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Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree announces sales tax support

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 11:23 AM
Last updated Wednesday, April 30, 2014 1:09 AM
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Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree on Tuesday announced his support for the upcoming tax package at a news conference, saying the measure enhances public safety.

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Mayor Deke Copenhaver (left) stood beside Roundtree during the news conference. He said he is optimistic the 1-cent tax package will pass.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Mayor Deke Copenhaver (left) stood beside Roundtree during the news conference. He said he is optimistic the 1-cent tax package will pass.

Roundtree said the $194 million special purpose local option sales tax 7 package, which will be voted on May 20, will provide vital resources to curb crime.

“In the best interest of public safety, I support the current SPLOST package and strongly feel that we cannot afford to wait until November 2015 to revisit this issue,” he said, standing in front of the sheriff’s office headquarters, which was paid for with the sales tax revenue.

The 2014 package would provide $1.4 million to the sheriff’s office for in-car video systems, body cameras for deputies and a downtown video enhancement security system.

An additional $22.5 million would include replacing 280 patrol vehicles, replacing and maintaining 225 mobile data terminals in patrol vehicles and purchasing the sheriff’s office’s radio network.

“We currently, being the second-largest city and having the largest full-service sheriff’s office in the state, do not own and maintain our own radio network,” he said.

The sheriff’s office has paid $500,000 a year for the past 16 years to rent that air space.

Roundtree said that became an issue during the February ice storm, when the sheriff’s office lost radio communications twice. One time it was for 45 minutes. Each time, the sheriff’s office was put on a waiting list for restoration.

“Anytime without radio communication could literally mean the difference between life and death to the citizens of this community,” the sheriff said.

The $13 million purchase with the sales tax funding would free up money previously spent on rent.

Roundtree, who said the news conference was not politically motivated or associated with any political campaigns, acknowledged that there have been some concerns over this tax project and that it is “not the perfect package.”

“But if the current SPLOST does not pass, there is currently no other funding source to obtain the items I have listed, which are vital to the operations of the sheriff’s office,” he said.

Mayor Deke Copenhaver, who stood beside Roundtree during the news conference, said he was optimistic the package would pass. Only once has a package failed, but it was “over-bloated,” he said.

“We have got to get this passed,” Co­pen­haver said. “I think he (Roundtree) laid out how critical this is the public.”

Roundtree took no questions from the media after the news conference.

Comments (35) Add comment
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internationallyunknown
4052
Points
internationallyunknown 04/29/14 - 11:42 am
16
2
Don't buy it! VOTE NO!

Don't buy it!

VOTE NO!

Esctab
837
Points
Esctab 04/29/14 - 11:45 am
15
1
Vote NO!!

Vote NO!!

my.voice
4727
Points
my.voice 04/29/14 - 12:06 pm
14
2
This is like putting

This is like putting groceries on a credit card.

Its a SPECIAL Purpose Local Option Sales Tax......... Not general revenue.

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 04/29/14 - 12:07 pm
13
3
The Chronicle
Unpublished

PRO SPLOST Propaganda Campaign beginith. VOTE NO! The RCSO can just as easily get their funding on a CLEAN SPLOST packahage next year. Remember the current SPLOST does not expire until the second half of 2016. What's the rush??

TrulyWorried
13314
Points
TrulyWorried 04/29/14 - 12:19 pm
13
2
SPLOST

There HAS to be money left in the bank - the current SPLOST does not expire until TWO years from now? Show us what's left!!!!

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 04/29/14 - 12:24 pm
13
1
Some Powerful People
Unpublished

in this town are scared to death that their slush fund is going to be taken away on May 20TH. SPLOST was never intended to be a source of GENERAL REVENUE.. it is a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. Truly is right.. where is the money from the current SPLOST that does not expire for 2 years ??

InChristLove
22459
Points
InChristLove 04/29/14 - 12:51 pm
14
2
What a way to sway uninformed

What a way to sway uninformed voters to pass SPLOST than by publishing that SHERIFF ROUNDTREE is supporting SPLOST. Well why not, when you have your hand in the cookie jar do you think you're going to vote against it.

corgimom
31150
Points
corgimom 04/29/14 - 12:54 pm
13
1
Who cares if Richard

Who cares if Richard Roundtree supports it or not?

Is this supposed to sway the black vote or something?

showboat
330
Points
showboat 04/29/14 - 12:58 pm
0
0
My vote is already done NO!
Unpublished

My vote is already done NO! NO!

showboat
330
Points
showboat 04/29/14 - 12:58 pm
0
0
My vote is already done NO!
Unpublished

My vote is already done NO! NO!

showboat
330
Points
showboat 04/29/14 - 12:58 pm
0
0
My vote is already done NO!
Unpublished

My vote is already done NO! NO!

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 04/29/14 - 01:03 pm
14
2
Yep
Unpublished

Corgi.. you hit the nail on the head. The downtown power brokers know that SPLOST is in big trouble, so this is a blatant attempt to appeal to black voters.

playlikethunder
88
Points
playlikethunder 04/29/14 - 01:08 pm
0
0
BLACK VOTE????
Unpublished

I WOULD NOT WORRY ABOUT THE BLACK VOTE....APPARENTLY THEY CANNOT FIGURE OUT WHAT DAY TO GO TO THE POLLS...

