To the editor:



Having been an Independence resident for nearly 60 years, I have always felt confident the city fathers were doing the best they could to provide essential services. Sadly, I no longer feel that way.

To the editor:

Having been an Independence resident for nearly 60 years, I have always felt confident the city fathers were doing the best they could to provide essential services. Sadly, I no longer feel that way.

When did the City Council decide to get into the risky practice of investing in other people’s businesses? When did they decide it was their responsibility to choose winners and losers in the private market place? They have become professional gamblers and venture capitalists using someone else’s money.

As a member of the original Citizen’s Committee on Public Safety, our responsibility was to help structure, create and market a half-cent sales tax increase for fire and police. Voters agreed that there was a definite need to cover the cost of capital improvements, training and equipment. Since then, millions of dollars have flowed into the city coffers for fire trucks, stations, police cars, computers, K-9 Units, SWAT teams, etc. Those millions should have positively impacted the general funds to free up monies to hire all the firefighters and police officers we could ever need.

Instead, the city chose to cut back on those basic services. They would rather give away millions to build retail spaces, offer ill-conceived tax increment financing incentives, and build a world-class ice rink. All the while, reducing manpower in the Police and Fire departments.

It is time for the voters to stop letting “the tail wag the dog” and remind the city management that our money doesn’t grow on trees and if they keep spending it foolishly, while ignoring the most important of basic services, we will replace them.

There is no sunset on this tax. Vote April 3 and tell the city “no.” They need to reconsider their priorities. Stop asking us to finance their land speculation.