LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Image
Body

Taxes, spending

Your editorial in the April 17 paper, “Tax Day revelations show skewed system,” makes several important points. I agree that our tax system is far too complex and needs to be simplified.

However, your complaint about corporations not paying taxes needs some clarification. When it comes down to it, no corporation really, ever pays taxes. If you are flying on Delta, any taxes they pay are included in the price of your ticket. If you buy a GM automobile, any taxes GM has to pay are included in the price of your car. Chevron’s taxes are included in the price of the fuel they produce and we all need, including the poor.

If I were wealthy, would you rather I send my money to the government or hire someone who needs a job to improve my home or my business? Should someone who is wealthy send their money to the government or buy a new car so factory workers are employed? Should a wealthy couple take a vacation and fly somewhere so the flight attendants, mechanics and pilots keep their jobs or should they send their money to the government?

When tax rates on the wealthy go up, there is an economic impact, even on the poor. I know there are some things only the government should and must do to keep our society healthy and safe. So, we must have a tax system to fund those efforts.

Our problem in this country is not that we don’t tax the wealthy enough, the issue is, we spend far too much on things the government should not be doing.

J.H. (Dutch) Bouwman

Fredericksburg

‘Cycling Capital’

Thanks for your April 10 editorial, “Tap the Brakes and Watch for Bicyclists.”

My wife and I have led 10 bicycle tours in the Hill Country and we always stay at least four nights in Fredericksburg.

On several occasions, including this week, out-of-state cyclists have voluntarily told me the Gillespie County drivers are very courteous and usually give wide berth when passing. So, thank you, local drivers.

You may not be aware that Fredericksburg is considered the “Cycling Capital of Texas.”

John McManus

Tour leader,

Bicycle Adventure Club

Fredericksburg

Home visit

I would like to express my sincere thank you to all Burg event volunteers who participated in extending their desire to assist their fellow neighbors.

I would like to personally say “thankyou” to those who came to my home.

Betty Eckert

Fredericksburg

Quick assistance

Having tripped and fallen on Tuesday, April 9, at the intersection of Main and Milam streets, two gentlemen – Daniel (Boone) Schneider and Houston Temperton — gave me assistance getting up and walked me to a bench to rest and recover.

Mrs. Temperton and an unidentified third man helped bring my belongings along to me.

Only in Fredericksburg are there such helpful and caring people.

Thank you — thank you.

In appreciation,

Sharon Roarick

Fredericksburg

No ‘lockbox’

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist....”

A line from a very good movie from not too long ago. Today, there is a parallel to the same saying: The greatest trick our “government” ever pulled was convincing the world a Social Security lockbox existed.

Now we hear that Social Security funds will soon be exhausted and millions who have been paying over the years will be just flat out of luck.

There was a time that Social Security funds were flush with cash and we were told it was in a “trust fund.” And like the lockbox, it was another lie. It was a VAST amount of cash on the books sitting there, gathering no interest like a trust fund should do.

But in 1964, the Johnson administration decided to use a large portion of that money to launch the “War on Poverty” to better the lives of the poorest Americans.

Not to worry, the administration assured us the funds used, would be covered by a governmental IOU, so they dipped in again and again. Things didn’t go well for the war ... and poverty is worse today than ever.

Now we come to today. The piper must be paid, but there is no piper, there is no trust fund, there is no lock box — just a bunch of we old Americans that have been cheated out of the money taken from our paychecks.

Now it’s time to pay off those IOUs and it must be paid by we taxpayers because we elected these politicians to look out for our interests?

Elias Rodriguez

Fredericksburg

Mother’s Day

Every year we celebrate Mother’s Day. Do we know how it all started, as we dash to the florists? Do we believe it is a day of happiness or do we believe it is a day of sadness?

Here is the history of THE DAY.

Mother’s Day started when a lady named Anne Jarvis recognized mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds were a contribution to a “creature” who gave a contribution to our society.

The first official Mother’s Day was celebrated at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908. However, it took the action of President Woodrow Wilson to proclaim Mother’s Day an official USA day on May 9, 1914. Remember, the World War was in action then.

My mother is gone. Daily, I remember all the ladies in my life who helped me — especially the teachers who kept me pressing on. There were neighbors, relatives, friends, people I met in the service, especially my aunts, who extended a hand to help me survive. Even today, when I need help, there is a friend who extends a hand.

Thanks you-all.

Josephine M. Reifert

Fredericksburg

Sports park bond

The sports park cost is set at $8.4 million, out of which the upcoming city bond covers $6.1 million and the remaining $2.3 million is contributed by the county. Many kudos to the city officials for significantly reducing the original cost and the county commissioners for committing to this project.

