Dear Editor:

Amendment 772 of section 94 of the Alabama constitution was voted on and passed by the people of Alabama November 2004.

Section 94 states: “The legislature shall not have power to authorize any county, city, town, or other subdivision of this state to lend its credit, or to grant public money or thing of value in aid of, or to any individual, association, or corporation whatsoever, or to become a stockholder in any such corporation, association, or company, by issuing bonds or otherwise.”

Amendment 772 completely reversed section 94 (AL constitution 1901) to state: “Cities and counties are authorized to lend its credit to or grant public funds and things of value in aid of or to any individual, firm, corporation, or other business entity, public or private, for the purpose of promoting the economic and industrial development of the county or the municipality.”

How did we let this happen? Read amendment 772 closely. Cities and counties are authorized to grant public funds or things of value to any individual or business entity public or private! Now, you see how important it is to understand each and every amendment the legislature throws our way? The only requirement a city or county has is to stipulate that it is for “promoting economic and industrial development”

Can you see the opportunity for abuse and corruption? I can.

The City of Brewton recently asked for the Attorney General’s opinion to see if it could go onto private property, with permission, to clean up storm damaged trees and such at no cost to the land owner, and the council stated it was for “promotion of industrial and economic development,” and the Attorney General said under amendment 772 that it was authorized.

We shall have to wait to see what the courts have to say as this amendment is yet to be tested.

Meantime, tell your legislator to reverse this license to steal taxpayer money or at least to clarify “promotion of industrial or economic development.”

Joel Kennamer

Guntersville

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