Your Opinion: Approve tax, then monitor progress

Dear Editor:

A yes vote on Feb. 7 is the next step in the essential process of transforming Jefferson City into a community prepared to meet its future.

Whether Jefferson City continues to prosper — or slowly decays like countless other once-thriving cities — depends on keeping and attracting skilled, educated and innovative people. These are people with choices in where to live, and for many years they have chosen Jefferson City. The history of this small town in growing businesses of national importance speaks to how strongly it has attracted such people in the past.

For Jefferson City to remain a place for people with choices, those of us who live here today must behave as investors in our community — as owners committed to developing the public assets needed to retain and draw capable people.

The days when we could rely upon state government spending and easy credit to fuel Jefferson City’s economy are over, probably for good.

From now on we who live here must take on the responsibility of setting our public priorities and accomplishing them. For that I thank the 400 people who took part in planning each piece of the proposal we have before us on Feb. 7.

But it is not enough to work up good plans and pass a tax. The next part of Transformation — if that name is to mean anything at all — requires those same 400 citizens and the rest of us to demand that the funds we approve are used as prioritized. It is about truly behaving as investor owners — involved, watchful, and when needed, replacing officeholders who aren’t performing.

First, vote yes Feb. 7.

Then, make sure our money is well spent. We owe both to ourselves and to those who will follow us.

Visit the Transformation section to read additional articles about the Transform Jefferson City proposal.

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