Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 172
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for March 13, 2003

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

Several interesting items hit the local news last week. While they appear unrelated, two indicate that, left alone, government will put the interest of the taxpayers last. The other two show a responsible approach to taxes and services.

State Senator Caskey appeared to blame the state government’s financial problems on the fact that over $900 million was refunded to taxpayers as required by the Hancock Amendment. The Hancock Amendment is the voter-passed state constitutional requirement that state revenue not grow any faster than the income of its citizens. Does anyone really believe that the state government would have saved all that money that was refunded? Or would it have found ways to spend all the money instead? Does anyone really doubt that the state government would be in further in the hole today had it created new programs to spend that money?

The Warrensburg R-VI school board scheduled a closed meeting to discuss how personnel might be affected by the cuts in state aid. State law is rather explicit about what may be discussed in closed meetings. General personnel staffing levels are not one of them. The only personnel issues that may be discussed in a closed meeting are those that relate to “Hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting a particular employee; Welfare cases of identifiable individuals or Individually identifiable personnel records.” I would hope that State Rep. David Pearce, as a member of school board, insists that it comply with the letter and intent of the Sunshine Law!

It’s nice to see one governmental body that appears to operate for the benefit of the citizens without hidden agendas or efforts at personal aggrandizement or empire building. Our County Commission is investigating two additional tax or fee options. One, the increase in the tipping fee to allow adequate maintenance of the roads driven on by trucks hauling trash to the landfill, is essentially a user fee. Those who use the service pay for it. Structured properly, let’s hope it makes the cost of hauling urban garbage to our area uneconomical. The other County Commission initiative is a special sewer district for some of the subdivisions south of Warrensburg. The county uses its bonding power to get the job done and the residents pay the cost of adequate sewage treatment over time.

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