Mt. Vernon Register-News

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September 27, 2013

Committee loses member

(Continued)

“If residents choose the sales tax option highlighted as the most likely to succeed by the board chairman, I will sleep well at night knowing the people spoke on this issue,” Hall said. “If I am part of a group trying to sell this tax increase, I would not be following my heart or my gut instinct, and would have tremendous guilt over my action. Therefore, I wish the committee well and I urge residents to attend this series of meetings and make yourself heard. Those on the committee are respectable gentlemen with clear hearts. They will listen to you. With a county of nearly 40,000 people, certainly there are some who may have ideas we as a board have not considered. For the sake of our county's future, share those ideas with the Board.”

White said the committee's function is to act on the people's wishes.

“He's not interested in educating the public as the condition of the courthouse or solutions and seeing what our options are,” White said.

Hall responded, “"I am 100 percent for involving the public in this conversation to the best of this board's ability. To say that we are 'educating' the public is somewhat condescending. Our residents are not ignorant. They know the courthouse needs work. Rather than 'educate' those interested in participating in this process, we should merely converse with them and allow them to speak more than they are forced to listen.Who knows? Maybe there are ideas out there that could end up a viable solution.”

Hall had originally requested to be on the committee following public hearings held at the Rolland Lewis Building at Veterans Park. He said he feels the December deadline set by the board chairman for a recommendation by the committee — whether intentional or not — is in line with timing for the full board to place the sales tax issue on the ballot for March 2014.

“It is nothing personal,” Hall said. “It is just my belief that serving on this committee may contradict my stance on this issue and I do not want to create tension or adversity during meetings held to educate the public.”

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