To the editor:
After looking at the Van Buren Township Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page, I did online research.
Public records as of Dec. 31, 2015, show Van Buren Township taxes have provided $163,995.28 in a fire cumulative fund for new trucks or maintenance, etc., and a balance of $33,703.46 for the fire department contract.
Your trustee as of Dec. 31, 2015, paid $16,915.08 of your taxes in lawyer fees to Cline, King and King (attorney fee) and Bunger and Robertson (mediator fees) of $2,291 to fight paying your volunteer department anything for services already rendered.
If she has concerns with your taxes being spent wisely, I would say she is putting your fire department out of business and using your tax dollars to do it!
The fact that she has the power to do so is appalling. Would you want to work with someone who can decide to pay you or not at whim? To close down the only protection being provided through nonpayment and a drawn-out lawsuit seems irresponsible. They stay open only through fundraisers and donations.
Why are you paying taxes if they are not being distributed as you assumed?
The township’s annual fiscal reports up to 2010 can be found at in.gov/itp/annual_reports and after that at https://gateway.ifionline.org. In the 2015 report it shows the itemized tax dollars received and disbursed. That is where the lawyer expenses are shown.
Janet Long, Brown County
Send letters to email@example.com by noon Thursday before the date of intended publication.
Letters are the opinions of the writer.
Letters must be signed by the author and include the writer’s town of residence and a contact number in case of questions. Only one letter every two weeks, per writer, to allow for diversity of voices in the opinions section.
Please be considerate of sharing space with other letter-writers and keep your comments concise and to the point.
Avoid name-calling, accusations of criminal activity and second- and third-hand statements of “fact.”