Augusta, GA (WJBF) – Jim Griffin decided to vote early on the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), but it wasn’t an easy decision. He spent a lot of time in the voting booth before making his decision.
“I did, I’m like most voters, where do you go? Certainly, we need the money, but past history worries people and it did me, as well,” said Griffin.
For Griffin and other voters, that worry is what happened to all that SPLOST money…hundreds of millions of dollars over the years?
“As far as what they’ve done with it, how they’ve used it, yeah,” said Griffin. “You’re troubled by that, you don’t know right?” we asked. “I don’t and you hear these stories all the time, unspent money…they have various reasons why,” answered Griffin.
“People are not talking about the package, they’re talking about us as Commissioners and what we’ve done with previous money. We’ve got to show we’re going to be good stewards of the money, moving forward,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom, who admits that some people consider SPLOST a slush fund, so he wants a new city policy mandating regular reports open to the public on how SPLOST dollars are being spent.
“We got to show people we’re being more accountable and transparent because we know, even if the SPLOST does pass, there’s going to be forty percent or more they’re going to say, ‘you know, what are they doing with the money?’ And, we got to gain that trust of the community,” said Frantom.
“You want to see Mr. Frantom’s policy of more accountability,” we asked Griffin. “Absolutely, there needs to be certainly…every voter agrees with that, it’s just been a lot of waste,” he answered, adding that he did vote in favor of SPLOST.