The citizens of Walker County deserve correct information before voting for (sole) county commissioner on July 31. Candidate Paul Shaw would have people believe that Walker County is very deeply in debt up to the tune of up to $80 million dollars! Mr. Barry Huggins, CPA at Johnson, Hickory and Murchison PC, who prepares the annual Walker County audit and Mr. Greg McConnell, CPA in charge of Walker County finances, have both provided information, which refutes Shaw’s allegations.
In reality, Walker County has minimal long-term debt other than the $13 million dollar sales tax bond that was approved by the citizens of Walker County in 2008, and will be paid off in 2014 with sales tax receipts — NOT WITH LOCAL PROPERTY TAX. Other debt under control of the Walker County commissioner is approximately $3 million dollars.
We, as informed voters in Walker County, should understand that the commissioner’s office controls only part of the annual tax revenue. That amount supports expenses with county government including the budgets and employees in the main office, road department, fire and rescue operations, landfill, 911, animal shelter and others. The Walker County Board of Education actually receives the LARGER portion of annual tax receipts that are designated for running our local schools.
It is most important to know the facts. In reality, the only legal means of changing county government from a sole commissioner to a five-member board of commissioners is for citizens to petition the state legislature, then proceed through local-serving state representatives and on to a referendum.
We have a fine person serving local government in our area, as Bebe Heiskell is an honest, experienced, excellent county commissioner with vision for a better community for all the citizens of our area. We should all give her a vote of confidence for our county’s future on July 31!
Knowledge is powerful. Be an informed voter.
Evelle Dana, LaFayette