Columbia County looking at study to incorporate unincorporated areas
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I kind of trust what Doug Duncan and Scott Johnson have stated about this but in my experience, “Nothing will change” is code for “Everything will change”. Citizens will need to watch this closely.
Very reasonable take. I like the notion of funds staying in the county AND lowering the already very low millage rate. Since this process will take awhile, everyone will have a chance to weigh possible disadvantages to incorporating and make an informed voting decision.
““Nothing will change” is code for “Everything will change”.
Yeah, sure…this is all about money and control. If the county is allowed to vote Evans & Martinez will overwhelm the rest of the county and get their pound of flesh. Vincent is correct EVERYTHING will change and rural Columbia County will be no more.
Look how well “consolidation” worked for Richmond County. Everything changed and not for the better!!
HUGE difference. Augusta-Richmond County consolidation combined two governments. This keeps the existing county governmentbut incorporates the boundaries as a city with no change to the existing government structure. Y’all will have plenty of timeto learn and question the details – it’sgoing to be a long process.
HEY BARRY…remembering similar study of CC insorporating was done about 1980s …Frank Wilson and I were co chairs of the committee with about 30 other citizens aboard. I’m trying to find some clips on that study.
I don’t know William. At the rate the western part of Columbia County is growing it might be the right time for such a study.
I believe Scott has the right idea. Let’s look at it. And any thoughts of this being the fiasco that is called Augusta/Richmond County is comparing dog crap to t-bone to steak. The whole Richmond Co. thing was to castrate white politicians. It worked too good, since it castrated white and black.
100k on a curiosity? If there’s no serious intent behind it hang on to the money.
Barry Paschal is correct . A HUGE difference in the process ,intent, and personalities involved in Augusta-Richmond County.
This is a study and process. Plenty of time for people to become educated despite pre conceived notions. I trust Columbia County to administer the process. By history, Columbia County has used every surplus and dividend to improve constituent services and tax relief . The franchise fees and LOST are designed to reduce the millage . The County has consistently done so. The cities. Never have. There are 21,000 in incorporated areas. 139,000 of us in unincorporated Columbia County presently without the option of using franchise fees for millage relief.. Let the process and information unfold. Then vote.
After reading some of the previous comments, i have to wonder what “the process, intent, and personalities involved in Augusta-Richmond County” were like back in 1995/1996, at the time of their consolidation. Apparently the good citizens thought well enough and trusted enough to vote their consent to consolidate the two governments. Look what they’ve got now, almost 30 years down the road. Just because we have trustworthy people now doesn’t mean we’ll have them in the years to come; corrupt politicians start to see easy money when it comes to government grants and franchise fees in the millions of dollars, opening the door to disaster. I would hope that part of the study would include a way to provide a system of checks and balances put into place to safeguard Columbia County, so that what we have observed in other places will not be the future for the place we call home.
The consolidation was not led by the most trusted and caring politicians at the time. It was a black/white issue that neither could win so there is this frozen government entity. Some of the authors and movers and shakers ended up in prison if I recall correctly.
Padding the pockets of “experts” to tell them what a few discussions with other county boards and a hard look at our own finances could tell them for free. The pros a cons are known through the experiences of many other counties.
County police should be a hard, hard no though. We have a great sheriff’s office that’s accountable to the voters and not the county administrators. It’s bad enough that the schools carved themselves out a private force of their own.
Why not just change state law that allows county franchise fees of 1.1525% collected to be distributed to county’s. they are collected in. No study needed. Concern about franchise fees is county can exempt large companies. Plus rate goes up to 2.9989%. It is just replacing one tax for another. Only thing, once in place you cannot make it (franchise fee) go away. Another concern, will citizens of Grovetown and Harlem still be able to vote for commissioner’s. Franchise fees – good/bad, how much. Remember these are paid by rate payer. Not just free money. SPLOST allocations, LOST allocations, Sales tax allocations how will those change. How will it effect DA’s office. Have we ever thought about how to do more on a tighter budget. Have you seen the capitol set-up for county grass cutting crews. About $100K per crew. No way that is cheaper than bidding out. Performing Arts, running at a huge loss. With SPLOST we are going to build out $280 million of capitol projects adding huge legacy cost. Here is a good place to start the study: https://cviog.uga.edu/services-and-research/state-and-local-government-services/local-government-consolidation.html And here is a contact there: https://cviog.uga.edu/about-us/faculty-staff/scott-johnson.html