Commonwealth Journal

News Live

April 23, 2013

County to help fund SPCU study

(Continued)

Somerset —

“The government should be using tax dollars to try to streamline government, provide public services, and infrastructure, all types of things,” added Ping. 
Cooperation is far from what the group has received from Somerset officials. The group was lambasted by Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler during the April 8 Somerset City Council meeting — so harshly that Ward 1 Councilor Jim Rutherford apologized to the group for the mayor’s “scolding.”
“The mayor shouldn’t have scolded you,” said Rutherford to the group. “You all are good people.”
Other city councilors stated they wouldn’t mind hearing a presentation, but they felt a merged government wouldn’t benefit the city. 
SPCU members also attended the most recent city council meeting, held on Monday, April 22, but Girdler stated that they would not be heard because the council had already passed a resolution rejecting any proposals from SPCU. 
During Monday’s meeting, Rutherford asked that the group submit their proposal in writing to him. 
“I’d like to hear more,” Rutherford said. 
SPCU member and Senator Chris Girdler said during Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting that the welcoming reception they received from county officials was a “refreshing” change of pace. 
“We never would have thought that it would be such a relief ... as us as private citizens and individuals simply concerned about our community to be able to express some of our view points and ask just to simply be heard,” said Senator Chris Girdler during Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting. 
SPCU has spoken to Burnside City Council and Science Hill City Commission, and Girdler said the group will appear before Ferguson city officials next.
“Unfortunately, we have not been met with that same cordialness, that same open-mindedness in the halls of government just down the street on East Mt. Vernon Street,” said Senator Girdler. “It would be laughable ... if it weren’t so tragic. 

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