Oct. 25, 2012
To the editor:
Please take a moment of your time to let me address some of the statements made by Marcus Fedler in a recent letter to the editor about my voting record and county taxes. John Adams once said “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of fact or evidence.”
Mr. Fedler claims county taxes have increased 25.5 percent during my tenure.
Fact: When I took office the county General Basic Fund Levy rate was 3.80000 (dollars per thousand). In my first year in office we LOWERED it to 3.70000, the following three years we put it back to 3.80000.
Mr. Fedler claims we borrowed $8 million to buy gravel.
Fact: We bonded for $8 Million for road reconstruction. Two years ago we embarked on a project to rebuild and re-ditch 10 percent of the county road system and pave other roads in partnership with landowners; all of which was in addition to the normal road maintenance and repair schedule that the roads department usually does. Our roads were getting to the point of critical. We responded to the overwhelming requests of the public and upgraded the road system.
Mr. Fedler says I voted for the Richmond lagoon.
Fact: The decision to construct a lagoon was voted on in November of 2007. I took office in Jan 2009. However, I have studied the facts of the issue and see no fault in the decision of the Supervisors at the time. Neither should Mr. Fedler as he freely chooses to live in Ainsworth which utilizes a public lagoon. So do the residents of West Chester, Crawfordsville, Wellman, Brighton and Kalona. A public sewer is hardly a foreign concept.
Mr. Fedler thinks it would be a good idea to shut the 11 year old projects at Richmond, Rubio and Ollie down.
Fact: That could cost the rural residents and farmers $504,000. It could mean fines from the DNR and people would still have raw sewage in their yards, people who live in Richmond and want the project to go forward. If the lagoon project is completed, the only people who would pay are those hooked onto the system. The rural taxpayer bill would be $0.
Mr. Fedler pointed out that I voted for zoning and that in a conversation I had with him, I was undecided in March 2010.
Fact: There were parts of proposed zoning ordinance I liked and parts of it I didn’t. I ran for office with full disclosure of my opinion that an ordinance was a good idea provided it was clearly and appropriately written. Ultimately I voted for zoning after listening to the public and addressing their major concerns. There is no requirement to purchase 35 acres in order to build a home in the country. I fought for that change and I would have voted no otherwise. In some areas of the county, the minimum requirement for home building is as little as 1.25 acres.