Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 6, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — Separating fact from rumor on tax

This is an effort to clear up any confusion concerning the 3 percent utility tax approved by Fairview Board of Education. The tax is to be levied on gas, electric, phone, cell phone, water/sewer, cable/satellite. It  will be added to your bills.

If your gas bill is $100, then you will have $3 added to your bill. If your electric bill is $100., you will have $3 added to that bill, etc. for each utility. This has confused some to think of this as a 21 percent tax (3 percent x7 utilities).

The board assured everyone at the meeting that if the tax didn’t pass, there were no plans for consolidation  with any other district. The school board stated they wanted the increase in taxes so they could make plans for  in the future.

The board also said there were no plans to decrease the school property tax rate if they got the utility tax. It was also noted at the meeting that the board is allowed to increase the property tax rate by up to 4 percent yearly, which is not subject to a vote of the public. Another rumor, bordering on absurdity, is that if the tax isn’t passed Ashland would annex the Westwood community. This has been discredited for years.

The petition being circulated is only to require the tax to be subject to a vote by the people of the community. It is the right of the people to have a say as to what tax is levied upon them. This in no way means that the people who want to have this privilege do not love their school or community as much as anyone else.

I hope that citizens on both sides of this question can talk about this matter in a sensible and caring manner as benefits our fine community.

Joe Weis, Ashland

School children need protection

It was recently reported the parents of a child who survived the Connecticut school shooting are suing the school and/or state for failing to provide a safe environment for their child.

That raises some questions. Are schools responsible for the safety of children while these children are in their care? And, are the schools negligent when children are hurt, harmed or murdered while in their care?

If there is a known threat to children in school, and the school does nothing to protect the children from that threat, and the children are hurt or killed because of that known threat, are the schools liable?

Recent history of school murders in high schools, elementary schools and colleges and universities, including the murders of 20 small children in the Connecticut school, makes it clear there are crazy/psychotic/psychopathic murderers in our society who will murder children if given the opportunity.

Therefore, there is a known threat to our children in schools. Most colleges and universities have police officers on campus. According to recent news reports, some high schools and elementary schools now have police protection in schools. Most high schools and elementary schools have buzzers to buzz people in, and security cameras, but most do not have mature, properly trained police officers at the door.

It’s noted here that the president, Congress and governors have police protection. Should our children have police protection from psychopathic murderers in our schools?

Most people of average intelligence will agree there is a real threat to our children in schools. Are the schools and/or the states liable for not providing proper police protection for our children, when that negligence results in children being murdered?

Lannie Ray, Varney

Immigration has served purpose

It is true we are a nation of immigrants. They built the bridges, highways and railroads and furnished the work force for the mines, mills and factories and the farm fields. They populated the vast open plains and the far mountains.

All this has been done. Immigration has fulfilled its intended purpose. Is it not time to end it?

We have only so much to offer. We only have so many hospital beds, so many classrooms, so many kitchen tables, so many loaves of bread.

It would be nice if we could offer all who come a decent standard of living, but it is a fact you can only pasture so many horses in a 10-acre field.

Earl H. Stewart, Grayson

Massie’s  vote against own party

Before the vote on the “fiscal cliff” situation, I sent an email to U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-4th.

 I said The Week Magazine reported 61 percent of Republicans believe increasing taxes on the very wealthy is a good idea. I urged the congressman to vote to represent the vast majority of Republicans.

I saw that vote as a “win/win” situation for him; that is, he could do the “right” thing and also represent those who sent him where he now sits. 

But Congressman Massie voted against the thinking of 61 percent of Republicans. We have to ask what “representative” may mean.

Andrew L.J. James, Grayson

Letters invited

The Independent invites readers to submit In Your View letters on public issues. Letters must not exceed 300 words and must include the name, address and telephone number of the author. Words of Thanks letters are limited to no more than 150 words. The Independent cannot guarantee a day of publication for letters, but makes an effort to publish letters in a timely manner. The Independent reserves the right to edit letters for length, spelling, grammar, accuracy and appropriateness of language. Letters that cannot be verified will not be published. Questions about letters should be directed to John Cannon, opinion page editor, at jcannon@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2649.