Let’s vote ‘No’ and get this TSPLOST mess behind us

Published 7:30 am Friday, July 27, 2012

At the recent candidates’ forum at Bainbridge College, I was uplifted by several candidates’ opposition to what has been falsely represented as T-SPLOST. It should be called T-SPROST since it is regional, not local.

I remember voting against a local candidate a few years ago because he lied at a local forum. I think truth is important, even in politics, so I voted “no,” but you knew that. Maybe the candidates at the Kirbo Center realize that this proposed increase would raise our Decatur County sales tax to 8 percent, and that might cause some people to shop outside the region, particularly for big ticket items like vehicles. That will be a great boost for the economy, won’t it? Well, maybe for Florida or Alabama.

I grew up on a small two-mule farm in Crisp County where my parents and I worked hard. God gave me a pretty good brain; my parents instilled in me a strong work ethic that included studying hard to make good grades. So, among God, parents, and other relatives, and the luck of being in the right place at the right time, I left poverty behind a long time ago. But I speak for the poor when I can. Please don’t add more to their tax burden. Voters should not be viewed as potential sources of income.

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I read Mayor Reynolds’ opinion about T-SPLOST (T-SPROST) being a good thing, and I’m not surprised, since he was part of the process of compiling the Decatur County project list. I respect the mayor’s opinion, and I respect him because he is an honorable man with an honorable family and family background. He and I just happen to disagree on T-SPLOST, and probably some other areas of government, such as how much government we need. For example, I would place regional commissions in the same category as oft-referenced appendages on a boar hog.

I stated in an earlier missive that I don’t think Georgia needs “regional” government from unelected commission members who are not responsible to any constituents. As Col. Breedlove stated at a Decatur County Commission meeting last week, the county spends $16,000 per year just to be a member. In this time of economic hardship, it would be good to save that money and travel expenses incurred between here and Camilla and wherever else the commission might choose to meet.

I’m a member of the Bainbridge Tea Party Group and feel the need to remind folks that “TEA” stands for “Taxed Enough Already.” I also own weapons and am supportive of God, who is supportive of me. I’m what our national leader called a “bitter clinger” and proud of it. Also, I don’t care for politics very much, but I feel the need to express an opinion, on occasion, and to support candidates who, in my opinion, make good decisions for the city, county, state of Georgia, or for the United States, whichever applies.

As to T-SPROST’s being a good “investment,” the same was said about “stimulus” spending, but it turns out that there were no “shovel-ready jobs.” I view T-SPROST as more of the same on a regional level.

I personally have enough money to pay more sales tax for years to come. So what’s my beef? Because, as of today, my money is still my money, and I should choose how to spend it: buying groceries, helping the grandchildren, supporting worthy organizations like the Friendship House, DFACS, our local animal shelter, my church, to name a few.

The last Post-Searchlight letter to the editor about the wonderful promise of T-SPLOST was from Oxford Construction of Albany, who apparently makes a lot of money from southwest Georgia. Making money through honest enterprise is a good thing, the basis of American capitalism, so I have no problem with it.

But, from the number of Oxford signs and trucks I have seen on project sites in the last few years, it appears that Oxford is doing quite well without bleeding citizens for more money for questionable “investments.”

In summary, I know you’re tired of hearing about T-SPLOST, and so am I. So, let’s all vote “no” and get this behind us.

Bob Lane