Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 52
Published in the Warrensburg Gazette July 20, 2000

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

Dear Editor

The new Missouri Veterans Home in Warrensburg has been dedicated. It’s a fine facility and will certainly add more local jobs, although I doubt if the wages for most of the new jobs will match the wages of recently-lost manufacturing jobs. It will stimulate development in the northeastern quadrant of Warrensburg, an area that is also slated for the type of growth that will occur when the hiway 13 bypass is finally built.

However, seeing all the politicians at the dedication ceremony got me to ruminating over the chain of events that led to it being built here. According to published reports, the legislature initially selected the neighboring town of Clinton. At that time (1990), the State Representative for that area was a senior Democrat and our State Representative was a Republican. In 1992, we elected our current (Democrat) State Representative; in a special election in 1994, the Clinton area elected their current (Republican) State Representative (who is now challenging our Democrat State Senator). In 1994, the legislature awarded the home to Warrensburg instead of Clinton.

The appearance of the involvement of “pork barrel” politics does not invalidate the arguments in favor of Warrensburg; certainly we have the infrastructure, transportation, and proximity to a base of eligible veterans to make this a good location. Land costs were nil and we have the population to provide community-based support services. Nevertheless, in an election year we should be wary of candidates who claim that they can do a better job of delivering government projects to us, as the power structure in the legislature may change. Besides, is it really the Government’s job to decide how best to spend OUR money?

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