In his presentation, Schaler explained that the provision for a
VAC has been in existence since the Civil War Era, but such a
commission has never been established in Logan County. He said that
several surrounding counties have had similar commissions for many
years, and that it is now time for Logan County to offer this
valuable veteran service as well.
Schaler was there to explain that a tax levy to fund the commission
will not raise the net taxes paid by Logan County residents. He said
that because the county works with a tax cap, and is at the top of
that cap, the total property tax bill residents receive will not
What will happen instead is the levy will help determine an amount
of money that must be earmarked for the VAC, and will ultimately
reduce the dollar figure of taxes utilized by the county.
Schaler said that since beginning the work of getting the tax levy
referendum on the ballot and seeking local support for its passage,
he has heard from several veterans who are anxious for the
opportunity to have the help provided locally.
He said at the moment there is a VAC superintendent that comes to
Lincoln from Decatur to meet with veterans at the Oasis. He noted
that the schedule is supposed to be once per week, but there are
circumstances that sometimes prevent the superintendent from coming,
such as bad weather.
With a local commission, he said a VAC office would be established
in the Logan County Courthouse and one superintendent would be hired
to man that office.
Schaler said the commission will offer a variety of services, the
most important of which will be to assist veterans in understanding
and filing benefit claims. Schaler explained that obtaining veteran
benefits can be a complicated process that many veterans need help
with. He told the council that ďwe canít change the system, but we
can help people deal with it.Ē
Schaler went on to say that assisting veterans in filing for and
ultimately receiving their VA benefits will ultimately add more
dollars to the local economy.
When Schaler was finished, Todd Mourning asked what will happen if
the referendum fails to pass. Schaler said the VAC would still be
established. The difference would be that without the levy taking
the funds off of the top of the property taxes, the county board
would then have to determine what line item of their budget to take
the money from.
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At the end of Schalerís talk, Mayor Marty Neitzel explained that it
was too late for the council to do anything collectively because
there was no item on the current agenda. The election is to be held
on Tuesday March 15th, and there will be no voting opportunity for
the council prior to that date. She went on to say that for the
moment, the only thing aldermen could do was give their nod of
agreement, without a formal vote or resolution.
Tracy Welch was the first to speak up, saying that he does support the levy. He
noted that he is a veteran, and while he is not currently utilizing any of the
services offered through the VA benefits, he does know that can change some day.
He thanked Schaler for following through with the VAC and said he personally
Jonie Tibbs also spoke up saying that she has a brother-in-law who is a World
War II veteran. She said that for his sake and the sake of other veterans, she
too would personally support the levy.
Kathy Horn also spoke saying she has two sons who are in the military. She
recognizes the value of such a commission and will also personally support the
Schaler expressed appreciation for the individual support of the various
aldermen. He said that it is important to understand that in todayís military,
it is different than it was years ago when a soldier would do one tour of duty
and be honorably discharged. He said today, soldiers are re-enlisting and doing
multiple tours of duty. He said that will someday take its toll on those people,
and veteran services will be needed.
He also noted that with the implementation of some chemical warfare, there are
issues coming to the forefront for soldiers, years after they have left the
service. In summary, the VAC is going to be needed even more in the future, and
it will good to know that local people have local representation.