Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 125
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for February 7, 2002

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

Our poor trees have undergone several involuntary prunings in the past 18 months. First it was straight winds on the evening before the August 2000 primary election, then the tornado last year, and now the ice storm. While damage from the first two storms was hit-and-miss, this one affected virtually everyone. Power outages were widespread, and would have been even worse had West Central Electric Co-op not undertaken an aggressive program of cutting back trees that threaten their lines.

The City of Warrensburg, in budget problems already, will have to look for more belt-tightening measures as they had to pay a whole lot of overtime to the hard-working folks who kept the streets open. From the scanner traffic, I suspect the fire and police departments worked overtime, as well. The full effect on city finances was not known in time for the city council primary, but voters should have some idea of the effectiveness of current city managementís response by the municipal election in April.

A full analysis of fire and ambulance calls during the storm should also provide voters with some idea about the level of service available as compared to that suggested by proponents of the ambulance district. We can then evaluate how much we care to pay to reduce risks when voting on that issue come April. You know, I certainly hope that the proponents do step forward with their vision of level of service and costs involved, as we need to see specifics before accepting that substantial a tax increase.

At least the tree damage at Blind Boone Park wonít add to city costs. That, as usual for Blind Boone Park, will be handled by volunteers.

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