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Your Opinion: Respect the will of the people

Your Opinion: Respect the will of the people

February 12th, 2012 by Gary Phillips, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

Recently, the citizens of Jefferson City were asked to vote on the need to increase the sales tax rate for Transformation projects as identified by the Chamber of Commerce. Sixty-one percent of votes cast in the Feb. 7 election were no votes.

On the morning after the overwhelming defeat of the sales tax increase the mayor of Jefferson City said that he "was going to fight on" with Transformation. I naively thought that the mayor and City Council was elected to implement the "will" of the citizens and not to try to implement their own grandiose plans. The voters clearly sent the message "no sales tax increase" and yet, the mayor is arrogant enough to think that the voters don't matter. Mr. Mayor, what part of no don't you understand?

Prior to the election, while discussing the sales tax increase, the mayor stated in a radio interview that he wanted to, "Go Big or Go Home". Well, Mr. Mayor, the citizens of our community voted and overwhelmingly said to you, "Go Home".

The next question to be answered for the voters will be the future actions of the City Council. Will the City Council listen to the voters and reject future elections for a sales tax increase to fund Transformation or will they follow the "marching orders" of the Chamber of Commerce?

This entire Transformation operation was planned, designed and sold to the City Council by the Chamber of Commerce. Due to the failure of the Chamber of Commerce to bring jobs to the capital city, the chamber has resorted to the "Big Government" formula to raise more taxes and spend OPM (other people's money). Oh, that's right; the chamber does not have taxing authority. The chamber persuaded the mayor and City Council to raise the taxes and then let the chamber decide how and when to spend the new tax revenue with no accountability.

There are many reasons the Transformation sales tax increase went down to a huge defeat. These failures of the Chamber of Commerce plan were well documented by the patriots that ran ads and wrote letters to the editor detailing the problems.

Now is the time for the citizens of Jefferson City to inform their mayor and City Council by e-mail, letters or telephone calls to do their job and follow the will of the people.