South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

In a tax-based society, we will get what we pay for, reader says

To the editor:

I just finished reading Bonnie Stegman’s letter to the editor wherein she urges support for her candidate, Ed Ryan.

That came as no surprise to me as Aaron Hilmer is the treasurer for South County Citizens for Public Reform — the group backing Ryan. It is worthy to mention that the South County Citizens for Public Reform, then with Ed Ryan as treasurer, supported the candidacy of Hilmer and Stegman.

South County Citizens for Public Reform is the group that received $20,000 from a political action group associated with the Home Builders Association and then funneled that money into the campaign of Hilmer and Stegman. Controversial elimination of critical fire inspections of one- and two-family dwellings by Hilmer and Stegman soon followed. That action was opposed by both the fire chief and the fire marshal of the Mehlville Fire Protection District.

Ms. Stegman should think back to the first official action of the board controlled by her and Hilmer. She may recall that a motion was made and seconded by these two to change the Monday night meeting time from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. to allow greater public participation. Since their takeover of the MFPD board, meetings have been on every workday of the week at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., which is anything but accommodating to encourage or allow more public participation. Last-minute postings of meetings is also a problem.

Ms. Stegman also states that Ed Ryan “is also going to work with us to bring the tax-decrease issue back before you, the voters.

The courts said no to their scam as current state statutes do not allow this type of vote.

That is why I had a lawsuit filed against the St. Louis County Board of Election Com-missioners and the MFPD Board of Directors. The court agreed with me.

The reason for this could very well be that the MFPD Board of Directors already has the power to levy any tax rate they choose between $.00-$1.22. This rate is traditionally set at the end of the August.

So if these two — or three — want to roll your tax back 45 cents, as they say, tell them to stop talking and do it.

We are the largest fire protection district with the lowest tax rate and we are losing people at an alarming rate. I am very proud of the men and women of the MFPD who have always, and continue, to serve us well.

When it comes to the lives or property of our families or our neighbors’ lives and property, we should demand the best — which is what we, in the MFPD, expect and deserve.

Regardless if we like it or not, this is a tax-based society and we will get what we pay for.

Dennis C. Skelton


Editor’s note: Mr. Skelton’s letter also states that he is the founder of Protecting Our Protectors, or POP, “which no longer exists as of December 2006.”

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