The voters have spoken regarding the SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax), and rather loudly in Whitfield County. I voted against the SPLOST because it came across as money looking for a purpose, rather than being about what was needed. It did not come across as a precision effort, focused on the needs (not wants) of the community.
I realize that one county administrative building needs to be demolished and the other is in need of repairs, that repairs must be made to the courthouse, the sheriff's office and county fire department need new equipment and the new fire station needs to be paid for ASAP. There are transportation needs, the roads and bridges that keep the businesses in our county successful, to be addressed. No doubt the municipalities have capital needs to also be addressed.
Now, it is time to work together. Supporters and opponents can find the right solution for our community together. I am a firm believer in the SPLOST. It is the fairest way to accomplish these capital improvements while keeping some of the burden off the landowners. But any proposed SPLOST must be focused on needs since our local economy is still not strong.
I would welcome the opportunity to see a well-focused, three- to four-year SPLOST proposal that pays for the needed new building, repairs and essential capital items -- as long as they are reasonable. Let's get our community as organized for this new mission as they were in the previous ballot campaign. This approach will truly move our community forward.