COMMENTARY: Shelbyville city bond referendum just doesn’t make sense

I read a letter to the editor submitted to the Shelbyville Daily Union, which was published Monday, from Debe Wright, water and sewer commissioner for the City of Shelbyville, regarding an upcoming referendum up for a vote on Tuesday, Mar. 20.

The proposed referendum poses the following question as whether or not the City of Shelbyville should issue nearly $5.8 million in alternate bonds to pay for sewer infrastructure repairs.

Wright also attempts to plead the case that the infrastructure is aging and major work is being required by the Federal and Illinois Environmental Protection Agencies, with a long-term plan to meet those requirements within the next several years, with a projected price tag of over $5 million.

Here’s the underlying problem: the city’s sewer department is already drowning in roughly $1.6 million of bonds outstanding and Wright is essentially asking for the taxpayers in Shelbyville to support more fiscal irresponsibility by taking out more debt that the taxpayers will have to pay off.

Wright also adds that the City of Shelbyville is still exploring other financing sources to finance the needed projects, including bank loans and grant monies from governmental agencies such as the Rural Development division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Well, then keep exploring those options. Don’t force the taxpayers to support something they cannot truly afford. They’re already overtaxed in Shelby County and overtaxed in the State of Illinois. Don’t take on more debt than what the taxpayers can truly afford.

Sure, I’d highly recommend Shelbyville voters voice their concerns with City Clerk Carrie M. Jones, because this kind of fiscal irresponsibility just cannot continue to go on and then forcing the taxpayers to pay for it all over the next generation.

Voters with a shred of fiscal responsibility and common sense would see right through the lies and vote NO to this referendum on March 20.

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Jake Leonard is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. He is general manager of Heartland Internet Media Networks and an active contributor to four newspapers for Pana News Group. He also serves as chairman of Tri-Counties Libertarian Party and Capital Area Libertarian Party, deputy candidate recruitment director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois and as chairman/co-founder of the Libertarian Party Millennial Caucus.

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