Brent Shaw, chairman
Limestone Co. Soil and Water Conservation District
Numerous Athens-Limestone residents, including myself, attended the last city of Athens council work session to oppose the new city sales tax increase. Before, we were allowed to speak and voice our concerns, each and every councilman and councilwoman preceded to explain why they were voting “yes” to the proposed tax increase. The council had the audacity to sit on their thrones and gleefully attempt to justify their positions.
When the time came for the residents to speak, each resident voiced genuine concerns in opposition to the tax increase. Of course, we all wasted time and energy to even attend the meeting. The council had already made their decisions to increase our taxes before we walked in the door.
I sat and listened as concerned residents requested the council reconsider their “yes” vote. Each resident spoke from the heart as they pleaded their case to stop the tax increase.
By the time I walked up to address the council, I was fuming with frustration and anger. I had listened to the other residents and watched the faces of council and knew that all words of opposition were falling on deaf ears. The council could care less about harming residents who are already financially strapped. The tax increase was a done deal.
As I finished my emotional address to the council, Council President Jimmy Gill, mumbled, “Thanks for the entertainment, Ms King.” Well, it might have been entertainment for Mr. Gill, but I found nothing entertaining about being insulted and treated with total disrespect. Myself, and others found his remark unprofessional and disrespectful.
When, we attended the following Monday meeting of the City Council, Tony Lewellyn and I requested a public apology from Councilman Gill. All who attended the meeting know, our request was met with silence and no chance of an apology.
All too often residents who attend and speak against the big spending agenda of the Athens City Council are met with intimidating and disrespectful treatment from the council.
Well, Councilman Gill, the following is our second request for an apology to the residents and myself, for your disrespectful and unprofessional comment. Your arrogant remark was made in the public eye and we expect a written, public apology. We’re waiting and won’t go away.