Many reasons medical research tax should fail

Charles Steele Sugar Creek

To the editor:

In response to the "Group points out flaws in research tax" article on Oct. 23, I attended this meeting and the article was an excellent overview of the reasons this tax is a poorly conceived idea.

Medical research is important, no argument there, but this tax raises too many red flags. It is a bad tax. A 20-year tax on a non-county priority issue is a bad tax.

Because this is a single issue election, it will likely have a low voter turnout. Don't let a handful of people decide this issue, make your voice heard. Vote no on Nov. 5.

It’s time for parks to get some attention

Larry Sparks Blue Springs

To the editor:

Our family has lived, worked and shopped in Blue Springs for more than 37 years. Our children went to school and played sports here. For 30 of those years I served on the Blue Springs Park Commission, so I believe I have a rather unique perspective of our park system.

Thirty seven years ago, Blue Springs had a new city administrator, no park director nor staff, and no real plan for our city park system. At that time we hired our first professional Parks and Recreation director, and developed long and short term plans for how our Parks and Recreation Department should progress. We have worked closely with our city administrators, mayors and city councils to provide funding for our Parks and Recreation Department for facilities such as Young Park, Hidden Valley Park, Grounds Park, Vesper Hall, as well as recreational programming for citizens of all ages and incomes.

Through all of those years, the Parks and Recreation Department has received their primary funding from the city's General Funds. Parks were maintained and improved by a talented Park Department through upgrading and repurposing a lot of old playground equipment as well as sports facilities and shelter houses. My friends, as the old saying goes, "the chickens have come home to roost." Over the past few years other priorities have taken away much of the needed park funding, budgets were cut and cut again due to the poor economy. Simply put, our parks system is worn out.

The city of Blue Springs is one of only two cities in the state of Missouri of our size without dedicated park funding. I have been fortunate enough to have seen more than a few of the comparable park systems throughout the state and we can be proud of what we have accomplished even with a shortage of funding. But the time is running out for us. We need dedicated funding for our community and may not again have this opportunity to make a difference.

We have a dedicated Parks and Recreation director and staff, along with a supportive City Council and mayor. I respectfully ask that you vote ‘yes’ for our kids, our community, and our parks.

Wrong approach to funding research

Larry Blick Independence

To the editor:

Even though translational research is a worthy endeavor and hopefully would benefit mankind, I am opposed to using a one-half cent sales tax for that purpose. While there are many reasons to oppose the tax, here are a few:

n Local sales taxes should be reserved for local government services, such as public safety, parks, roads and light rail transportation.

n The tax would be levied in the county with the metro area's largest number of lower income people. Yet the richest counties are most likely to benefit.

n Higher sales taxes could drive purchasers to surrounding counties making it harder to finance local government services in Jackson County.

n Since sales taxes are regressive, having a disproportionate impact on those with low incomes, they should be used for high priority purposes.

n Growing our economy around life sciences and medical research should be done using a well-thought out, multi-pronged, regional strategy using many partners and funding sources, not by a sales tax levied in the second poorest county in the Kansas City area.