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February 18, 2008


Brad Jolly

John, I agree with you that civility is important. Perhaps we have different definitions of what constitutes civility, however.

One example of civility that I always practice is that of never asking City Council (or anybody else) to support a massive property tax increase for a cause that I support. The idea of forcing people (at gunpoint, potentially) to fork over money or lose their homes strikes me as a very uncivil way to behave toward people, and therefore, I resist that impulse, even for causes that I favor.

Like many people, I react better (and more civilly) to those who are not constantly grabbing for my wallet. This is not to say that I am a tightwad; I give plenty away voluntarily, but I like to have choice in the matter.

John Creighton

I agree that we have different definitions of civility.

I respect people's desires to keep taxes low. However an argument that equates a local, democratic referendum in which all registered voters are able to express their preference on whether or not to raise taxes with an uncivil police action is, at best, nonsense. If one would follow this logic, we would not have streets, we would not have sewer and water systems, we would not have police or fire protection. In short, modern society would not exist.

At a more basic level, I surmise that you and I were taught very different lessons about what constitutes good manners.

Brad Jolly

So who said anything about "an uncivil police action?" The simple fact is that if the mill levy override passes, people who do not pay it will, in fact, end up with armed men from the county on their front porch in order to help them move.

I am not an anarchist. I fully understand the need for taxes at some level. I fully appreciate the taxes that I pay toward streets, sewer and water systems, police and fire protection.

I am a strong supporter of using tax money to fund education for all. However, when we spend more money year after year after year after year after year after year after year and still get lousy results, when less expensive alternatives get better results, I do wonder if it is wise to spend even more money on a broken system.

Finally, perhaps you are right about the manners thing. I, for example, was taught not to speculate on another's upbringing in public.

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