Are you scheduling your social media posts?

I became a Pet Solutions Specialist with Dezi &Roo in March 2015 and it’s been a learning process for me.  I never thought it would be anything I would want to do, but just ten months later and I am completely loving it!

What could be better than talking about my furry children, solving common pet problems, sharing knowledge with other pet parents, raising money for animal-related charities, being your own boss and making money while doing it!

One of the issues that I originally struggled with was social media.  It’s so hard to keep up with posting several times a day, every day that I wasn’t sure how to handle it.  I knew about scheduling posts, but didn’t realize how helpful it could be for my direct sales business.  I then spent some time reviewing many of the schedulers and came across Postcron.  While I will mostly be discussing how I am using Postcron with Facebook, it will work with the following Social Media accounts: Facebook: Fan page, Profile, Event, and Group; LinkedIn: Profile and Company Page; Twitter: Profile; Google+: Business Pages; Pinterest: Boards.  Once I have gotten my Facebook marketing down, I can work on the next one!

I was looking for several key features and I found that Postcron has exactly what I needed to help with my direct sales business.  I started doing Facebook Parties in October and I hosted a Virtual Open House on Facebook in November in a Group.  As I use Facebook Groups and Events more and more, I found Postcron to be the most helpful and easy to use.

Unlike some schedulers, Postcron can post to Facebook  Groups and Events.  This is especially helpful for direct sales where we do parties or special events that are not just on our fan page.

Time = Money

It is a huge time saver.  Instead of randomly posting whenever you find pictures or articles, you can schedule a post for key times of the day instead of posting in batches only during times that you are on Facebook.  While you are on Facebook or any other social media site, if you see something that you want to share in the future, just add it to Postcron to go out at a future time or date.

If you are a small business like I am, you are always looking for ways to save money.  I know there are companies and virtual assistants that you can pay to run your social media accounts, but this can become costly and since it’s your company and brand on the line I believe this DIY approach is best option for me.

How To:

I suggest you jump in and just sign up for your free account.  It won’t cost you anything and you can see the benefits before expending capital.

Once you login to Prostcron, you will find at the very top you can select your social media profile (or profiles!!!) you want to post to.  If there are profiles that you want to make sure that you do not post to, you can simply remove them.  You can also add Social Media profiles.  Next add what you are posting, Status, Photo or Link.  One of the features that drew me to Postcron was the ability to share someone else’s status.  There may be other’s out there that do this, but I when I was searching, Postcron was the only one I found that offered a free basic account and could also post to events and groups.  It helped me test out their product and see if their features are what I had been searching for.

You can check out this post on my Facebook page to see what I mean.  I saw someone else’s post and then scheduled it with Postcron to “share” it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love original content, but there are times you can’t come up with everything on your own and you can share someone else’s great ideas.

Next up for 2016!

Now that I’ve chosen my social media scheduler, I will be upgrading to the Pro version which will allow me to have unlimited pending posts, a watermark and add my team members so that we can share scheduled and published posts.

I hadn’t really thought of a watermark before I came across Postcron, but now realize what a great idea it is.  If you create your own picture or flyer and others share it, you will want credit for it.  No matter where your original picture goes in this virtual world, anyone that views it will know you created it.  I started trying to add watermarks to all of my pictures and flyers and found it very tedious, so I was very excited to see that Postcron does it for you!  They even have a tutorial on setting it up.

What a great way to promote yourself and get new business leads!

Before you go, please take a moment to sign up for my bi-monthly e-newsletter and receive a FREE GIFT: Pet Parent Forms, including a Pet GO Kit!

Facebook Cover

See you in 2016 – THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!

 

Disclaimer: I received compensation of 6 months upgrade to the Professional Version of Postcron for this post.

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My First Ten Months with Dezi & Roo and I’m LOVIN’ it!

We recently had our Dezi & Roo December Meeting/Christmas gathering and I got so much awesome swag from my first 10 months working part time with Dezi & Roo! Loving it!

