Councilman Roney seems to miss the point

Councilman Roney missing the point

To the editor:

Councilman Roney seems to have missed the entire point of Carolyn Flynn’s letter to the editor (“Treasury shouldn’t serve as piggy bank,” June 25, A4). What she said was, “We have learned to use the public treasury as our piggy bank, forcing our neighbors, through taxation, to pay for our dreams, both big and small.” Councilman Roney has a history of believing in the concept of tax and spend and then redistributing taxpayer money. To my knowledge he has never voted against a new bond issue or tax increase.

Councilman Roney also likes to attack Mrs. Flynn’s minimal participation in the local TEA party, now called the Constitution Committee. He seems to find it upsetting that someone could believe she is (TEA) Taxed Enough Already; to him it is somehow a rebellious or not-progressive-enough thinking. Or, maybe it’s because during his last election bid he had to literally wake up and actually campaign for the position he had held for 24-plus years and only managed to defeat Mrs. Flynn, who was virtually unknown, by 75 votes. Certainly not a resounding show of voter support for an incumbent.

On the other hand Councilman Roney, in his article (“Ag community relieves burden on your taxes,” July 23, A4), substantiated much of what Mrs. Flynn was saying. In Mr. Roney’s own words, “Did I expect the new fairgrounds to be built without tax dollars? Of course not; I’m a realist.”

My questions to you, the taxpayer, are do you believe that the county fairgrounds is a “public service?” How are your roads? Do you believe the role of local government is to take your tax money and use it for pet projects of a small vocal group of county residents? How much money has been raised from individuals and corporations in support of the new fairgrounds?

Councilman Roney agreed with Mrs. Flynn that the current fairgrounds is owned by the 4-H Ag Association. My question is who will own the new fairgrounds when the county has given the county farm land, which currently rents for approximately $42,000 per year, and the County Council has funded this fairgrounds using county taxpayer money in the amount of $20 million or more? Don’t forget they say the new fairgrounds will cost $40 million.

But wait; Councilman Roney has generously contributed $2,000 in the last 10 years toward the fairgrounds, or approximately 55 cents a day. Councilman Roney also forgot to address that at one of the fairground meetings it was pointed out that Tuttle farms, operated by Councilman Roney, could use the proposed “business incubator” to process and package his company’s jellies/jams — another example of your tax dollar being used for personal gain of private industry. I suggest that Councilman Roney, who is also a member of the Hancock County Exposition Complex Corporation and a sitting County Council member who will vote on using your tax dollar to fund a fairgrounds project, should recuse himself from that vote since he has a personal financial interest in the project. He has demonstrated a major conflict of interest.

Michael Flynn