April 14, 2007
YOU KNOW THIS MAN?
you know this man? You might think he is your State Senator,
but he does not know you. He refuses to return telephone
calls, emails, or acknowledge he gets your correspondence.
Sources say he even fails to return calls from County Commissioners
and other Legislators. How could a mere "citizen and
constituent" think they
would rate any better? Some constituents have begun sending
"letters to the editor" in
their local paper about Senator Grant's lack of response
to calls and emails.
To The Editor (Lake Oconee News, 4/6/07)
the past year I have sent letters to State Senator Johnny
Grant or called his office no fewer than 5 times in order
to express my views and seek his input on matters of interest
to me. I've twice spoken to staffers (one told me the senator
was very busy and another told me she would make certain
the senator was aware of my views), but never have I had
a response from the senator. I would be interested in learning
what Mr. Grant believes are his responsibilities to his
A. Legg, 2851 Club Drive, Greensboro
Grant has been busy this year promoting a bill affectionately
the "Private Cities Bill." Senator Grant’s
“Private Cities Bill” has progressed out of the
State Senate and into the House. The House Committee approved
both a constitutional amendment Senate Resolution 309) and
companion legislation (Senate Bill 200) that would open
the door to private cities in Georgia. Now these bills will
be up for a vote on the House floor sometime next week.
bills have drawn support from a lot of influential interests,
especially developers. Grant
seems to be perfectly willing, even eager, to
give private business the power to tax through this controversial
legislation. It would likely be a safe bet that developers
have their calls and emails returned--probably very quickly.
SB 200 supposedly
aids “rural builders.” The
measure would allow county or city bonds to help cover infrastructure
costs to build large, outlying subdivisions. What risk does
the developer take he can pass on all costs plus a profit
for himself to those that buy in to the development?
This bill authorizes
local governments to approve the creation of districts to
finance infrastructure. Special assessments would be levied
upon properties within the district to repay tax-exempt
bonds issued to finance infrastructure (e.g. roads, water,
sewer, parks, libraries, public safety facilities, schools).
Supposedly the financial burden a new development places
on the county infrastructure would be paid by those buying
into the development instead of the county taxpayers. The
districts are created at the request of a petitioner, typically
a developer. If approved, an independent
board (made up of the developers) is established
to oversee the financial management and infrastructure development
within the district. The board assumes liability for any
debt incurred and has limited taxing authority.
APPOINTED BOARD, not elected officials, will oversee
the financial management of the district and will have “limited”
TAXING AUTHORITY. Now that’s true TAXATION
power to impose taxes should be restricted to elected officials
who can be held accountable by voters. Not by an appointed
board which can include ALL developers!
voters will ultimately be able to vote yea or nay at the
polls since this would be a Constitutional Amendment, but
before that happens, we can try to stop this legislation
in the House. Please contact your State Rep and ask him/her
to vote against this bill.
is of the essense; please do it today!
can find names, telephone numbers, and addresses of all
Legislators at www.legis.state.ga.us.
** To keep the taxpayers of Jasper County, Georgia informed
as to where and how
their tax dollars are being spent.
** To keep the taxpayers abreast of local policies and
discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government spending,
and lower property taxes.