The remaining concern is the annual maintenance/operating cost of $450,000 that has not been discussed nor vetted with the public. This cost was projected by the city in its “Fact Sheet” distributed to homeowners and advertised on the city website without much justification for its value.

This large annual cost gives an impression if the city is really serious about the passage of this bond? Otherwise, how could one explain this cost, which could not be sustained by current city budget and will undoubtedly have to be covered by additional property tax increases in the future?

So, we shouldn’t blame the citizens for not caring about our children and their recreational needs if the bond fails. Instead, the city should have evaluated alternate solutions to significantly reduce the cost, including contracting out the entire work, and then bring forth a reasonable approach to the citizens.

The lessons of the past golf course maintenance cost overruns should be sufficient enough for our city officials not to fall into this trap again by placing additional cost burden on the taxpayers.

Mo Saiidi

Fredericksburg

Yes on park vote

A gentleman wrote a letter stating we had plenty of youth sports fields. He counted all the school fields and the youth can’t use these, so I don’t know what he was thinking other than the youth don’t need a sports complex.

I have been around youth sports in this town for 40 years. Other than the baseball fields the city has, there are no soccer fields other than on land the city bought. The soccer association was told they could make fields but the city could not do anything for them.

Allen Keller Co. rolled the fields and the soccer folks cut the grass themselves. The City of Fredericksburg came out with the first bond, which was too big and it went down. Now we are back for a bond half that amount.

We need this for our youth. If we save 10 kids by keeping them out of trouble and busy in sports, we have done something.

What upsets me is when the city wanted to remodel the golf course, we didn’t need a bond to do that. They just took money from the electrical department and the city has been losing money ever since.

Look around at other towns our size — they all have nice sports complexes for the youth.

The future of Fredericksburg is our youth. We must start taking care of our own or it’s going to get worse.

How do you keep kids out of trouble? You keep them busy with the sports complex. If you don’t think we need this, come out to the baseball or soccer fields on a Saturday morning during the season and take a look.

Win or lose, the city must start thinking about the youth.

Please don’t forget the future of Fredericksburg — our youth. Please vote yes.

Robert Pehl

Fredericksburg

Sports park

Being somewhat conflicted about the proposed sports park, it appears several issues have not been adequately addressed publicly to allow for an informed vote on something that will require millions now and considerable annual future expenditures. The more this park is used, the more maintenance will be required.

Our school system should provide adequate athletics for physical fitness, leadership and teamwork. Since this park is not meant to create professional athletes in soccer baseball or tennis, would it not be wiser to put this large amount of money toward academic support which might more readily help students in a vocation, success in college or a career? Don’t we want them to be self-sufficient?

Young families moving to Fredericksburg, I believe, are more concerned with safety, good jobs at good pay, affordable housing, low taxes and an excellent education for their kids (not necessarily in that order) — their determining concern is not a sports park.

Apparently, we have done a good job attracting vineyards. Might our city and county leaders put their heads together and try to find some industry that fits our city so that we can attract younger professionals?

Why the big hurry to complete this venture? Why not start small, make sure facilities are used wisely and fully, and then add on as interest grows?

Living in the county and having property in the city does not allow me a vote on this issue, nor will there be a vote on how county funds are spent. In the county, though, it seems there are never enough funds for roads, moving, tree trimming, etc. Is the $2-plus million from the county going to impact that even more?

Just saying, we shouldn’t bite off more than we can chew.

Vicki Zimmermann

Fredericksburg

Sports park bond

After buying land for $3.6 million, without voter approval, the City of Fredericksburg is again providing the opportunity for a defeated bond issue to be resurrected in hopes of further developing the land they have already purchased.

The recent ad in the paper stated the actual “total cost” would be $8.4 million vs. the original $12.6 million. With $3.6 million already paid for the land, the proposed $6.1 million from city taxpayers, and a gift from county taxpayers of $2.3 million, the sports park has a factual “total cost” of $12 million. This does not include the ongoing cost of nearly half a million dollars per year necessary for city maintenance, and the $17,000 in interest each month for the purchase of the land.

Fredericksburg needs to find a solution for affordable housing before trying to attract parents who will work here, but will have to live elsewhere, due to high housing and property tax costs.

Prioritizing publicly funded and supported recreational facilities over painfully obvious issues harkens back to the political solutions of ancient Rome.

The sports park represents another “money pit” that the taxpayers will subsidize, in addition to the golf course, which has lost millions of dollars, and the two public pools that are open a mere 10 weeks each year. We will never be able to attract those young families with higher taxes.

Vote “NO” for another money pit and higher taxes.

Tim Lafferty

Fredericksburg