Readers ask pointed questions of the city of Independence

Staff Writer
The Examiner

Independence has to do better on fireworks

Connie Guthrie, Independence

To the editor:

The Fourth of July celebration is for ALL people. July 4 was a horrible assault on people and living things in the city of Independence. No way even the people shooting off the fireworks were enjoying this. No way. Smoke was so thick you could not see the street. Cars was driving snail-like due to not being able to see. Was this enjoyment? No, it was not.

I am not talking about the country or other cities in Missouri. I do not live there. I expect from this city to be fair to all the citizens. This city government should have known what that night was going to be.

We could not celebrate. We had a new gazebo to enjoy the holidays and we could not even see our gazebo. The smoke was so thick it looked like a war zone.

What about our veterans? People with PTSD. Do they not matter? The smoke surrounded our home. On our cameras it looked like our home was on fire.

We could not breathe. Our pets were terrified. They hid under the bed.

There is no excuse for what people had to endure.

For the past three weeks there have been people setting off the bombs. Call the police? Really? Why? It is a hopeless cause to try to enforce.

So this city government has to set the standards. Do a survey with every citizen in this city. Let their voices be heard.

I am talking to everyone. I am posting on Facebook.

To call your office, Mayor Weir. Call your councilperson.

What happened Saturday night cannot happen again. My life matters. My husband’s life matters. My pet’s life matters.

If the Fourth of July is not for all citizens, then it cannot be for the few that have no concerns about people, their pets or the environment or wild animals with their non caring to shoot fireworks.


Not much transparency at the animal shelter

Sharon Gartin,Fairway, Kansas

To the editor:

A year ago Proposition P was passed in Independence as a way to help fund the now city-managed animal shelter. Transparency was promised to the citizens. Today, there are many more questions than answers.

Because of the pandemic, volunteers have been locked out of the shelter altogether, even though other metro shelters have welcomed volunteers back into their buildings by now. When volunteers were allowed inside, there were areas off limits.

Nobody but staff knows when dogs come and go. Why would that be? No transparency.

Also, where is animal services/control? What are their exact responsibilities? Every time a citizen asks about their responsibilities, a different answer is provided, if at all.

The shelter contradicts its own website when sharing information on social media. An Animal Welfare Committee, with members from the city and county, meets quarterly, yet they have no authority and can only make suggestions. In the end, the city shelter can do whatever it wants. Often other metro shelters have to pick up the slack for the downfalls of the Independence shelter. Owner surrenders are refused. Strays are refused. Bite dogs are not allowed to quarantine locally. How many dogs are roaming loose on the streets right now? How many have died in the shelter?