Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

July 20, 2013

Winning SPLOST VII means winning the people

VALDOSTA — In an editorial last Sunday, The Times asked people to weigh their decision, for or against, regarding SPLOST VII.

Despite its defeat last fall, SPLOST VII will return to Lowndes County ballots again this fall. Had the special purpose local option sales tax revenues passed last year, the majority of the funds would have been assigned to constructing a new library and performing arts center. If passed this fall, the majority of the City of Valdosta’s SPLOST revenues will go toward upgrading the flailing sewage infrastructure which came to public light earlier this year.

Though the editorial asked people to weigh their options carefully, The Times also offered a question on the newspaper’s website: “SPLOST VII will be on the ballot again this fall. How will you vote?”

Though SPLOST priorities have changed, a majority of people responding to our poll are against it. As of Friday morning, 40 respondents, or 7 percent, were undecided. Thirty-four percent, or 192 respondents, were for approving SPLOST VII. But 336 respondents, or 59 percent, were opposed to SPLOST VII.

While there is nothing scientific about our survey, it is an indicator of the public mood.

It is an indicator that county and city officials again proposing SPLOST VII must think as much, if not more, about winning the hearts and minds of the public as they do in how they would allocate SPLOST VII funds.

There’s no use counting chickens before they’ve hatched if the hens refuse to lay the eggs.

More importantly, if SPLOST VII is to pass, it may come down more to the folks who support it like the 34 percent in The Times poll. Given the anti-tax and anti-government mood pervading the nation and our region, oppositionists may listen more closely to their neighbors’ views for SPLOST than their elected officials’ endorsements. SPLOST proponents must do a better job explaining SPLOST and what’s at stake.

Minds can be changed. We’ve seen it time and again in past area referendums from increasing the number of county commissioners to alcohol sales on Sundays. Just because an issue fails once doesn’t mean voters won’t approve it the next time.

But that change takes work, discussion, honesty, vision. It takes clear explanations so the benefits are apparent and the consequences are understood.

If SPLOST VII does pass and it funds the construction of a new sewage plant, or funds the betterment of anything in our region, the dedication plaque should not contain the names of any official or board members. It should read simply: This project was funded by the will of the people of Valdosta and Lowndes County.

Because it’s going to take the people’s support to make SPLOST VII and all of the proposed projects a reality.

1
Text Only
What We Think
  • Regional shopping makes sense

    This weekend is the tax-free holiday in Georgia.

    July 31, 2014

  • Focus now on what lies within

    Forty-three years ago the federal mandate to desegregate Valdosta City Schools was necessary.

    July 30, 2014

  • The Times belongs to you

    The Valdosta Daily Times belongs to you. As we move forward with new leadership in our newsroom, we want you to know about our continued commitment to the communities we serve.

    July 28, 2014

  • The art of plenty to do

    In Sunday’s paper, readers found an extensive list of shows, exhibits, concerts and more for the upcoming arts seasons in Valdosta-Lowndes County.

    July 27, 2014

  • The power of One

    Christine Batson wondered the same thing that many people wonder.

    July 26, 2014

  • Thumbs Up

    THUMBS UP: To Air Force Lt. Col. David Rayman. The 75th Fighter Squadron commander recently logged 3,000 flight hours in the A-10C Thunderbolt II. A rare feat. In presenting a Moody Air Force Base story on his accomplishment in The Times, it’s good to see the face and know the name of one of the many pilots who cross our South Georgia skies. Congratulations on 3,000 and thank you for your service.

    July 26, 2014

  • Closing another summer chapter

    The South Georgia Regional Library brings its 2014 summer reading program to a close this weekend with an event that celebrates readers and writers.

    July 24, 2014

  • Countdown for voter apathy

    If you don’t think your vote counts, talk to Ellis Black and John Page today.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vote to remove signs

    Congratulations to the winners in the primary runoff election Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Runoff election counts today

    Today is an election day that started just a little more than two months ago.

    July 21, 2014

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results