Hi Sheran. You b referring to the forth coming tax increase?
If so, that is why I have been liquidating some property since prop. taxes cannot be stopped and we do not seem to be able to vote them out for gross mis-management of our dollars. They mismanage and we, the property owner, pay for their mistakes.
Here's my rant:
This is what happens when you have a government with the "flexibility" to do whatever it wants when the key players either do not have to face re-election (as in the mayor, who is precluded from running next time due to term limts) or who run unopposed (like just about every other member of the city council).
There were several interesting tidbits in the print Courier article, which I assume will be posted online before long:
*The mayor thanked "all the department heads to get the budget balanced." He also thanked "the city council . They worked hard. They worked really hard!"
I think all of us wish they would have worked "really hard" TO KEEP THE BUDGET IN BALANCE TO BEGIN WITH!!! Wasteful spending on Liberty Transit, China trips, Jekyll/St. Simons Island/European boondoggles and those SNEAKY PAY RAISES were probably a big part of the irresponsible spending that busted the budget in the first place.
*Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier suggested that if the tax increases result in any "extra money" (I assume this is money in excess of what is needed to actually pay the city's bills), the overage "should go in the general fund." Note that he did not say it should be REFUNDED to the taxpayers or that the millage rate should be REDUCED next year. He wants to put it in the general fund where they can spend some more. This is an outrage.
*According to the Courier article, James Floyd - councilman for my district - apparently was the person who actually made the motion to adopt the new budget. However, he "admitted" that he "didn't want to approve a budget that includes raising property taxes and increasing fees and utility rates." Sorry, Mr. Floyd - but you can't have it both ways. To make the motion to adopt a budget which does exactly what you say you don't want to do is typical politician-speak, and is symptomatic of everything that is WRONG with goverment in this country today.
*Councilman Kenneth Shaw "verified that senior citizens would be exempted from the increases," and actually said he "could not approve the increases" and voted NO. Very commendable, Mr. Shaw. I'd like to give you a lot of credit for this, but my cynical side prevents me from being too laudatory. I note that you are one of the few city councilmen who did not run unopposed during the last election. In fact - you had THREE opponents.
So while you did vote nay, I'm wondering whether your motivation was totally about the effect that increased taxes would have on the taxpapers. OR were you really thinking about your election chances NEXT TIME (either for city council or for MAYOR, when the incumbent has to step down.) It would undoubtedly look a lot better on your resume' if you could say that you voted against the tax increases. But - just between us - all the while you knew that your lone vote would not be enough to kill the measure.
Again - I apologize for being so cynical. Perhaps you really are "pure in heart." But you only have the actions of your fellow politicians - now and forever - to blame for my cynical attitude.
I think all of this absolutely STINKS. I'll be checking to see what exactly is a "senior citizen" within the meaning of the exemption to these increases, and I'll report back here with what I find out.
I, JimmyMack, a liberal Democrat, voted for Jason Floyd a Republican when he ran for office hoping he would stand stand firm fiscally speaking on local issues.
And Sebe, you are right, he cannot have it both ways. I am disappointed in Jason's vote.
They should not be able to have it both ways.
However that is exactly what they have had for about the past ten or so years in Liberty County.
City and County
Here's the Courier article:
...and now here's the REST of the story. I just spoke with a lady at the Hinesville Water Department regarding Mr. Shaw's comment "that senior citizens (will) be exempted from the increases." In addition to an age requirement, there's an ownership and means test involved. To qualify for exemption from the increases - in addition to being a senior citizen age 65 or older - one has to:
*Be a home owner
*Have an annual income of $10,000.00 or less
*Apply (submit paperwork) for the exemption
Contact city hall at 876-3564 for further details.
Having an exemption which helps the most needy fraction of local taxpayers is important, but meanwhile the rest of us get screwed due to the funds mismanagement and the poor priorities/prior planning of our local government officials.
The only way we can fix this is at election time. I can't imagine that there will only be one candidate for mayor in the next election. Let's make sure we don't elect a crony of the current establishment, or - even worse - someone who is part of it now.
", or - even worse - someone who is part of it now."
Well you have that as a candidate for Mr. Lovett's seat on the county commission.
sebekm, since I took off to attend the last counsel meeting, I can tell you what REALLY happened. First i was shocked that there was more time invested in debating the new grievance & appeal process than the increase of taxes, utilities etc.
Counsel has not yet approved increase in property taxes.
Mr. Shaw -out of my district- did ask if Seniors would be exempt,but what about the rest of us? I guess that was not important to Mr. Shaw......Once they had to vote on it, Mr Floyd like a race horse coming out of the starting gate, gave his vote for "yes" quickly followed by Mr. Fraser, Mr. Shaw and Mr. Anderson. The only one that voted against it was Mr. Jenkins......once again the majority of them never once raised the concern for their constituents. Keep calling them, keep demanding that they need to represent you!!!!!
And by the way, you dont have to wait till election, you can get them to work for you now or you can get them out before election. (by gathering enough signatures
Thanks, watchfuleye. And thanks for pointing out something which slipped passed me when I made my comments above. The Courier article DOES say that Jenkins was the only dissenting vote - NOT Shaw. So my comments above about Mr. Shaw's motivation for voting against the increases were based on a FALLACY. I guess I should apologize for suggesting that his vote was based upon self-interest as pertains to any upcoming elections. But in light of my error, I have to lump him in with the rest of the bums who voted yea based on self-interest in CYA for their mismanagement of our tax dollars. So either way he loses in my book.
As for Mr. Jenkins, the Courier reported back when:
"Keith Jenkins essentially ran unopposed, even though Burgess was on the ballot due to his pending appeal to the Georgia Superior Court. Signs were posted at the polling station advising voters of Burgess’ ineligible status."
So at least one councilman voted against the increases, and it was someone who ran (essentially) unopposed. Credit is due to Mr. Jenkins.
Ya'll can harp all you want about the Hinesville council but there is nothing you can do until the next election other than what sebekm suggests above.
The process is called recall petition such as what the folks in Wisconsin tried on their governor.
I think one could just maybe be done on Mayor Thomas but I'm not sure.
There was a group in the county a number of years back which achieved some success but I've seen or heard little of them in recent years.
I've seen no discussion on this site about the special election to fill the seat of Chairmen elect Donald Lovette.
where ", or - even worse - someone who is part of it now."
Frasier is indeed part of it now.
And I'm afraid that he will win that race.
Watch for pay raises for the Chairman and board of commissioners .
It may happen before the end of this year, if not it will just as soon as they get the right people in there.
"Watch for pay raises for the Chairman and board of commissioners."
If they are SNEAKY (i.e., in closed session), we should take to the streets with pitchforks, tar and feathers - and storm city hall.