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Taking on Liberal-Progressivism

Taking On Liberal-Progressivism

Putting my money where my mouth is…

I am currently taking on a small group of liberal progressives that have captured the board of the Hoback Ranches Service Improvement District in Bondurant.

The story begins in 2013 at the Summer Meeting. The Board proposed a 'Special Assessment' because they needed more funds than could be raised through the authorized mill levy for the district. Why was it limited? Because when the District was founded many years ago the people creating it put in place an 8 Mill cap on authority to tax.

But now the district was chafing at the limit. So they proposed a “Special Assessment.” But it was not just any old Special Assessment… since a true Special Assessment had to be put before the voters of the district in a balloted vote and as few as 30%+1 could prevent its passage, the board just wanted a “sort of special assessment.” This was to be passed on a voice vote of those attending.

At that point in time my instincts from Washington duty kicked in. The stated purpose of the District is simply some 25 miles of dirt roads, perimeter fencing and prevention of hunting within the district. What harm could this “sort of special assessment” do?

But I raised my hand and said “Why don’t you put an entry in the minutes that it is a one time assessment to meet some current bills?" Herein came my first indication of trouble: I was met with a deer-in-the-headlights response… they just refused to respond… silence. So I said that again: same response… and then a third time: same response. Finally a grand dame of the district gave me an “oh shut up hand wave” so I dropped it. But, such a refusal to respond tells a story, one that I've seen before.

…And it was passed on a voice vote in that Summer Meeting. What’s wrong with that? The statutes are specific as to what is required to meet a special assessment. This met none of the requirements. But I filed away the data point for next year.

Sure enough next year they simply proposed a budget greater than 8 mills without the subterfuge of a Special Assessment. So I raised that with board members and they then found a way to justify exceeding the cap. As always happens with liberal progressives there is a comfortable grain of truth to what they say… but always a great amount of heresy.
It was now clear to me that this board had intentionally deceived the district in order to get their thinking beyond the idea of an 8 mill cap. Now they were just going to say they could impose any mill rate they wanted. …And said exactly that in 2016.

Along the way I have been threatened, had petty vandalism done to my property, my wife was run off the road a few years ago, and following a public records request to inspect their records had a year and a half battle for them to open their records.

Since then the board has declared themselves a 'ruling body' subject to other parts of statute and not the Service and Improvement District Statutes. What bunk… but it gives them a veil of legitimacy.

Bottom line is the board has used deception and half truths to manipulate the people of the district. Their assertion of governing body status is just bunk…. but very good sounding bunk. In my view this is a classic liberal-progressive methodology: get contol of the money then start passing rules that sound good but really are unlawful. I am currently in the process of litigation to force them to abide by the specific founding authorities and by statute.

My money is where my mouth is…

There is more to the story, so more to follow.

Paid for by: Bill Winney
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