Saturday, August 27, 2022

Oconee County Town Hall Meeting Offered Give And Take On Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax Referendum

***School Board Criticized By Speakers***

The decision by the Oconee County Board of Education to approve a 4.7 percent increase in property taxes–after first proposing a 9.8 percent increase–hung in the air at the Tuesday night Town Hall meeting of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners.

The advertised central theme of the Town Hall meeting was the decision of the commissioners to put a 1 percent Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum on the ballot in November.

Pam Hendrix, the first citizen who spoke following an overview of the tax proposal, referenced the action of the School Board and said it made her worry that the planned rollback of property taxes if the transportation tax passes was “an empty promise.”

Former State Rep. Chuck Williams, who spoke later, thanked the Board for holding the Town Hall meeting and noted that “some other governing bodies in the county” do not hold such meetings with the citizenry.

Mark Arnold, a member of the Oconee County Republic Party Executive Committee, mistakenly accused the Commissioners of having a fund balance--he called it a “slush fund”–of $32 million.

The projected fund balance in the current budget adopted by the Board of Education is $32.5 million--with $25.3 million of that unassigned.

The county does not project a fund balance in its Fiscal Year budgets, but the balance reported in budget documents for Fiscal Year 2023 listed a Fund Balance of $21.4 million, with $9.3 million unassigned

Ten different citizens addressed the Board in the Tuesday meeting that ran 105 minutes, and eight of them asked questions about the transportation tax, resulting in exchanges involving all five of the Commissioners.

Tax Proposal

Board of Commissioners Chair John Daniell began the meeting, held at the Civic Center, by explaining the decision to put the tax referendum on the ballot and outlining its features.

Horton, Thomas, Daniell, Harden, Mark Saxon

Technically the Board is not allowed to advocate for the tax, but it can provide information, and the Board members individually left little doubt about their support for the tax as they responded to questions from the citizens.

Their vote to put the issue on the ballot had been unanimous.

The Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or T-SPLOST, is a type of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax that “is dedicated exclusively to transportation purposes,” Daniell said.

“This will be a one penny sales tax on items that you’re currently paying sales tax on,” Daniell said.

The county already has a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) of 1 percent, and the Board of Education has an Education Local Option Sales Tax (ELOST) of 1 percent.

In addition, the county has a Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) of 1 percent.

The state has a four percent sales tax, so the current total sales tax in the county is 7 percent, and the T-SPLOST, if approved, would increase the total sales tax to 8 percent.

Other Details

Daniell noted that the T-SPLOST does not apply to motor fuels, which are included in the other local sales taxes.

Groceries are exempt from the state 4 percent sales tax and from the Local Option Sales Tax but not from SPLOST, ELOST, or T-SPLOST.

Daniell said that while Oconee County does not have a T-SPLOST in place, Clarke County, Greene County, Morgan County, and Oglethorpe County already have the transportation sale tax.

According to the Georgia Department of Revenue, Daniell is mistaken about Greene County, but the other counties he mentioned do have the tax, as do Madison and Elbert counties.

Nearby Barrow, Walton, and Jackson counties do not.

The tax, if passed, Daniell said, would run for five years, starting on April 1, 2023.

Cities In County

Daniells said that the county’s four cities have chosen to participate in the T-SPLOST, with revenue split based on population.

The expectation is that the tax will generated $60.4 million over its five-year life-span, Daniell said, with Bishop getting $477,000, Bogart receiving $1.9 million, North High Shoals receiving $797,000, and Watkinsville receiving $4.4 million.

Bogart will use the money to address storm water issues, Daniell said, and North High Shoals will use the money to address storm water problems and for sidewalks, he said.

Watkinsville will use the money for roadways, paths, and traffic efficiencies, according to Daniell.

The remaining $52.5 million will go to the county, Daniell said.

Millage Rate Reduction

Daniell said the transportation projects in the county to be funded by the T-SPLOST are broken down into four categories.

