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Political Debates
Do you plan to attend any of the political debates planned throughout the county in the coming weeks?

The Dade County Commission held the third and final public hearing on a tax increase last Thursday night with another standing room only crowd on hand. The Commission approved the increase in a 4-1 vote.
The Dade County Commission held the third and final public hearing on a proposed tax increase on Thursday night and again it was a standing room only crowd.

This hearing seemed to be a little more relaxed, it was the sixth in just over a month, than those in the past with those supporting the increase and those opposed having a chance to speak.

Commissioners tried to give anyone who had not had a chance to speak at previous meetings the opportunity to speak first.

Among those supporting the tax increase were Sarah Moore, former Superior Court Clerk and Commissioner; Tom Pounds, a Lookout Mountain resident; Mary Bailey, a county employee.

Moore spoke of her experience in county government and working through the budget process for many years. She encouraged commissioners to do what you need to do to run the county.

Pounds echoed Moore’s comments.

Bailey pointed out that most of the cuts have been made on the backs of county employees. “These are actual people, not numbers,” she added.

Bailey addressed the loyal and dedicated employees who've taken the biggest hits and pointed out they had names and were not just numbers.

Butch Rapier stated he didn’t feel like we are taking full advantage of our assets. He added that, “We are spending $200,000 a year on the four fields when we could be outsourcing the work and bring in tournaments. We need sewer down Highway 11 and we don’t need more buildings that there is maintenance and all.”

Rapier went on to say, “If we need the money, be man enough to vote it in and out of that money build a surplus for some of the things we need.”

Ronnie Blevins of Lookout Mountain ask why the commission has not pursued a sales tax increase.
County Executive Ted Rumley responded that they are joining with four other counties to try and make that happen. He added that it was in the early stages and didn’t have any idea what the outcome would be.

Janette Hixson of Wildwood spoke to commissioners and displayed a sign that said, “Beware Higher Taxes – They Destroy the Working Class and Citizens.” She expressed her concerns over higher taxes.

Greg Smyth closed out the hearing by suggesting a four year plan and a six year plan for solving the problems the county is currently facing.

After the hearing the Commission went into session for a vote on the tax increase.

Commissioner Scottie Pittman made a motion to approve the 1.736 mill increase and Commissioner Alan Bradford second the motion.

On the roll call vote Commissioners Pittman, Bradford, Rickey Breeden and Executive Ted Rumley voted in favor of the motion while Commissioner Mitchell Smith voted against.

With the 4-1 vote the millage increase was approved.

Before the meeting adjourned Commission Rickey Breeden addressed the Commissioner by saying, “If your heart not in it, get out.”

Commission Mitchell Smith responded by saying he felt that comment was directed at him and he was committed and he had promised voters he would not vote for a tax increase and “My word is all if have and that’s why I voted no.”

Breeden said his comments weren’t directed at anyone in particular.

The meeting was then adjourned.

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