Re Barry Paschals Jan. 22 column, Hard choices arent popular, some observations:
His comment the stormwater utility, a tired old topic that still gets people grumbling... is myopic. I still receive e-mails and phone calls from irate people who want to know what will be done and when about the tax.
Although I have received hundreds, if not thousands, of negative communications about the rain tax, I have never received a call in support of it. More on the myopia later.
His comment, ...with Frank Spears being beaten at the polls - for not applying the fee to a large enough area ... flies not only in the face of truth but, with the reason he should be aware of, since those who were instrumental in that endeavor explained their displeasure with Spears because he would not listen or communicate with the little people.
For calling it a fee instead of a tax: Does Paschal admit here that it is, in fact, a tax? A tax can be voted on by the electorate. A fee is charged for a service rendered. No service has been rendered.
Columbia Countys schools are still "negotiating their payment. The school system currently owes $65,380. Why? I asked the school superintendent, a long time ago, why they were not going to pay. His response was that they considered the fee to be a tax and the County cant tax the School Board. Why do they get special consideration?
With regard to the fee being widely despised, and in regard to the court case: Paschal is correct - (the stormwater utility) is widely despised. I spoke with the clerk of Court recently and a decision on the motion for summary judgment should be forthcoming in about four to six months.
But the stormwater utility is bringing in millions for repairs that otherwise wouldnt have been made. Popular? No. Right? Yes. This is the rest of the myopia. What happens when the fee" is legally determined to be a tax? Not only will all the money have to be paid back, there will be large administrative costs involved in settling this whole fiasco.
Not popular? You had better believe it! Right? How can a bad decision be right?
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