I have lived in Independence for 48 years and have seen so much misuse of our tax dollars – wasted – that I’ve even thought about suing the city.

I have lived in Independence for 48 years and have seen so much misuse of our tax dollars – wasted – that I’ve even thought about suing the city.

First, if the police need more money, why not write more speeding tickets? I live in a school zone (25 mph) and have a hard time getting on 39th Street because of speeders. Where are the police, sitting at Independence Center? The center has its own security. We have always had people come from Kansas City to take our property, our cars, etc., and they always will because Interstate 70 is a great escape route. I’ve been broken into two times. Police come out, make a report and say call your insurance company because they might never find our property.

And where does all that money from the courts go? The lawyers make deals with the judges, and the crooks get off with a hand slap. We can all see that. The crook now knows how to work the system, so he goes at it again.

Second – parks. What a mess. We have more weeds in our parks than the state of Oklahoma. We voted in a tax a few years for parks and rec. They bought new Ford trucks with four doors, extended cabs, V-10 engines and all the stuff they could get. They cut staff a few years later and said they don’t have the money to pay for mowing, weed control and trash service for our parks, so the neighborhood took over the upkeep (trimming flower beds, etc.) while the Parks Department wants more money to put in more parks.

Third – streets. Noland Road is a pothole haven. Noland and 39th is a test for tire companies. East 39th Street is coming apart and will soon look like Noland. Our street, Stonewall Court, has sinkholes and seldom gets snowplow service.

Fourth – water. We have great water, but do we have to spend so much on large new trucks and equipment so these men can drive to QT for cigs, coffee and snacks at 8:30 a.m. and cruise around just looking like they’re doing something? I followed one truck four miles one morning. They drove up the same street two times and never stopped. What is their job?

Fifth – tax on our property? We as property owners have to pay taxes, but our homes are going down in value. Our neighborhoods have more run-down homes than ever because the city won’t fine or even write up the owners for letting their places go to pot. I can show at least five very bad houses within half a mile of our home on East 39th Street. One was sold for $29,000 after sitting for a year. The city never enforced the property codes, yet the county says my property is up in value? I can’t sell it for what its valued at because the neighbors won’t obey the codes. Or the city won’t enforce them. Why not?

We simply can’t keep paying higher taxes without so many issues not being looked at first. I would like to know when we say enough is enough, so stop spending our tax dollars on more stuff and take care of what we have. More police aren’t the answer. We need better leaders in departments that have the say-so over where the tax money goes. We can’t afford to keep trusting a City Hall that won’t use our money better.