Letter: Commissioner weighs in on landfill fee

Friday, July 24, 2009

To the editor: In response to the article published in Wednesday's paper, I would like to make a few comments. As a commissioner, I have been inquisitive as to how the county conducts business. I have never veiled, even thinly, my opposition to conducting county business in any manner that is less than fair and equitable. I contend that questioning our methods in government has saved money, not wasted. Inquisitiveness has helped to avert potential liabilities like that of the maintenance contract not being bid properly. Inquisitiveness is helping develop processes to avoid situations like the EMS discrepancies of the recent past and will help avoid a potential for virtual limitless spending on future capital projects like the new North EMS Station. It also helps keep the authority of the commission where it rightfully lies, with the commission as a whole. Rather than not questioning everything that we do, I would urge that we question the use of taxpayers' money like we do our own. I am of the belief that no individual or small group of people should have the authority to speak on behalf of the entire county where commission matters are concerned. My constituents deserve to have their vote heard and not surpassed by any assumption of authority.

While I appreciate what this publication provides our community and applaud the efforts of those reporting, I also understand the difficulties associated with reporting technical information. A good example is the $60 fee being proposed to county residents. Letting people know exactly what it will fund is tricky. The fact that it is avoidable is a crucial point that needs print, however.

Only two individuals assume responsibility for the county attorney consults and they are the County Mayor and Commission Chair. If matters have been referred to legal for counsel, these two are the source for questioning. While it is healthy for the commission to disagree and it is good for government, sometimes it requires the guidance of legal representation to help avoid major liabilities. Meanwhile, we need to exercise restraint in sending for opinion matters that are simple in nature.

Billy Spivey

County Commissioner

District 5