If you’re interested in earning extra income while having a great time talking to other pet parents and solving common pet problems, Contact me today.

Dezi & Roo Swag 2015

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Cobb County Civic Coalition Minor Modifications Presentation now Online

The Cobb County Civic Coalition made a presentation at the March 25th Cobb BOC meeting during the Public Comment Section about problems with “Minor Modifications” and how one Minor Modification has cost the County over $1 Million.

The County now has the presentation online at Tab 3:

 

CCCC Cover

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Braves Oust Turtles and Drain Retention Pond

From their video online, it looks like the Braves have already drained a man-made stormwater retention pond on the property they recently purchased in Cobb.  There is no mention of what stormwater measures they are implementing on the property so that they don’t flood their neighbors.  Maybe Cobb will just allow them to do a Fee-in-Lieu of Detention and taxpayers will be stuck with an even larger bill than the Braves have already stuck us with.  Check out the VIDEO they have posted on their site:

Just hours later, after draining most of the water from a man-made water retention pond on the property, we worked with wildlife experts and our soon-to-be-neighbors, the Boys Scouts of America, and relocated wildlife that had settled near the pond.

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Cobb’s Fee in Lieu of Detention Program has the County Gasping for Air

Minor Modifications Part III

While researching Minor Modifications and their abuses in Cobb County, I stumbled upon yet another program that I believe is majorly flawed and harming the taxpayers.  That program is called “Fee in Lieu of Detention”.  This is the type of Minor Modification that Cobb used in the previous example of Z-128 from 2005.  “Fee in Lieu of Detention” is when a developer can pay a fee to the County to remove or reduce the stormwater detention required to be built on a property.  The County uses these funds for other stormwater projects throughout the County that they deem more in need of a stormwater management project.  The fee is calculated at $5,000 per acre of impervious surface, per the Cobb County Code Sec 50-128.

Through numerous open records requests, I discovered that this program began in 1997 and since then has accepted over 160 projects and collected over $1.92 Million.  Full Spreadsheet.  In my previous post about Z-128, I showed the timeline and abuse of one minor modification in Cobb.  Fee in Lieu of Detention was the type of minor modification used to remove the two stormwater detention facilities required to be built by the developer in the zoning decision.  The applicant paid the County $19,350.00 to remove the requirement to build two detention facilities from the property.  I am not sure of the cost of a typical residential detention facility, however I have been told that it is exponentially greater that the “fee” that was paid. They were allowed to pay a fee instead of paying  a much greater expense of building the stormwater facilities.  This was obviously to the applicant’s benefit and the taxpayers expense. Read more »

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A Timeline for Disaster

Minor Modifications Part II

One of the specific cases of abuse of the Minor Modification process the Cobb County Civic Coalition investigated was Z-128 from 2005.  I have put together a timeline of events that I uncovered from online research and numerous open records requests:

