Georgia County Government - January/February 2012 - (Page 5)

President’sMessage Communities Still Connecting to Benefits of SPLOST hen voters went to the polls last November, count y of f icia ls from throughout the state were closely watching. Over 60 counties have special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) reauthorizations on the ballot between 2011 and 2012. With the economy still in a slow recovery, waning public attitudes towards government and a growing antitax sentiment, many wondered if SPLOST and the education special purpose local option sales tax (ESPLOST) referenda would fall as the victims of these debates. The good news is that the public voted in favor of 23 of the 25 SPLOST referenda on the November ballots, marking a passage rate of 92 percent. Furthermore, the percentage of individuals that voted “yes” on successful SPLOST referenda also increased from 60 percent in November 2010 to 67 percent in November 2011. ESPLOST referenda also did very well, with 30 of 32 of those under consideration passing. In 1985, the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) was instrumental in advocating for the passage of the law which allows counties to collect this additional penny sales tax with the approval of voters. Today, 146 of Georgia’s counties use SPLOST as a way to fund capital projects ranging from roads and bridges and water and sewer infrastructure to courthouses, administration buildings, libraries, parks and recreation facilities, jails and much more. Likewise, the ESPLOST is paying for investments in our local school systems that could not be funded from general fund budgets alone. The message is clear — communities are still connecting to the benefits of SPLOST. In recent years, counties have taken a smarter approach to getting public input in the development of potential SPLOST projects and forming local coalitions to help educate the community about the final project list. The community can make a direct link from the tax to the projects on the ground and know exactly where the pennies raised are going. Many people also support the sales tax as a more fair PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE continued on page 6 Association County Commissioners of Georgia President MELVIN DAVIS Oconee County Chairman First Vice President CLINTON PERRY Taylor County Third Vice President KEVIN LITTLE Walton County Second Vice President MIKE BERG Dawson County Immediate Past President LAMAR PARIS Union County W Executive Director ROSS KING Board of Managers 1st District ALLEN POOLE, Haralson County 2nd District JONESY HAYGOOD, Stephens County 3rd District KATHIE GANNON, DeKalb County 4th District EDDIE FREEMAN, Spalding County 5th District TOMMY LYON, Elbert County 6th District JANIE REID, Putnam County 7th District RON CROSS, Columbia County 8th District TERRELL HUDSON, Dooly County 9th District JOE C. WEBB, Treutlen County 10th District LAMAR HUDGINS, Dougherty County 11th District JOYCE EVANS, Lowndes County 12th District HELEN STONE, Chatham County At-Large Representatives BROOKS BAILEY, Pulaski County SAMUEL F. HART, Bibb County HARRY LANGE, Harris County CHARLOTTE NASH, Gwinnett County CARLOS NELSON, Ware County Active Past Presidents CLARENCE BROWN, Bartow County JAMES HAM, Monroe County* BENJAMIN HAYWARD, Mitchell County TOM MCMICHAEL, Houston County O. D. NETTER, Ben Hill County* LAMAR PARIS, Union County *also a NACo Board Member (ex-officio) Section Presidents (ex-officio) County Attorneys: ROBERT RICHARDSON, Mitchell County County Managers/Administrators: JANEANN ALLISON, Habersham County County Clerks: PAIGE DUKES, Lowndes County Service Program Representatives (ex-officio) GSIWCF Board of Trustees (Workers’ Compensation): W.L. “BUD” SANDERS, Greene County IRMA Board of Trustees (Property & Liability): CHARLES NEWTON, McDuffie County Pension Board of Trustees: L.B. “BUZZ” AHRENS, JR., Cherokee County Defined Contributions (DC) Board: O.D. NETTER, Ben Hill County Group Health Benefits Program Board of Directors: EARL BRICE, Coffee County By Melvin Davis President The message is clear — communities are still connecting to the benefits of SPLOST. Officers serving through April 2012 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - January/February 2012

President’s Message
Director’s Desk
Guest Editorial: Together We Stand
Harris County: Smart Investments Paying Dividends for the Future
EMS Delivery Models in Georgia
How New EMS Technologies are Improving Patient Care
Regional EMS: Opportunities for Better Service and Lower Costs?
EMS Leadership Course Planned
Washington D.C. Update
Georgia Public Safety Radio Systems Must Transition to Narrowbanding
Fulton County Public Works Recognized with APWA Accreditation
Extension News: Teens Solving Community Problems
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - January/February 2012