A letter in Saturday’s Daily Camera suggests that if residents don’t support the County’s plan for paving our county roads at $150 per year for 15 years ($2,250) per residence, we might have to pay $10,000 per residence to do the same job. This scenario seems little more than a scare tactic – residents must act exactly the way the County wants or be abandoned by the County to suffer the cost of acting on their own.
Most county roads were built according to County specifications and their construction monitored, inspected, and approved by the County. The County accepted full responsibility for their full maintenance and upkeep – collecting fees (taxes) from every resident for decades, toward that end. This was a contract between the County and the Residents that the County unilaterally, in a quiet and unconscionable manner decided to abrogate. What is next? Will the County take the same tact with our water lines? How about our waste water system (sewers)? How about pot holes and snow removal? In what other areas will the County surreptitiously increase our taxes by replacing tax paid services with direct assessments?
Should Residents really accept and reward improper fiscal practices, poor judgment, and lack of planning by County departments by paying again for things we have paid for every year for decades? Should Residents accept that the County can unilaterally abrogate it’s agreements with the Residents? Should Residents allow the government to increase our taxes in this manner? This issue is larger than who pays for the roads.
Why must we accept the County’s survey, predetermined and predicated on the Residents paying for road maintenance? Can Residents not demand the County do what is necessary instead of what it wants to do or what is easy to do? Is there no option by which the County can actually meet it’s commitments? What about a bond issue paid off by the County over time from funds they no longer spend on new, nice to have facilities? Why can we not demand that the County plan and manage not only for the construction/acquisition of something but also for it’s ongoing and long term maintenance, repair, and upkeep? As individual homeowners, we have to plan and budget for both an item’s initial cost and for the ongoing cost of ownership – maintenance, repairs, upkeep; why should we not expect the same of our government, especially when they promised to do just that?