By Jeremy Elrod
Hull Mayor Mike Jones said Monday that he felt the city could do more for its residents.
“When I first became interested in this position I asked Brian (Koepnick) what all the city of Hull provides,” said Jones. “Because the primary purpose of a city is to provide city services…I know of similar cities that offer their residents services such as police departments, water, gas, garbage collection, parks and recreation, libraries, zoning, streets and sidewalks, etc. And I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings here, but I don’t feel that we’re providing any services.”
Councilwoman Paige Phillips questioned who would receive such services.
“Who would we be providing these services to?” asked Phillips. “It would just be to the actual city residents, correct?”
Jones said there are about 7,000 people and 2,500 homes in the 30646 zip code in the Hull area.
“And these people are different from the rest of those in this county,” said Mayor Jones. “These folks aren’t country folks or farmers, they’re city people who are currently without a city.”
Phillips then questioned how other cities are taxed for such services.
“Do they have a city tax in those similar cities?” asked Phillips.
Jones revealed how the residents in similar cities are taxed.
“They do, but what they pay in city taxes they don’t have to pay to the county,” he said. “So their residents are receiving all of those types of services for no more than what someone pays in taxes outside of our city.”
Phillips voiced her thoughts on the issue, noting that Hull doesn’t issue property taxes.
“I agree, I just don’t know where to begin,” said Phillips. “I don’t know how our citizens would feel about a tax.”
Jones said citizens could make the final decision.
“Well, they would have the opportunity to decide what they want, so it’s not like we’re going to just make a decision for them,” said Mayor Jones. “It starts with a vote on whether or not they want Hull to be their city, and we go from there.”
Jones offered final thoughts on the matter.
“I guess my point is just to find out why we’re here, because if it’s just to add to the years that the city of Hull is going to exist, then I don’t think that that’s a good cause,” said Jones. “Those are just personal feelings, and I at least want to give the people an opportunity to say whether or not they want to be a Hull resident.”