My name is Bill Carroll. I am a local 50-year businessman. I owned Bill’s Radio & TV Service and co-owned Bill’s 10-4 Radio Inc. with one of my best friends, Bill Bryant. I am 85 years old and retired.
I have been reading the Cleveland Daily Banner about the wheel tax issue. Everyone seems to blame the other side. Gentlemen, this is an issue to be settled at the voting place by the people of Cleveland and Bradley County — to vote it in or vote it out, and that’s the way to settle it.
I think our local leaders, along with others such as the Chamber of Commerce and many others, have done a wonderful job by bringing many large manufacturing plants to Cleveland and Bradley County. I congratulate them all for a job well done and needed.
I am sure we have spent large sums of money to satisfy their needs — the types of power, water supplies, sanitation, sewer, roads and schools for the people they bring with them.
This is what we need to do. It is what is expected of us to satisfy their needs.
We will eventually recover our money, but right now it has put a huge burden on local taxpayers.
I am compelled to mention one problem. I know new industry will bring much needed jobs, but they will bring in their own trained people for the higher-paying jobs. That is expected and I have no problem with them hiring temps. [But] getting them to quit their [current] jobs, losing their benefits and then letting them go ... thus they have nothing to live on ... this is not a good policy.
Please train these people before you hire them away from their [current] jobs. This has happened to several people I have talked with.
A special note to our local leaders. Many are longtime, special friends and fellow veterans. As I have said before, you have done a wonderful job and I salute you. But many of our locals are retired and are on fixed income, Social Security ... some as low as $500 per month. They have to pay rent, light bills, gas. They don’t have money for insurance. They have a choice of buying medicine or food.
They need a break. No more taxes, and especially no wheel tax.
I know the school systems want and need money, but for now just do as I and others do. Cut back on everything you can and pray for better times.
I apologize for [any possible] spelling errors, but I have a very good excuse. I did not go to high school because I had to go to fight World War II at age 18 like many of my school mates — some who were in the U.S. Navy amphibious invasion of Okinawa and the liberation of China.
Thank you for reading something I really think should be told.
— Bill Carroll