To the editor:



I am the anti-crime activist who founded the Independence Business Crime Task Force, a citizens group that has worked to raise awareness of law-enforcement issues.

To the editor:

I am the anti-crime activist who founded the Independence Business Crime Task Force, a citizens group that has worked to raise awareness of law-enforcement issues. I have been active in the community and anti-crime initiatives by being part of The Jackson County Juvenile Detention Alternatives Steering Committee, neighborhood watch groups all across the city, Susquehanna Fort Osage three-on-three basketball tournaments, citywide block parties and COMBAT prevention efforts.

I have addressed the City Council several times, most often advocating more effective police services. We own the shopping center at 24th and Sterling that is now up for sale. I am the one who took the graffiti problem head on and held the city accountable in our parks and our abandoned hospital.

This real estate tax is unjust and unfair. It penalizes a target group of citizens who own homes and businesses. Senior citizens on fixed incomes need relief. We need the city to be more responsive to the needs of businesses and families. The vacancy rate of commercial and residential property is embarrassingly high. We do not need more pressure on the vacancy rate that blemishes our city. Empty buildings foster crime! Small business is the backbone of our community.

Many of my friends have closed their businesses in Independence, not because of crime, but because of the leadership here.

We moved our business to Raytown, not because of crime in Independence, but because of the red tape and hoops we had to jump through. It was costing us to much to put a doughnut shop in our own shopping center. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw that the Raytown police patrolled our area. They can maintain a responsive department within budget. It is time for Independence to do the same.

I hope the voters defeat this unjust tax! No true transparency in the ballot language mandates for even one police officer.