Our city leaders claim they don’t have the money to properly staff our police department and want to increase our property taxes, supposedly to hire additional officers. Yet, they apparently have the money to build a new police building and fire station near Centerpoint Medical Center (Examiner, March 14). More financial shell games?

Our city leaders claim they don’t have the money to properly staff our police department and want to increase our property taxes, supposedly to hire additional officers. Yet, they apparently have the money to build a new police building and fire station near Centerpoint Medical Center (Examiner, March 14). More financial shell games?

Adequate and proper police protection is a basic city service that’s been bought and paid for, but apparently not always received. The voters said no to this same proposal in August 2009 and primarily the only changes are that even more people have even less expendable income and they’re trying to raise our taxes in a different manner because the other failed.

The Police Department is already allocated approximately $29 million of the city’s annual budget. There has been a methodically planned agenda by the city to raise our taxes since the voters last said no to this same plan. The thing that bothers me most is the way this has been promoted, and what I unfortunately believe is the city is bilking the taxpayers.

In my opinion, the city has prostituted itself promoting this tax increase under the guise of providing information. I have observed the will of our City Council for many years, and it has continued to distance itself from its constituents. I have to conclude that apparently the citizens’ voice means little to our city leaders and they think they know what’s best for us.

It’s been proposed by the city to raise our taxes 12 of the last 14 years. What will the need be next year? The city needs to operate efficiently with the very generous $306 million in all funds’ budgeted income that was adopted by the City Council for 2011-12. It’s the police department now. Get ready for the fire department. It’s coming.

Demand that our elected representatives fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities to their constituents. Vote no on this tax increase.

I believe the average tax increase per homeowner will be closer to $100 annually, and I’m sure businesses will pass their increase on to “you know who” and that will make Independence businesses even less attractive.

With most prices rising, gas prices reaching record highs and the recent electric rate increase with more coming, the city’s determined to raise our taxes again. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: These tiny increases have significantly added up and this tax increase never ends.

Promoters of this tax increase attempt to make the case that us lucky dogs in Independence have the lowest property tax levy of all surrounding communities, so that justifies us giving them more of our hard-earned dollars. So in essence, they don’t think we pay enough taxes.

The city, county and school districts have gotten our sales and property taxes at unsustainable levels now, but don’t kid yourself, they don’t care about us. They only care about themselves and their agendas. Our city government, with few exceptions, has become a perpetual self-serving system.

What has many times been inferred is adding approximately 34 more police officers and eight civilian positions. However, Ordinance 17837 says “for police services, including, but not limited to personnel and associated equipment and other related expenses.” Not specifically personnel as alluded to, and there is a big difference. Don’t read into this ordinance things that aren’t there, and don’t be deceived by the ballot language.

It has been stated that on a given evening, Independence is fortunate to have only 12 patrol officers for the entire city. That’s very concerning when the police department employs 289 full-time employees. You do the math.

Apparently, our Police Department feels they need to implement a new police strategy. Fine, go for it, and the citizens will be the judge if the right decisions were made. Just do it with the annual $27.8 million the Police Department has budgeted this year. That’s what the responsible taxpayer has to do every day.

It’s very puzzling why so much emphasis has been put on outside consultants and citizen task forces, but very little to none on a required by the City Charter (management analyst person). Of course, agendas will move a lot more easily and quickly without their potentially controversial input. That’s the safeguard purpose of the position. Who’s running this city, the people who were elected and paid to do a job that they campaigned to get, or the citizen oversight committees and consulting firms? Or, are they just used to making others look innocent? The City Council’s handling of the police department tax increase dollars will be monitored by an oversight committee chosen by that same City Council. What? It concerns me that a hand-picked number of the Fraternal Order of Police would have a seat on the Police Tax Oversight Committee who were chosen by the F.O.P. union president.

Without an unintimidated management analyst with a plan and unrestricted, non-biased access to any and all requested information pertaining to the city’s financial and police departments, how would anyone conclusively know whether police services got better, worse or just stayed they same?

If our city had been and was being properly managed by our city leaders, we could be using the millions of dollars being diverted from the city coffers to the Bass Pro debacle to hire these supposedly desperately needed police officers.

I attended the 2nd District police tax Increase meeting and inquired and was assured by Police Department officials that if the tax increase failed, it wouldn’t be disastrous, so please, disregard all the previous fear-mongering. We don’t need a new tax, we need new city management that knows how to responsibly spend the tax dollars they have.

You have to show up at your polling place and let your voice be heard. Don’t count on others to fulfill your responsibility. I and a lot of others have spent a lot of our time to make you an informed voter. The least you can do is go vote “no” April 3. You’ll be glad you did.