OPINION

LETTER: Vote for Mark

Ken Bower

To the editor:

I am writing this letter to endorse my friend, Mark Preisinger, for city commissioner. I have known Mark for over 20 years. As a former commissioner and mayor, I understand the function and critical importance of this position.

Mark has been extremely effective and proactive in advancing a number of issues that have benefited our city. Mark took the lead to advance reducing property taxes, advocating replacing lost revenue with increasing the sales tax. Sales tax revenue paid by everyone keeps the city fiscally strong without burdening only property owners.

Mark Preisinger has also been a strong supporter for bringing the new federal prison to town. The obvious benefits of construction jobs and increased employment opportunities are easy to see. I can say that this has been a goal for the city for over 20 years. Many past commissioners, myself included, have advocated for this by lobbying both our elected federal officials and the Bureau of Prisons. We are now seeing the results of our efforts.

Perhaps one of the strongest things our city has benefitted from comes from Mark’s extraordinary efforts to lobby the federal government for increasing the per diem rates paid to civilian and military personnel who travel for their work. Longtime residents will recall that our city lacked decent hotels for these visitors. Raising the per diem rates allowed the city to work with a number of developers to build the wonderful hotels we now have to host these visitors, who by the way, also pay a bed tax which brings in significant revenue. This revenue stream by law can only be used to promote tourism. The recent successful Camp Leavenworth event was a result.

An effective city commissioner needs to have the ability to think strategically and have a vision for both short-term and long-term needs. What needs immediate action? What should the city look like 10 to 20 years from now? Mark has a proven track record that shows he has this attribute.

Mark and I may disagree on some issues but he always votes on what he believes is in the best interest of the city. He is honest, fair-minded and listens to all points of view before making a decision.

I am deeply saddened to see this year’s election being turned into a partisan contest by some of the candidates. We already have too much divisiveness at the federal and state level. Our city needs strong, independent thinkers who will always put the best interest of the city first when making decisions and casting votes. Mark is such an individual. Please join with me and vote for Mark Preisinger for the Leavenworth City Commission.

– Ken Bower/Leavenworth