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Taxes being raised but SDS not signed

I for one see the irony in our county’s desire to raise our taxes when we are still suffering the loss of state funds due to the expiration of the Services Delivery Strategy (SDS). The root cause of this impasse is the lack of collaboration between the cities and the county.

Perhaps, regardless of the expired SDS, we would still need a tax increase. And to be fair to our Rabun Commissioners, they held public meetings on the 2019 budgets and apparently only one citizen attended those budget meetings. Now that a potential tax increase is announced, we must ask ourselves…shouldn’t we have been engaged sooner in both the 2019 budget and the SDS stalemate?

Our local governments’ inability to agree to an SDS has resulted in our cities and county being denied state funds going on four years. This includes annual grants for Clayton for bridge and road maintenance that equals $96,000-plus, funds to the county of almost 2$ million and no access to grants for Meals on Wheels and the Senior Center. We could pave a lot of our roads, fix a lot of bridges and supplement the Senior Center if we had these funds.

Rather than pushing against a tax increase, (what) we should be asking are “When will the SDS be signed?” and “When will Rabun citizens make time to attend public meetings to build relationships with the local leaders?”

Pam Burchell, Tiger