  • June 2, 2005Zoning Application submitted to the County for Z-128 to rezone 21.52 acres from R-20 to CS (Conservation Subdivision) for the property on the South side of Jamerson Road across from Jett Road.  This subdivision is now called Jamerson Estates.  The property is upstream from Country Meadows, a subdivision that was built in the 1980’s.  
  • Rezoning is scheduled to be heard by the Planning Commission (PC) on August 2, 2005 and by the Board of Commissioners (BOC) on August 16, 2005. 
  • July 13, 2005 Applicant’s Attorney submitted a Stipulation Letter to the County stating on Page 3, Item 10a:  “Subject to staffs review and approval regarding the ultimate location and configuration of on site detention and water quality ponds or, in the alternative, compliance with staffs recommendations regarding the submission of a fee in lieu of detention.”  (I’ll discuss this in another post, Minor Modifications Part III) 
  • August 2, 2005 – PC voted to hold the case to September 8, 2005.  (Meeting Minutes).  It appears that Country Meadows, the subdivision downstream from the proposed new subdivision, raised objections in a letter to the PC due to previous flooding issues.  However, during my Open Records Requests, the County cannot find the letter in their zoning file. 
  • August 21, 2005 Country Meadows HOA sent a letter to PC: at the suggestion of PC, the neighbors met with the developer and developer agreed to reduce application by one lot and add TWO detention ponds.  Based on this and the new “site specific” proposal, their issues are considered resolved. 
  • August 23, 2005 – Applicant’s Attorney submitted a new stip letter and a new site plan.  The new stip letter and site plan contains two stormwater management areas, one less lot and does not include wording regarding fee in lieu of detention language previously mentioned. (Read more about this in Minor Modifications Part III.)  
  • August 29, 2005 – Letter from G.H. Mingledorff, Senior Engineer, Stormwater Management to Mark Danneman, Zoning Division Manager.   Notes that the detention facilities may need to be moved (MOVED, NOT REMOVED). 
  • September 8, 2005 – PC Zoning Hearing on Z-128.  Rezoning approved, Meeting Minutes. 
  • September 20, 2005 – BOC Zoning Hearing on Z-128
    • Site plan and stip letter reflects not one, but TWO stormwater management areas.
    • Staff comments regarding zoning.
    • Zoning Approved with this new stip letter and site plan.  Meeting Minutes.
    • The new subdivision is now called Jamerson Estates. 
  • January 19, 2006 – Stormwater Staff receives a Hydrology Study from the Applicant. 
  • February 2, 2006 Staff reviews and comments on Hydrology study done re Fee in Lieu of detention re this property.  Comments specifically note Fee in Lieu of detention is NOT recommended for this property. 
  • February 20, 2006 – District 3 Commissioner signs off on revised site plan as a “Minor Modification” with ZERO stormwater Management areas.  The removal of ALL of the stormwater management areas is NOT something “minor”. 

Read more »

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One Cobb Minor Modification cost taxpayers over $1 Million

Minor Modifications Part I

The Cobb County Civic Coalition (CCCC) has been urging Cobb County for several years to change its process for Minor Modifications.  Their primary concerns with minor modifications in Cobb include:

  • Occur AFTER the public hearing and BOC Final Zoning Decision
  • No Public Notification
  • No Public Input
  • No Public Disclosure Before or After Approved
  • In Cobb Minor Modifications are whatever a Commissioner decides they are 

Their introduction to Minor Modifications in Cobb as presented to the Board of Commissioners on March 25, 2014 is posted on their website.  This includes an introduction to zoning case Z-128 from 2005 that ended up costing taxpayers over $1 Million.  The slideshow is online with photos.

I have an in-depth timeline for the primary example (Z-128) posted online as Minor Modifications Part II.

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Ethics Complaint Filed Against Four Cobb Commissioners

The following Ethics Complaint was filed on Friday, March 7th:

ETHICS COMPLAINT    –  Members of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners

The following material is presented as a sworn statement in the complaint against Tim Lee, Chairman, Helen Goreham, District 1 Commissioner, Bob Ott, District 2 Commissioner, and Joann Birrell, District 3 Commissioner, all of Cobb County, Georgia. This complaint is made by Larry Savage, a citizen, registered voter and taxpayer in Cobb County. This complaint charges that these four Commissioners violated their Oath of Office and violated the Ethics Code of Cobb County Read more »

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Cobb’s New Braves Tax District to Tax Personal Property along with Real Property

Businesses in Cobb County that find themselves in the new “Cumberland Special Services District II” may get an even bigger surprise come September when they get their tax bills.  Not only will the new Braves Stadium tax subsidy increase real property tax bills, it will also increase personal property tax bills.

This new tax was promoted in a way that many assume it will simply be an additional tax on real estate on businesses that are in the Cumberland Community Improvement District (CCID).  When the County released their new spreadsheet  to show the taxes parcels and the estimated amount of tax revenue for 2014, there was an additional column titled “PP Total”.

