The Van Wyck News
|Volume 3 Number 1||The Web – Based Newspaper of the Van Wyck Community||15 January 2011|
Indian Land Fire District Tax Vote Tuesday 18 January 2011It is becoming more and more clear that the proposed Indian Land Fire District is a very bad idea. The funds to be generated by the proposed tax are double or triple the money required to support all the needs of the existing Indian Land Fire Department. There is no budget or demonstrated need for this excess money. The excess money will go into a "slush fund" to be spent at the discretion of a board of citizens not responsible to the taxpayers.
The Board will not be required to publicize or seek public approval for its expenditures, needing only to send its budget to County Council for approval each year. The $75 per year tax can increase without limit if the Board simply obtains approval of its budget by County Council. Approval by the voters is not required.
This should be raising all kinds of alarm bells - $200,000 or more per year of tax money going into a fund controlled by a group of people not responsible to the voters is an invitation to abuse.
This fund is being financed by a flat tax that does not take into account ability to pay. For low income people creation of the Fire District will be taking food off the table and transferring the money to a slush fund "in case we decide to do something else."
The people likely to be appointed to the new Indian Land Fire District Board are already talking about refusing to send their paid crews to assist in fires in surrounding districts (meaning Van Wyck). County Council is already wondering if they can implement this tax county wide without losing their jobs - county wide implementation would represent a 12 - 15% tax increase. Apparently if you tie $75 per dwelling unit tax to the local Fire Department people don't mind.
It is difficult to envision a better example of bad government gone amuck.
Call your County Council representative and urge a "Nay" vote on the Indian Land Fire District. If you are in the Indian Land Fire District, vote "No" in the nonbinding referendum on 18 January. Read the proposed ordinance here beginning on p. 37.Questions? Send me mail.
The Advisory Referendum on the proposed Indian Land Fire District and the associated $75 per dwelling tax is scheduled for Tuesday 18 January 2011. Polls will be open from 7 AM to 7 PM. Some people who vote at the Van Wyck Community Center are actually in the proposed Indian Land Fire District. Eligible voters are those residing in the proposed Indian Land Fire District. The only way to be sure whether or not you are affected is to call the County Assessor's Office (803-285-6964) and ask if they are planning to send you a bill if the Indian Fire District comes into being.
Feeding the Hungry
Donations to Lancaster County food programs have fallen off recently. The recession increases the number of people facing hunger and the need for food. The Van Wyck Press is happy to transport food to the agencies serving the needy in Lancaster. If you have food that you would like to donate and would like us to transport it for you, let me know.
Congressman Mick Mulvaney
112th Congress Sworn In
Our new Congressman, Mick Mulvaney, was sworn in along with the other 434 members of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC on 5 January 2011. Mick has made outstanding constituent service a priority, so if you have any matters where a Congressman can help you should contact a member of Mick's staff. A local office will open in Rock Hill as soon as possible. Feel free to contact Mick's Washington staff; for contact information click the link below.
10% Off Van Wyck
Van Wyck residents who call the attention of their fire insurance agent to the improved fire service rating of the Van Wyck Fire Department have been reporting discounts on their fire insurance of around 10%. In some cases refund checks have been issued. The ratings of all volunteer fire departments in Lancaster County have been reduced recently as a result of hard work by the Lancaster County Fire Service in conjunction with all the volunteer fire departments in the county.Valentine's Vendor Blender
A number of local Valentine's Day gift vendors will combine their efforts on Saturday 12 February 2011 at the Van Wyck Community Center from 10 AM to 3 PM. For details click here.