Published 12:00 am Friday, February 20, 2004
Obviously, there’s little anyone can do with the Marengo County Commission at this point. Despite an apparent outpouring of outrage, most Commission members still believe they know best.
Today, at 9 a.m., the same commission that thumbed its nose at the public one month ago will hold its regularly scheduled public meeting.
They won’t pass a resolution that proposes a one-cent sales tax increase. They’ve already done that — without public input.
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They probably won’t call on members of the public to discuss the proposed tax increase. They passed on that chance.
They surely won’t make a motion to rescind their resolution proposing the sales tax. They probably think that would be political suicide. In reality, it would be political salvation.
In essence, there’s little the public can expect from the Marengo County Commission today when they gather around a table and pretend nothing has happened. They’ll discuss the basic business of the county, explaining how they have no money and no hope for the future.
There’s only one thing that can change the reality of what will happen at today’s Commission meeting. Any capable member of the public with the spare time should make a trip to Linden today. You should raise your hand and ask to be heard. You should greet the commission members when they walk in the door. You should raise your hand again and ask to be heard.
Last week, the Marengo County Commission began the process of putting this permanent one-cent sales tax on the books. They began running legal advertisements, which must be published four consecutive weeks.
Next, the local members of our Alabama Legislature will either propose the bill or ask the public for input before doing so.
If we had to guess, our legislative delegation will take the bill and immediately introduce it. They won’t reserve the civic center for an evening and listen to the public’s reaction. They probably won’t open the commission doors for another meeting before this bill hits the books.
But if you have any concern with the dictatorial leadership four members of this county commission have shown, you owe it to your fellow neighbors and business colleagues to make an appearance at today’s meeting.
Maybe you won’t be heard. Then again, how could a government body that meets quietly ever forget if they faced a room full of dissatisfied citizens?