The County confirmed that this “PP Total” column is for the tax on personal property.  Even the CCID does not tax personal property.  This means that businesses that have equipment, inventory or other personal property on which they pay taxes will also see an increase in their tax bills.  For example, this would include local restaurants and retail stores.  I feel certain many of the tenants and owners have no idea this tax increase is in the works.

How will home businesses which pay personal property tax be handled?  The County has stated that “If you are in the district (Ad Valorem) you pay the tax, if you are out of the district, you don’t.”.  This means that because residential parcels are not, by definition, in the district, then home businesses will be exempt from the additional personal property tax.  This doesn’t appear to be an equitable treatment under the law of everyone in the area.

The County expects to collect $5.15 Million annually from this new tax district.  Their spreadsheet shows that they plan to collect $5,285,262.59 in 2014, if the assessed values do not change.  This is broken down to $4,637,038.11 from Real Estate and $648,224.48 from Personal Property.  As you can see, they were short by simply taxing the real estate.

The first year this tax is collected, it will start at 3 mills, but of course the Commissioners will set it each year, and a cap for the maximum rate allowed is not mentioned.  It sounds like some politicians will have a nice little slush fund to dig into for “pet” projects.

The proposed resolution states “the value of this tax shall be fair and reasonable.”  I can’t find much that is fair or reasonable about this new tax that will be imposed upon a purely arbitrary class without a vote by the citizens.

Public Hearings are scheduled for February 11th at 9:00 a.m. and February 25th at 7:00 p.m. at 100 Cherokee Street, 2nd Floor BOC Room, Marietta, Georgia.  The first evening hearing scheduled for January 28th was cancelled due to the snow storm and it will not be rescheduled.

For businesses in the area, now is the time to take pay attention.  After the final vote at the February 25th BOC meeting, it will be too late.  While the tax starts this year, the Braves move is planned for Spring 2017.  Let’s hope they don’t put some small businesses out of business with this tax increase.

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OPT-OUT of having Cobb EMC “Round Up” your money

If you are like me, you probably missed the Cobb EMC Operation Round Up insert in your recent bill.  Most of us throw away these junk inserts that come in our monthly bill without giving it much thought. The rest of us get ebills and simply look at the amount owed, due date and make sure it looks correct, pay the bill and move on.  I guess Cobb EMC is hoping we aren’t paying attention because they are starting a new program in February called “Operation Round Up”.

Interesting name they have given the program – it “rounds up” customers money and gives it to others.  They seem to think that they know how to spend your money better than you.  It sounds like a program the government would come up with.

Their explanation is that they will round up your bill to the nearest dollar and then the Cobb EMC Community Foundation Board of Directors will administer the funds and determine which “charitable and educational projects in our communities” to give the funds to.

As their website states:

Beginning February 1, 2014, all Cobb EMC members will be automatically enrolled in Operation Round Up and will remain in the program until they request to be removed from it. New Cobb EMC members are currently auto-enrolled. To opt out, simply fill out our online opt out form by February 1. (emphasis added)

Yes, it may be an optional program, but it is the OPT-OUT part that irks me.  If they were truly looking out for their customers, it would be an OPT-IN program.  As it works now, you have to know about the program and actively opt-out of it.  Many Cobb EMC customers I have talked to have never heard of “Operation Round Up”.

I give my time and money to the charities and non-profits of my choice and I do not need a group of individuals at Cobb EMC deciding this for me.  I will be completing their online OPT-OUT form.  The government redistributes enough of my money, I don’t need my electric company redistributing it as well.  Click HERE to OPT-OUT today!

Cobb EMC Bill Insert:

CobbEMC RoundUp

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What is Cobb trying to spend $368,000 on now?

It looks like Cobb is looking at spending $368,000 to package their Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP) to the public. I don’t believe Cobb should excessively spend taxpayer funds to educate, inform, or sell the public its programs.

