Sorry, I can’t resist one last, short post on “The Election that Sent a Message.”
As you know, I tracked and reprinted on the stopabadcure.org website the best of the letters to the editor opposing Question 1, which voters crushed on Tuesday.
A wrap-up letter, written by Susan Herold of Kansas City, appeared in today’s paper. Here’s an excerpt:
Too many taxpayers throughout the country — not just Jackson County — are barely getting by…Additional sales taxes…only make purchasing basic necessities more expensive for the people who can least afford to pay for them…At a time when taxpayers are being squeezed to support the activities of corporations…I find it appalling that anyone with any sense of social justice would even suggest a sales tax as the proper support for private enterprise.
It’s a good letter, which leads me to two points.
1) The members of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City — or any other non-governmental entity — need to leave the politics to governments. Tax proposals and other elective measures ordinarily should spring from within government rather than be thrust upon government by an outside entity, as the Civic Council did in this instance. Sometimes, of course, initiative petitions and referendums are in order, but those are exceptions.
2) Our local governments need to be much more careful and discerning regarding what types of measures they decide to bring to the voters. We voters sent a clear message Tuesday that the days of rubber stamping tax proposals are over. We will carefully analyze any new tax proposals that come forward, especially from the Jackson County Legislature, which foolishly decided on Aug. 26 to put Question 1 on the ballot.
(For the record the legislators who voted “yes” that day were Fred Arbanas, Scott Burnett, Dan Tarwater, James Tindall, Theresa Garza-Ruiz, Dennis Waits and Crystal Williams. Voting “no” were Bob Spence and Greg Grounds.)
We don’t want to see any more stinking, awful proposals, like Question 1. In the future, legislative bodies should put any prospective ballot measure to this three-question test: Does it make sense? Will it benefit the vast majority of residents? Is it worth the cost?
You’re officially on notice, Kansas City and Jackson County.