The first category is property tax relief, he said, “and that will be $15 million over a five year period.”

“This category goes to transportation needs already paid for out of our General Fund,” Daniell said.

This includes things like roadside mowing, maintenance of the Mars Hill Road beautification project, paving and maintaining unpaved roads, and for culverts and bridges, according to Daniell.

“If passed by the citizens,” Daniell said, “the Board of Commissioners will reduce the millage rate by 1 mill, beginning in the year 2023 and running through 2027.

The Board just set the millage rate at 5.954 for 2022, down from 6.650 in 2021, for the unincorporated parts of the county, and 6.804 for the incorporated parts of the county, down from 7.590 last year.

So the rate in the unincorporated parts of the county will drop to 4.954 in the unincorporated parts of the county in 2023 through 2027, Daniell said, if the T-SPLOST referendum is approved. The drop in the incorporated parts of the county of a mill would be to 5.804.


“So that will equate to roughly a 17 percent cut in the county portion of your tax bill each year,” he said. (The calculation is 1 mill divided by 5.954, or 16.8 percent.)

Daniell said the Board will make this commitment concrete via a resolution it will pass.

“Last time there were some questions about that not showing up on the actual ballot question,” Daniell said.

“Those ballot questions are set by state law,” he continued, “and we’re not allowed to alter them.”

“So to give you some additional confidence that it’s going to happen, we’ve discussed passing that resolution, hopefully at our next meeting,” Daniell said.

Other Categories

The county will set aside $3 million for multi-use paths, Daniell said.

A multi-use path currently is in the design stage for Hog Mountain Road from Butler’s Crossing to Wellbrook Road, Daniell said.

“Additional paths we’ve discussed over the years are Daniells Bridge Road from Hog Mountain to Mars Hill Road and then also coming up with a trail system or multi-use path system that would connect our high schools with our parks.”

Both Oconee County High School and North Oconee High School are on Hog Mountain Road, as is Herman C. Michael Park and Oconee Veterans Park.

A proposed new park will be at the Land Application Site on Rocky Branch Road, near North Oconee High School. The plan is to decommission the Land Application Site.

Citizen Input On Paths

“We started a project with the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission to kind of put that on paper,” Daniell said of the plans for the multi-use paths.

A draft of the plan will go to the county’s Recreational Affairs Committee for review, Daniell said, and for input.

“We’ll have a Town Hall Meeting or something so you can come look at those pathways,” Daniell said.

A final document will be produced and adopted by the Board of Commissioners, Daniell added.

Safety Improvements

Daniell said that $4.5 million will be set aside for intersection safety improvements.

Under consideration is Lane Creek Road at Snows Mill Road, Union Church Road at New High Shoals Road, Moores Ford Road at Lane Creek Road, Colham Ferry Road at Astondale Road, and Cole Springs Road at Snows Mill Road.

Work already is underway on the design of these intersection improvements, Daniell said,

Given the current rate of funding, it would take 15 to 20 years to actually do the construction, he said,

“With T-SPLOST and that $4.5 million it would be possible to complete it in less than 10 years for all five intersections,” he said.

Roadway Maintenance

The remaining $30 million is for road maintenance, Daniell said.

“This is probably the least exciting component for everybody,” Daniell said, “but it is one that you all notice when something is not right.”

Daniell said there are no new roads to be built with the T-SPLOST monies.

In fact, Daniell said, the county is only considering one new road, an extension of Bishop Farm Parkway to provide a second entrance to the Oconee campus of the University of North Georgia.

“Currently we have money set aside in Fund Balance for that, as well as we have some state funding,” he said, so no T-SPLOST monies will be used for that purpose.

It costs $200,000 to resurface one mile of road, Daniell said,

With the current level of funding available “over the next five years, without T-SPLOST, we can resurface 62.5 miles of road,” Daniell said.

