Editorial: SPLOST citizens advisory committee asks for project suggestions, gets little feedback

They asked for your input.

But so far, that input has been minimal.

The group tasked with recommending to local officials projects that could be funded by an upcoming Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) in August asked the public to suggest projects they would like to see paid for by a possible SPLOST. Those interested in recommending projects could fill out an online or printed form. Those who submitted ideas would later have the option to present the suggestion to the 16-member SPLOST citizens advisory committee.

The deadline for submitting those SPLOST ideas was Monday. Only four ideas were submitted. (You can read about those suggestions on our story on page 1A in today's paper.)

Two of the projects (refurbishing the Crescent City train car and the Threadmill Lake basin project) have already been floated. The other two suggested projects were road improvements but were missing details.

Frankly, we are disappointed with the public's lack of participation in the citizens advisory committee's solicitation of SPLOST project ideas. We certainly hoped more people would offer project suggestions throughout Whitfield County and its four cities.

The citizens advisory committee -- comprised of all volunteers -- made an effort to seek feedback from the public, and they deserve praise for that. Local elected officials want to increase Whitfield County residents' participation in the SPLOST process. That's admirable as well.

But for that to happen, the public has to be engaged. They must be a part of the process.

So far, that hasn't happened. We're hoping it does.

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