Residents form coalition to ask Montgomery Co. commission for transparency with spending of tax dollars

Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 10:42 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2023 at 10:48 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Some Montgomery County residents have come together in hopes of pressuring the county commission to be more transparent about how they’re spending their tax dollars.

After this year’s tax assessment results were released, residents of Montgomery County began to have questions - questions they say they are still waiting on the answers to. But a newly formed coalition is hoping to change that.

“Tell me what you’re doing tell me where my money is going. Tell me what you’re gonna do for me.”

The recent tax assessment has residents of the county concerned, and even confused about where the money is going, so a group they call the Informed Citizen Coalition started asking those questions.

“We wanted it to offer a way for citizens to come and come to us and we are willing to do the work for them. So if that’s digging into something that they have a question about or call when you get information about something, they were not finding out a way to advocate for them somehow,” said Angel Gilreath with the Informed Citizen Coalition.

However, the commission says that in terms of transparency, they are doing all they can to stay as transparent as they can.

“I feel as if we’re doing everything we can to be transparent. They have one question and requested numerous open record request,” said County Commissioner Chad Kenney.

Commissioner Chad Kenney points to open records requests filled by the county as well as printed off financial breakdowns of county spending saying he doesn’t want citizens to feel as if they are in the dark.

“I have no problem with the citizens forming a coalition and asking questions. I haven’t been contacted by a single one of them. All they have to do is reach out to the county commissioners. Every single one of us definitely will answer the questions and do whatever they can to get them the answer they’re looking for,” said Commissioner Kenney

Commission Chairman Leland Adams says that when it comes to transparency, it’s a two-way street.

“Their thing is to stand up in the meetings, and say transparency, transparency. I need you to be more transparent. My question then is what are you not seeing? If I don’t know what you’re not seeing, I can’t share it,” said Commission Chairman Adams.

The coalition says they will continue to go to meetings and ask the questions to help keep their members informed

“There were things that we felt that we needed to look into so as we looked through laws and in assessment itself, we just had a lot of questions. So that’s what we did, we asked the questions,” said Gilreath.

Those in attendance say that they hope this group will show the county that they are paying attention while also helping them learn more about the country’s government.