Support then online tax to support your local police

Our community struggles with providing adequate funding for police officers.

The need is readily acknowledged, the value apparent and recent success of the streets crime unit demonstrates what is possible.

Even still, we are dozens of sworn police officers short – a situation which regrettably has persisted for a decade or more.

The proposed 2019-20 city budget included six new police officers, but those were eliminated in the adopted budget losing out to other budgetary demands.

That is why it is important on Aug. 6 to vote YES for Proposition P.

Prop P provides dedicated funding for two clear purposes – additional police officers and needed financial support as the city assumes operating the regional animal shelter after the prior non-profit operator pulled out.

Funding comes from collecting taxes on goods purchased online. The cost on a $100 online purchase would $2.25. If you don’t shop online, you pay NOTHING.

Approximately 50% of the city’s general fund, which supports basic city services, comes from retail sales tax collected by Independence stores. Sales tax collections are flat as retail activity shifts from brick and mortar stores to online purchases.

Approximately half of all Missouri cities already have a voter-approved local use tax, including Kansas City, Liberty, Excelsior Springs, Gladstone, Grandview and St. Joseph. Independence needs to join the list.

Funds collected go into separate dedicated funds – one for police and another for the animal shelter – with citizen oversight committee providing regular public reports.

As online sales grow it will be possible to add more police officers and put them on the streets. Over the next decade, Prop P could potentially fund up to 30 additional police officers.

There is a real need, a clear purpose, accountability and transparency through citizen oversight.

If we don’t support our police and take care of animals, what can we support?

Brent Schondelmeyer, Independence


Strategy backfires in hot dog eating contest; fundraising doesn’t

Hundreds of hot dogs were consumed for charity at Thursday's 10th annual contest on the Square.

The competition was fierce. It was hot and humid outside, as the plates of warm dogs and quarts of cold water were placed in front of us.

The sweat came down across my brow and stung my eyes. I used my sense of smell to find the next dog as the judge flipped my score to the next highest number. I ate four in the 10-minute time limit. They were delicious, so I had one more for dessert.

My strategy was to eat slowly and wait for any other contestant to hurl their hastily eaten dogs. The strategy failed and I placed last.

Congratulations to those who tried to win. Thanks to the sponsors who helped us raise money for Community Services League. It filled me up.

Jim Turner, Independence