Lancaster: Dist. 4 councilman shouts, 'I kill people'; 4-3 vote approves tax increase
LANCASTER - During the recent vote Monday, Sept. 13 to increase taxes in the city of Lancaster, Councilman James Daniels let all residents know how he felt about the recent flier concerning the tax increase hearing going around and inserted in The Ellis County Press.
"I will not be threatened," said Daniels, district 4 representative. "I kill people, I was in the military for 35 years."
Daniels continued to say, "Don’t threaten me, I will vote my conscience tonight."
Not the only one feeling heat from the flier, others expressed their opinions.
District 2 Councilman Todd Love said he wanted to make clear he does not always vote with City Manager Ricky Chil-ders recommendations.
"I vote issues, not people," said Love.
Support from ex-city or school officials to increase taxes were apparent.
"I am not Mark Cuban but, I have a check for $100 to give the city and I urge everyone of you to do the same," said Carol Strain-Burk, a member of the council for 10 years who was voted out this past May.
Ex-School Board President Carolyn Morris agreed.
"Everyone should be at the school board meeting, their taxes are high over there," said Morris, also voted out of her seat this past May.
"I agree, we should bring the mayor and city manager money."
The nine percent tax increase was approved with a final vote of 4-3.
Mayor Marcus Knight and Councilmember’s Love, Daniels and Clyde Hariston voted for the increase.
Mayor Deputy Pro Tem Nina Morris and Councilmember’s Marco Meja and Walter Weaver voted against.
"This was our third public hearing, we are not trying to deceive you [the taxpayers] at all," said Knight.
"This is your city, your council chambers, call or e-mail us."
While a water increase was also set off for the evening, Love questioned Childers recommendation about the quality of the water.
"It should taste better," said Childers.
Love recanted with, "should?"
"I don’t like paying more for something I don’t like," said Love.
With a motion made by Love, the water increase failed with a 4-3 vote.
Knight, Daniels and Hairston opposed.
Knight said the city will have to discuss what to do in a workshop later on since there are not going to be an increase in fees.
Finally, the budget was approved with a 4-3 vote the same as the tax increase.
Fifteen warm bodies will no longer have jobs as of Oct. 1, much to the disgrace of residents willing to pay the tax increase if the fire personnel could be kept on.
One local was noted as saying, "Our choices are between increased taxes and losing services, I don’t want to see anyone lose their job if at all possible."
Childers noted the city is cutting $1.5 million out of the budget by cutting 34 positions, 15 of those currently occupied.