After seeing the poll on this site questioning the public as to whether the Hamilton County Commissioners should continue receiving "their $100,000" to spend/waste as they so desire, I am going on record and am asking each and every one of them to comment on the results of the poll and express their opinion on keeping "their $100,000" in the future.
Since they all voted to give a TIF to the "Resort Style Living" community of Black Creek at the expense of everyone in the county, rich or poor, it should be interesting to see who responds and what they say about "their $100,000" that the rich and poor provide for whatever the commissioners desire.
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I am 77 years old and I can remember when politicians used tax money to help insure their re-election. This was usually hid from the taxpayer and voter. Nowadays it is public knowledge.
In the days past it was referred to as a "slush fund." with most given to "ward healers" who controlled the votes in their wards. The result and intent was the same as today - taking our tax money to grease the skids for votes by giving "our tax money" so they can look good to the voters.
I have no problem with their generosity for special causes, but they should use their personal money, such as their county pay, instead of our tax dollars.
Remember we will have three things - death, hell and politics.
N.D. Kennedy Sr.
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Remember that all those 100,000 dollars (nine of them) are considered part of what is necessary to run the county government each year and, as such, figure in our property evaluations to justify our tax assessments. What is more, the city government accepts those assessments as a base for determining our city taxes after deducting a small percentage as its share of educational expenses since the county, by law, is responsible for funding education throughout the county. To this the city adds our "artificially mandated" stormwater fee that has just doubled for residential properties in our current budget if I read correctly.
Is there anyone out there who has a clue about where that $11.4 million is that the city has squirreled away from its collection of taxes from the sale of liquor-by-the drink that was promised to the county over the past six years for education?
Let's hand it to the county. They learned last week after six years that that $11.4 million is missing from its educational budgets. But hey, the city pulled a slam dunk by charging that the owners of the Delta Queen has failed to pay $11,000 in taxes for the past few years to park on the riverfront. Well, now, my question is how did the city miss stumbling over that $11.4 million as it searched for and reportedly found that $11,000 deficit?
Is anyone clear about the backdoor negotiations between the city and county leadership to arrive at a congenial solution to salve the wounds and cover the sin of probable violation of the Sunshine Law in which the city relinquished the Poss Homes and a few hundred thousand of the city taxpayers' dollars? Where did that come from? Was anyone out there informed about this before it was done? Those were the city taxpayers' assets.
Total consolidation is necessary to clean up our local governments to provide accountability in assessing, appropriating, allocating, justifying, and assuring quality controls in use of taxpayers' money. We taxpayers need to come together and demand a study, audit and assessment by non-partisan, knowledgeable and certified professionals and report to us on how much that would cost us. These common "problems" have been there for a long time and were inherited by new leaderships through the years. We know they exist so the only way to deal with the situation is clean it up.
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Their $100,000 is a slap in the face of the everyday hard working Hamilton County employees. They (commissioners) get to decide what pet project they would like to give their money to yet they refuse to give their employees a pay increase, cut their health care coverage and are talking about taking away about the only thing left, longevity pay. Oh, and then there is the budget slashing measures and the alleged lack of money to vote in the 25 year retirement for law enforcement which has been on the state books for over seven years but yet they somehow refuse to even put it to a vote.
They all voted to give TIF money, or they put the money wherever for whatever other pet project they decide on but in the end it never goes for anything that truly benefits the people. There is not a single commissioner that should be voted back into office. It’s about time the citizens of Hamilton County stand up against the good ole boy system and root them out. If nothing else the employees of Hamilton County should band together along with all their family and friends to vote against all of them.
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Yes actions of the Chattanooga city government past and present leaves much to be desired. However, I do take exception to your posture on a combined government (metro-government). Anyone who remembers the “dump Chattanooga city schools” fiasco of a few years back will remember the huge hidden liabilities the city dumped on county residents. I don't clearly recall specific details but in general one of those hidden liabilities the city dumped on the county residents was responsibility for underfunded city school employee retirement benefits.
For years Chattanooga has also built up liabilities for police and firefighter retirements, city worker retirement and who knows what other underfunded or legal liabilities that would fall on the shoulders of the county residents under a metro government. Combined governments will only transfer liabilities for which the county residents had no say so or responsibility.
There is no equitable way for a combined government in Hamilton County. The Chattanooga city government has accumulated liabilities that will remain in place for decades – liabilities that continue to grow daily........liabilities we the county residents do not want. We moved to the county for a reason.