Liberty County collects property taxes from the citizens of Midway. I still do not understand why this is. I would like to know what services are performed by the county for the city. Personally, I think the county collects more taxes than it spends on city services. In other words, the county may be ripping off the city, and no one seems to be doing anything about it.
Speaking of county services, where is the mosquito sprayer? I sure haven’t seen one in my neighborhood. The county also is supposed to provide animal control, but even when the Midway police are called to the scene of a dog attack, they don’t show up.
I thought that when a city ordinance comes before the city council and the council votes to incorporate the ordinance, it becomes law. At the June 14, 2010, council meeting, Councilwoman Melice Gerace made a motion to adopt an amendment to the Midway Fire Ordinance Chapter 2, Article A, Section 3-2-3, which made a few minor changes. The motion was seconded and later passed unanimously.
On Feb. 13, 2012, this same ordinance was brought up again and the mayor offered a new version, claiming that the approved ordinance was questionable because the section was misidentified, even though the city attorney stated the ordinance was law. During the 20 months since the ordinance was passed, it was not enforced because of the minor change that was needed. I think the mayor wanted her version passed, which, once again, shows her contempt and indifference to the process of the law and the city council.
Midway is a business unfriendly city. There appears to be some confusion at the city mall as to what should be charged for a business license. The city is charging $100 a year for a business license and $50 a day for temporary sellers, such as an ice cream truck, even though Section 7-2-2 has a transient registration fee of $7 and Section 2-5-22 levies a business tax of $30 a year. Where do these higher fees come from?
The Aug. 28, 2006, minutes mentioned that Councilman Levern Clancey made a motion to adopt a fee of $50 a day, but there is no record of the motion being seconded, any discussion or that a vote was taken.
On the alcohol license application, it states that the fees are $250 for beer, $250 for wine and $2,000 for liquor. Now, here’s the kicker: If a business sells beer for takeout, the fee is $250, but if the beer is consumed on the property, such as at a restaurant, there is an additional $500 charge.
There is a family in the Lake Gale area that wanted to have a yard sale. Our city clerk told them that they needed a permit, even though garage sales are exempt under the present ordinance (7-1-8), and then she sent them to the Liberty County Planning Commission for zoning approval. Zoning approval? Who’s running the city, Dumb or Dumber?
Lately, there have been several vicious dog attacks in the Lake Gale area, including the brutal killing of a family pet. The penalty for a vicious dog attacking and biting a person or another animal is $100 (Section 1-1-5). This needs to be changed immediately. The penalty should be a misdemeanor with one year in jail or a $1,000 fine, and if the vicious dog kills, it must be destroyed. Should a vicious dog kill a human, the owner should be charged with manslaughter.
Calderone is a conservative who lives in Midway. He is a professional salesperson and has written articles for trade publications in various fields for 30 years.