Re: “Baker approves general budget short by $1 million,” The Advocate, June 12.
Gone are the days in which I am proud to be a citizen of Baker. As I read the article about the budget shortage, I could not believe what I was reading. “The officials were at a loss for ways to increase revenues, except for a ‘Shop in Baker’ campaign.” Really?
They don’t seem to have a problem bleeding citizens dry! Photo enforcement cameras are found on nearly every main road, and police officers are issuing traffic violations for any offense possible. On June 11, I made the tragic mistake of trying to fight a traffic violation and was made a spectacle of, humiliated and stripped of my driver’s license in open court because of a headlight violation. Yes, a headlight violation! I was ordered to pay $180 or spend 10 days in jail because of a highlight — which I didn’t even know was out at the time of the traffic stop.
Never in my life have I experienced such a legalized financial raping. My request for a reduction in costs wasn’t even considered, so at the expense of my bills and groceries I paid the $180 to regain my driver’s license.
The next time I head to the polls, I will be sure to extend the same courtesies that were extended to me in the courtroom. I may not have a six-figure income and my last name doesn’t mean a hill of beans to some, but I am a taxpaying citizen with feelings and a voice. I should not be looked upon as merely a walking dollar bill.
As a result of this horrible experience, an increase in property taxes and that fact that I pay between $143 and $170 each month to the city of Baker Consolidated Utilities System (which doubled with the installation of meters) this article evoked no sympathy from me.