Thursday, January 18, 2018

Don’t let special interest groups decide future

Here we go again!
In recent years our country and our society has been taken over by small vocal special interest groups pushing their agendas. They call it political correctness. Well last Tuesday evening, a special interest group -- the Historical/Preservation Society -- arrived in full coordinated force in Stillwater County.
The county commission sponsored a hearing concerning the lack of adequate space within the courthouse.
It was heartening to see so many local citizens attending. It was also sad to think that so many more -- the silent majority -- did not attend.
The Historical/Preservation Society showed up in force and with their “ducks in a row” at least eight of their supporters testified that they support an option to restore the existing courthouse.
They brought letters of support from all over the state. Some of which were from folks with financially vested interest in seeing that old buildings get restored. In short, they carried the day. Their support for the option that invests $15 million of our tax dollars to support their hobby was impressive. Keep in mind: This $15 million dollars put into a building that is probably not worth half a million.
Now I have nothing against old buildings. But investing $15 million dollars in a 100-year-old building is not my idea of a good investment.
This whole exercise with the courthouse was started to provide a safe, reliable, efficient place for Stillwater County to conduct it’s business into the foreseeable future. Not to restore an old Historic Building. Let’s not lose sight of that. These are two separate issues.
If the Preservationists wish to restore this grand old building that’s great. Let them do it with their own money, not mine. I have hobbies also, I’m not asking anyone else to support them.
The last time I noticed, this country was a Democracy. The majority rule. Not a small special interest group. Let the voters decide in a well-advertised, ballot whether they want to invest 15 million dollars into a building which will undoubtedly need many more upgrades in the near future-or build a new modern, safe complex that will serve us for 100 years. We need to invest our tax dollars wisely. 15 million dollars in a building worth half a million is a poor investment.
15 million dollars invested in a new complex which will accomplish the goal seems to be a much better decision. This is still the United States of America. Put this issue and question on the ballot and let Democracy rule.
I for one am willing to pay my fair share to construct a new complex. However, I am not willing to support the hobby of a small minority with my tax dollars.
This is your county-your money-speak up and let the commissioners know how you feel!

J.F. (Jack) Knorr
Columbus