To the Editor:
I feel compelled to respond to Mr. Fred Taylor’s letter dated April 9, 2012 in regards to the Shipshewana West sewer project. The weight of misinformation Mr. Taylor appears to be laboring under is astounding.
Let’s look at his first point. That being separation of church and state being the law of the land. Amendment 1 to the United States Constitution reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …” Nowhere in our laws do you find the term “separation of church and state.” That was a term used by one of our founding fathers in a letter to a church. Mr. Taylor’s ramblings on the use of money to construct the sewer and its connection with the church camps is a little confused at best.
I’m not sure why Mr. Taylor would be concerned about one property owner profiting from the sale of their property to someone else. If the seller is exempt from capital gains taxes, that is a federal/state tax code issue and has nothing to do with construction of a sewer system.
Mr. Taylor’s next point seems to be that life isn’t fair. I suggest he get over it. I didn’t find it fair that one homeowner could delay construction of the sewer by filing frivolous lawsuits. The LCRUD is a public utilities district. As such it is supposed to be revenue neutral. This means that LCRUD is not supposed to make or lose money in its operations. There has to be a stable rate base that cannot be achieved with an uncertain metering system.
As Mr. Taylor points out, the law allows for campgrounds to purchase meters if they feel it will be more beneficial than being charged at 1/8 residency per bed. This seems fair for the campgrounds and we should all be grateful that the services they provide won’t be going away due to financial burdens.
As for it being the Shipshewana Community Lake Improvement Association (SCLIA) pushing for the sewer, I believe Mr. Taylor is mistaken. Construction of the sewer is a legal mandate, and not just for the lake community, but the community at large. Does SCLIA support the construction of the sewer? Absolutely! So do I, but I’m not a current member of SCLIA. As for the implication that someone on the SCLIA board might be doing something unethical or illegal, I would caution Mr. Taylor that there are laws pertaining to libel.
Mr. Taylor wants to “take back” our lake at the annual lake association meeting. I would like to remind Mr. Taylor that SCLIA is, in fact, an association of people interested in improving Shipshewana Lake. These people come together each year and elect friends and neighbors to be on the board and conduct the association’s business, in the interest of improving the Shipshewana lake community.
The only two issues I am aware Mr. Taylor is interested in regarding the lake is increasing the speed limit for boats and preventing the sewer construction. Both of these are self-interests, which is fine on an individual basis, but neither one would improve Shipshewana lake. If Mr. Taylor and others with the same self-interests “take over” the association, it would no longer be a Lake Improvement Association.
Finally, Mr. Taylor claims to be aware of a method to help clean up the lake in a short period of time. I find it interesting that he wants to keep this information to himself. If he is interested in the lake environment, I would think he would be spending his time writing letters advocating his solution instead of attacking people who have proven their interest in improving the lake.
I have one last suggestion for Mr. Taylor. If you truly believe there is some evil association cabal plotting to dip into your wallet and dictate how you must use your property, like connecting to a sewer system, I suggest you find a piece of property on another lake without a sewer or an association, and purchase that. If you are smarter than your letter suggests, you will wait for the sewer system to be complete so that you can take advantage of the increase in property value.