From: Dee Lindsey
I continue to be asked about the status of the Greene County BOC’s attempt to overturn the Superior Court’s ruling so I thought it appropriate to give an update at this time.
Late last year, certain members of the Greene County BOC began the process of attempting to pass a public indebtedness and tax measure in order to fund a controversial expansion of an optional charter school.
Earlier this year, the Superior Court denied the $14 million revenue bond initiative of the BOC and determined their highly unorthodox efforts were contrary to law and that the BOC and GCDA lacked the authority to issue such bonds.
My position has always been that “revenue” bonds, by law, must be repaid from “revenue” produced by the project as required by law. In the past, revenue bonds through the GCDA (Greene County Development Authority) have been issued for various industrial projects whereby the particular industry or project directly repaid the bonds from their “revenue.” In this case however, the proposed recipient of the revenue bonds produces no revenue to repay the bonds as is required by law.
Despite this, our BOC leadership decided to be the first ever in the State to attempt the issuance of “revenue” bonds for a public charter school expansion project whereby the citizenry (not the recipient) would be required to repay the bonds for a project totally outside the legal authority and oversight of the local BOC. That’s quite a brazen move and a slap in the face to our constitutional way of conducting the people’s business.
Alternatively, there actually exist another type of bond issuance which is commonly utilized and legally accepted for indebtedness related to such public school expansion. It’s called “general obligation” bonds. In fact, these bonds do not require the participation of the GCDA at all. The local BOE can float these bonds after a simple affirmative referendum of the county’s voters. The BOC can also do the same for worthwhile projects falling within their authority.
So, the question now becomes, why in the world would either the BOE or the BOC seek “revenue” bonds via the GCDA (Greene County Development Authority) when each of them already have the legal capacity within their legislated powers to float “general obligation” bonds on their own? The only obvious and apparent reason for attempting this is to circumvent the citizens and undermine established lawful practices.
“Revenue” bonds passed by the GCDA do not require voter approval and usually fly below the public radar. You might recall all of this was to have been a done-deal early last December — had not the public figured out what was being attempted without their knowledge. Via political appointees on the GCDA, the BOC has attempted to bypass the BOE and deny the voters a say in a move that could have grave local economic consequences for our already struggling towns, traditional communities, and existing school system.
Although the Superior Court ruled against them, the BOC has decided to appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court and they have quietly enlisted the support of four additional attorneys from the expensive law firm of King & Spalding (at your expense). These four Atlanta attorneys will join their three local attorneys in an attempt to overrule the Superior Court ruling from earlier this year. The case is currently docketed for October 6th and we plan to be there to represent the interests of the citizens.
I greatly appreciate the overwhelming countywide support we have received throughout this ordeal and I look forward to the day when we can eventually put this bad chapter behind us and finally begin working together openly for the greater benefit of all.
For all those who’ve expressed a willingness to financially support the GC citizens’ legal fund, donations are greatly appreciated. Checks can be made payable to:
One Greene County
1600 HWY 77 N
Union Point, GA. 30669
Additionally, deposits can be made directly at BB&T in Greensboro or Lake Oconee under the name of:
One Greene County
c/o F. Dee Lindsey
(Please be sure to write in your name on the deposit slip so thanks can be forwarded. All donations will remain confidential.)