I write this letter to state why I believe you should vote "yes" for SPLOST on July 20. There are three compelling reasons to vote "yes."
1) Look at the record of the current SPLOST. What the voters were told would be done if they approved the SPLOST has been delivered.
* It was stated we would spend $20 million on resurfacing roads. We have spent $19.7 million and resurfaced 130-plus miles of road.
* Built a new jail.
* Completed the library expansion.
* Spent $4.3 million on recreation improvements within the scope of the Recreation Master Plan.
* As proposed, we completed the planned expansion of the Senior Center.
* Assisted with the renovation of the J.P. Carr Service Center.
* Constructed two new fire stations and purchased the necessary vehicles and equipment to upgrade the system.
2) You are not being asked to increase your tax burden. Your current purchasing power will not change if you pass this SPLOST.
3) Most importantly, if this SPLOST does not pass, there will be very little or no improvements in public safety, transportation, recreation or any of the other areas that improve the quality of life in Rockdale County.
We have made significant progress in many service areas because you, the voters, understood the needs and that the best way to address those needs was with the passage of the SPLOST. Do not forget that 30-plus percent of the revenue generated by a SPLOST comes from non-Rockdale residents.
I submit to you, the voters, that the needs still exist and, if you want this county to move forward, then you must support the current SPLOST initiative with a "yes" vote on July 20.
This is your SPLOST. You determine if it passes or fails. You had the opportunity to give input in the formulation of what would be included in this initiative. Most importantly, you have oversight over what happens to ensure the funds are used as you intended them to be used. You, the voters, are in charge.
Please vote "yes."
-- Michael H. Houchard
Member of Citizens for Continued Progress