“With T-SPLOST, in the next five years, we’ll be able to resurface 212.5 miles of roadway,” Daniell said. “That 212.5 represents roughly 53.5 percent of our entire paved road network,” he added.

Costco And Sales Tax

“The sales tax is a tax that’s paid by folks that don’t just own property in Oconee County,” Daniell said.

“It’s those who are passing through or using our roadways,” he said.

“In the Epps Bridge area, we have an estimate of 80 percent of all the transactions that occur there are being done by out-of-county residents, out-of-county folks,” Daniell said.

“So they’re using our resources. They’re using our roadways. And with the T-SPLOST, they will be participating in funding some of that,” he said.

“We estimate when Costco comes in that’s going to be $250 million in sales annually” Daniell said. “That is $2.5 million from just that one area of Epps Bridge Centre.”

That $2.5 million is the estimated revenue from the 1 percent T-SPLOST if it is passed in November.


“We just voted this down, I think last year. I’m absolutely in awe that this is back on the ballot again. I’m trying to understand why?” Hendrix said when she came to the microphone after Daniell finished his introduction.


“It is not just going to hit out-of-town people,” she said. “Every time I go spend a dollar I’m going to be giving another penny for the tax.”

“The reason its back is that these are very important projects,” Daniell said. “We had a very low turnout. We were approached by several citizens to try again on this. So that’s what we’re doing.”

Voters in November of last year voted 52.8 percent against and 47.2 percent in favor of a T-SPLOST. Only 10.7 percent of the county’s voters cast a ballot.

“I was shocked with the Board of Education and I was bragging on you guys because you all had rolled back the millage rate so that you didn’t take in more,” Hendrix said. “And the Board of Education got very greedy on us and was trying to take in more.”

“And then, here I am, a couple of weeks later and you all ram the sales tax to us, or want to. It is going to take a vote to do that,” Hendrix continued.

“But it just seems a bad time to do it,” Hendrix said. “I just wish we could all pause a year or two and try to figure out where things are going.”

The Board of Education voted on Aug. 1 to decrease the millage rate for Oconee County Schools to 15.5 rather than the proposed 16.25, producing a tax increase of 4.7 percent rather than the originally proposed 9.8 percent.


“I wanted to let you know and everyone here. I’m a property owner, and I’m for this transportation sales tax,” John Webb said.


“I’m going to vote for it. I’m going to encourage all the people that I know to vote for it. Mainly because it affects me, as you said, directly.”

Webb said he did want to know “How do you sell the transportation sales tax to citizens who don’t own property. How do you do that?”

“Why should they vote for a sales tax increase? And it is a sales tax increase,” Webb said.

“I would just say, look at the projects we’re trying to do,” Daniell said. “Do you want good roads to ride on? Do you want these paths? Do you want to see intersection improvements occur in basically half the time?”

“We’re improving the safety,” Daniell said. “So there are definitely benefits even to the non-property owner when you look at the benefits to the entire community. That is what I would say there.”

“One of the benefits to all is the conditions of our roads,” Commissioner Amrey Harden said. Roads should be resurfaced every 20 years, he said. “Unfortunately, in our efforts to hold down property taxes, we have seen an extension of that time frame to get roads resurfaced extended much further than the 20 years.”

“What we’re trying to do is make sure we maintain what we have, and I think that benefits all,” Harden added.

Horton And School Board

“And let me say this,” Commissioner Chuck Horton, who is a former member of the Board of Education and served four years as its chair, interjected. “We’re not the School Board.”

“We have a Town Hall every quarter. Every quarter. It’s unscripted. We try do it in a big room where people can take a shot at us,” he continued. The Board of Education does not hold Town Hall meetings.

“And I think if you’ve come enough you’ve seen that we don’t hide from what you’re asking,” Horton said.

“And I think we’re as tight as we can be with our funds,” he added.

