To the editor:
As I read the report in the Leavenworth Times about the City Commissioners' budget work section, I was stunned by some of the ideas that were talked about.
First, I would say, attempt what Leawood did. They brought in local townspeople to work on the budget. Then the citizens can have a real impact on their city and also take some responsibility in the reduction or elimination of services.
No one wants to lose their job, it impacts their family and attitude. So set some priorities. Mine would be city services (fire, police, public works). These services are essential to the safety of our local citizens. After that we can look at other options.
Elimination of the parking patrol is a poor choice. The patrol ensures that there are places to park downtown so people can shop which helps the merchants and our local sales tax revenue. One commissioner states that there is not enough to do downtown for three hours. What a sad statement, deriding the local businesses. You can go browse antique stores, check on some furniture, have a cup of tea, look for a book, get a ring for your special someone, make a deposit, have a great cup coffee, have one of best milkshakes in Kansas, watch a movie, shop for military paraphernalia. Employees who park on the street should be ticketed by their employers, that is selfishness towards the other businesses.
Fees to attend events are just a fact of life. Citizens can not have it both ways, they do not want an increase in taxes but they still want the same services. We all have to realize that gas costs more for the tractors, repair equipment, etc. Materials, steel, concrete, are expensive, and sometimes I can not understand what reason we begrudge a salary increase for our firefighters, police, and public workers. They have families also, so do we expect them to do more for less?
The answer is not simple nor is it mine. I will gladly serve on a citizen budget committee that will make the hard recommendations to the city commissioners. We all need to get involved, just like voting, people talk the talk but do not walk the walk.