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ASK THE EXPERTS

Officials wasteful with tax dollars

POSTED: July 25, 2012 4:00 a.m.

The courthouse is beautiful, right? Most agree that it is. Just like a large diamond ring, it is beautiful to see. But in these strained economic times neither is practical.

In 2007 (economic boom times) the voters approved SPLOST V by a large percentage of those few who voted.

If we didn't want a new courthouse why was the expenditure approved? The proponents used some very basic sales tactics - fear and promises. Parents use the same tactics on children all the time. "Do this or you will be punished." "Eat this (whatever they don't like) and then you can have ice cream."

The messages were very effectively delivered from the chamber of commerce, civic organizations and community leaders.

"We have to have a new courthouse or the county could be sued." (Fear.)

Vote for SPLOST V and half of the money raised will be used for roads, bridges and sidewalks, and recreation facilities, and libraries and public safety equipment. (Promises.)

The closing argument was: "85 percent of the tax collected will come from people outside Dawson County.

The voters swallowed all this like the poisoned Kool-Aide.

In 2009 when construction of the courthouse began, our leaders could have reconsidered the scale of the expenditure much like the rest of us reconsidered how to spend our money to survive the severe downturn in the economy. They chose not to do that. It now appears there will be no SPLOST V money available for the "promises" of roads, bridges, sidewalks, recreation facilities, libraries and public safety equipment.

Has our leadership been wasteful with our tax dollars?

Having watched this discussion since 2007, I believe they made mistakes that should have been averted. Perhaps an admission of those mistakes and an apology to the citizens would go a long way in restoring faith in the promises made at election time.

Arlene McClure
Dawsonville

 

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