3 names to go forward after city SPLOST committee spat

Wednesday, Mar. 15, 2023–9:32 a.m.

-John Bailey, Rome News-Tribune-

Three out of four recommendations will go forward for consideration as SPLOST committee members after a disagreement within the Rome City Commission.

The issue concerns recommendations from the Committee on Committees presented to the full commission on first reading Monday. The committee unanimously voted to recommend Jake Hager, Monica Sheppard and Sam Burrell Jr. to serve on the Citizen SPLOST Committee.

The hang-up was about who should be presented in that fourth slot allotted to the city.

Commissioner Bill Collins, who chairs the Committee on Committees, presented the name of former city commissioner Wendy Davis as the fourth committee recommendation.

The three-person committee had considered Davis for the role but Commissioners Jamie Doss and Randy Quick — the other two members — had voted against it.

“We considered all of them… (Collins) completely overruled our two votes,” Quick explained later, on Tuesday. “That’s not how a committee works.”

Saying the discussion during Monday’s meeting could have been handled better, Doss agreed. He said he felt Collins had overstepped his role as chair.

They hoped to pick candidates who would work together with the county and Cave Spring appointees, Doss said, and he didn’t feel that Davis fit that role. That’s especially important this time, he said, since the election to determine six of the nine city commission seats could be the draw for voters — potentially making or breaking the 2023 SPLOST.

“Quite frankly, with the City Commission election coming up, it will be city voters who decide this SPLOST,” Doss said.

Collins said Tuesday he had been attempting to put the fourth name forward in his role as city commissioner, rather than as the committee chair — although he had included Davis’ name in the recommended candidates from that committee.

“We had a list of more than 10 candidates, and from that list four candidates were the ones that shook out,” Collins said. “Mr. Quick and Mr. Doss had a different opinion on one of the candidates; I felt a different way about it.”

Prior to the vote on who will represent the city on the SPLOST committee, commissioners are allowed to toss names in the ring. It will be up to the full commission to decide who will serve.

“They could have done the exact same thing,” Collins said about Doss and Quick. “I chose to put that name forward. They still have the opportunity, when (the vote is scheduled), to nominate who they choose.”

The vote on who will be appointed to the SPLOST committee will likely take place during the City Commission’s next meeting on March 27.

Rome gets four positions on the committee, Floyd County gets six and Cave Spring gets one. Each entity also names an alternate. Local attorney Bob Berry has been chosen by the three governments to serve as the SPLOST committee chair.

The county is currently accepting applications for the SPLOST committee and will likely choose their candidates at the March 28 meeting.

This story is possible because of a news-sharing agreement with the Rome News-Tribune. More information can be found at northwestgeorgianews.com.

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