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home : stillwater journal : opinions/letters to the editor June 29, 2015

7/12/2013 8:31:00 PM
View From LA
By LeeAnn Barton

It has been three years since I mounted the soapbox of the state of the economy; national, municipal, familial-oh the deceptions we are (I'll say naïve to be nice) enough to believe. If you are like me, you feel somewhat at the mercy of the powers that be; we may even exercise our right to vote, but ultimately wonder if our representatives really get the picture.

As our country's debt increases and increases any thinking person must admit we are far from solid ground. What can a concerned citizen do? I know of nothing I can do about the national debt.

I can squeak and spit every time the city hits us with (yet another) utility increase. I have actually taken it a little farther than that, wondering out loud why, when many homes in nice neighborhoods are for sale in the southwest quadrant of town, new developments and housing tracts are approved and encouraged when the water system isn't up to the existing load. (I live in the southwest and have never had pressure issues. Is it in these new neighborhoods that issues exist I wonder.)

When I lived in communities that were in active development mode, new neighborhoods paid a surcharge on their taxes to cover the cost of extending utilities to the new area. It was accepted by the buyers and not expected that the city, county, or in this case, the citizens of the community would cover the major expense.

I pray for wisdom and direction as I enter the days where retirement is a coming reality. Local powers promote the area for retirees, even earning the state's approval as a retirement friendly community. Other than having a state of the art medical complex, I'm having trouble seeing it. When seniors are not fortunate enough to have a full portfolio from which to draw funds, biannual utility increases compounded with "necessary" taxes, bonds, increased food and fuel costs well, folks like myself have to consider our options.

And the truth is most of us in our 50's and early 60's did not plan for retirement like many of our parents did; fixed incomes with no wiggle room will be most common for my generation. The choice of assisted living is probably out of most of our reaches and unless state-funded long-term care sounds appealing, friends we need to act now!

GET OUT OF DEBT! We cannot expect our city/country to do what we are not willing to do in our own homes.

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