2014 PEER of the Year Winner
Debra Sellers, Finance
2013-2014 Individual Excellence Award Winner of the Year
Freddie Denson, Civic Center
1st Quarter 2014 ERP Winners
Individual Excellence Award Winner
Tony Perry, Public Works
PEER Award Winners
Sammy Eugenio, Civic Center
Max Patrick, Tax Commissioner's Office
Kevin Robertson, Finance
Ronald Staley, Police
Lynda Temples, Planning
$535 Raised for the American Red Cross
We are pleased to announce that the Columbus Consolidated Government has raised $535.00 for the Heroes for the American Red Cross Fund-Raising Campaign. The American Red Cross exists to provide compassionate care to those in need. Their network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world, through five key service areas: Disaster Relief, Supporting America's Military Families, Life Saving Blood, Health and Safety Services, and International Services. We are excited to help this great organization continue to fulfill its mission.
Sign Up for the UGA Cooperative Extension Office Quarterly Newsletter
Would you like you to know the research based information for reducing the number of mosquitoes in your yard this summer, or how you can enjoy the summer vegetables from your garden the next winter season? Are you interested in learning more information about 4-H camps for your children or where you can purchase fresh Georgia pecans from Columbus 4-H members for this fall?
Your University of Georgia Extension office in Columbus would like to invite you to subscribe to their Quarterly Newsletter. The Columbus/Muscogee County Extension Newsletter will arrive via email each winter, spring, summer, and fall. Each issue is packed with helpful information you can use.
To subscribe, simply click on the link below and enter in your email address. Your email address will never be sold or used for any other purpose.
CPD Special Olympics Pistol Match Fundraiser A Great Success
The Columbus Police Department hosted a Pistol Match in May to raise money for Special Olympics. Participants from Public Safety, as well as the public, shot from various distances, shooting one handed at times, and from behind obstacles to test their speed and accuracy. Trophies were awarded to the top shooters in three different classes. Spectators and participants could purchase raffle tickets as an additional fundraiser to win prizes from local businesses. The event raised money for a great cause while creating a fun event for both participants and spectators of all ages.
View Pictures of the Event
Three Judges Appointed By Governor Deal
Three members of the Columbus Judicial community were sworn in as judges by Governor Nathan Deal on January 7, 2014. Although several months have passed since this honor was bestowed upon them, each of them continues to express their gratitude for the opportunity to serve and the determination to be fair in their decision-making.
Superior Court Judge Maureen Gottfried
Judge Gottfried possesses many years of judicial experience. She served as Solicitor General of Muscogee County, and was later sworn in as State Court Judge in November 1995. She sought the State Court position because it offered the opportunity to approach cases in a different way and allowed her to also deal with civil cases. She sought the Superior Court position so that she could have an impact on a greater variety of cases and participants in the judicial system, especially children involved in domestic relations cases.
|Judge Maureen Gottfried|
As a State Court Judge, she heard misdemeanor criminal cases and civil cases filed in Muscogee County. As a Superior Court Judge, her jurisdiction is wider, both in geographical areas and in the types of cases that she can hear. The jurisdiction covers six counties of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit. She hears felony criminal cases and domestic relations cases as well as a wider variety of civil cases. In both positions, Judge Gottfried stated that the hardest part has been dealing with cases where she felt that children weren't in an environment where they could succeed. She, on the other hand, feels fortunate in that her family has been a very solid support system for her. Their support enabled her to realize that she could attain her goals without worrying about them. Her family has not only been supportive but very proud of her accomplishments.
Judge Gottfried possesses the qualities desired in an effective judge.
She is patient, but an active listener; compassionate, but does not let sympathy influence decisions. She is willing to follow the laws, even when the decision is not popular. Lastly, she understands that while the position affords her a great
deal of power, she is not the most important person in the room.
Superior Court Judge Ron Mullins
Judge Ron Mullins said that being a Judge has been his goal from the time he became a lawyer, more than 30 years ago. After being in private law practice for a while, he felt that his participation in trials and his observations of good judges in action helped to prepare him to take the next step towards becoming a judge.
|Judge Ron Mullins|
As a partner with the Page, Scrantom, Sprouse, Tucker & Ford, P.C. firm, Judge Mullins worked with more than 30 lawyers. As Superior Court Judge, he is a great deal more isolated. In fact, a judge isn't supposed to talk with one lawyer that's involved in a case unless the other is present. Despite obvious differences between a lawyer and judge, he sees a major similarity. Most lawyers are trying to do the right thing and help their clients. Trying to do the right thing is also the judge's intent. He describes an effective judge simply as one who treats people who come before him with respect and dignity. In addition, his goal is to make a decision or a ruling as promptly as possible.
He adds that being a Superior Court Judge is a great honor. In his private practice, he had limited interaction with people at the Columbus Government Center. Since becoming a Superior Court Judge he has met many people in different departments that are supportive. It has been a pleasant and rewarding experience.
State Court Judge Benjamin Richardson
Judge Benjamin Richardson served as Solicitor General prior to his appointment as State Court Judge. He explained that the Solicitor General is responsible as the chief prosecutor for misdemeanor offenses for Muscogee County and primarily limited to prosecuting criminal matters. The State Court Judge is the chief arbiter of Civil and Criminal matters within the State Court jurisdiction. However, criminal cases tried in this Court are limited to misdemeanors and appeals from lower Courts by the State Constitution.
|Judge Benjamin Richardson|
Judge Richardson strived to become a judge because it's the highest honor and position a lawyer can achieve. It's also the most important role to have in the Judicial System. Judges set the tone, procedures, and environment for the concept of justice to flourish. He defines the primary characteristics of an effective judge as follows: external and internal fairness, objectivity, honesty, and integrity.
