While all seven members of the Jennings County Council say they are against the proposed new county jail, they voted 4-3 last week on a motion to rescind the controversial jail tax.
Yet clearly, the Council is headed in that direction.
"I said at our last meeting work session (on June 26) that I was going to bring this up for a vote at our next meeting," said Dave Woodall (R-at large) who was joined by Mandy Creech (R-District 2) and Bob Ellis (R-District 3) in the minority. "If we're not going to build the jail, we don't need the tax."
The four who voted to keep the special income tax for now -Paul Belding (R-at large), Howard Malcomb (R-at large), Mike Gerth (R-District 1) and Charlie Weber (R-District 4) - say they did so because there is no need to do so before Aug. 31 at the earliest, the deadline to make a rescission effective on Oct. 1. The deadline to make a rescission effective Jan. 1 is Oct. 31.
"We need more information on what it will cost to refurbish the current jail, which we will get that in plenty of time," Weber said. "Plus this wasn't on the agenda. I believe something of this importance should be known to the public before we vote on it. We want to do this correctly."
Gerth cited state law, claiming that the council could not have rescinded the tax at the Tuesday, July 9, meeting anyway.
"In order to enact or rescind a tax, public notice must be given before the meeting is held," he said. "The Council did not give notice and did not even put on the agenda that we would discuss the jail tax at our July 9 meeting. That made any vote on the jail tax that night null and void."
Dazzling pyrotechnics fill the sky last Saturday over the Jennings County Fairgrounds during the Fireworks Extravaganza. The show was part of the Jennings County Fair's bonus day that included a concert and other events that were postponed by rain on the last scheduled day of the fair.-Submitted Photo