Pops
7714
Points
Pops 04/29/14 - 01:09 pm
11
1
What a shock.....

The sheriff is for SPLOST......he has to be for it to appeal to his base of support......

shamrock
470
Points
shamrock 04/29/14 - 01:12 pm
11
1
OF COURSE

The Sheriff will always support SPLOST ... he wants a piece of that pie and the Commissioners will not deny him. In fact, I believe if a Sheriff wants something ... under Georgia Law ... they have to give it to him. The more the County gets, the more the Sheriff will get.

GiantsAllDay
9387
Points
GiantsAllDay 04/29/14 - 01:19 pm
11
5
The Sheriff supports SPLOST?

The Sheriff supports SPLOST? If this is news, then the Chronicle has turned into the 'Weekly Reader' of my elementary school days.

GnipGnop
11841
Points
GnipGnop 04/29/14 - 09:16 pm
11
1
So the sheriff supports

Illegal activity...isn't this in direct violation of his oath of office????

triscuit
2991
Points
triscuit 04/29/14 - 01:41 pm
10
1
There will be money for his

There will be money for his needs. Besides, according to today's "SPLOST Update"... he may have to wait until the Mills Project is funded before he gets any. Yep, this is a political ploy and Deke probably instigated it. They are so cozy together now.

corgimom
31150
Points
corgimom 04/29/14 - 01:43 pm
5
0
No, Gnip Gnop, you are

No, Gnip Gnop, you are confusing civil law and torts with criminal behavior.

The sheriff's department doesn't get involved in civil law.

story1
802
Points
story1 04/29/14 - 01:53 pm
11
1
On behalf of Augusta Richmond County...

We're not buying what you are selling. Too many people are on the "Just Vote No" campaign. Sure we need video equipment and patrol cars. The public will support your plea, in the next Splost without all the outside agency fluff.

nocnoc
41129
Points
nocnoc 04/29/14 - 02:28 pm
11
1
As heard in the Marble Place

Hey Guy's,
they are not buying it a 7th time. 

 

 

WE ARE LOSING !!!

willie7
951
Points
willie7 04/29/14 - 02:37 pm
0
0
A VOTE Yes FOR SPLOST!!!We
Unpublished

A VOTE Yes FOR SPLOST!!!

We need to move forward ----Not backwards!!!

internationallyunknown
4052
Points
internationallyunknown 04/29/14 - 03:03 pm
9
1
I USED to support

I USED to support ROUNDTREE...Seems he has been bought...

Little Lamb
45282
Points
Little Lamb 04/29/14 - 03:05 pm
11
1
Falsehood

From the story:

“But if the current SPLOST does not pass, there is currently no other funding source to obtain the items I have listed, which are vital to the operations of the sheriff’s office,” he said.

In the first place, this SPLOST referendum is way, way early. The current SPLOST will not run out of money until 2016. If the May 20 referendum is rejected, a new one can be cobbled together (hopefully with the newly elected mayor in charge) and put back out before the people in 2015.

In the second place, If this funding source disappears, commissioners can always shuffle funds around if the sheriff's requests are justifiable. I, for one, do not think the sheriff should own and operate a radio system. This should be leased out, so they can take advantage of rapidly developing technology.

Riverman1
82184
Points
Riverman1 04/29/14 - 03:22 pm
5
4
What have I been saying?

What have I been saying all along? It will pass...unfortunately.

southern2
6008
Points
southern2 04/29/14 - 03:55 pm
12
2
Here is a chance to vote

Here is a chance to vote yourself a tax cut!!!!!

VOTE NO and at least get back the 1 cent lost in the bogus road TAX.

rmwhitley
5542
Points
rmwhitley 04/29/14 - 04:08 pm
0
0
Why not
Unpublished

keep taxing, like obama? Caucasians pay more than 60% of ALL taxes as it is. Bet you can't guess who makes up the vast majority of the recipients? And they don't pay taxes.

Little Lamb
45282
Points
Little Lamb 04/29/14 - 04:48 pm
9
2
Pathetic

From the story:

I . . . strongly feel that we cannot afford to wait until November 2015 to revisit this issue,” Roundtree said.

I guess no one told Roundtree that this new SPLOST will not yield any funds until 2016. It was shameful for Fred (What, me worry?) Russell to float the trial balloon to put in on the ballot so early. And it was even more shameful for Deke Copenhaver to follow Russell's lead.

It is time to vote NO! on this SPLOST referendum and allow the city's new leaders to put together a new list in 2015 for voting in Nov. 2015.

Sweet son
10053
Points
Sweet son 04/29/14 - 06:10 pm
8
0
SPLOST

Saving $500,000 a year on radio rentals seems like a way to reduce his budget. Just make sure this savings is left in his button so he won't keeping asking for more and stay within his budget.

I still don't understand giving money to the artsy guys and a private college. Is SPLOST not earmarked for infrastructure and solid expenditures and not fluff? I don't agree with funding ballerinas and another James Brown arena.

nocnoc
41129
Points
nocnoc 04/29/14 - 06:41 pm
6
0
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