“I do believe this, if we don’t lower the millage rate again, you’re going to pay probably higher taxes with the assessments going up,” he said.

“We tackled that and we went and dropped a mill. A mill. And we’re going to do it again if you all pass the T-SPLOST,” he said.

“To me, it is the way to get what needs to be fixed, quicker,” he added.


“I heard Chairman Daniell talking about what the needs are,” Victoria Cruz said when she came next to the microphone. “What the money is going to be in for.”

“First, let me tell you I’ve never voted against a T-SPLOST before last fall. I’ve never not paid my taxes. I try very hard to be a good citizen.”

“But when I see the projects you’re trying to fund, at a time like this, I’m wondering if they all have the same priority,” she said. “Yes, we all deserve good roads.”

“But not all of us can use a mountain bike trail. Not all of us need those kinds of things. I understand, families with little children need good parks so they can have their sports. I think that’s wonderful.”

“But you are looking at proposing a 1 percent sales tax at a time when inflation is at a 40 year or 50 year high,” she said. “I question the outlay and I question the timing of the request.”

Cruz said she also was concerned about the estimates, since the state of the economy is so uncertain.

Daniell said “our projection of the $60 million take takes into account the previous historical trend,” including the economic crash in 2008 and 2009.

Daniell said the $3 million for multi-use paths is only part of the $52 million that will be spent and that the $3 million is for “stuff that this community has time and time again come to this Board and said they’re interested in.”

Horton And Thomas Respond

“I don’t want to tax your money any more than you want to give it to me,” Commissioner Horton said in response to Cruz. “I pay taxes too. And I think that’s the way we’ve operated.”

Horton, Thomas, Daniell, Harden, Saxon

Horton said the county doesn’t have enough money to respond to all of the things that citizens expect of the county, and the “The sales tax is a way to help us get it. We are very fortunate to have some really good retailers in this county.”

Horton said back in 2000 he was the outgoing chair of the Oconee County Board of Education when Walmart was considering relocating.

“Clarke County didn’t want Walmart. Flat didn’t want it near Mitchell Bridge Road,” Horton said.

Horton said he told the members of the county Planning Commission to “do whatever you gotta do to get them in here. Because we can get enough money to help us build a school.”

“So that’s how critical the sales tax is,” Horton said. “I don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring. But I do think having the option with the T-SPLOST helps us get to what the citizens want us to fix.”

“I’ll call it diversification of the taxes, so that land owners and house owners and business owners in the community can benefit by a reduction in their taxes,” Commissioner Mark Thomas said.

Webb Again

“What assurance do the property owners have that the one mill decrease in assessment will be permanent?” Webb said when he returned to the microphone.

“I know you say it will be. You said it will be for the next five years. I understand what you said. You will pass a resolution. I think that is what you said to make it pretty much that you’re going to do this,” Webb said.

“But it reminds me, of course, each of you is subject to the electorate, because you may come up and someone, somebody else may come along and may take your seat,” Web continued.

“So maybe there may arise a different Board that may not know and may not care about the resolution. So can you address that for me please?” he asked.

“You’re exactly right that elections have consequences and the next Board could absolutely come in here and raise our taxes,” Daniell said. “All we can do is this group can sit here and say we are committed not to do it, taking a public vote and sign a piece of paper saying we’re not going to do it."

“Other than that there is really no other assurance,” Daniell said. “Just make sure the group stays in for a long time.”

“I would hope that whomever the electorate selects to be commissioners will look at the history of how we’ve operated,” Horton said. “Who is selected is really determined by the people in the room and elsewhere in the county.”


“The citizens have already voted on this once,” Dave Jackson, the next citizen to speak, said. “So it is really hard to understand why we’re coming to vote again. And that makes me extremely suspicious.”


“When they have already said one time, ‘No thank you’, why are we going back to the table and asking again?”

“I’m not going to vote for another one until somebody can come up with some oversight for this that the rest of us in the county can understand. Not just the commissioners,” he said.

