Last night, in a closed meeting, I watched two very capable community leaders debate the upcoming Seminole County Penny Sales Tax, that will go before the voters on May 20th. It was a closed meeting, so I can’t provide full coverage. but after hearing both sides, I’ve made a decision.
I, personally, can’t support it.
The Voters shouldn’t have to pay for a special election: Approximately 450K to hold this special election in May, when it could easily wait until August. Supporters of the measure say it’s to ensure they have a financial plan in a place before the end of the fiscal year. They say it provides “certainty” to all parties involved. They could save the taxpayers half a million by planning beforehand and taking action afterwards, depending on the outcome of the vote.
This is the same reason Seminole’s Brothers and Sisters on the Orange County Commission put off major amendments to the charter. Big decisions like this one need to go before the voters, when maximum turnout is expected.
It saves money and it gives everyone a voice.
There are problems with the other side as well. The Speaker against the measure couldn’t explain one non-infrastructure project he did like. You’ve got to have a diverse economic plan, anchored by the essentials, but also safe initiatives that allow the area to grow.
Still, in Conservative Seminole County on a Commission full of Republican representatives, choosing to spend more before exploring cuts, and charging taxpayers to hold an election to vote on it, does anything but reflect the values of the area. It’s even become a punch-line in the media (story HERE)
Looking at the amount of literature being sent out by the county to promote this initiative, it’s probably going to pass. They’re engineering this campaign very well.
If it does, I’d like to see the voter turnout numbers. Everyone won’t be having their voices heard.