Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 3, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — Taxes, regulations thwart business

Did you ever wonder why government leaders always seem to put their carts before their horses? Take Ashland, for example. It is going to spend $40,000 to pay a firm in Louisville to tell city leaders what is wrong with Ashland.

There are local people who would tell them the answer for free! Ashland’s philosophy has been backwards to what will cause future growth. Overtaxing businesses and over-regulating those businesses will not make Ashland more prosperous. Ashland leaders must first create an atmosphere to encourage more small businesses to open there.

How? With low taxes and a simple licensing process. Do you think the 1 percent payroll tax encourages new business to open in Ashland? Do you think lots of permits, red tape and regulation encourage business or any other kind of growth? Do you think only large businesses who employ a lot of people are the key for growth in Ashland?

If you look at cities that are growing they do things differently. Ninety percent of new business growth comes from the small mom-and-pop businesses. They start out small and then grow and become large businesses. 

Ask anyone who has tried to start a small business in Ashland or Boyd County. Most say: too costly and too complicated. Big businesses are moving out and closing down. It’s the new small businesses that are where future growth is!

You don’t need to spend $40,000 to realize that Ashland and Boyd County’s tax structure and regulations only discourage small-business start-ups.

 The rest of us have learned to live on less. Why not Ashland and Boyd County?  Because that’s not putting the cart before the horse. They want the tax income first, then the growth.

Joe Bounds, Ashland

Stop complaining and do something

I was raised in Westwood and only attended Fairview schools. We Westwoodians pride ourselves on being a close-knit family. 

The school is the heart of our community. Without it, we would lose something very vital and special.

Many people who have been away from Fairview for many years don’t realize the building is in as bad of shape as it is.

Fairview has had to use Band Aid fixes for a long time. Put yourself in the place of the kids going there and having to deal with areas of the school that don’t heat and cool properly. You have windows with cracks in them, a foundation needing repairs, a whole wing closed off for repairs.

The school has stretched a dwindling budget to where we are at a crossing point that determines whether children can safely keep going to school here.

No one likes paying more taxes,  but at least you can see every day where your money is going at Fairview. Aren’t our future generations worth it?

I had lived away from this area for many years and now I am back. I have no children in the school system, but I believe that once you are an Eagle you are always an Eagle.

If the school board says we need to do something to help the kids, then we need to do it. We elected them; if you don’t like how they are doing things, vote them out or run yourself.

Do I stand with the school board? No, I stand with the kids.

Stop complaining about things being bad. Stand up and do something about it. Make a donation, help out at a sports event or tutor some kids during or after school.

Thomas Leadingham, Westwood

Don’t waste money on special election

This is my second and last try to see if the people of Westwood and Fairview are ready to vote for the utility tax.

Why would we waste $6,000 to $7,000 for a special election? We must have voted for the school board members who we trusted to take care of school affairs and what they thought was best for the children.

The election is drawing near. Do you agree to pay a utility tax? I feel sure the city of Ashland would be glad to incorporate Westwood and Fairview. After all, everyone probably uses city streets at least one time a week, maybe even to go to the city building to pay a water bill, go to the mall or the restaurants in the city. Why not pay city and county taxes?

If we were involved in an accident in Ashland, we would expect the city police to handle it.

Wake up, people! Let’s have a meeting of all the people before we waste money on a special election. We should work together for the good of the children and future generations. They will be the leaders of tomorrow and for years to come.

Bernadette M. Slusher, Ashland

Keeping sick child at school criminal

It should be a prosecutable crime for any parent or guardian not to pick up a sick child from school.  There is no job, no addiction, no lack of gas money that excuses a parent from making necessary arrangements to protect that sick child.

Our children need to be considered first, above all other responsibilities. They deserve our undivided attention and nurturing.

Parents and guardians need to be prepared to make sacrifices and be 100 percent committed to their children. To do less is abusive to children and detrimental to our society.

Marcia G. Flannery, Flatwoods

Refinery noise raises questions

As I write this, I have been listening to noise from the Marathon’s Catlettsburg Refinery since 9 p.m. It’s now 10:53 p.m.

The pictures on my wall rattle from the noise over at the refinery. Not only do I hear this, but so do my neighbors and some friends who live on Ky. 168.

What puzzles me is that every time you hear this, it is at night. It’s never during the day. They say they’re burning off stuff. I have woken up to find my vehicles covered with some kind of film.

They have lighted up our hillside so bright that you could see deer at midnight. I thought my neighbor’s house was on fire.

I would like to know just what is happening.

Dannie R. Crislip, Catlettsburg

Honesty needed on climate change

This is an open letter to all elected officials.

Some national Republican leaders say they can’t talk publicly about climate change because of political restraints (Sept./Oct. 2012 Sierra magazine editorial).

As a citizen, I want all of my elected officials to publicly speak the scientific truth about climate change and all other ecological issues concerning the survival of life on this spaceship Earth. I want my elected officials to take leadership positions and stand against unscientific and dishonest denial and deceitfulness.

I want to be able to believe, respect and trust my elected officials. What say you, elected officials?

Barbara A. Lund, Lynx, Ohio

Spay cats; keep them indoors

A recent study by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service found that cats kill billions more wildlife every year than previously believed. This points to the need to keep our feline family members indoors and to ensure that every cat is spayed or neutered.

Cats who are allowed to roam outdoors not only take a massive toll on vulnerable wildlife species such as birds, they often fall victim to cruel fates themselves. Every year, countless cats who are left outdoors unsupervised are killed by cars, poisoned, attacked by other animals, sickened by contagious diseases, stolen for experimentation, and worse.

Keeping our cats indoors will help prevent them from killing or being killed, but as the study points out, homeless cats kill the most wildlife. Spaying and neutering are the keys to preventing more cats from being born only to end up living outdoors, where small animals stand no chance against their claws and jaws.

For the sake of cats and wildlife, please have your cats spayed or neutered and keep them safe in the “great indoors.” To learn more, visit www.PETA.org.

Lindsay Pollard-Post, The PETA Foundation, Norfolk, Va.