City of Commerce officials said they are opposed to using the newer 2010 census numbers to divvy up funds if a SPLOST renewal is approved by voters next November.
At a SPLOST meeting Tuesday, Jefferson officials said they wanted to use the results of this year’s census in the calculations. But Commerce officials were against that plan, saying they want to use the 2000 numbers.
“We would be opposed to that,” Commerce mayor Charles Hardy stated. He didn’t elaborate as to why Commerce wants to use the 2000 census numbers.
Braselton city manager Jennifer Dees said the town would agree to use the 2000 numbers until the 2010 census becomes available.. The other town representatives did not state their preference.
Jackson County Board of Commissioners chairman Hunter Bicknell suggested that the towns meet to negotiate which census to use and come to an agreement. He also added that county attorney Julius Hulsey would be asked the legalities of using the 2000 Census at first and then changing to the updated numbers.
In other business at the meeting, the city and county leaders were given copies of the proposed intergovernmental agreement on the SPLOST distribution for review. County manager Darrell Hampton said it is the same agreement that was approved five years ago when the last SPLOST was approved.
You almost can't blame him for trying. Hardy (and everyone else for that matter) knows the new numbers will be more accurate, but Commerce will get more money with the old numbers since most of the growth over the past ten years was around Jefferson and Braselton. Everyone has to look out for their own causes, and dollars trump accuracy and fairness.