Editorial Response

During my time as a County Commissioner, it has not been uncommon to open one of our local news papers to find a letter to the editor or a staff editorial taking issue with some position I may have taken or some proposal I might have made. Rarely do I take issue with or responded in kind to those letters to the editor or a staff editorials, mainly because those writers generally are not equipped with enough of the facts to actually debate an issue intelligently.  However when I read a piece as far off the mark as the one written by Mr. Roy S. Trahan II pertaining to the proposed Adequate Schools Facility Tax (Village Connection 7/12/06), I am compelled to respond.

I will not here recite the benefits of the of the proposed ASFT which are in my opinion 100% for County residents. Most of the facts have been well documented in the local papers. I can only assume that Mr. Roy S. Trahan II either has not done his homework on the matter or he just can't grasp the concept. Either way he has made several erroneous statements that must be corrected.

Mr. Roy S. Trahan II recommends higher taxes on commercial and industrial properties. Commercial and industrial properties are already taxed at a higher rate, 40% on assessed value compared to 25% on assessed value for residential, so that kind of shoots a hole in Mr. Roy S. Trahan II plan to raise taxes on commercial and industrial properties. It's already been done. Strike one.

Next, I am definitely on the record in favor of slowing growth. I have tried to make it crystal clear that my support for the ASFT is not about tax revenue, but that it will fulfill the predictions of the developers and Realtors and slow the rate of growth in the County by as much as 25%. If that prediction were to come true, the revenues generated by the tax would just be icing on the cake.

Mr. Roy S. Trahan II states that I have "publicly said that if I could help get the new ASFT passed, I will try to repeal the property tax increase enacted last year." Wrong again. My desire to repeal the 06 tax increase has nothing to do with the newly enacted ASFT (Passed by the State Legislature 7/1/06). I have been calling for a tax roll back since last year. Strike two.

Mr. Roy S. Trahan II seems to be really fond of the phrase "good ol boys". He accuses me of pandering to them, whoever "They" are. Apparently he doesn't know me very well. After all we have never met nor have I ever known of Mr. Roy S. Trahan II attending a single one of our meetings. How then could Mr. Roy S. Trahan II be in any way qualified to claim to know my motives. I would challenge Mr. Roy S. Trahan II to go into the community and find anybody who thinks I "pander" to any one. What Mr. Roy S. Trahan II calls pandering to the "good ol boys" is what I call "representing the views of my constituents" ---what I was elected to do. Strike three Mr. Roy S. Trahan II, you're out.

Lastly, I do take issue with what is supposedly a responsible newspaper employee, working for a supposedly responsible newspaper rendering such an irresponsible editorial. Mr. Roy S. Trahan II, I‘m calling on you, take issue with my views, disagree with my perspective or chastise me for my votes but please, at least get your facts right. Abraham Lincoln once said, "It is better to be silent and thought to be a fool than to speak out and erase all doubt." I think I understand why Mr. Roy S. Trahan II choose not to show his face in his column photo.

Van Shaver