The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Letters to the Editor

November 11, 2012

Letters to the Editor 11/11/12

(Continued)

Sincerely,

Deborah King

Elkmont

Stand up to

special interests

Dear Editor:


The conduct of our mayor and prior City Council, in critical financial matters, was less than open in dealing with their constituents. The sales tax increase should be canceled or repealed and review in-depth, publicly, the why, where, what and how it is to be implemented. 

How do they plan to justifiably allocate this $4,400,000 revenue with only 45 days until it takes effect? Does the mayor only want to throw dollars at his favorite current special interest in complete disregard of what the true needs are and what the future may hold for Athens?

The mayor plans to give a detailed presentation about taxes at Tuesday’s council meeting. The need for a tax increase may be justified, but the locked-in specifics of how it will be allocated is ludicrous. Sections 5 (a) and (b), of the ordinance, are especially bad for the citizens:

“5(a) The proceeds from the tax levied by this Ordinance remaining after payment of the costs of collecting said tax, including all charges of the administration for such collection and paid over to and received by the city shall be distributed as follows.” It shows fixed percentages of allocation that leaves no leeway for the new current and future city councils to use their judgment, at the time, how to allocate the funds.

“5(b) The funds allocated in and directed to the special accounts set forth in subsection 5(a) of this Section 5 shall remain in such accounts indefinitely, until the same are appropriated and expended in lawful manner at the discretion of the city council, subject to subsection (a) of this section 5.”

The citizens must write letters to the editor, participate in City Council meetings and business meetings that affect the use of citizen’s taxes. Make your disagreements and demands for financial transparency, by city government, a major issue to overcome the effect of the special interests.

Our real hope is our three new council members, which are really Athens’ future. Hopefully, they won’t be swayed by flawed promises and lack of data to back up supporting misguided proposed activities. Our citizens must determine to override the false promises of the special interests that do not have our family’s best financial interests at heart.

Spend less, streamline job functions without special salaries and demand more agencies and organizations become self-supporting. Handouts are going to have to dry up for them.

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