People ask why we chose 20% reduction in the county-wide levies. Simple answer – to get us back to where we were just 5 years ago. Think back to 5 years ago. You were working, enjoying life, and paying all your bills. Today it is quite different for many Kendall County citizens. The major difference? Cost on everything from food, to gasoline, to utilities, to taxes have increased exponentially. As I said in a previous BLOG, my property taxes have increased 50%! We must negotiate these cost lower. We buy generic food or cut back on electricity by turning off the lights when leaving a room to lowering the thermostat to save on heating bills. We can’t do that with our taxes except to try to negotiate a fair rate with the county.
Let’s take a look at something we all have to do from time to time – buy a car. Might be new or used, cheap or expensive. The seller is asking a certain price. You do your homework and look at your budget to make a decision on what you can afford. Right off the bat the new Lexus is ruled out along with the 1990 rust-bucket down the street in your neighbor’s front yard. You finally decide to go to a dealer where you begin negotiating the deal. If you are lucky enough to afford a new car, do you just find the one you like and write a check for the sticker price? Some people do but most of us take a percentage off the sticker and tell the salesman that is your bottom-line, out the door, price. After he stops laughing, the real negotiating begins. The same holds true for our elected officials. If you ask for nothing – that is usually what you get. The 20% is a goal – a starting point. Every negotiation must start somewhere and we feel 20% or 2008 levels are doable.
There will be those who say we can’t cut 20%. Those are the same people who haven’t lost their job, or been reduced in hours, or haven’t had an unexpected expense over the last 5 years. The rest of us have had to find the fat in our budget and eliminate it. That is all we are asking to do with the referendum on reducing the levies.
As you are out with family and friends this next week take a copy of our petition and get 14 people to sign the sheet(or as many as you can – partial sheets are okay too), get it notarized, and return it to us no later than 8/5/12(firstname.lastname@example.org). You will be helping negotiate a deal that will help your friends, family, and neighbors more than doing nothing but complaining. You can be part of the solution. Remember that if you don’t ask – you won’t get. The first step in negotiating must begin with a request from someone. Let that someone be you!