Stifled speech | LETTERS

Voters might be interested to know I was not allowed to speak on the upcoming school levy during public recognition at the Jul 18 City Council meeting.

At City Hall, the “people’s house,” they have a rule about what you, the taxpaying citizen may speak of. Here is some information you may be interested to consider before giving your vote to this levy.

One-third of the total funds sought with the proposed levy will go for a new kitchen. It is ridiculous. Normal maintenance with modest improvements should be made annually with allowed school budgets. The kitchens in our schools are more than adequate. They do and will continue to provide without anyone going hungry. The kitchens currently receive 100 percent in health department inspections. The kitchen staff deserves kudos and a thank you for their excellent performance.

In speaking with four local roofing companies, the following information was obtained: Tile roofs should last 50 plus years. Once again, annual maintenance and repairs will take the roof well beyond their longevity. All of this can be accomplished by budgeting funds properly for these needed repairs and maintenance, the same way families have to save and budget for their home repairs. Think of all the fixed income seniors that accomplish this on their own with no additional funds in their foreseeable future; but with common sense and smart planning meet their needs proudly.

Voters, at best, you are being played. Since 2007 you have lost 40 percent or more of your home and property values yet you are being asked to burden yourselves with additional increases in your property taxes. Keep in mind with your home devaluations your taxes have either stayed the same or increased. Where is the fairness in taxation to the struggling homeowners that can barely stay in their homes monthly?

Vote no on this levy. You do not have to feel guilty. Taxpaying citizens have more than done their part. It is time for local government to be conditioned to the realities of life and taxation. Be heard and do not feel ashamed. Stand strong and make local government accountable to the constituents. That’s how it should work.

Vern LaPrath



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