Those voting a party ticket in primary elections often see resolutions they can vote for or against. A resolution might read like this: Should the government of Anyville publish on the city's website the cost of its annual holiday party?
Resolutions are submitted, through a formal process, by official committees of the parties. The County Committee of the Catoosa County Republican Party is currently testing 35 questions with plans to whittle the list down to eight or 10 that will be included on the Republican Primary ballot in May.
"Our job," says Committee Chairman Jeff Holcomb, "is to serve the people. We
want to know what they think should go on the ballot and give them a chance to make their concerns known on election day."
Some of the items on the current list are faith-based: Should our legislatures be supportive of God's laws and not be working against God's laws? Would you support elective Bible classes being taught in our Catoosa County Schools?
Two other questions ask if Creationism should be taught side-by-side with evolution in public schools and if students should be taught in history classes that there are Old and New Testament Bible verses that correlate with each of the amendments in the Bill of Rights.
Five questions address controlled substances – alcohol and marijuana. Two questions address abortion. One addresses immigrants.
There's a question that promotes historic preservation related to the Old Stone Church in Ringgold and one about the Polo Grounds in Fort Oglethorpe, suggesting another location for the ball fields currently on Barnhardt Circle.
Seven questions specifically address taxes and how they should be used. One asks if property taxes should be waived for citizens aged 65 and over. Another asks if nominees of the Republican Party should have to commit to never voting for a tax increase. Several address the use of SPLOST and ESPLOST funds.
One question asks if Ringgold should "expand its city limits by annexing land further down Ga. Highway 151 and then seek to attract more commercial and retail businesses."
A number of questions pertain to the county budget, transparency, and commissioners' salaries: "Should the county cease benefits for Commissioners; Commissioners shall be treated as a part time position and not a full time job. Only out of pocket expenses and per diem should be paid to Commissioners."
Budget questions suggest that specific line-item descriptions of expenditures by all government offices and departments be made public online and that the county adopt "Zerobased budgeting," in which justification for each expense must be offered each new period.
There's a question that asks if the Board of Commissioners should allow the same company to audit financial records every year.
"Should the County allow Conflicts of Interest in County Government" and "Should the County allow Nepotism in County Government?" are two more questions. Nepotism is the practice of offering favors and jobs to friends and family.
Anyone wishing to see the full list of 35 questions and vote their preferences on them can visit facebook.com/catoosaGOP.