“And we want to make sure that you’re accountable so that if you say that you’re going to reduce those taxes by a mill, you should commit to that,” Jackson said. “Each one of you. Today. With the county watching. You should be committing to that.”

“Each of you should be committing to that,” Jackson repeated. “Not just some ambiguous thing on we’re going to put it up for a resolution. Commit to it. Say yes. Tonight.”

“Again, we’re back because they are important projects,” Daniell said. “There was a small voter turnout. Our Town Hall after the election, we had people stand up in this room and say ‘Hey, this is very important. We’d like to see you try again.’”

“We’ll have a much bigger turnout for sure in this election,” Daniell said. “It may be a lot bigger No. If that’s the case, you know, we’re going to live through that.”

Each member of the Commission then took a microphone and pledged to cut the millage rate by one mill.


Arnold did not identify himself when he came to the microphone, but he didn’t need to. He is vice-chairman for membership, finance and programming of the Oconee County Republican Party.

Arnold Turns To Audience

All five members of the Board of Commissioners are Republicans.

“You were saying that you’re not taxing our income,” Arnold said, referring to an earlier comment that the county did not have an income tax.

“My money is not any good to me until I spend it,” Arnold said. “And if I’m spending every cent more on everything that I buy in this county, I consider that a tax.”

“Another thing is that this 1 percent rollback, if you guys need the money, you want a sales tax, so why are you doing the one percent rollback? It looks like what I call bait. That’s what it looks like to me.” (It is a one mill rollback, not a 1 percent rollback.)

“I mean if you were genuine about it, you would say that we’re going to roll it back one percent and whatever that rate is, we’re going to keep it until the SPLOST ends,” Arnold continued. "So it remains five years as well as the SPLOST."

“The SPLOST is a percent. That’s a percent. The millage rate is 1 tenth of a percent,” Arnold said.

The sales tax is 1 percent of the purchase price of taxed products; a mill is .001 of the taxable assessed real property value. In other words, the base on which the tax is calculated is note the same.

Turning To Audience

At this point, Arnold was turning to and addressing the audience, not the commissioners.

“So they’re giving you 1 tenth of a percent and they’re taking a percent,” he said.

“You’ve got Costco coming online. A bunch of new business coming on. So you want to raise the sales tax. Now these sales tax go for a period of time. I have yet to see one end. I have yet to see a SPLOST end and go back to the old rate,” Arnold said.

“You said that you’ve been responsible wards of the last SPLOST that we’ve had,” Arnold said. “Why do you never go back to 6 percent?”

“Anyway, I just think you need to be more responsible with the money that you’re getting. You’ve got a 32 million dollar slush fund.”

Daniell, Horton Respond

“It would be nice if you looked at the finances before you come up here and start saying something like that,” Daniell said.

“The 1 percent SPLOST stays on and then we go back and ask again,” Daniell said. “Do you want to continue? Do you want additional tennis courts? Do you want paving to continue? All these SPLOSTs are voting back in. We’re not being disingenuous.”

“I’m here to say no,” Arnold responded.

“I’m going to go look for that $32 million,” Horton said.

“It is the Board of Education,” someone in the audience yelled out. “It’s the BOE,” a second voice said.

“No, there’s not $32 million,” Daniell said. “You need to get educated before you come up here and start talking in the microphone.”

The budget presentation made to the Board on May 24 listed a Fund Balance of $21,419,667, with $12,073,788 assigned to specific projects underway or planned and $9,345,879 unassigned.

The ratio of Unassigned Fund Balance to the total General Fund Budget of $37,894,885 is .247, or 24.7 percent, which Daniell said the county is advised is the proper ratio.


Mahesh Sampat, speaking remotely on Zoom, said “I am talking as a citizen. I am also a property owner.”

“And your proposal for a reduction in the millage and increase the sales tax,” he said. “In one respect, from my perspective, I’m saving on the left side of the pocket and spending on the right side of the pocket.”

