Letter at Length: City’s trying to tax us to death

I have been in business in Ashland since 1978 as The Cabinet Works. The fire department made yearly fire inspections at my place of business, driving a fire truck or emergency response vehicle so they could be dispatched immediately in case of an emergency. The examiners were everyday firemen, who had obviously been trained in fire safety, and were always thorough and friendly, pointing out to me possible dangerous situations about my shop.

Why can't they do the same today? What do firefighters do all day while waiting for an emergency? How often can you wash a fire engine or jog around the block while carrying a radio in case you need to respond to a call? Why do we need to pass another bond issue for a special investigator, and charge businesses for the service when we already have very competent firemen that can do building inspections at no additional cost to tax payers?

Get real city! As Lance Pugh pointed out about the failed ballot measure to buy a new fire engine a few years ago, the money was already in the budget, the engine had already been ordered, and the city went ahead and bought it anyway, even after the measure failed at the polls.

Now CERT coordinator Lucy Edwards is retiring. Her pay with benefits is $77,500 per year according to a Daily Tidings front page article on Feb. 5, 2010. The budget committee has recommended raising city property taxes again to pay for her and her assistant's positions. Do we really need to raise taxes again?

When do we, the everyday working stiffs in Ashland say, "Enough is enough"? Are all you other Ashlanders getting tired of getting taxed to death? Please let the mayor, city council, planning commission, budget committee and school board (who just managed to place a $1 per square foot charge on all new building permits—seems like that will be good for all builders, electricians, plumbers, framers, finish carpenters, cabinet builders and other trades who are tying to make a living in this town, and make it more affordable to live here) know that you are fed up, and won't take it anymore! The city just needs to live within its budget like the rest of us working stiffs, and make do with what it has.

Robert Munroe

The Cabinet Works


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