A new community organization formed to study contentious political issues in Anderson County will be modeled after the PolitiFact fact-checking website, a spokesman said Monday.
The group of Anderson County residents is called Friends of Anderson County Taxpayers, or FACTs, spokesman Lynn Byrge said in a press release. The release said members are concerned about county spending, debt, and the threat of property tax increases.
The formation of the new group comes just before the start of what is expected to be a busy election year in Anderson County, with candidates already announcing they’re running for election or re-election on county commission and for various seats ranging from juvenile court judge to chancellor to sheriff.
Byrge, who helped lead the effort to install “In God We Trust” signs on the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton, said FACTs has already organized study groups around specific areas of concern, including county commission’s legislative process, the sheriff’s department’s burgeoning budget, the role of the county law director, and the responsibilities of the county mayor.
“There is a lot of concern about what we perceive as a lack of focus and sometimes even confusion at county commission meetings,” Byrge said. “The decision-making process is not clear and leaves citizens wondering how major programs and policies came about, and whether measures are even in place to evaluate the benefits per tax dollar spent.”
Byrge said a website will be launched before the end of the year, but the group can now be contacted by e-mail at [email protected]. Community meetings throughout the county are also being considered starting next year.
“Too often the issues are presented as a political battle, but the reality is that there are genuine and real repercussions to the taxpayers about the issues discussed,” Byrge said. “As our debts mount, there is an urgent need for an independent organization like FACTs to speak on behalf of the taxpayer. We’re going to separate fact from fiction, and reality from rhetoric, and as our membership grows we hope to serve as a watchdog for good government.”