“So I’m not sure there is much benefit,” he said. “But the value that I see is that if you can attract the businesses like Costco, which will draw these people from probably another 10 surrounding counties, and they all will be paying sales tax, so it is a good way to get other people outside the county to pay for our expenses.”

“So I want to, bottom line, I support the proposal,” he said.

“Yes sir, I believe the case,” Daniell said. “We indicated that 80 percent of Epps Bridge Centre is estimated to come from outside the county. And that number will likely increase with the addition of Costco.”

“You’re right,” Daniell continued. “You’ll have to do your own calculation of whether the 1 percent additional for the amount you spend in Oconee County offsets your 17 percent reduction. Maybe you wash. Maybe you pay a little more. I don’t know.”

“The big benefit to the county is that a lot more people are paying the extra penny that are not property owners. So that’s the whole theory behind it, where we’re going to collect $52 million for county wide projects that otherwise we would not get,” Daniell said.

“And that’s being shared over the population that shops and participates in commerce in Oconee,” he added.

Cruz Again

“You are asking us for more money through T-SPLOST beginning the Fall but you also have a fail safe,” Cruz, who returned to the microphone, said.


“Your fail safe to get the money that you need is to keep the millage rate what it is,” she said. “With the home prices going up you’ll get money that you need to do the kinds of things you need to do.”

Cruz then turned to a lengthy discussion of problems she believes exist with the state election system.

She spoke for 14 minutes, ending by saying “we’ve been trying for years to get transparency in our elections.”

“At the last minute, every effort is blocked by the Secretary of State, influencing the legislators.”

“The people can’t get this done,” she said.


“I want first to thank you all or being here tonight and for the previous times you’ve held these Town Hall meetings,” former state Rep. Williams told the Board.


“You all don’t have to do this,” he said. “And some other governing bodies in the county have proven that this does not have to be done. But as a taxpayer I appreciate you all doing this, giving us this opportunity to interact.”

“I supported the regional T-SPLOST, I supported the county T-SPLOST,” Williams said. “I am a believer in sales tax in lieu of property taxes wherever possible.” (The regional tax failed in 2012.)

“And I really like the idea of non-Oconee residents getting to share in our wealth and help pay for road improvements and other improvements that we need. So I’m personally glad that this is back on the ballot,” Williams said.

“Really the only concern that I have is what Ms. Hendrix alluded to with her opening remarks,” Williams said. “As we saw just a few weeks ago with other county budgets, it is not all about the millage rate.”

“Assessed values come into play, and I do have a concern not that you would willingly and knowingly let increased tax digest basically to gain and outrun that one percent cut.”

“I’m not asking for a blood oath. I’m just asking that this body, the five of you who are in office,” he said, “that you would take a serious look at maybe increasing that 1 percent, excuse me, that 1 mill rollback that need be to negate the impact of increased tax digest.”

“I’ll just point to what happened this year,” Daniell said. “We calculated what we needed to operate the government. And we rolled back the tax millage rate appropriately. That’s just how this group is operating. We expect to continue in that direction.”


“I really appreciate your doing these Town Hall meetings,” Julie Mauck, a former member of the Oconee County Republican Party Executive Committee, said. “I think it’s very important.”


“I do wish the Board of Education would do that. I think you are much better stewards of our money than they are as well. Kudos to you.”

Mauck said she wanted to know how long would the T-SPLOST last and also how long the millage rate reduction would last.

“The T-SPLOST would last for five years,” Daniell said, repeating his comments from the beginning of the meeting. “And the millage rate reduction would be for the entire five years, so ‘23, ‘24, ‘25, ‘26, and ‘27 year, we’ll have the one mill rollback.”


Jeff Hood asked Daniell how the county was handling the decision of Election and Registration Director Rebecca Anglin to take a job with the Secretary of State Office, leaving the county effective on Aug. 26.