In closing, he wants to thank the Columbus community and his fellow CCG employees for their tremendous support through his years serving as Solicitor General and the continued support they have shown him as a State Court Judge. He also wants to acknowledge his mother, his "Rock", whose grave he visited before being sworn in. He promised her he would do his best as a judge, and it's a promise that he will keep.
August 15 is Check the Chip Day
Microchips greatly increase the chances that you'll get your pet back if he/she is lost or stolen...but a microchip only works if its registration information is accurate.
To remind pet owners to have their pets microchipped and to keep the registration information up-to-date, AVMA and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) joined together to create "Check the Chip Day."
Take advantage of this reminder:
Updating your pet's microchip registration
- Make an appointment with your veterinarian for microchipping if your pet isn't already microchipped (then make sure that your pet's chip is immediately registered); and
- Check your already-microchipped pet's registration information in the microchip manufacturer's database, and make sure it's up-to-date.
To update your pet's registration, you'll need your pet's microchip number. If you haven't already created an account with the manufacturer, you'll need to do that as well so you can access the registration in the future to update the information. Make sure that all of the information, particularly your phone number(s) and address, are correct.
There are many databases that allow you to register your pet's microchip, but the one that really counts - the one that animal shelters and veterinarians will search - is the database maintained by the manufacturer of your pet's microchip. AAHA's Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool, an internet-based application, is linked to the registries of the majority of microchip manufacturers and allows a quick database search of any microchip made by these manufacturers. In addition, a number of public microchip registries have also been linked to the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool to make it easier to find a microchip's registration.
Information above is provided by: The American Veterinarian Medical Association
Remember: CCG employees may adopt for FREE at the Columbus Animal Care & Control Center ($50 charge for spay/neuter voucher applies)
Laughing Cow© Chicken
4 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 pound total)
4 Slices Fat-Free Ham Slices
4 Wedges Laughing Cow Cheese
1/4 Pkg Shake 'n Bake Pork
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place each chicken breast between wax paper and pound to 1/4 inch thick. Place one slice of ham and one cheese wedge on each chicken breast. Gently spread the cheese out. Roll chicken up and secure with a toothpick. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Place the chicken breasts edge side down in dish. Sprinkle chicken evenly with Shake 'n Bake. Bake uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken is lightly browned.
What's Your Nutritional IQ?
Healthy Food Quiz
Test your Food IQ and Enter in for a Chance to Win a $5 gift card to Subway! All questions must be correct to be eligible for the drawing. Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 13, 2014.
1. Which one of these breakfast options contains more sodium
a. 1 Serving of Bran Cereal with Raisins
b. 1 Hard Boiled Eff
2. Baked potato chips contain less salt than regular potato chips
a. True b. False
3. Which of these on-the-go vending snacks contains more calories?
a. Commercially Prepared Trail Mix
b. 2 Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
4. Which of these drinks is the less sugary choice?
a.1 Glass of Cranberry Juice
b. 1 Glass of Low-Fat Chocolate Milk
5. One of the refreshing treats listed below contains 200 more calories than the other. Can you identify the calorie heavyweight?
a. 8 oz. Fruit Smoothie
b. 8 oz. Fruit Yogurt Parfait Made with Granola
May/June 2014 Health Foods Quiz Winner- Teresa Snellings, Parks & Recreation Department
Answers to the May/June 2014 Healthy Foods Quiz- 1.B; 2.A; 3.B; 4.A; 5.B
Upcoming Community Events
Springboard: Developmental Diving Program
Level 1 ages 10-14M/W 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Level 2 ages 14-18T/Thu 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Columbus Aquatic Center
For more information, please visit www.usapools.com/columbusga or call 706-225-3980.
Peter Pan Live
July 17-18 7:00 pm
July 19 11:30 am, 3:30 pm, 7:30 pm
July 20 1:00 pm, 5:00 pm
Get ready to experience the magical world of Neverland in this high flying arena version of Piers Chater Robinson's Peter Pan Live. Join us as Wendy, Captain Hook, Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell all take the stage along with the boy who never grew up Peter Pan!
Columbus Civic Center
For more information, call 706-653-4482 or visit www.columbusciviccenter.org
GA Special Olympic Motorcycle Poker Run
Registration: 9:30 am
Help send local athletes to the games. All proceeds go to benefit Georgia Special Olympics. Sponsored by the Columbus Police Department
Chattahoochee Harley-Davidson on 3230 Williams Road
For more information, please call 706-653-3173 or 706-324-4294
21st Annual GA Special Olympic Golf Tournament
Tee Off: 9:00 am
Lunch will begin at 12:30 pm
All proceeds go to benefit Georgia Special Olympics. Sponsored by the Columbus Police Department
Bull Creek Golf Course
For more information, please call 706-653-3173
Rumble by The River
August 16-17 8:00 pm
Rumble By The River is poised to be one of the best attended events of the year! With a prize bucket that is significant all on its own, as well as a venue that provides a unique experience for WOD competition, this is one you won't want to miss. Rumble will be held at the Columbus Civic Center!
Columbus Civic Center