Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Epitaph for Adams County

There is an epitaph in the Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona, a throwback to the old west days of Wyatt Earp, and the Cowboys gang. The epitaph dispenses some dry wit along with the information about the demise of one Lester Moore.

Here lies Lester Moore
2 slugs from a .44
No Les, no more.

Your taxes are going up because they want you to move. We live in a modest single home, and our taxes are driving the mortgage up by about $70 per month!

Can you imagine what the local farmers will have to pay? So why is this happening? Exorbitant tax increases like those the County and Cumberland Township are slamming on us are wholly, and totally unnecessary.

Most of the money in their budgets goes to support growth in financial aid to developers, and builders.

But really, they want to drive you out. If taxes get too high and drive your mortgage up enough, you’ll sell. And you’ll sell at THEIR price, not yours, because you have to sell.

They do this to foster more growth.

Your elected officials are doing this to you.

Say good bye to the Gettysburg you know. In five to ten years, it will be gone. Gettysburg will look like York, Carlisle, Lancaster, Hanover, Frederick, and Chambersburg, and all the other “small sleepy” towns that “growth” has destroyed.

Say good bye to the great, stable economy the area has enjoyed for several decades, withstanding inflation and recession alike. Say good bye to lower than average taxes, and lower than average unemployment.

The divide in the county between rich and poor, between haves and have-nots, between us and them, has just increased by miles, and it is taking the middle class with it.

If you move the middle class too far to one side or the other of that divide, you destroy it. Destroy the middle class and you dissolve the glue that holds our society together. Society then decays to an ever widening gap between only two classes, rich and poor. Poverty increases because the rich will have more of the money and with an increase in poverty comes a corresponding increase in crime, disease, and moral decay.

What’s happening is not growth that is healthy, it is destructive, greed-driven growth. And we, our friends and our neighbors are responsible for it because we have allowed it to become the monster that it is. We pay homage to the good works done by people like Dave Sites, Dave LeVan, and Bob Monahan because they spread their money around, and look good in tuxedos receiving community awards, or handing over small checks that are pocket change to them. They buy your good will. Imagine what that purchasing power does to a local politician! Imagine the chains that philanthropy places around their necks. But you admire them for it.

It is not philanthropy because true philanthropy is anonymous and requires nothing in return. What they do comes with an IOU signed by someone, some group who is receiving their money, and is signing on your behalf. It is not philanthropy by any standards, as it is not freely given. There is a return expected.

You are paying part of that bill now. You are paying for everything the developers will need to build their 20,000 homes in the county over the next five-ten years. The first 2,500 are already approved by the local townships! Now there will be more. Many, many more. And the farmers who already pay high property taxes will find themselves taxed out of business. They’ll be forced to sell their farms to developers at extremely low prices – the days of a farmer getting mega-millions for his farm by selling it to a land-hungry developer are long gone.

Very few currently living in this county will get rich from this. The divide is not balanced in population.

What our elected officials are doing to us is, quite simply, thievery and extortion.

The consequences are disastrous. Do you think there is a drug problem in Gettysburg now? Of course there is. But just wait. In the next few years as people with money move here from the DC metro area, the drug problem will explode. Washington Street and Franklin Street will see parades of bright new SUVs that stop at corners and alleyways. The tinted windows roll down, and someone darts out from a darkened doorway: money and drugs change hands. The police are powerless to do anything because they simply will no longer venture into the area.

Gettysburg College will see enrollment drop from around the country because the campus will be surrounded by high density, low income housing, making it a hazard for anyone to leave the campus. Crime on campus will skyrocket.

The economically oppressed resort to desperate measures just to survive. There is no thought of bettering their lives any more, it is purely survival.

Those are your new friends and neighbors. High energy prices, high taxes, high food prices, and theft rates will go through the roof.

It’s already too late. Adams County five years ago was a Garden of Eden. It is rapidly becoming a cesspool, mainly thanks to a few greedy developers and a whole passel of gutless, spineless, greedy politicians.

Here lies Adams - sweet
Too much asphalt and concrete
No green, all beat

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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to how you feel about your pals the Paddocks selling off their land for development? You are all about beating the dead horses of Monahan, Sites, and LeVan but what about your pals? What have they done for you that has earned them a free pass?

GettysBLOG said...

You apparently did not read what was written above:

"And the farmers who already pay high property taxes will find themselves taxed out of business. They’ll be forced to sell their farms to developers at extremely low prices – the days of a farmer getting mega-millions for his farm by selling it to a land-hungry developer are long gone."

The Paddocks apparently find themselves in this situation.

That should make you happy.

Now run along back to BoroughVent and tell Gene and Debbie what you did. They'll be proud of you.

But don't forget to warn them to be careful what they wish for, they just might get it.

Anonymous said...

The Paddocks are farmers who are being taxed out of the business? That's news to me.

GettysBLOG said...

The Paddocks live on a farm. The farm is in Cumberland Township. Cumberland Township is installing an enormous hike in property taxes.

Cumberland Township is in Adams County. Adams County is installing an enormous increase in property taxes.

Apparently, you can't make the connections or do the math.

GettysBLOG

STANDstraban said...

Did anyone catch the articles in the Gburg Times just before Thanksgiving re: BIg Dig....Big Secrets Well after a little digging, I found out that Wal-Mart does plan to erect a Supercenter on the Sheler Road/Route 30 site across from Sheetz. Not only Sprawl Mart, but also a Lowe's and other big box stores which total about 500,000 square feet of new retail. The developers, Faison, from North Carolina have quietly requested a zoning hearing board meeting for January 15 to start their plans for this massive development; If any Strabanites believe this will bring too much traffic and other problems, they should contact STANDstraban@gmail.com for more information.

Anonymous said...

My Two Cents:

Cumberland Twp has long been out of control. Now we have elected one of the supervisors who "helped the developers" in Cumberland Twp as our County Commissioner.

Obviously, no one is listening . . .

Not only is the "sprawl" out of control but no one is taking into account the lack of resources - water, being the main one.

Hopefully the "Implant ( as I call those newly to the area )" we have sitting in the vacant supervisor seat, will work for the people and stop the tax increases, sewer increases, and terrible sprawl with no regard to resources.


Last comment is on the BJ's, Walmart Super Center, and Lowes in Straban: the East side of town has become a monstrosity, but at least those newly proposed stores have been long needed in this area.