To the People of Greenbrier County:
Lewisburg has so desperately been looking for a time to get their City Council together and get this “Fire Service Fee” passed, it just happened to work out that the State Fair was in town and boy what a great time to go ahead and ram this new “tax” down the throats of all the citizens of Greenbrier County! [remember, it won’t stay contained to just Lewisburg] That really worked out perfect didn’t it? The paper reported that there was not a soul at the final reading of this “tax,” on the night of August 18th, Fair week. Just a couple of newspaper reporters present. Isn’t that par for the way the City Council and the Mayor of Lewisburg have approached this despicable new “taxing” of citizens that live outside of Lewisburg’s city limits? Man, everyone is at the Fair and not paying attention to anything else! What a great time to pull this off and get it done! Perfect!
I know that Lewisburg City Council is probably patting themselves on the back, but I think you have opened a real can of worms. The people living outside of Lewisburg’s city limits made a decision not to be a part of your rules and policies for a reason. It is called “freedom.” Freedom not to be told what color paint to put on their houses. Freedom not to mow their yard if they don’t want to. Freedom not to have to pay a ridiculous “fee” for anything and everything you want to do to your own property! And most of all, freedom from having to get PERMISSION from some puffed up “official” who thinks they are appointed by God to make your life as miserable as theirs is every time you want to breathe some fresh air!
Now you are “demanding” that we who made the choice NOT to be part of your little town, PAY for your $5 million GARAGE-MAHAL, your new fire trucks to put in this GARAGE-MAHAL, and pick up the tab now for your paid firemen. Whom by the way, YOU made the conscious decision to start paying and are now finding your budget is strapped, since those FOUR firemen cost almost half of the entire fire department budget of $469,000. You have already taken delivery of a brand new fire truck a little over a month ago in anticipation of all this new cash flow also. That future money just burning a hole in your pockets huh?
You have awarded a $40,000 contract for a new roof on that old falling down, crumbling almost condemned fire house downtown. Remember, the excuse you are using to build that “MANDATED” $5 MILLION DOLLAR GARAGE-MAHAL? Which brings up a good question. The Fire Chief announced that construction must start on that new firehouse by July 1st this summer. And that it had been “MANDATED.” That is such an official sounding word, “mandated.” Can someone at City Hall tell me what person “MANDATED” that a small little town in one of the poorest States in this country, has to build a $5 MILLION DOLLAR fire house? Don’t all of you put your hands up at the same time to answer that!
James G. Livesay