Wow! In this era of political correctness, the editorial “A painful necessity” sure ignored any political correctness by calling the 150-plus attendees at the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District hearing “the lynch mob.” Definition of lynch: to put a person(s) to death by hanging, burning or otherwise without authority for some offense. To call these attendees a “lynch mob” is totally out of line, irresponsible journalism, and certainly indicates the editor was not present at the meeting — or were you just showing your bias towards your real estate columnist? None of the attendees were unruly, no one at any time shouted or threatened, several thanked and complimented the board, and all simply expressed their concerns about the increases. A lynch mob? Hardly!
Pine-Strawberry residents know very well the challenges this board has with leaks, old pipes, etc. and that point was never disputed by the audience. What was disputed was their grandiose budget put on the backs of Pine-Strawberry residents via huge increases in water rates and very likely property tax increases. The theme from the attendees was to please slow down the increases with so many business and residents still very affected by the sluggish economy, amend the budget by taking smaller steps to fix what has to be fixed, and please do not pass this proposed budget that will break the financial backs of many in our communities.
This same editorial asked “the lynch mob” to cut the board some slack. Well, this board had its mind made up before this hearing, had to have this hearing, and obviously never had any intention of caring what the residents had to say. After two hours of pleading by the residents to please reconsider this budget and these increases, they sure didn’t cut the residents any slack when they blew off the residents, blew off Sam Schwalm’s suggestions, made absolutely no attempt to amend the budget, and passed this budget with no changes after hearing the residents.
Unbelievable and so much for this board supposedly representing the communities. While you were throwing around nasty terms like lynch mob, why didn’t you call this “an act of tyranny”? Definition: an abuse of authority. At least this would have been factually correct. We will vote out this Gang of 6 (Sam Schwalm excluded), but the damage has been done. When do rates or taxes ever go down? Sadly, this board’s mission has been accomplished and their agenda will go forward.
Editor’s note: You’re right. Everyone was very well behaved. The editorial metaphorically played off comments made by the board about getting lynched. Couldn’t find “abuse of authority” under tyranny. Did find “absolute power vested in a single ruler” and “an oppressive, harsh, or unjust act.” But then as a description of raising rates that seems almost as metaphorical as “lynch mob.”