Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Town council meeting...issues and suggestions
I just got back from possibly the shortest Selma Town Council meeting in a long time. From the time I left home to the time I walked back through the door was almost exactly one hour.
The business was pretty straight forward. There are two issues that I would like to address. First, the town is going to lease property to Alltel for a cell tower. I have no problem with doing that. I do have a better alternative, though. It goes back to the original intent of leasing water tower space. There is a bogus agreement that the town entered into with a company that was supposed to act as an exclusive agent for the town and broker these sort of agreements for us. No revenue ever came from that agreement. The town was going to look into being able to break that agreement because of inactivity.
Just this past week, we have had an issue in the paper about an old water tower that the town officials are thinking about tearing down because they believe it to be an eyesore.
Try this one on for size, so to speak. The location of the property to be leased may not work out. Then again, it may suit the purpose just fine. For this or future cell tower leases, let's think outside the box some. The town wants to tear down the tower. The cell company wants a tower. Water towers work for cell towers. The cell company wants to pay the town $1000 per month for a lease agreement. A year's lease is $12,000. The high end of the estimates to tear down the tower is about $12,000.
Do you follow me on this one? The cell company can lease the water tower in an existing location already known to the FAA, have an established structure upon which to attach their equipment, and won't have to erect a new tower at their expense. The town won't have an additional tower erected on its property and can use that same property for other purposes, including sale (if it is unused, as we were told this evening). The town can get save the cost of tearing down a structure and get a decent looking, free standing advertisement and curiosity.
Have this for a lease agreement...the cell company can have that tower rent free for a year (or less, depending upon what is negotiated) in exchange for improving the water tower with a decent paint job, any structural improvements, and maybe even a town logo. It sure seems like a win/win situation to me.
During the open forum portion, a lot of time was wasted by Mr. Tony Tetterton again. Instead of waiting until he got all the information he needed to inform the council, he wasted all of our time by giving an update on his progress. He balked at a public hearing on the matter with the excuse of possibly not having all of his information in place.
One thing that just flat out pisses me off is the concept he put forward this evening that federal money coming through the state for this project would be funds allocated just like highway funds and are not actually "tax dollars". What freakin' planet or parallel universe does this man live on/in? Where do you think that the federal government gets this money? From our taxes. Just because the feds have trillions of dollars to play with does not mean that they are a giant pot of limitless supply that we can suckle from. Every dime is still tax money regardless of how you look at it. Furthermore, the town would have to permanently close roads and pay 10% of the bill.
I don't like paying for bridges to nowhere in Alaska. Alaskans should not like paying for a tiny town in North Carolina to not have train air horns at night. It is that very mentality that has gotten our government into trillions of dollars of debt and deficit spending. Do not stand for this, I implore you citizens and council members.
Nextly why is this man even allowed to speak at town council meetings? He does not live within the town limits. Do a search on the Johnston County tax web site. I don't see any real property listed in his name, except for two vehicles. His campground is outside the town limits. If he is not a citizen of the town, then why is he allowed to repeatedly create an agenda item for the town? WHY? Why not invite people from Wilson's Mills to set our town's agenda, propose spending of Selma tax money, and attempt to dictate how trains operate in Selma? Why? Because someone from Wilson's Mills is not part of Selma. Even if the campground is inside the ETJ limits of Selma, then that does not create the situation for allowing the corporate limits residents being subject to outside agenda items.
I will take this one step further. If you are not eligible to vote in Selma municipal elections, you should not be allowed to take any items before the town council. I would love to take it even further than that. If you are not a registered voter in Selma, you should not be allowed to petition the town council. I wish it was even to the point that if you do not own property in Selma that you can not even vote in municipal elections. Conversely, if you own property in more than one town, you should be allowed to vote in each town in which you own property in municipal elections and on bond initiative/issues. I realize that this will never happen, but in my opinion, it is the way it should be.