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Smith announces for second term

By submitted, 11/30/17 9:11 AM

GEORGE SMITH

ROSSTON – George S. Smith, of the Sutton Community, Nevada County justice of the peace for District 8, announces his intention to run for re-election in the 2018 election.

Smith, a first-time member of the county quorum court, said in a statement: “I ran for office promising my District 8 neighbors that I would work to create an understandable, workable county budget and to look for ways to enhance revenues and curtail unnecessary expenses that have become status quo expenditures for the county.

“While that work has started, it’s a long way from completion.”

Smith has been adamant during his first 11 months on the court, that the county wastes money by not adequately planning for the unexpected events that arise and he has been vocal about the need to raise revenues to pay employees more than the bare minimum.

“We must work to find the money to make our pay scales in many county jobs equitable to those of counties around us,” he said. “You cannot hire, train and retain the best possible people when they can go next door and make more money.”

Smith said, “Our main job as JPs is to approve a realistic budget that provides the best possible services to the citizens, and has been gleaned of every unnecessary expense. That has not been the case in past years. The budget has been a cookie cutter affair…just slap the numbers in and approve it, whether it makes sense or not.

“This year,” he said, “more of the JPs have gotten involved in the budget review and the end result will be the best budget that has come before the court in a long time, if ever.

“The review has resulted in more money for county employees and a closer look at all expenditures,” he said. “Additionally, we worked hard to make sure we have an understandable budget, that expenses are clearly indicated as to where the money is going, rather than having to rely on institutional memory as to where funds for specific items are located.”

Tough choices for court members are coming in the next year or so, Smith said. “It is no secret that Nevada County is one of the poorest counties in regard to revenues in the state. We have to raise revenues or forego essential services. That is the stark reality facing county officials.

“We are one of the few counties in the state that still gives free trash pickup to county residents,” he said. “It is past time to look at charging a small monthly fee just like Prescott does and that neighboring cities and counties charge so we can raise revenue to provide certain services: better roads, to asphalt and chip-and seal more roads each year; acquire  good, reliable equipment that does not need repairing all the time; help our service partners – Senior Citizens Center, Extension Service and others — keep their buildings in good shape, and; pay our employees a comparable wage to our neighboring counties.”

Smith admits talking about charging a minimal amount for trash pickup is going to lose him some votes, but said, “I was elected as a caretaker for the county business and its money. I would not be doing my job if I worried about being re-elected rather than just work hard to take care of the county’s business to the best of my ability.”

He urged anyone with questions to contact him at gsid143@gmail.com or call 501-259-8545.

 

 

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