Once again, the cities and the county are in conflict over the special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST) which is a financing method for funding high priority capital projects. At the August Rabun County Commissioners meeting several citizens objected to the commissioners proposal to spend $8 million dollars of potential future SPLSOT funds to expand the jail.
Perhaps, to resolve the SPLOST conflict, all parties should review the Rabun County 2014 Comprehensive Plan. The plan, developed by the cities and the county, identifies specific short and long term actions to be taken to realize the community’s goals. Improving the historic nature of our cities, installing sidewalks,, promoting tourism, fixing water and sewer infrastructure and improving our roads are all on the action list. Given this extensive list, one must ask, is expanding the jail a priority?
The plan document also identifies potential sources of state funding to help pay for improvements. The quagmire of Rabun County is that we remain ineligible for state funds because we are entering our 4th year of an unsigned service delivery strategy (SDS).
Ensuring that government actually works for the public good requires informed, active and peaceful citizen participation. Will this be the year when Rabun citizens attend public meetings – other than to make a personal request? Will this be the year when our elected officials and their paid managers collaboratively resolve both the SDS and the SPLOST?
I am an optimist and think that together we can solve these issues and make Rabun County an even better place to live.
— Dee Daley, Clayton