I am writing because the editorial, "Our View" that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Pilot & Today was disrespectful to the members of the Tax Policy Advisory Board. To accuse this group of a "laggardly pace" is uninformed and inappropriate.
Although I am not a part of the TPAB board itself, I have tried my best to act as their community resource representative at the request of the City Council's selection committee. I have attended the meetings, giving them some insight and perspective about our economy. This group of volunteers is not a bunch of slackers. They are people, many who work full-time jobs, have families and who for the past six months have set aside at least 90 minutes to meet every week. They have spent countless hours on their own and in subcommittees taking seriously their charge to develop a comprehensive set of recommended tax policies for the City Council to consider adopting.
This group likely understands more about the types and uses of taxes in our community than a vast majority of us. Taxes in our community are a complex issue, and it is dangerous and foolish to rush the development of policies that likely will be in place for many years.
Public process takes time. To make good recommendations takes time. You cite market forces moving faster than the TPAB could react. One of the key roles of government in any economy is to prevent "the market" from bulldozing over its citizens and to be sure that public process takes place in a fair and open manner.
The editorial board of the Pilot supported the creation of the TPAB because it believed in and supported the public process. Why rush it and risk poor decisions and poorly thought out recommendations. Look how long it took this community to finalize the Community Area Plan Update. The willingness of a group of folks to volunteer time and energy in an effort to help all of us speaks volumes about the great character of our wonderful little town. The editorial board of the Pilot & Today owes this group of volunteers an apology.
Scott L. Ford