Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 94
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for July 5, 2001

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

The politicians of Missouri’s two major urban areas seem to be catching “baseball fever” or more exactly, “new stadium fever.” Team owners decide that they can’t make enough money with their existing stadia and want the taxpayers to build them new ones. They and their co-conspirator politicians will tell us how much a new stadium will benefit the chosen city (despite economic analysis to the countrary) and how it is our duty as taxpayers to pony up. Right now, St. Louis is the prime mover, but they have to throw a bone to Kansas City and maybe even Springfield to get the legislative votes they need.

Perhaps legislative votes aren’t the only votes needed. I am aware of a coalition building in the St. Louis area to force a local vote on any deal. Perhaps what we need is a petition to require a state-wide vote, as well, since the state has pledged state-wide money to support a new Cardinals stadium. Amazingly, when the people put our foot down, a viable project gets done anyway without our money – just look at the new office supply store going up north of town in an area we were told would never be developed unless Tax Increment Financing was used.

Rulers, big and little, have from time immemorial built monuments to themselves. If the monuments are good roads, honest justice and low taxes, the politician will have built a worthy monument. Let the owner of the gladiators pay for his own coliseum.

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