OPINION: Vote NO to SPLOST for the FUTURE of Pickens County


OPINION:  Vote NO to SPLOST for the FUTURE of Pickens County

10/31/2019 ~ by C. Ray Smith

Before retirement, I loved my vocation and the research it required. I have volunteered in our community for 15 years. The more I learn about what is going on here and what passes with no one speaking up surprises me.

My career has given me the opportunity to live in many communities in this great country and have never witnessed what I see and experience in Pickens. Never have I felt the need to be critical of local government until now. In spite of what is happening to Pickens, my wife and I love the people and the beauty. Now we learn that a $27 million dollar budget is not enough so up goes the taxes.

We are and it appears we shall remain a bedroom community. The County is not searching or recruiting industries to help share in the taxes we pay. Hence, I have begun to do some research. We need industry to help with the burden of these taxes in the county.

In a recent article we were threatened with higher taxes if we do not vote on SPLOST. It merely demonstrates the poor management of our community. I will give you one fact with much more later from me.

The budget for SPLOST is just mostly to provide what the county and city should be able to pay for out of their budgets for maintenance. SPLOST IS FOR SPECIAL PROJECTS, not routine or expected general expenses..

Recently, the County obtained two bays at the old Chevrolet building that has been for sale for years. These rather expensive bays will provide storage and repairs to county vehicles. Guess what? We pay for those garages. They needed it since they demolished the old storage facility rather than repairing them. Maybe they didn't know how or they had the tax money to do this.

You wonder why? You check it out. I WAS TOLD FOR THREE BAYS we the tax payers pay $4,500 plus power. Rumor has it that the county is paying for the electric anyway. One example of just spending our money.

[Editor Note: Lease signed during May Commissioner meeting (view video at time 15:44]

This place is controlled by those who have made fortunes and continue to do so inside this county. It is time to have some decent management here. We have no growth but we now have three new major housing developments approved but no industry growth.

Regardless of SPLOST your taxes will be going up. Some of these good ole boys have been friends of mine but I doubt this will continue now. Stay tuned for more and WAKE UP Pickens. Speak your mind and for the sake of our future & VOTE AGAINST SPLOST.

PERHAPS, BEFORE THEY RAISE OUR TAXES, VOTE AGAINST THE INCUMBENTS NEXT YEAR. WE NEED A SO-CALLED OUTSIDER WITH EXPERIENCE TO RUN JASPER AND PICKENS COUNTY. I am learning that few if any of the current elected officials were actually qualified for their jobs.