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Letter to the Editor: "I want what is best for this community, which is why I'm voting 'no.'"

Posted: Tue, Apr 3, 2018 5:18 PM

(The following Letter to the Editor has been submitted by Sue Sander of Decorah):

"I want what is best for this community. Part of wanting what is best is avoiding risks that outweigh the benefits. The risks of raising property taxes from a vote 'yes' fall disproportionately on the people in town who are least able to bear it--people on fixed and limited incomes.
Decorah Power assumes the city would use revenue bonds to pay for all of the lawyers, experts and fees the city would incur.  What hasn't been explained well is that those first millions come from general obligation bonds (property taxes) if the city withdraws at any point or if the IUB rules against Decorah Power's to-good-to-be-true study.
I've been hearing that a vote 'yes' continues the conversation. A vote 'yes' is giving up our ability to rein in the city from spending millions of dollars. We the people will not be asked again.

True, the city can withdraw from the process at any time, at a cost to taxpayers, but it can't get through the IUB process without spending millions of dollars. Decorah Power's paid consultant has said he is zero for zero in front of the IUB. You could call it undefeated, but it's not a record I'd want to risk millions of taxpayer dollars on.

Decorah already has a great electric provider.  Many of Decorah's residents, especially those on fixed incomes, cannot afford the higher taxes of a 'yes' vote.

With the increase in other city-run utilities, the assumption can be made that a city-owned electric utility's rates would be higher than what we are paying now.  I highly doubt that in my lifetime we will see the money that Decorah Power keeps promising that will stay in our community.  The money borrowed or bonded for needs to be paid off first before any of these extra funds can be used by the community.

I want what is best for this community, which is why I'm voting "no." Please vote; we won't be asked again!  Take back our city by letting the elected personnel know what we truly want-- "Vote No!"