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Leader Editorial
Village residents vote ‘yes’ on Proposal A

September 07, 2011

When Oxford Village residents go to the polls on Tuesday, Sept. 13, they should vote YES on Proposal A.

If approved, the proposal would give the village permission to sell – when it so desires – an odd-shaped 0.431-acre parcel located on the west side of Pleasant St., across from Davison St. It's adjacent to the Polly Ann Trail and situated between Dayton and Lafayette streets.

The property formerly housed the village's old Department of Public Works facilities, which were demolished in 2003. The eastern portion of the land is zoned industrial, while the western side is zoned for single-family dwellings.

We're in favor of government owning as little land and as few buildings as possible because the more it owns, the less there is to tax (government property is exempt from millages) and the less there is for new residential and commercial development.

More government-owned property means less room for economic growth, less room for tax base expansion and ultimately, a heavier burden for existing taxpayers as the cost of government increases year after year.

Local government's main function is to provide basic services such police, fire, roads and utilities. It's not supposed to be a land baron, managing and accumulating properties at will.

Sure, government needs land to house its administrative offices, maintenance facilities and public safety departments, plus some parks and schools.

But to just sit on vacant land year after year with no plans, no purpose and no use is just plain irresponsible and of no real benefit to the taxpayers. It's wasteful and we abhor waste in the public sector.

The village needs to be poised and ready to sell this piece of property when the time is right – hopefully, to a private entity – and get it back on the tax roll where it belongs, plus clear a few dollars to help offset some of the municipality's declining revenues.

But before the village can do any of this, it needs permission from the voters. That's where all of you come in.

We strongly encourage Oxford Village residents to vote YES on Proposal A.

It's time for government to get out of the land business and just stick to governing. There's a novel idea. – CJC