May, 2024

Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. has issued the following statement:

“In light of recent developments regarding a new attempt to introduce a parks sales tax by County Legislator Manny Abarca, I feel compelled to address the residents of Jackson County directly. Less than a month ago, a similar proposal was resoundingly rejected at the ballot, a loss that should have served as a costly but clear lesson.

“Over $1 million of taxpayer money was squandered on an unnecessary election — an amount I had hoped would be the most expensive lesson ever learned by those who championed it. Yet, it appears that Legislator Abarca remains undeterred and unconcerned about wasting more taxpayer dollars.

“It is evident that the games have not ended. As long as Legislator Abarca continues to mislead the public, ignore legal restrictions and favor the interests of the affluent and influential over those who elected him, he poses a risk to our community. The law is explicit: no proposal for a parks sales tax can be resubmitted to voters within 12 months of its previous rejection. This statute is designed to respect the voter’s decision and ensure responsible governance, but it seems to be ignored.

“As County Executive, I am committed to doing everything within my power to prevent further reckless actions by Mr. Abarca. However, I cannot do this alone. I call upon my colleagues on the legislature, the media and the public to assist in this effort. I urge media outlets to exercise diligence and not propagate narratives unsupported by facts.

“Jackson County deserves better. We must stand together to ensure that our fiscal policies and electoral processes reflect the integrity and prudence that our citizens expect and deserve.”