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Reader seeks answers about spending of local tax money

Editor:
       To the citizens and taxpaying shareholders of Bulloch County:
       Do you know?
       1. Of the promised 400 jobs when Great Dane received their free land from Bulloch County, there are now approximately 250 employees hired with, I believe, less than 50 workers from Bulloch County or nearby.   
       a. The exact number of local employees is not known as nobody with authority will ask the company and consider this proprietary information.
       b. How many of the now expanded number of up to 500 promised jobs will be for and/or benefit the people of Bulloch County?
       2. The Bulloch County Development Authority
       a. Is a board of downtown Statesboro business people appointed by the Bulloch County Commissioners operating under quasi-governmental powers with no accountability to the voting public.
       b. Office is located in the Chamber of Commerce Office Building
       c. Pays the Chamber of Commerce $50,000 rent annually
       d. Receives $250,000 annually from Bulloch County, up from $15,000 in 1998-99
       e. Uses their own lawyer even though the county has a salaried lawyer
       f. Negotiates business deals for the county and the commissioners sign off on them. And so far, it seems, few, if any, have been rejected.
       g. Has negotiated two loans through Bulloch County for Georgia Southern even though it is a state institution this under Georgia law OCGA 36-82-100 to make it possible for bond purchasers from anywhere to buy tax free bonds?
       It is legal, as is offshore banking to not pay taxes, but is it right? Is this what we in Bulloch County want?
       (1) To purchase an apartment complex, the loan being far greater than the appraised price or owner evaluation.
       (2) To expand the football stadium, which is used at most six times a year for football game days.
       3.  Under SPLOST, property taxes can be lowered in rural counties in Georgia, yet Bulloch County taxes always seem to increase.
       What will the next business or corporation with efficient, knowledgeable lawyers that wishes to come to our area seeking cheaper labor, free land and tax free investments receive? 
       Why is the county not using the development personnel already on the county payroll?
Why is the county not using the attorney already on the county payroll?
       Why are we not given answers to specifics in contracts signed off on?
       Why will commissioners not ask the vital questions, but defer to the Bulloch County Development Authority?
       If this Development Authority continues to be, why is it not housed in county offices?
Ask your county administration. Ask your county commissioners. Will or can you get answers?
       We, the taxpayers are the shareholders/owners of this county. Elected officials work for us. It is our business to see and determine how business is done.
E. Ruth Green, Ph.D.
Statesboro

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