“In the past, the Board of Elections director and the chair have been the same position,” Daniell said.

“In order to have that position as chair, you must be a resident of Oconee County,” he continued.

“It has always worked out well that we had somebody coming along who was ready to step into the role of director and was also a resident of Oconee County.”

“With all the attention to elections now, the people who want to take that job are very limited,” he said. “So what we decided to do is split the roles of chair and director of elections.”

“The director of elections will be hired with no residency component to it,” Daniell said. “Also we have started taking applications for chair of the Board of Elections.”

Daniell said he expects the Board to appoint a director of elections on Tuesday night.


Rick Caffery, from the Oconee Crossing neighborhood, told Daniell he expects between 100 and 120 people to attend the Sept. 13 meeting of the Board of Commissioners when the Board is scheduled to hold a zoning hearing affecting that neighborhood.


“Is there any way that we can move that meeting here?” Caffery asked. “Because the folks that are out in the hallway at the Board of Commissioners Office, they can’t hear what’s going on.”

“We’ve run advertisements that say where this is going to be,” Daniell said. “So relocating I don’t believe is an option.”

“The technology we have set up in the Commission Chamber is not transferrable up to the courtrooms or we would have done that,” Daniell said. “We’ve looked a that several times to try to figure that out.”

The meeting will have to take place in the Commission Chamber, Daniell said.

Third Visit By Cruz

“In my nervousness,” Cruz said when she came to the microphone a third time, “I forgot my ask. My ask is that you use your authority to return voting in Oconee County to hand-marked paper ballots.”

Cruz said she also wanted the county to consent to an open records request to make available the paper ballots from the May election for inspection.

Cruz said this would save the county money.

“That’s why the lawsuit is being filed,” Daniell said. “There is a different interpretation of what the law is going to allow.”

“That’s going to have to work its way through the court system on what the state law stated versus what the interpretation is,” he said.

“I think our Board of Elections does a great job, as you mentioned,” Daniell added. “I think our elections are secure in Oconee County. I think the results have been accurate. I think we will continue to have that.”


I lent my camera and tripod to Hendrix and Jackson, who recorded the video below for me.

Diane Baggett, Communication Manager for Oconee County, told me there were 34 people in the audience at the Civic Center. I counted seven online, including myself.

Daniell began speaking at the very beginning of the meeting and video.

Hendrix began speaking at 10:30 in the video.

Webb began asking his first question at 22:29.

Cruz asked her first question at 30:54 in the video.

Webb returned to the microphone at 48:45.

Jackson spoke at 55:19 in the video.

Arnold is at 1:06:26 in the video.

Mahesh spoke remotely at 1:09:40 in the video.

Cruz returned to the microphone at 1:11:51 in the video.

Williams made his comments at 1:25:57.

Mauck spoke at 1:35:57.

Hood spoke at 1:36:56.

Caffery spoke at 1:38:49.

Cruz made her final trip to the microphone at 1:41:44.

CORRECTION: I had the wrong first name for Mark Arnold in the original story. I apologize for the error.

1 comment:

Dave Henson said...

The Epps Bridge retail area is Oconee’s golden egg laying goose. Oconee birthed and raised that goose, and now it’s time to cash in on those golden eggs. To do so, we need this TSPLOST. Coupled with the one mill rollback, it would pretty much equal a tax wash for the average Oconee home and property owner. But, obviously, the golden eggs would produce much more money, hence the whole purpose of this TSPLOST.

The extra money would make our roads safer sooner. I’m an advocate for a roundabout at Union Church and New High Shoals. I also support a sidewalk along Union Church from this intersection to OCHS. Students are using a dirt path along the edge of this narrow road that has a 50 MPH speed limit, whereas Mars Hill, a four lane plus median road with a 45 MPH speed limit, has sidewalks on both sides. Safer sooner equals lives saved.

Dave Henson, Bishop