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Oct 27

Hearing On $3.5 Million Bonds Approved By Paulding BOC Set For Monday

According to state and federal laws, any Government Offered (GO) bonds MUST be validated by a Superior Court Judge and the public MUST be notified of the hearing. Well, there is a “validation hearing” Monday morning at the Watson Government Complex on the $3.5 million in bonds the Paulding County BOC approved for the Paulding County Airport (Silver Comet Field) Expansion project this past week. The notice for the October 28, 2013, hearing was published in the Dallas New Era as required by law this past week. But how many people get the New Era anymore and how many even know what the hearing will involve? For those who don't get the paper and those who don't know about "validation hearings".

A “validation hearing” is when county or public agency attorneys go before a Superior Court Judge and give the merits for the bonds to be issued for a specific project. Any challenges to such bonds can also be argued at the “validation hearing” as well. I have only found a few such cases in Georgia and each time the challenge was brought by another public entity.

The rules for the issuance of GO bonds are very specific about what they can and can not be used for. The rules also indicate when and how much of the bonds must be spent within specific time frames. For example, a GO bond can be used for:

o Facility that is constructed/improved for a governmental purpose

o Examples: Academic buildings for Board of Regents or Technical College System of Georgia; public roads; K-12 classroom buildings; public libraries; state adult or juvenile detention facilities

But NOT for:

o Space within a public use facility that is to be used by a private citizen or company for the operation of a business enterprise, even if that enterprise serves the visiting public agency clients or customers, or state employees

The bonds must be for a specific project and must detail how and when the money will be spent, as well as when and how the money will be repaid. If these conditions are not met, the county and/or public agency can hold public hearings on the "re-issue of bonds". The "re-issue of bonds" must also go through the process of a validation hearing.

Given the circumstances involving the $3.5 million in bonds approved by the Paulding County Board of Commissioners this week, I would strongly encourage anyone interested in the outcome of this particular debacle show up in Superior Court at the Watson Government Complex on Hwy 278 at 9:00 am sharp on Monday morning. I will have an update Monday afternoon and we will be discussing it on my radio show Monday evening.

Author: Candi Goldman

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