Monday, May 02, 2005

Levy and Conscience, Part 2

Since I took the time to discuss the School Levy, I should take some time to consider the Village Tax Levy also.

I'm voting no.

While I understand the plight of the police force of our village and can see the concern of many residents of losing the only protection that the village provides, I feel that the new administrative staff that has been brought in within the last few months should be given time to recover what seems to be a great deal of lost finances to the village. At last accounting given during the Village Council meeting of April, it was reported that $20000 were recovered by the new staff. This is an excellent step. I do not believe that we will recover enough finances to cover all of our shortfall, but a step of accountability must be made. It was the Village Council that allowed these finances to go by the wayside, through allowing the oversights to take place.

Thus far, the "forward thinking" presented by the Council (taken from the Record-Courier article referenced below) has been to adjust the zoning to disallow new multi-unit homes to be built in Windham, and to plan for an industrial park. These are steps which do not help in the short-term, and may not even be a benefit in the long-term. There must be some solution found to make the "Maple Grove Park" area more solvent financially before this Village is going to be stable for the long-term. This Council either has not seen this problem, or as of yet, has not found any solution to it.

The reasoning for supporting the Tax Levy has revolved around one problem, mentioned above, the police force. I believe that the fear of many is that because the finances resulting from this levy will be placed into the general fund, they will not necessarily be used for the benefit of the Police. This is a situaton not easily fixed, because its foundation is a basic mistrust of the Village Council and how they appropriate funds. Whether is is primarily just one member of Council, or the entire Council as a whole, the problem remains insurmountable in the minds of many, as expressed privately and publicly. The solution to this problem is still at least one election cycle away, and probably is at least two cycles.

Why support the School Levy and reject the Village Levy? Because the School Board has put forth a detailed explanation of how finances are being used, what has been done in the past to attempt to avert this present situation, and what will be done in the future to hopefully keep us from being in such a situation again. It is a more detailed explanation than "you'll get your precious bussing back". The Village Council has presented only one reason to vote for the Village Levy: "We won't have to cut the police force." I am truly concerned about that taking place, but as for using this as the only reason to vote for a new tax, it just doesn't inspire a desire.

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