For The Vista
Ever since the Fairfield Glade Community Club held a town hall meeting on Oct. 9 regarding incorporation, the topic has been on the minds and tongues of Glade residents.
Here are two Letters to the Editor regarding the issue:
I was extremely disappointed in both the Incorporation Report and the methods used to stifle conversation and feedback at the ‘Town Hall” meeting(s).
Both the report and the meeting skirted the issue of the costs associated with forming a city government.
At one point the speaker said it could be very small, citing an example of a city that only mows the sides of the road. But the first thing this city is to do is take over trash collection. But the Community Club can be contracted to do that. The implication being that there is no cost to writing a contract, taking bids, monitoring the contractor and ensuring contactor compliance with the terms of the contract and paying the contractor. Sounds like a staff to me.
At another point, the city could receive all kinds of money from the state and county plus our tax monies; evidently the speaker doesn’t feel that requires any type of financial office. I’ll bet it does.
What can this influx of “free” money from the state et al be used for? Well, it must be for roads being as the county roads would become the responsibility of the new city government. Sounds like we need a street department.
Maybe they can buy the equipment and hire the people from the Community Club. Where will the city get the money? At least some from you and your city property taxes. So you will be paying the city to buy the equipment you’ve already paid for.
But wait, the speaker said the only thing the city would do is trash pick-up. So maybe they’ll contract with the Community Club to do the roads. But now we’ll have full responsibility and that will necessitate a large increase in equipment and people. Who will pay for that? Oh yes you – either through your Club dues or increased city taxes, or both.
Thus far all we’ve done is insert another layer of government which will require care and feeding and will accomplish nothing that isn’t already being done – but it will cost you more as you will still be paying club dues and will now pay city property taxes as well.
A real kicker is that the report implied that the expenses associated with updating/repairing amenities was a reason for incorporation but it was stated that none of the amenities would transfer to the city.
The result is that the dues would have to go up anyway and incorporating would have no effect on that.
Another concern is how many of the committee members have been part of the effort to have county zoning rules enacted to restrict signage on Peavine or to have Peavine deemed a Scenic Highway? I believe that at least one member has been active in those endeavors with perhaps as many as 3. And that I feel is one of the driving motives to incorporate. The report mentions controlling Peavine Road businesses and residences more than once.
The meeting itself was a source of frustration and disappointment. By refusing to allow any questions from the audience there was no opportunity for the committee to probe the concerns of the attendees.
Using questions submitted in advance, picking the ones they wanted to answer and reframing the questions in a manner making them easy to answer, the committee controlled the topics to be “discussed.” And disallowing any comments from the audience ensured that any resdent’s disagreement or rebuttal was squelched.
Because this committee was appointed by the board, there is no opportunity for any group opposed to the effort to have a town hall meeting at no cost or request an open forum discussion of the report.
Controlling the exchange of information is a sure fire way of minimizing opposition.
Realistically, if I had wanted to live in a city and pay additional taxes, I would have bought in Crossville and purchased a membership lot here for $500.
13 Windsor Point
The current FFG Incorporation effort can best be summarized by a line from an old Lorrie Morgan Country song: “What part of NO don’t you understand”.
Residents said no in 1994, 2001 and again in 2005.
It is obvious that the FFG Board is not listening or are slow learners.
To quote Albert Einstein, the definition of Insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
After attending the Wednesday, October 9, FFG Incorporation Committee Meeting, from the information provided, I and a majority of those who attended can see NO positive reasons to support the FFG Incorporation effort or reasons to continue to fund this effort. The short term negatives of Incorporation are it would increase our Property Tax by approximately 22% annually and places no long term restrictions on the FFG Incorporated City which would restrict future property taxes increases.
Additionally, incorporation does not provide FFG tort protections. Have we not learned anything from Washington DC tax and spend philosophy?
Currently, the Community Club is operating at an approximate $350K annual loss. These additional taxes could be used to eliminate the Community Club Annual operating losses. Current Community Club Management, like our federal government, needs to learn to live within their means. The FFG Community Club Management needs to take whatever actions are required to achieve breakeven without tax revenue or Monthly Fairfield Glad PAP assessment increases which have doubled in the past five years!
Phase two of the FFG Incorporation study is to contract a Consultant firm to study further the details and process of Incorporation. My question is WHY !!! Why would we spend $50,000 to study FFG Incorporation when History has shown and historic and current resident’s sediment remains negative against Incorporating FFG?
Before contracting with a Consulting Firm and spending $50K, which could be better used for Community improvements, the Incorporation Committee needs to send out an incorporation survey to all home and property owners, via e-mail or the US Postal Service.
Publish the results for all to see and if the majority of respondents are against Incorporation disband the Incorporation Committee. If Majority of FFG residents and property owners support incorporation then and only then should the FFG Board of Directors contract a Consultants to study further the advantages and disadvantages of incorporation.
No further expenditures are acceptable until the FFG Board can demonstratively prove the residents and property owners can and will support an Incorporation efforts. Don’t waste our money.
John E. Byers
139-17 Lafayette Pt