McLendon-Chisholm faces tax increase without a vote of the citizens and abolishment of the planning and zoning commission 

Now that Robert Steinhagen is faced with the realities of the office, myself and others hope he will change his rhetoric and take the high road of listening and working with all factions of the community. 

During the last city election, candidate Robert Steinhagen promised that there would be no tax increase without a vote of the public. The City of McLendon-Chisholm has two public hearings scheduled on Sept. 13 and 20 in regards to a tax increase.  The proposed city tax rate remains unchanged from last year’s .152025. However, due to the rollback election and the increase in property evaluations, the projection is that each citizen will pay more to the City of McLendon-Chisholm in taxes. Consequently, a tax increase, and by state law, public hearings are required.

In more than one public communication, candidate Steinhagen constantly referred to the phrase “We the people are best able to make decisions on things that will raise our taxes, put us into debt, grant exceptions to our city’s building standards, or take away our personal liberty on what we can do on our own property.”

Councilman Steinhagen appears to be promoting the exact opposite of his campaign liturgy. Several of the last city council meetings have had agenda items asked for by Councilman Steinhagen to abolish the City Planning and Zoning Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustments. This is an action not in accordance with representative government led by “We the people” statements. During public comments, numerous citizens have spoken negatively on abolishing these citizen bodies designed to promote involvement in city government by willing members of the community. In fact, the only person apparently resolved to force this issue is Councilman Steinhagen. For three successive council meetings, it appears that he requested it be tabled to the next meeting even after requesting it be placed on the agenda. What is the real motive to centralizing city government and what purpose does it serve to remove concerned and willing citizens to participate in the process of serving and working in their community?  

My intent for this letter is not to bring unfounded criticism to Councilman Steinhagen’s campaign or his service as a councilman. It is simply to serve as recognition that his promised intended actions are not consistent with his politics. We all want and seek what is best for the community. Hopefully, the honorable councilman will come to understand that as the motive for the vast majority of those who participate in the city’s issues. 

 

Mike Donegan