Fairfield Ledger
http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1112272

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 24, 2014

We can’t afford more taxes for gym/pool

By James Lee Elliott | Feb 06, 2014

To the editor:

What part of “no” did the Fairfield outdoor pool and gymnasium task force and the supervisors not understand when the unincorporated portions of Jefferson County rejected the $1 million support for this project in August?

Sports enthusiasts should know it doesn’t matter if you lost the competition by one point or 26 points – you LOSST. The task force had the impression that the first vote was not legitimate, therefore more time to do a better job of educating the public was granted.

The chair of the task force stated that he wanted to see all the communities working together and not have adversarial feelings, but these feelings have been created by recent literature mailed to the unincorporated citizens of Jefferson County stating that if we do not vote to allow this tax relief change, then we are responsible for pushing the pool opening back at least one year, put the CAT grant in jeopardy and depriving children (especially those of limited financial means) a safe, supervised space to go after school, while we hinder bringing visitors to town, who shop and strengthen our local economy and grow our LOSST funds.

This March 4 vote is not about the accountability of the unincorporated citizens of this county. It’s about the accountability of officials that allowed the children and citizens of this community to become without a public pool. Why is the new pool being held hostage for the wants of a new gymnasium that apparently wasn’t even designed to fulfill the needs of the community?

On the same day that “Task force preparing for second vote” appeared on the front page of the Dec. 3 Fairfield Ledger, on the back page appeared The Capitol Report by Senator Rich Taylor stating: “Even though the worst of the national recession is over, many families, friends and neighbors continue to struggle … this uneven recovery has increased the gap between the very well-off and just about everyone else.”

The “everyone else” cannot afford any more tax, fees, fines and mandated health care as inflation and out-of-control utility and energy costs erode away at any income left. We also have the option as to where to spend any expendable income that might be left.

Now that it has been decided to have another $10,000 vote on March 4 to justify a $10 million pool and gym, we need to remember that all this county could muster up was a $10 million make-over investment in an outdated high school. Where is this nation’s priorities when it is willing to spend billions on stadiums, gymnasiums and civic centers as we leave many of our nation’s public school facilities in outdated, dilapidated conditions that are inadequately funded, staffed and equipped to compete academically in a global economy?

We have a choice and voting is easy.

• Vote absentee right now. Just go to the auditors office at the courthouse or;

• Vote in person on March 4 at your regular voting location.

 

– James Lee Elliott, Fairfield

 

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