Our elected officials of Columbia County are talking consolidation, or as they like to say, unification. They seem to want to distance themselves from Richmond County, which has already consolidated with Augusta. Lets compare.
The officials of Augusta and Richmond County promised less government, therefore less cost to run it. What have they gotten for their vote to consolidate? The cost of government has shot skyward. They have commissioners who cannot agree on anything. They have an administrator who is paid a top salary, and who has decided the job is so big that he needs two assistants.
We in Columbia County are promised less government and less cost to run it also. This county raises property taxes each year by reappraising, always upward. When a rezoning request is received, there is a public meeting that is useless as they are going the way that means more taxes regardless.
This is a county that is charging a rain tax on some property owners, and not all. They pushed until they got an OK for a countywide elected Commission chairman. I am still mystified how this happened, as this was a complete turnaround in a few short months. How long before his salary matches that of the administrator of Augusta? There are hints already before an election is held that the salary is too low.
Things will be different? Come on, folks, this is the real world - not Fantasy Island. The only things different will be the racial makeup of the commissioners, and ours agree more often.
Our taxes and fees will overshadow that of Richmond County. As I write this, there are plans to raise our water rate in April. I say no to unification.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.