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Over 80 pack commission meeting to rip fees

Over 80 citizens have packed the Lamar County commission meeting tonight to discuss the controversial and erroneous fire/EMS bills received this week. Chairman Jay Matthews reported the county has maxed out its $2.4 million line of credit. Among those speaking out: Jane Phillips: “The county ain’t gonna shove this down our throats.” Kenneth Phillips: “The fire department is great. They ain’t lost a chimney yet.” Wayne Phillips: “I ain’t gonna pay it. I can’t pay it.” Julia Thomas: “Is this a monthly fee? When did this come about?” Bennie Page: “This don’t make any sense. I got five of these. Some are vacant lots. What the ambulance gonna come down there for to get a rabbit. What ya’ll trying to do, take my property. I’ve been in Lamar County since 1944. I’m getting disgusted with it now.” Julia Heidbrink: “Ambulance rides are incredibly expensive. You’re paying them thousands of dollars and we are paying them thousands of dollars when we ride in it.” Leon Chapman: “My taxes have doubled. I have to borrow money from my son and daughter to pay my taxes.” Collin Kitchens: “I didn’t pay attention to (the bill) at first. I thought it was a joke – a little old postcard.” Charles Lawrence: “Why can’t you put a 1-2% sales tax all over the county?” Kathlenn Faulkner: “I got enough of these to play cards. I can’t live in nine places.” Merritt Taylor: “I’ve lived in this county since 1937. I can’t tell a whole lot of difference in the services now and the services then.” Randy Vining: “This is a back door tax. You raised the peoples’ taxes when they told you not to.” Mary Womack: “Everybody in the county ought to boycott this (fee) and not pay it.” Terry Womack: “Things ain’t getting no better. If you are $2 million in the hole now, where will you be in the future?” Mark Gooden: “Can you waive services on vacant parcels? How did we build a new stadium and Fine Arts Center.” Marilyn Price: “A lot of the problem here is nobody ran against any of ya’ll. Every time a volunteer answers a call he gets $12. A problem with bringing in new industry is the school system. It may look pretty but none of them can pass their SAT tests. It don’t matter if they have Astroturf if they can’t make their grades.” Franklin Lassiter: “I thought we’d already paid our fire and ambulance in our ad valorem taxes.” Joe Buice: “It has taken years for us to get $2.5 million in debt. We’ve got a mess. We are all going to have to work together to get out of the mess. You got to be honest with these people who are paying the bills.”

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