Stand up for Citizen Input on SPLOST Dollars


Our new mayor and commission have the chance to do great things in Athens. It’s time to tell them to reconsider the SPLOST designations voted on December 4.

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Contact information for the current mayor and commission is listed here. Contact information for the new commissioners is as follows:

Patrick Davenport: patrickfordistrict1@gmail.com or (706) 201-6761

Tim Denson: timdensonforathens@gmail.com or (706) 372-0681

Russell Edwards: (706) 308-6221

Ovita Thornton: (706) 353-7633 or (706) 202-4437

or you can fill out the Agenda Comment Form here (select J for the agenda item number).

Don’t know who your commissioner is? Use our handy map!

Athens-Clarke County is working on a new list of SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) projects, and a citizens advisory committee begins meeting this week. But on December 4, in their last voting meeting, the previous mayor and commission voted to designate or set aside a big chunk of those dollars for projects including a $72 million judicial center and a $44 million affordable housing fund without hearing from that committee. We absolutely support funds set aside for affordable housing in some fashion, but housing is a racial economic justice issue and pushing forward this plan without the input of community members is wrong. At the new mayor and commission’s first meeting, this Tuesday, there will likely be a vote to reconsider these designations and not bypass the citizens advisory committee. Please ask Mayor Kelly Girtz and your commissioner to support this vote.

You can also show up to the meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, January 8, at 6 p.m. and speak for three minutes during the time allotted for citizen input. Free parking deck vouchers for citizens attending the meeting are available on the 2nd floor of City Hall.

Personalized calls and emails are more effective than multiple messages using the same script, so express your personal feelings frankly! Here is an example script that you can build off of or use:

Hello,

My name is [NAME], and I live in Athens. I’m contacting you because I disagree with the mayor and commission bypassing the citizens advisory committee on SPLOST. This amount of money is too significant to ignore the input of the people it will affect. I’m asking you to support a vote to reconsider those designations this Tuesday or in the future.

Thank you for the chance to share my concerns.

Please contact the mayor and commission TODAY.

TELL THEM: No SPLOST without citizen input!

Thanks for caring,

Legislative Action Network
Athens for Everyone

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