Did Jefferson County commissioners break the law by voting for a sewer rate increase? Jefferson County Commissioners have already voted for a sewer rate increase but at least one county commissioner says the people should have voted on that first.
Wednesday Commissioner George Bowman wanted the commission to vote on his resolution to add to the county's record a section of the state constitution, Amendment 75, which Bowman believes requires a vote of the people before approving any rate increase.
"It clearly says before sewer rate increases are passed on to the citizens they have a right to vote," Bowman said.
In the past Jefferson County commissioners have voted for rate increases without any referendums on the issue.
"Too many times I think elected officials pass on laws to voters. The voters elected us to make those decisions. This is one of those," Sandra Little Brown, Jefferson County Commissioner, said.
County Attorney Jeff Sewell told Bowman no vote was required by voters first. Bowman's resolution died in committee because no other commissioner backed him. Bowman still believes the issue should be decided in a court of law.
"I think it should be addressed by the courts and the courts should make a ruling whether an election by the voters is required or not," Bowman said.
Commissioner Bowman is not saying if he will file a lawsuit to see if the county commission violated the law voting for the rate increase.
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