Attending the recent Ranger College public forum, many people left more confused!

First, in a county of more than 38,000 people and over 23,000 registered voters, why have a town hall meeting in a crowded room of 70 with standing room only?

Second, why would a ‘public forum’ meeting require a firm one hour time limit? Why close a public information meeting with numerous unanswered logical questions?

A public forum meeting that affects every tax paying property owner in the county should be heavily advertised and make taxpayers aware of how significant their costs will affect them versus the benefits of what that individual will receive?

My math says that the 11 cents per $100 valuation would increase a $100,000 property by $110! How many homes in Brown County are valued at $100,000? Many properties are valued much higher; therefore, most property owners would be paying much more than $110? Some advocates of Ranger College says “it would only cost every person an average of only about $20 per year!”

Where did that figure come from? I assume they are saying that a family of 5 or 6, living in a $100,000 house would pay $110; therefore, ‘it would cost every person an average of about $20?’ That sounds like deliberate deception or intentional ‘alternative facts?’

I met a nice man recently at the July 4th fireworks celebration at Lake Brownwood. He was passing a petition to acquire the required signatures to get this issue on then November 2017 ballot. The promotional card says the benefit to taxpayers would be-to have potentially four Brown County citizens on the board of trustees; tuition rates would drop 49 percent; more workforce training and pell grants for ‘eligible’ students.

Obviously, this could benefit a select few Brown County citizens! But would the enormous costs to EVERY county property owner versus the small assistance for the few other citizen’s kids’ education be worth the dollars?

Did I mention the man passing the petition asking taxpayers for over 2.8 million dollars annually, would not and did not pay the required $20 admission into the patriotic concert? But he did, however, stand at the backstage gate to enjoy the festivities that other people’s money had sponsored!

Apparently, this man was not from Brown County and knew very little about the purpose for the petition, so he may have been employed by some organization that was possibly hired to acquire enough names to get this issue on the November ballot?

Other unanswered questions at this public forum were, ‘if the college budget needs a significant yearly increase, why would tuition costs drop 50 percent and dual credit costs drop from the current $85 to $25 per credit hour?

Ranger College president Bill Campion stated the tax increase would be ‘11 cents per $100 valuation, period!’ Later, Mr. Campion conceded that there is no guarantee it would stay at that level! Others say it could increase to around 50 cents per $100 valuation?

This newspaper stated that currently, other counties in the district are at 24.5 cents per $100 valuation and that Brown County will pay the same rate as the rest of the district, but that the entire district’s rate will initially fall to 11 cents when Brown County enters.

Is this documented or intentional deception or alternative facts?

Mr. Campion also spoke of ‘fake news’ we are hearing, about the erroneous tax increase that will soon happen? What is ‘fake news?’ He did not say it was not true or a flagrant lie, so I assume ‘fake news’ is facts that they do not want reported? Typical politics!

Seems like ‘fake news’ would be putting an issue on the voting ballot (.43/$100), and then trying to convince voters that it would really be only (.11/$100) as it has been consistently reported?

That’s like putting an incarcerated convict on the election ballot and trying to convince voters that you’re not truly voting for him; but you’ll really get his brother in office and he is a great moral citizen that will be good for us all! Then after he wins, it’s like, “well, you actually voted ‘for’ the convict; he’s out on parole now, we voted ‘for’ him so that’s what you get!” Sounds like ‘fake news’, ‘alternative facts’, or ‘intentional deception’?

Therefore, if you want much more taxes, for the rest of your life, vote ‘for’ the Ranger College annexation on Nov. 7!

How will the tax increase affect senior citizens, on set income, homesteaded, retired and have already paid for their own home, property, college and children’s college? Would that be socialism?

Apparently, many informed citizens cannot understand how such a big property tax increase would help improve lifestyles, livelihoods, or increase much needed revenues to our own county, cities, and ISDs? EVERY property owner in the county will pay the tax, but how will it benefit the vast majority of county citizens?

A really successful, local businessman explained to me that this is the typical liberal format? Force increased government in our life, pay more taxes with less benefit, initiate socialism, take hard earned dollars from those that can pay to create bigger government to assist those that cannot or lacks the initiative to pay their portion, fallacious balloting, etc.?

I don’t even know what ‘liberal’ means, but it certainly sounds like an adequate evaluation to me?

Larry Shields

Early