Bill Snare: Read the fine print
April 8, 2011
To the editor:
The fire department is in control and out of control.
In 2006, the voters of this community voted for a mill levy tax for the benefit of the fire department. This tax was three mills, which was more than the mill levy for the schools and justice center combined.
The lobbyists for the fire department bill did a great job of brainwashing the voters, and this was approved by the voting public.
What the voters failed to do was read the full bill — in the fine print it stated the fire department would answer to no one as to how they spent this taxpayer money except themselves.
The tax was collected beginning in 2007 and since that time the fire department has spent a few million on equipment, etc. Now they have more than $1.5 million in reserves.
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I have to ask, what good has come from this bill during the last four years?
To answer this, we must review what has taken place during this time.
Let's see now.
The Country Mall burned to the ground and it was a short three blocks from the fire department. The Craig Motel, which was five blocks away from the fire department and a straight line up Yampa Avenue, was mostly destroyed.
The prep shop at Victory Motors was a total loss and it was on a good access street from the fire department.
Now the fire department wants to build a new firehouse, and I say what for?
The logical thing to do is rescind this bill to a one-mill levy and give the other two mills to the school district, which already had to make cuts to meet a $1 million deficit. Now the school district is faced with another 14-percent cut from the state, which means more cuts, job reductions and education suffering.
My friends, let this be a lesson to us. Please read each voting bill completely before saying yes. Also, the fire department has used this bill to meet all the criteria of a government agency, and that is spend, spend, spend.
My hat goes off to all the volunteer firefighters. They rank right up there with the soldiers who fight for us in Afghanistan and Iraq.