ESPLOST: To Vote or Not to Vote? Exploring the Pros and Cons with the HCPOA
To better understand the pros and cons of the upcoming ESPLOST initiative, the Hart County Property Owners Association (HCPOA) invited Assistant School Superintendent Brooks Mewborn to present reasons voters might want to vote for it. They asked me to discuss reasons for rejecting it.
When HCPOA official Bill Fogerty submitted an article about the meeting to the Hartwell Sun, they refused to print it because they claimed one of my statements was “not factual.” Upon learning this, I called Allen Nesmith, Editor of the local organ, to confirm. He courteously said Mr. Fogerty’s report was correct—no argument from me.
The statement Mr. Nesmith found troubling was my claim that money raised by the proposed tax would be spent on schools but that, should voters decide to reject it, the money would stay in the economy, thus helping local businesses. Suppose there is an argument to be made. In that case, some of the money would be spent on online sales, or maybe some would find itself in some investment instrument, but much, if not most, would be spent locally to promote restaurants, retail stores, and other local businesses.
I have made this claim for decades on radio, television, and at public meetings and have never had anyone suggest other avenues for the money to take. There are none.
The HCPOA graciously offered their members and guests an opportunity to learn about an important issue before the voters of Hart County. Their efforts are noble and should be duplicated by more organizations so voters can understand various opinions. Otherwise, elections will become nothing more than sporting events with winners gloating and losers waiting for the next time.