There is controversy in Clayton County over plans to spend tax dollars on a local memorial honoring first lady Michelle Obama’s great-great-great grandmother.
Most people that Channel 2’s Eric Philips spoke with said they believe the tie between the White House and the historic Rex Mill Community is something to treasure. Michelle Obama’s great-great-great grandmother reportedly spent decades in Rex.
“We need things like that, especially in the Clayton County area,” a resident said.
Dedication of the memorial is set to be held in Rex next week, but Clayton County resident David Clark said he was appalled when he noticed two highlighted items on the agenda for Tuesday night’s Clayton County Commissioner’s meeting. The items ask commissioners to hire a gourmet caterer for the event and a company to valet park the cars of attendees.
Clark said in this sluggish economy, the county is financially hurting.
“My issue has to do with money. It has nothing to do with the first lady or the memorial dedication,” Clark said.
Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell said if commissioners approve hiring the two vendors, money will come from a fund generated by a special hotel/motel tax -- money earmarked for marketing and developing the county, not the general fund.
“Some of these neighborhoods down here are pretty bad, so, it could go toward them before it goes to anybody else,” Clayton County resident Mark Davis said.
“Being that there’s some history here in Clayton County connected to them, that makes it seem even better,” another resident said.
Though he is against the hiring of a caterer and valet parking attendants, Clark said he expects the items to pass at the commissioners' meeting.