MT. VERNON — A government watchdog group has formed to increase awareness of public issues.
Concerned Citizens of Jefferson County, Ltd., is under the leadership of president Dan Black, and includes Don Bounds, Jim Rippy, Vickie York, Robert Shaw and Jere Shaw.
“We want to be a positive voice, not a
negative one,” Black said. “We didn’t form just to throw rocks after every meeting; we want to inform people so they can act and vote accordingly.”
The mission of the closed group is to be a non-partisan organization created to advocate for sound fiscal and tax policies at all levels of government.
“We seek to increase awareness of issues affecting the public interest and to encourage government officials not to raise taxes as the first option for closing budget deficits, funding public projects or expanding government services,” information from the group states.
Members are quick to say they are not a political action committee and to point the finger at member Bob Shaw as the one with the idea to organize.
“The originator was Bob Shaw,” said member Jim Rippy. “He wanted to get people together to get facts, not just listen to he said, she said. Our purpose is strictly to be sure the public gets factual information.”
Black also said Shaw brought the group together.
“Bob and several of us had been attending meetings frequently over the past year,” Black said. “We were getting together and discussing the issues, and wondered if we should form a group. We would get together and talk about things. I have been involved with the high school over the past year now, and others had been involved with the courthouse.”
The group decided instead of sitting around and talking about the issues, that it was time to do something.
“We want people to know facts, to increase the transparency on boards,” Black said. “We want to be the fact-finders.”