Attendance important at hearings

Published 6:08 pm Monday, July 26, 2010

You may or may not agree with Chilton County Commissioners’ recent attempts to bring in more revenue for the county. Regardless of your stance, upcoming public hearings will be a good opportunity to let your voice be heard.

The hearings are intended to provide county residents a forum to express their opinion about a proposed referendum for a countywide 1-cent sales tax increase.

The first hearing will be Thursday, July 29 at the Jemison Municipal Complex at 6 p.m. Additional hearings are set for Thursday, Aug. 5 at the Chilton County Courthouse and Thursday, Aug. 12 at the Maplesville Library, both at 6 p.m.

Commissioner Red Turnipseed, a proponent of the referendum, has been charged with organizing the hearings. He said another hearing is in the works for South Chilton County, at a location to be determined.

While not all commissioners have been gung-ho in this proposal, all have reportedly agreed to attend the hearings, as has County Engineer Tony Wearren. Initially, there was talk of presenting a plan at the hearings, but some commissioners said they would like to hear the public’s input first so they could take it into consideration when formulating a plan as to how the revenue would be used.

Not everyone likes this approach. Many people would like a clear outline of where their tax money will be going before they make a decision. Not that the commission’s plan is flawed — if they take the input, make a plan that works well, and then formally present it in another set of hearings, the people could get a clearer picture of what they will be voting for (or against).

We encourage you to make the trip to the hearing nearest you and voice your opinion. Tell your elected officials why or why not you would vote for the tax, and how you would like to see your tax money spent. Tell them what they need to do in order to gain your trust. If you cannot attend, write down your comments and send someone in your place.

We hope for a good turnout at the hearings.