Baskets of promises, fewer results
The past four years have been a basketful of promises, but only a handful of results.
Apparently, the Jenkins were asked to sell their home and property to the city of Hartselle for a soccer field. They spent taxpayer money for the appraisal, then said no. They did not want a house (that is a home). The Jenkins were informed by the mayor and council they were interested in purchasing the property less than appraisal price. Then, at the last council meeting, all but one voted no.
Money was also wasted at the landfill when they paid $20,000 for an engineer study and no results came from that.
Hangars at the airport are now their priority. Why borrow money when a grant can be applied for? One person's interest!
They did spend money for real estate and build a road at the motel. Now they don't want to buy real property that would benefit Park and Recreation.
This tells me what we had in the past four years–only promises. We need results. Please go vote Aug. 24 and elect a mayor and council who we can have confidence in. Results will follow.
Airport expenditures not good for city
During the past four years, Hartselle's elected officials have worked hard to get the message out that the city had real money problems.
In 2001, Mayor Knight proposed a 10-mill property tax increase. In November 2002, the people had the chance to vote on legalizing alcohol sales and rejected it. In 2003, Councilman Chappell introduced the idea of raising the city sales tax by 1 cent. Councilman Carter stated if the wet-dry vote failed and residents refuse a property tax increase, he was certain the council would have to curtail services. Councilman Jones also stated, "We can't continue to provide services to the people at the level we have."
Last month, by a 4-2 vote, with Councilmen Hall and Abercrombie voting no, Hartselle' s city council passed a resolution to construct a new hangar at Rountree Field. The money will come from the city's general fund. Construction costs on the hangar, which will house eight planes, is estimated at $189,000.
Last year, Rountree Field received a $250,000 federal grant, which was used to expand the existing apron at the airport. During the next three years, Hartselle can ask for, and probably receive, $150,000 in federal funds for use at the airport each year.
If this occurs, during a five-year period Hartselle has the potential to receive $700,000 in airport grants. However, this money is not free. The city will be obligated to match a percentage of the funds as part of the grant requirements.
This does not include the $189,000 hangar construction approved last month. At full capacity of eight planes year-round, payback on the investment will be 12 years.
As long as there are no outstanding safety issues at the airport, federal grant money could be used to construct the hangar. If the city can obtain only one year's grant money and this is applied to the construction cost, the hangar can be paid for in only three years.
Rountree Field is primarily a recreational airport used by only a handful of Hartselle residents. Total taxes paid by the owners of the 18 planes based at Rountree Field for 2003 was $670 to the general fund and $1,545.61 to the board of education. Only three belong to Hartselle residents.
In light of the city's financial situation and threatened reduction of city services, shouldn't our elected officials be wise stewards of our money and spend it in a fashion that benefits the many rather than the few?
Aug. 24, we have the opportunity to send city government that message. Please go vote.
Richard A. Greenhill
Kerry doesn't support veterans
I'm a member of the VFW, DAVA and American Legion. As a widow of a veteran and a mother of a veteran, every time we have a fall conference, state convention, or a district meeting, we are asked to write to our senators to show support on the VA bills.
I received the DAV magazine and what did I find when I opened it up–the voting (results) of Veteran Healthcare Funding, who voted for and who voted against, and who did not vote at all.
They had 49 yes, 48 no. Our own senators from Alabama, (Jeff) Sessions and (Richard) Shelby, voted against it and the man who is running for the president seat, Sen. (John) Kerry, did not vote at all.
So, all our letters of support went to the trashcan, and Sen. Kerry's speech about helping the veterans is a bunch of lies. He can't even vote for us. What's next?