City to Explain $2 Stormwater Fee
The informational meetings scheduled for Sept. 29 and Oct. 20 will be at Powder Springs' Coach Ford Center.
Both are scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Coach Ford Center and will be informal—citizens can come and go as they please to get information rather than sit through a presentation.
The vote on the fee is expected in November.
“The council has been in deep discussion on how much of a fee to charge,” Vaughn said. “They did not want to have an impact on the citizens.”
In reference to a letter to the editor to Powder Springs-Lithia Springs Patch from former council member Ra Barr, who called the fee a “backdoor tax,” Vaughn said: “I hope everybody understands the stormwater fee and the purpose of that. And it’s not a backdoor tax; it was studied for a long, long time.”
Councilman Tom Bevirt made reference to “misrepresented information.”
“You’ll have twice to go view this—get an understanding of it completely and not through rumors,” he said.
In the letter, Barr references $51,000 being budgeted for “Storm Water Management,” though the fee would bring in much more. In response, Vaughn said: “We only budgeted $51,000 because that is all the money we had in the general fund. … We did not know when the fee would be passed, so at the budget time, we just had to pass the budget with the money we’ve got.”
Also on Monday, City Manager Rick Eckert reiterated that although he applied for the Jackson County manager job, Vaughn is not “running me off.”
He said one reason he applied is personal, which he did not disclose, and the other is political. In February, Eckert fired Police Chief L. Rick Richardson, who is on the ballot for mayor in November.
“Professionally, ethically and morally, I could not work for a mayor under those conditions. … No professional city manager would stay under those conditions.”
In a letter submitted to Patch and on Monday, Eckert also pointed criticisms toward social media, naming Facebook and Twitter but perhaps referring to Patch as well.
“There’s a big difference between the press and social media. I have great respect and admiration for the press—always have, always will,” Eckert said. “But it amazes me how so-called social media can disguise itself as the press and surreptitiously incite individuals and/or groups by allowing the posting of false and inflammatory information under the freedom of speech clause of the Constitution of the United States.”
He added: “For honest people who have concerns about innuendoes that are being expressed with the election or whatever, I encourage you to check the facts because they’re certainly readily available.”
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