6/2/2014 - by Bill McNiff
Real Leadership. Buzz Ahrens just won another term as Chairman of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners. He campaigned on his leadership ability, even while that ability failed due to the Bobo Boondoggle. I now ask him and his fellow Commissioners to show REAL leadership ability. The nation ifs going through a period where the role of government is expanding rapidly. Some say un-Constitutionally. The call is for less government; smaller government and fewer regulations. If you like the trend towards bigger government then stop reading this Letter-to-the-Editor and go about your business. Otherwise continue reading and letís see if there is an alternative here in the county to change the trend towards less government.
Buzz says that the BOC must spend SPLOST funds to build a new Animal Shelter. That is a half-truth. In 2010 the SPLOST ballot question included funds for Animal Shelter Facilities, In fact it included dozens of items. The voters passed the SPLOST. So Buzz says the BOC must build the Shelter. The half truth is that the Commissioners can opt-out of spending the funds on this project. I know this because I have been through this with the commissioners once before. Last time it was about the Aquatic center . They claimed, that they had so spend the funds. We proved that they did NOT have to spend the funds. A simple two-thirds vote of the BOC would allow them this option.
A little history on the Animal shelter. It was built in 1993. Usually buildings last 30 to 50 years. So it should be scheduled in the Capital Improvement Plan to be updated in the years between 2023 and 2043, 30 to 50 years later. Not 2015 unless the facility has been overused or was poorly built, such that itís usefull life has expired. Well it turns out that due to a non-profit campaign of neutering and spaying the facility has seen a decline in use. For the past 5 years animal intake has been declining significantly, due to the work of the non-profit program ! I do not dispute that the facility is in poor condition. I dispute that it is a necessary function of government. It should be privatized. So here is where we need real leadership to change the trend.
Privatize the Animal Shelter ! Simply let a non-profit or a private organization take over the function for the county. Some say that the Dog Catcher can be a patronage position. I believe that Cherokee voters would not want to be in the position of supporting bigger government. So privatization would be an alternative to the current situation. The animal shelter is not an essential service that can only be performed by government. Lets ask the BOC to exhibit some REAL leadership. Letís ask them to reverse the trend towards big government. Letís show the state and national government that Cherokee County can help reverse the trend by reducing government. Do not let the BOC hide behind the SPLOST law. There are options in that law to accomplish this goal. There are options available to the commissioners that will allow them to drop this item and use the funds for an essential purpose. Lets ask the BOC for REAL leadership not just campaign platitudes.