Jones County Commission Discusses 2014 Budget

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By WGXA Staff

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Updated: Fri, 13 Sep 2013 09:57:53 EST

Property taxes won't be going up for Jones County homeowners next year.

"We were able to make a lot of cuts and everything." -- Preston Hawkins, Jones County Commission Chairman

And that means the millage rate will remain the same.

"We didn't really want a millage rate, but we thought we would have to at one time." -- Preston Hawkins, Jones County Commission Chairman

But citizens fought back after hearing rumors of the increase. They won that battle, but some commissioners believe they will lose when it comes to critical services. For one, commissioners voted to eliminate Assistant District Attorney Keagan Waystack's position.

"The disappointing part about it is that I served the citizens of Jones County for nine years." -- Keagan Waystack, Assistant District Attorney

Commissioners say, before the vote too many details were left out.

"Had we had all that information, I don't think the vote would have went that way." -- Daylon Martin, Jones County Commissioner, District 4

Waystack was the district attorney assigned to the Pamela Moss trial, and the decision to fire her happened right before the trial began.

"To do it at the beginning of a murder trial, when I am in the court room and fighting for the victim of that case, I find that disappointing." -- Keagan Waystack, Assistant District Attorney

Commissioners say it was a tough decision but the money wasn't there. And now, commissioner Daylon worries the safety of the county's citizens is a stake.

"Because we don't have a state court he is dealing with the big time and the small time cases and I think for him to be overwhelmed is a little unfair."

But even with the hard decisions to cut costs, the board still claims victory for tax payers.

"This is the first time in my nine year tenure that we have been able to do that with out having to barrow from the reserve." -- Preston Hawkins, Jones County Commission Chairman

Amber Jones, WGXA

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