Dear LNC members and State Chairs:
I was just scouring Google News before hitting the rack and came across the following story that is going to keep me up for another few hours out of sheer pride for our elected Libertarians.
This handful of Libertarians down in Florida remind me why we’re all in this. I am damn proud of and sincerely grateful for these guys.
Government wants to give you money (honest)
By Charlie Whitehead contact
Monday, July 16, 2007
Your government wants to send you a check.
It’s a small part of your government, and it’s a small check, but members of the Lee Soil and Water Conservation District hope it sets a big precedent.
The district made headlines early this year when the five-member elected board voted to eliminate its one major expense and axe its Mobile Irrigation Lab. The board, driven by a new Libertarian Party majority, decided the service was too inefficient and too expensive.
Lee County commissioners considered saving the lab, but voted 3-2 against it. The Collier Soil and Water Conservation District stepped in to save the lab and now collects the grant funding from the South Florida Water Management District, Lee County and the City of Cape Coral to keep the program going.
“It’s the same people sitting at the same desks doing the same thing,” said Jack Tanner, chairman of the Lee district. “We sold their vehicles so Collier must be providing them.”
Tanner said once the expense of the lab was off the books, the district found it had around $100,000 in its accounts.
“It’s been building up for years,” he said. “Like many government agencies we have money in a lot of places. When we got down to terminating the money coming in we looked at the money we had and what to do with it. We figured the property owners could use it better than we could.”
The lab was eliminated after the Libertarian majority came into power at the beginning of the year. Tanner was already serving on the board, as was fellow party member Kim Hawk. Tom Clark, the Libertarian party chairman in Lee County, was elected in November.
Hawk is currently vice chairman of the county party. Tanner is treasurer. The district vote to return the money was 4-0, with one member absent.
Tanner said the district couldn’t figure out how to split the money between the hundreds of thousands of property owners in Lee County. The board opted to send it back $10 at a time on a first-come, first-served basis.
As of the weekend, 86 checks had been sent.
“I think people are filling out the form just to see if it works,” Tanner said.
There are conditions. You must be a property owner in Lee County, since past funding for the district came from property taxes paid to the water management district or to the county. Only 200 checks will be sent out per month, because after 225 bank transactions a month the district has to pay.
And you have to ask. To do that, go to http://leeswcd.homestead.com/CHECK.html
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