Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 132A
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for March 28, 2002, but not published because of a ban on election letters the issue prior to the vote.


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

The April election is only a few days away. In it, Johnson County residents will vote on 3 taxes and a hospital trustee. Warrensburg features a 4-way race for 2 council position and 3 of the 4 candidates for the R-VI school board will be elected. Other areas will have other contests and additional tax issues on the ballot.

The cabaret tax is essentially a user fee, paid by those who want to see totally naked women and used to fund background checks on the employees to make sure they donít have records as pimps or hookers. I doubt that continuing the 10% sales tax will adversely affect the business of a place that, from previous tax payments, is grossing over $3/4 million annually.

Both the library levy and the ambulance district have their pros and cons. Each has merits, but each has been tarred with misconceptions and suspicions that non-residents will end up paying for something for Warrensburg. Neither campaign has done a good job addressing this problem. Itís particularly hard for ambulance district supporters to overcome the misconceptions rife in letters to the editor, since they donít know who might be elected to the ambulance board if the issue passes; once elected, the ambulance board has a lot of leeway as to what it can do. Since so many misconceptions have taken hold in the coffee shops, itís likely too late for ambulance backers to leave the choir and look for sinners to preach to. I probably wonít decide how to vote on these issues until I pick up my ballot.

In Warrensburg, voters have two 1-term incumbents and two challengers in the city council race. The incumbents are people whoíve participated in getting Warrenburg into the financial mess itís in. At least the challengers recognize thereís a problem, but they havenít provided anything substantive as to how theyíll approach the money problem.

The two incumbents in the school board race have already been there 6 years and want to stay another 3. They are the ones putting the 50 cent tax increase on the June ballot Ė thatís more than the library and ambulance combined. However, the challengers both seem to be interested in collecting (and spending) even more tax money. No candidate has stated the schools should use money more efficiently. Itís too late for a taxpayer advocate to file as a write-in and ďNone of the AboveĒ isnít a recognized option in Missouri Ė but if you write that in, the rest of your ballot will still be counted.

If you canít find someone to vote for, you probably can find someone to vote against; just be sure to vote.


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