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Contact your city councilor regarding 2010-2011 budget talks

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To the Editor:I took time to attend the budget work session for the City of Lebanon on Wednesday. I was concerned when it was reported that the city had a balanced budget but it was going to borrow $1 million. When I have borrowed money, my budget is not in balance until I get out of the red. The whole thing just seemed odd when it was also reported that we would not have any new fees or taxes.  How on earth is the city going to pay for a million dollar loan when it doesn't have money to balance a budget without it?The first thing that was of great concern to me was the amount of time that was spent on the senior citizen center budget. I was under the impression that this was a nonprofit organization. We have to borrow a million dollars but we are funding and planning a nonprofit's budget? Why give nonprofits tax free status if we are going to fund them with taxpayer money? Seems like they are getting paid twice, and this practice needs to stop until we don't have to borrow money to "balance the budget." When one of our representatives stood up for the taxpayers he was treated as a traitor, not a representative. His words did represent the taxpayer and the chair of the meeting was quite disrespectful of this point of view.The second and most concerning was when the question was posed as to how the million dollar loan would be repaid. Basically what I understood the answer to be is that it is not a concern as we don't budget for the future. Some of the members said we will raise taxes and add fees for trash and water services because we will have no choice next year. The mayor wants to implement these fees and taxes now instead of making some difficult cuts to reduce the size of city government. We, the people, are tired of this and want to reduce city government, state and federal as well.My representative brought up the point that no attempts have been made to reduce the size of city government. Another pointed out that no efforts were made to reduce spending and in his opinion as much as 3 to 5 percent could be saved through the elimination of privileges.I would encourage every citizen to contact their representative and make their views known. Taxes and fees reduce the amount of money you will have to spend on your household, and you will not have the option of taking from your neighbors to fund your wasteful spending habits.Jack ReynoldsLebanon 

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