Weatherford Democrat

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May 14, 2013

Aledo VFD annexation proposal passes

(Continued)

The rejection will not result in a separate, lower tax rate for the Aledo district, she said, nor limit the district’s future revenue contributions toward other ESD fire departments.

“I don’t know what the intent of the [ESD] law was,” she said, when asked about the second proposition’s rationality. “The intent might have been to give some flexibility. Often the rational thing at the time doesn’t always make clear sense.”

Tax collections from voters in the newly annexed Aledo district won’t begin until January 2015, Peden said, because properties won’t be on the tax roll until 2014.

Services, however, should be in place much sooner, she said.

Peden said the ESD No. 1 Board of Commissioners, meeting for a mid-year budget review next Monday, will consider replacing one of Aledo VFD’s fire engines and adding paid personnel. New fire engines have a long lead time from order to delivery, she said, but firefighter positions can be filled quickly.

The county has begun soliciting applications from those who would like to serve on the ESD No. 1 board, which has one vacancy. Peden feels confident that Parker County commissioners will appoint someone to represent the Aledo area.

A political flyer advising citizens to vote against the annexation proposal — sponsored by Parker County Citizens for Responsible Public Safety and signed by the six area mayors — helped trigger Aledo Mayor Kit Marshall’s ninth hour public entry into the political fray.

After saying little since Aledo VFD petitioned ESD No. 1 for inclusion Nov. 8, Marshall came out strongly in favor of the annexation last week.

“It was a result of misinformation I saw in the flyer and the robocalls coming in,” said Marshall, who said she doesn’t usually like to influence how Aledo residents vote. “I didn’t want people to think I was part of that group of mayors. It also became clear that people were confused about what they were reading and hearing.”

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