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Paulding BOC Raises Millage Rate in 3-2 Vote – Cites County Employee Raises

Today the Paulding BOC voted in a 3-2 split decision to increase property taxes in Paulding County.  Property assessments countywide increased as tax assessments went out, and the millage rate was increased from 6.188 – 6.5.  Vernon Collett and Tony Crowe voted to oppose the tax hike, while Ron Davis, Todd Pownall and Dave Carmichael voted in favor of the increase.  In the true interest of fairness, I will post responses from all BOC members who gave them to me here in their entirety.

Ron Davis: (Yea)               “There are recurring costs the county incurs that I am not willing to pay for with reserve funds because we shouldn’t be funding recurring costs from our savings account. In addition we have some stormwater compliance issues that must be dealt with and we also had a benefits cost increase. Healthcare is a mess and it effects the county too. There are employees that deserve a raise and it’s time to make it right by them. This was the right thing to do for the community as a whole.”

Todd Pownall: (Yea)        “There is a cost for level of service.  What happened is that level dropped below what the citizens of this county expect.  Last year the BOC lowered the millage rate to 6.188 from 6.528.  There are more issues here than the salary study.  We’re reopening the Stormwater Dept, health benefits for County Employees have skyrocketed and these funds will go to road repairs in addition to funding of salary corrections.

              Tony Crowe:(Nay)     “I made a commitment when I was elected that I would not raise taxes.  Outside of that, I would support this.”

Vernon Collett and David Carmichael could not be reached in time for publication, but Vernon Collett voted Nay and David Carmichael voted Yea.

No presentation of the salary study was made during either of today’s BOC meetings.  As such, an ORR for the salary study has been made to the Paulding BOC.  Below you will find a copy of the submitted Open Records Request.  A similar request was sent to Brian Acker, Open Records Officer of Paulding County Human Resources.

“Jonathan Jiles

AllOnGeorgia – Paulding

AllOnGeorgia – Douglas

08/08/18

Rebecca Merideth

Records Officer

Paulding County Board of Commissioners

240 Constitution Blvd

Dallas, GA 30132

Dear Rebecca Merideth:

Under the Georgia Open Records Act § 50.18.70 et seq., I am requesting an opportunity to inspect or obtain copies of public records pertaining to a salary study conducted in 2016 – 2017 related to county employees.

If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me if the cost will exceed $25.  However, I would also like to request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest and will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of the salary issues facing Paulding County government employees and the corrective actions being considered.  This information is being sought for journalistic purposes. This information is not being sought for commercial purposes.

The Georgia Open Records Act requires a response time within three business days.  If access to the records I am requesting will take longer than three days, please contact me with information about when I might expect copies or the ability to inspect the requested records.

If you deny any or all of this request, please cite each specific exemption you feel justifies the refusal to release the information and notify me of the appeal procedures available to me under the law.

Thank you for considering my request.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Jiles”

This story will be updated once the Salary Study is received and reviewed.

Matt Lowe was born in Helena, Montana and grew up in Austell, Ga. He attended South Cobb high school and Chattahoochee Tech. He is an avid outdoorsman. He lives with his wife and 7 children in Dallas, GA. If you’d like to follow more of Matt you can find him on Instagram and Facebook.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Dawn Patterson

    August 8, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Todd Pownall quoted as saying “health benefits for County Employees have skyrocketed” this is the wrong reason to vote yes on this increase. Sir I do believe that the cost of health benefits have skyrocketed for everyone. We get what we can afford not have it funded by the government…..POOR EXCUSE!!!! As a matter of fact all of the excuses were ridiculous in my book. When you start running this county the right way then I may see a reason to raise the millage rate to raise our property taxes. Until then shame on the three that do not have the backs of the hard working Paulding County residents that voted them into office. Remember this reason when the next election comes and you are out of a job!!! Unforgivable to have lack of compassion for the people you are suppose to represent..

  2. Avatar

    Susan

    August 9, 2017 at 7:08 am

    I agree with Dawn . Health care costs is a very sorry excuse to raise my taxes .My health care costs went up too . My taxes just went up about 2 months ago and now another increase ? Bring in more businesses to Dallas to off set taxes businesses everyone can use more stores and restaurants . ( not another dollar store ).

  3. Avatar

    Robb Delaney

    August 9, 2017 at 9:27 am

    We have to do more with less.. Meaning we as a tax paying citizen pay more for our benefits, yet don’t make any more money in the process even though those costs went up.

    We make even less now because in addition to us not making more money and paying more for benefits, We now have to pay an increase in taxes so as to not burden the state employees benefits in the same manner as the taxpayers get shafted.

    Got it.. Nothing shady there..

  4. Avatar

    Informed Citizen

    August 9, 2017 at 10:34 am

    I’m still in shock about that meeting yesterday and the blatant disregard for the citizens. Part of the vote was based on a Salary Study the Commissioners didn’t even see. They were told by the Human Resources director some were not at the level they should be. I’m guessing there are others over the threshold for their job descriptions. How can you base your vote on something you haven’t seen?

    To insinuate someone would vote only to be re-elected is an insult. Perhaps those that vote for or against something actually listen to and read emails sent in by their constituents. Maybe, just maybe it has nothing to do with being re-elected but everything to do with protecting the taxpayers, the very reason they were elected to begin with.

  5. Avatar

    Lydia

    August 10, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    A big thank you to Commissioner Vernon Collett who gets it. He stood with the people who elected him. He heard their requests for a fair decision on the millage. There was nothing fair about what the other 4 did.

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