SPLOST VII @ SGLB 2012-11-20

SPLOST on the ballot again? --Willis Miller @SGLB 2012-11-20 At Tuesday’s South Georgia Library Board meeting. a board member (his nameplate said Willis Miller) wanted to know about SPLOST:

How we know it’s going to come up next November or at another time?

Good question.

Here’s video of the discussion as it resumed later in the meeting:

SPLOST VII discussion at Monthly Meeting, South Georgia Library Board (SGLB),
Video by George Boston Rhynes for K.V.C.I. and bostongbr on YouTube,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 20 November 2012.

Kay Harris said there had to be a minimum of twelve months, so November 2013 would be the next possible time. She said County Commissioner Richard Raines had expressed full support for the new library, and she was talking to the other commissioners. She was asked whether the SPLOST lists would be the same, and said there might be some changes, but she hadn’t heard anyone suggest that the Five Points property might be deleted. That’s curious, because she quoted Valdosta Mayor Gayle in the VDT 7 November 2012 as saying:

“The Five Points projects can be put off, but the big infrastructure projects are a big problem. Some things like the sewer system can’t be put off, so we’ll have to look at other sources of revenue. We’ll have to see how things go.”

That’s not quite the same as saying the Five Points projects might be deleted, but I certainly have heard people suggesting exactly that.

In the discussion one of the library board members suggested the city and county go ahead now and draw up a list of projects for the next vote. He later complained that the same people who voted against it are the ones who complain about potholes. And I think he was also the one who said SPLOST lost because people didn’t want to pay the tax, not because of what was on the project list. I think that opinion comes from confusing the very visible “give yourself a raise” signs with the entire opposition, which was much larger than that, and mostly based on what was on the project lists. I think maybe the point that the people are tired of closed-door lists hasn’t quite gotten through. See George Rhynes’ editorial.

Someone said he wasn’t aware that there was a SPLOST VII promotion committee co-chaired by Gail Green. Hm, maybe if they’d invited the public to that SPLOST VII Kickoff meeting more people would have known that. Kay Harris more than once indicated that better efforts could have been made to sell the tax to the public.

There was some indication that some people thought that the cities and the counties squabbling over LOST had adversely affected SPLOST VII. And Kay Harris said County Manager Joe Pritchard didn’t want to talk about SPLOST VII more until the new Commissioners were in office.

Somebody sitting at the end of the table with a nameplate Mary McRee said she thought the library should do its own marketing. She said Ellis Black asked her “What’s your take on the library?” She said “They want to know more about the transition” and whether the new library building would be needed.

I heard no mention by anyone at this meeting of possibly using the downtown federal building for a new library.