Barker for Post 1: ‘I stand firmly against raising taxes’; no to SPLOST

Tue, 10/06/2009 - 2:23pm
By: Letters to the ...

Qualifying is over, the dust has settled, and there are now five candidates running for the Peachtree City Council Post 1 position. My name is Shelby Barker and I am one of those candidates.

Since my announcement in May, I have been campaigning door-to-door, meeting many of Peachtree City’s citizens. These opportunities have allowed me to better understand the top concerns facing the public. Although there are many different concerns, a few consistently come up. One such concern is taxes.

For a great portion of my life, I have dedicated myself to the conservative cause. I have worked on several campaigns, including Mike Huckabee’s presidential bid. All of the campaigns were consistently grounded in the promotion of fundamental beliefs about limited government.

This dedication leads me to conclude that a good government is one that works for the people in the most efficient way possible.

Like many cities, Peachtree City has seen recent shortages in tax revenue. Some would argue that the best way to make up these shortfalls is to raise taxes.

However, I stand firmly against raising taxes, especially during these hard economic times. In short, a government should be consistently exploring ways to become more efficient, instead of consistently exploring ways to increase revenue.

My letter today is concerning one tax in particular, the SPLOST. When I sat down to write this letter, many told me to leave the topic alone because the SPLOST is not up to any politicians, instead the SPLOST is a tax that can be decided by you, the voter.

I challenge the citizens to question each candidate, no matter the post, about their stance on the SPLOST initiative.

Although the SPLOST is not under the politicians’ control, it does provide insight into how these candidates plan to lead the government through hard economic times.

I am adamantly against the SPLOST. I believe that the SPLOST is a perfect example of how government at all levels can be both misleading and greedy.

The politicians have attached things like golf cart path maintenance to the SPLOST to make it more enticing. A SPLOST should be for a special purpose, thus the name Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

It should not be used for common infrastructure items such as golf cart path maintenance, etc.

The proponents of the SPLOST claim that residents are willing to pay just a little more in taxes for an increase in service.

For all those citizens jumping at the opportunity to help the government out and pay just a little more in taxes, I am sure the local government would be more than happy to accept your donations!

We need someone on City Council that is willing to consistently ask department heads, “How can we make your department more efficient?”

We need someone on City Council that is not afraid to slim back the government in the correct areas.

We need someone on City Council that realizes throwing money at a problem does not always solve it.

Finally, we need someone on City Council that is going to stand up and say “NO” to further tax increases.

I argue that I am that candidate. I hope to get your vote come Nov. 3, and please check out my website where I lay the framework for a contract with Peachtree City.

Shelby Barker

Candidate Post 1

login to post comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Damien's picture
Submitted by Damien on Wed, 10/07/2009 - 10:36pm.

Mr. Barker, I believe that it should be every politician's job to run our government more efficiently but can you give us some examples of what ideas you have instead of just stating the obvious? One of my biggest pet peeves is the type of cars that some public works employees drive. Do they really need a Caprice or Crown Victoria? If it were up to me, I'd make them drive a golf carts. Now I'm not saying lets get them all Priuses but there are many other cars that have a much lower cost of ownership and better fuel consumption.

You also mention how politicians are adding amendments to SPLOST. Will you be one of those typical politicians that also adds amendments if you are elected or will you have the dignity of letting your ideas stand on their own merits?

Submitted by intheknow on Thu, 10/08/2009 - 6:53am.

Do you really think it would be more cost effective to buy new, more fuel efficient vehicles for the public works employees to drive? The city has for years taken old high mileage police cars that couldn’t be used anymore as police patrol units due to their mileage, stripped them down, and re-assigned them to city hall, building department, public works and recreation. It would seem to me that this IS most cost effective and efficient.

Damien's picture
Submitted by Damien on Thu, 10/08/2009 - 3:45pm.

Selling the Crown Vic and purchasing a vehicle that gets better gas mileage at the same price isn't more cost effective and efficient? Since city employees aren't driving brand new cars right now, it seems perfectly feasible to get them used cars that cost far less money to fuel.

The Prince's picture
Submitted by The Prince on Tue, 10/06/2009 - 9:57pm.

After hearing this guy speak tonight at the forum, I think it is safe to say that I have my Post 1 favorite. Good job Barker! As for the other positions (besides mayor) they are still up for grabs.

"It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both."

-Machiavelli, The Prince

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Wed, 10/07/2009 - 5:56am.

Clearly the best of the bunch.
Although it must be said, he or any other councilperson have as much influence over the SPLOST as I do - 1 vote as a citizen. So I don't know why the subject is even brought up. The SPLOST will be voted down or approved in the same election as the city council, so even if Barker and others get elected, it is over before they even get into office.

Barker is a breath of fresh air. All the others? Didn't see much that impressed - Maybe Kim, but that's about it.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.