County should hold meetings after regular work hours

Monday, Sept. 15,2014 at 10 a.m. the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2015 Lincoln County budget. This hearing and budget include Lincoln County and the Lincoln County School District. The hearing will be held at the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Government Complex in downtown Brookhaven.

We have never liked, nor supported, holding a hearing at 10 a.m. on a Monday or any other time that does not encourage citizen attendance. We also know that not many of those taxpayers would attend even if the hearing were held in the evening. We do encourage those who can attend, to do so, and make your thoughts known to the folks that are expending your tax dollars.

Government and schools all work better when taxpayers’ voices are encouraged and heard.

The proposed budget includes no increase for the county government but it does include 4.06 mills for the Lincoln County School District. The proposed millage rate is 105.48 with Lincoln County getting 52.67 mils and Lincoln County School district getting 52.84 mils. Why the 4.06 mils increase?

David Fields, Lincoln County administrator, explained that in 2014 the school district was able to lower the then millage rate by 4.06 mills because the district had money in escrow from the 2013 school year. But what has not been discussed, as far as we know, is why the need for the 4.06 mills to be added back in 2015?

While we support both the city and the county school districts and the mission they strive to accomplish we think our readers want to know more about how the systems use of the tax monies they pay. Why can there be an escrow in one year and none the next? How are the escrows achieved?

There are good and valid explanations to these questions we are sure. Hearings to discuss government budgets should be widely advertised and held at times more convenient to public attendance.

Most of the people that would attend are at work at 10 a.m. Monday earning the wages that pay the taxes.

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