The Jackson County Commission is hosting a town hall meeting on Tuesday, July 6, at 6 p.m., in courtroom 1 at the Jackson County Courthouse.
Commission Chairman Tim Guffey said the meeting is open to the public, and all Jackson County citizens are encouraged to attend. Guffey said the goal of the meeting is to make citizens more aware of the county’s current financial situation. He said all information will be available to the public, and the commission will give handouts to citizens as a visual aid.
Guffey said the Jackson County Legislative Delegation has been invited. Guffey said he wants to help find a solution to the financial problem, and stop the “he said, she said” that has been going on.
The legislative delegation, however, said they have not been notified by Guffey of the meeting. In a press release sent to The Sentinel Wednesday morning, the delegation said it will be out of town attending prior obligations.
Guffey said he made sure the delegation had been notified, and set up the meeting for Tuesday because all three members of the delegation were free that day.
The delegation said, while it would like to be present, it would like the facts presented to the public to be accurate and true. The delegation said the commission contends the delegation is unwilling to work with them is not true.
The delegation said it met with the previous commission at least 14 times and has met with the current commission six times since last November.
“In fact, November 2015, the delegation agreed to give the commission over $600,000 from their ‘Critical Needs Fund’ to be deposited into the county’s general fund,” the press release said. “The commission also contends that the delegation will not help them solve their current budget deficit, and this is also not true. The delegation has cooperated with the commission on a number of issues.”
The press release stated that State Sen. Steve Livingston secured funding for the Matheny Bridge rehabilitation project last fall. The delegation said it also carried a local bill in the 2019 legislative session which changed the Fund 100 to help the county be able to utilize those funds.
The delegation said it carried another bill in this year’s legislative session which reduced publication of expenditures and receipts to once per year, thus saving the county money.
Delegation members said they have presented the commission with options which addressed the current budget deficit throughout the six meetings, all of which were turned down.