Check out our friends over at CobbHomeowner.org. They have been looking into this outrageous plan and even have an easy link to email the Commissioners your thoughts:

“The CTP is a state and federally-mandated document that is required to be updated every five years.

Now, commissioners are considering spending $368,000 more; not for the execution of the study, but the packaging of it.”

via CobbHomeowner.org

 

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Cobb could save billion on buses by dodging BRT

By Ron Sifen

Does Cobb County need to figure out how to spend $1 billion? Or should Cobb opt for a $2 million alternative, and save taxpayers the other $998 million?  When government spends money, taxpayers need to ask some questions.

Read more »

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Cobb Elected Officials Want a Pay Raise, but Residents Only See an INCREASE in TAXES

While Cobb County residents just saw a pay cut thanks to the payroll tax increase, Chairman Lee is considering asking the state legislature for a pay raise for Cobb elected officials. This pay raise would not apply to the state legislators, but would apply to County officials including, but not limited to, the Chairman, Commissioners, Tax Commissioner, Judges and Clerks. Many of these officials just took office this month or were just recently reelected to office.

Call and email the Cobb Delegation today (contact info here) and let them know the Cobb Elected Officials have not significantly cut spending, have not rolled back the millage rate increase of 2011 and should not get a pay raise. Read more »

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Cobb Delegation

Below is a list of the Cobb Delegation and their contact information as of January 2013:

Cobb State Senators:
Senator Hunter Hill (R-6) (404) 463-2518 hunter.hill@senate.ga.gov

Senator Barry Loudermilk (R-14) (404) 656-0034 barry.loudermilk@senate.ga.gov

Senator Judson Hill (R-32) (404) 656-0150 judson@judsonhill.com judson.hill@senate.ga.gov

Senator Steve Thompson (D-33) (404) 656-0083 steve.thompson@senate.ga.gov

Senator Lindsey Tippins (R-37) (404) 657-0406 lindsey.tippins@senate.ga.gov

Senator Horacena Tate (D-38) (404) 463-8053 horacena.tate@senate.ga.gov

Cobb State Representatives:

Representative Charles Gregory (R-34) (404)656-0220 charles.gregory@house.ga.gov

Representative Ed Setzler (R-35) (404) 656-0178 ed.setzler@house.ga.gov

Representative Earl Ehrhart (R-36) (404) 463-2247 earl@ehrhart.4emm.com

Representative Sam Teasley (R-37) (404) 656-0177 sam.teasley@house.ga.gov

Representative David Wilkerson (D-38) (404)656-0116 david.wilkerson@house.ga.gov

Representative Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-39) (404)656-0109 alisha@alishamorgan.com

Representative Rich Golick (R-40) (404) 656-5943 rich.golick@house.ga.gov

Representative Michael Smith (D-41) (404)656-0265 michael.smith@house.ga.gov

Representative Stacey Evans (D-42) (404)656-6372 stacey@staceyevans.org

Representative Sharon Cooper (R-43) (404) 656-5069 sharon.cooper@house.ga.gov

Representative Don Parsons (R-44) (404) 656-9198 repdon@donparsons.org

Representative Matt Dollar (R-45) (404) 656-0254 matt.dollar@house.ga.gov

Representative John Carson (R-46) (404) 656-0287 john.carson@house.ga.gov

Representative Sheila Jones (D-53) (404)656-0314 sheila.jones@house.ga.gov

Representative Roger Bruce (D-61) (404)656-0314     rbruce5347@aol.com

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With TSPLOST in rearview mirror, it’s time for ‘Plan B’

By Ron Sifen

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has produced an outstanding “Plan B” transportation plan. It was developed by transportation professionals to cost-effectively address our real transportation needs.

One of the major reasons why the TSPLOST failed is because many voters understood that the projects list squandered most of the money on projects that would not improve the flow of traffic in the region, and did not address the region’s real transportation needs. If implemented, Plan B would actually improve mobility throughout the region. Read more »

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