Sunday, July 21, 2002
unfair to residents
To the editor:
I take offense to the comments of Mayor Smith concerning the residents of the county coming to Meridian for work, medical facilities, shopping, recreation, etc. He makes it sound like the county should be totally beholding to the city. Yes, the county residents benefit from the things in Meridian, but does not Meridian benefit from the county residents using these facilities and paying sales taxes in Meridian?
Does he not appreciate the cooperation with the county for some of the recreational facilities that we share?
I do not live in the area proposed to be annexed by Meridian, but I do work there. I realize that Meridian is very important to Lauderdale County, but unwanted annexation seems very unfair. I would not like someone taking my freedom of choice to live in the county versus the city for whatever my reasons would be.
To the editor:
I recently purchased a lot in Eagle Pointe Villa on Briarwood Golf Course with the intention of building my family a home. One reason for choosing this area is because it is outside the city of Meridian. Now I hear that the mayor and council want to annex that area.
What can you offer me? "Higher taxes." Great, sign me up. We already have everything we need without you.
I would suggest finding an area that wants you and your services. If that is a possibility.
I look forward to teaming up with the Briarwood Community to fight the city's proposal. I believe that a group effort will derail the annexation train.
fire services in danger
To the editor:
Lauderdale County is facing a crisis in its fire protection. A plan has been put forth to consolidate all of the volunteer fire departments into one fire protection district. Thus, the entire county would get the same fire insurance rating, supposedly lowering rates for some areas.
It is my belief that this would actually raise the premiums of those districts that have earned a Class 8 rating, as the county would probably end up with a Class 9 or 10 rating.
There would no longer be any incentive for communities to work for, and donate money to, their fire department, as it would no longer be "their" fire department and would not be seen as affecting their fire insurance rating. I believe that a number of the county's volunteer fire departments would simply tell the county to come and get their fire trucks, lock the station and go home.
This will not improve the fire and medical services provided to the citizens of Lauderdale County. Instead we should work with those departments that do not have a Class 8 rating and help them help themselves.
If you remove the incentive from the volunteers, appoint a "super chief" to run all of the fire departments in the county rather than having independent fire chiefs in community based fire departments, you will destroy the county fire service.
A meeting to discuss this proposal has been scheduled for the 25th of this month at the LEMA office. This meeting should be held in a public forum, not behind closed doors, as is currently planned.
I urge everyone to contact their supervisor and tell them not to risk destroying the finest volunteer fire service in the state. This is a matter of lives and property saved, not who is in charge or if some people "might" get lower rates for a short time, while in the long run hurting everyone.
Martin Volunteer Fire/Rescue Department
To the editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to express my condolences to the family and friends of Q.V. "Coach" Sykes, who passed away last Sunday. I only knew him a few months during my tenure at The Star and covering the board of supervisors but I felt as if I had known him much longer. He and I had something in common in being natives of Montgomery County and I enjoyed all of our conversations. He was always willing to talk about whatever I needed for interviews for the paper.
I admired how much he cared for his district in his representation and in particular the children of his community. He worked really hard trying to provide things for children to do.
I know the animal farm was a hot topic that raised the ire of many people. Whether it should have been continued remains to be seen, but one thing is clear. Coach Sykes cared enough to take a lot of heat for something he felt was the right thing to do.
Coach Sykes was never a quitter. He fought long and hard. He knew the cancer was taking its toll but he was determined to keep going even to the point of announcing his intent to run for re-election.
I regret that I was unable to attend his funeral, but he is in my prayers as well as his family. I wish the board of supervisors the best in finding someone to fill in, but that is all that person can do because, in my opinion, Coach Sykes was irreplaceable.
Chris Allen Baker