This Week in Lincoln County – February 20, 2018

Yesterday I celebrated my 49th birthday. I know I am another year older, and time will tell if I am any wiser. The highlight of the day was a voicemail from my 98 year old uncle in Texas, in which he sang Happy Birthday, with an emphatic “and many more” at the end.

A few items of interest that the Commission has been working on are below.
• I want to devote a significant amount of this week’s update to the discussion of one of the most hotly debated topics perhaps in the history of Lincoln County. Brace yourselves folks, we are going to talk about Planning and Zoning! In my time as Commissioner, I have discovered that there are two distinct schools of thought on the issue: passionately for and passionately against. While Lincoln County has had P and Z in the past, currently there is no P and Z in the unincorporated portions of the County. The decision as to whether or not we have P and Z is made by a vote of the people. Contrary to what many proponents of the measure might think, the 3-member County Commission does not have the ability to unilaterally dictate what people may or may not do with their property. This decision belongs, rightfully so, with the voters. I am amazed at the number of people who, while objecting to the current level of government involvement in people’s lives, are vigorously advocating for the Commission to implement various facets of P and Z for which the Commission has no legal mandate to enforce. As a Commission we are called upon to lead within the confines of the law; however, we are often criticized for failing to spend tax dollars to create additional levels of bureaucracy without the voters’ consent. The people have, and will continue to have, the power to make the determination at the ballot box if and when the issue is presented to the voters. I encourage folks on both sides of the issue to let me know their thoughts on the matter.
• Just a friendly reminder, if you have not already returned your personal property tax list to Assessor Kevin Bishop’s office, please do so by March 1. You should have received a listing in the mail, but if you haven’t, call the Assessor’s Office at (636) 528-6300.
• In upcoming weeks, I will address the rejuvenation we are experiencing in the local housing market and the effect it has on our Economic Development efforts. While we are not back to the levels prior to the crash in the market, we are back on an upward trend. More to come.

That’s all I have time for now. As always, call, e-mail or stop by the Courthouse if you have questions. Until next week…

Dan Colbert
Presiding Commissioner

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