Editor: The Nov. 8, 2016, ballot contained a referendum on SPLOST. On the ballot, it stated where the money can be used. The city of Midway is supposed to use the SPLOST money to improve city roads, the acquisition of public safety equipment and police vehicles, the acquisition of land and public facilities along with the new city hall.
I am watching to see if the new mayor, Mr. Levern Clancy, will use the money as intended. When the former mayor left office, the only item that was approved by the city council is $1.1 million for the city hall. There was no mention of roads, public facilities, equipment for the police, nor any discussion of new patrol cars.
This is typical of politicians, who make promises and then break them.
Georgia state law asserts that the proceeds received from the tax shall be used by the municipalities exclusively for the purposes specified in the resolution. This means that the mayor and city council must spend the money as listed on the ballot. The question is, "Will they?"
Midway is not exactly a thriving municipality. The city now owes close to $5 million by building a $2.8 million building. How does the new mayor expect to pay this off? If a business person was running the city, the $1.1 million would be applied to paying down the debt, not adding to it. Since the old council was composed of people with no past fiduciary responsibility outside of the city government, they obviously were not capable of realizing what debt does to a city.
The Hinesville City Hall cost each resident $212, while the Midway City Hall is costing each resident — including me — $1,326. If the city stays at its present location, the rent is only $1,100 a month, or $13,200 a year. If the city continued to rent rather than build a $2.8 million building, the city could remain where it is for 212 years before spending $2.8 million. Simple math.
It’s a "done deal" that could bankrupt the city or raise taxes, just like the county did after SPLOST was approved.