A Vote for Smaller Government
A couple of nights ago the Hall County version of the Survivor Tribal Council met to determine who would be voted off the island. I am happy to report that the Chairman with this raise my tax plan was the one sent home. After watching the public hearing and then the vote, I think I can get a feeling on the county.
The public hearing was dominated by people that did not want their services cut. The vast majority never said anything about raising taxes. There were less than a dozen people that were o.k. with the tax increase and it appeared that several of those were county employees. I guess if I had the choice between my job or higher taxes, I would pay higher taxes. The other group that expressed their opposition to the tax increase could be summed up in the speech given by Pam Norman at the 42 minute mark. The best line in her talk was “government should only do only what we can’t do for ourselves individually. This government should not be providing charitable services of any kind. That is the responsibility of individuals… Government only has what it takes and cannot be charitable.”
After almost an hour and a half of public comment, the commission came together for the vote. The first plan was offered by the chairman, a tax increase of over 20% with no more cuts. Commissioner Lutz was the only person to comment against the budget saying that the budget took over $8m from the economy while only reinvesting $2m. This vote went down 1-4 with the Chairman offering the only vote for the tax increase. Commissioner Gibbs then read off a motion that was prepared (it seems with staff) and seconded by Commissioner Bell. The potential kink came when Commissioner Bell requested that the commission add back $120k for the community service center. Commissioner Powell, however, stuck to his guns and reminded everyone that cuts were made across the board and this cut could only max out at 15% of their overall budget.
The Chairman, however, could not let it go. He stated that he thinks this budget will do more harm to Hall County in the history of the county; but he is good with the highest tax increase in the history of the county? Overall, the commission did good, but they also put us on notice: government will be different going forward. Well, I for one can say that I didn’t like the old government so all we can do is get better.
Hugh Hall County Akston