Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

June 8, 2012

Brief city council session turns heated

QUITMAN — A brief city council session quickly transformed into a heated discussion on the impending Transportation SPLOST vote between citizens and council members Thursday night.

About 20 citizens stood outside council chambers, picketing against the sales tax referendum. Nolan Cox argued the problems with taking too much money out of the private sector in taxes.

“You can’t pull $100 million a year out of this economy and send it somewhere else; it’s just not economically possible,” Cox said. “If you look at Europe, socialism is going bankrupt. Tax and spend is yester-year. It doesn’t work. It worked for a long period of time, they thought.”

Cox asked why council members had not formed a unified opinion on T-SPLOST.

Earlier, District 3 council member Sonny Vickers said that council has “nothing whatsoever to do with T-SPLOST... This is something the state legislators passed... Our hands are clean.”

Local businessman Roy Taylor followed Cox during citizens to be heard and gave a pair of flip flops to Mayor John Gayle. Taylor said that Gayle had told him he was against the sales tax before he was elected but has since changed his mind.

Gayle said he appreciated the footwear and asked what size they were                 because he planned on wearing them on an upcoming beach trip.

T-SPLOST is on a statewide referendum July 31 and if passed, will impose a new one-cent sales tax to fund regional transportation projects. In other business, council unanimously approved the following two agenda items:

• A request to approve a bid to pipe 323 feet of ditch along South Fry  Street with a portion of the ditch located between East Savannah Avenue and CSX Railroad tracks. Standard Contractors submitted the lowest bid at $53,542 plus a ten percent contingency to correct the drainage problem that is flooding private property.

• A request to abandon a drainage easement running along the southern  right-of-way of Smithbriar Drive at North Oak Street. The owner of the property located at the southwest corner of the two streets wants to develop the property into the Pineview Professional Plaza.

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