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COA senior levy misses fall ballot

County commissioners failed Thursday to place a Lawrence County Council on Aging funding levy on November’s ballot.

Friday, August 20, 1999

County commissioners failed Thursday to place a Lawrence County Council on Aging funding levy on November’s ballot.

Commissioner Paul Herrell made the motion to file the 1.5-mill senior services levy petition. The motion was seconded by commission president Bruce Trent.

During discussion, however, several residents spoke out against the measure, calling attention to the levy’s history.

"I’m shocked that levy would be put back before the voters again," Rome Township resident Jim Spurlock said.

Voters rejected the same levy twice, and the commissioners’ senior levy, Spurlock said.

"I think the voters have spoken loud and clear," he said.

John Radcliff, also from Rome, called the levy a burden to taxpayers because it is duplication of services.

The Council on Aging has programs similar to services funded by the Area Agency on Aging, and this levy has already been defeated three to one, Radcliff said.

"I know people there and I have friends there, but they know I’m against it," he said.

Radcliff also said the county might be violating a state statute by filing the levy petition because law requires the auditor to prepare a certificate of tax valuation.

"If you don’t have this and you didn’t have this today, you are in violation," he said.

Trent said because there were "unresolved issues" about the levy, he would withdraw his second to Herrell’s motion.

The motion, and the levy petition, died due to the lack of a second.

No Council on Aging representatives attended the Thursday commission meeting.

"One commissioner asked us not to have a representative there," LCCOA director Karen Knipp said. "And we didn’t want to stand there and argue anyway."

Without funding, or the possibility of a levy this year, the board is still considering options, Mrs. Knipp said.

"It’s too bad two commissioners did not want to try to even offer services to the elderly," she said.

The LCCOA requested earlier this month that the county sponsor the levy.

Its board has a right to try it before voters in November if it wants to, Herrell said then.

Trent said that no commissioner was against senior citizens, but any levy needed to include statements that any expense related to employment would come out of the levy money.

Commissioner George Patterson said he would not vote to sponsor the levy unless its wording was changed to perhaps benefit more than one agency.

Also Thursday, commissioners:

– Received a report from county auditor Ray Dutey’s office that computer systems will be Y2K compliant by the end of the month.