I am convinced that government is the most significant problem we all face — too much government. Some government is essential, and without it there is chaos; too much government means loss of freedom and imposition of rules, laws, and other mandates that make us subservient to control instead of us dictating to those we select what is needed. This is true even at the lowest levels of structure — city and school boards — up to the national level.
With city elections upcoming, who should you vote for and what is your stance on renewal of the tax imposed by Proposition A? I suggest that our city has gone too far left toward the progressive agenda. While I have no "rat" in the race in the First Ward, there are others to discern their true foundations — especially regarding fiscal and individual responsibilities. First Ward Councilman David Kemna, a banker, has clearly indicated to me his expansive, spending tendencies; First Ward Councilman Hank Vogt has yet to impress me toward his positions either way. Years ago, Dick Groner and Charles Jackson, and a few others had sound foundations toward fiscal responsibility with an emphasis on necessities rather than growing the government. They were most always in the minority.
Now, indecision, so as not to offend, takes "front seat" on some issues — Miller Street Park-cemetery expansion having council approval is only one example. The city is considering a future tax issue on a "fenced" tax toward public safety and law enforcement — undoubtedly an extremely high priority, but the tax structure now lets the Parks Department run amuck wasting our taxes on unnecessary spending. How about reviewing policies that may better account for viable spending. A case-in-point I brought up last year was a policy whereby a city vehicle was taken to residence in Osage County because the Animal Control officer was "on call." Could that vehicle be parked at the east-end fire station instead?
Countless times, the city has hired consultants or delayed decisions to study the issues. Staffs are basically acting as brokers to pass work to others instead of doing the work themselves; they just add government overhead without tax benefits. The county may be a bit better at spending, but their tendency is left and progressive. Some of their joint projects with the city bear more scrutiny. Until I see real changes towards fiscal responsibility, I will vote no tax increases.