Monday, April 21, 2014
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
February 27, 2013
Citizens will have
say on spending
The news is almost identical from all agencies of Polk County: Revenue is insufficient to maintain needed services.
Bond measures appear imminent for Monmouth, Independence, Polk County, Polk County Fire District No. 1 and perhaps the Central School District. Now is the time to be especially thoughtful of how and for what our tax dollars are spent.
When previously speaking of tax revenue, Monmouth Mayor Oberst has stated that the city is "geographically challenged." That is an astute observation. Unfortunately, he fails to make the connection to the need for services. Monmouth is over policed in equipment and manpower. More than half the population of the city consists of short-term, part-year residents.
A city of 4,500 people cannot support the fleet of cars and intensive training and equipment that we provide. While that kind of coverage is nice to have, it is not affordable. A shiny new $3.5 million police station is certainly not the answer.
Polk County Sheriff Bob Wolfe stated to me that, "Proper deployment of metro officers can reduce costs to the taxpayer. A conservative estimate would save the taxpayer approximately $1 million a year if all law enforcement was combined."
In times like these our leaders need to concentrate on elimination of duplicate services and manpower. Why does Monmouth need an amphitheater when Independence has one?
When city leaders get a bee in their bonnet, their fervor for the idea ignores all reason. They orchestrate surveys to support the idea, but listen to little or no citizen input.
Now we citizens will have our opportunity in May to have our say on the city's direction. Will Rogers said, "The time to save is now. When a dog gets a bone, he doesn't go out and make a down payment on a bigger bone. He buries the one he's got."
Donald W. Dutcher
Kudos for action
taken by Dallas duo
Thank you to the private citizen and the Dallas Police Officer who returned my lost drivers license on Feb. 18.
I dropped my license outside Anytime Fitness, where it was found and given to the police. A Dallas officer returned the license to my home before I even arrived back from the gym.
I do not know the names of either of these people but I appreciate their help and the fact that they went out of their way to assist.
It is this kind of action by citizens and Dallas Police that make this a great place to live.
Coach steps up for
A couple of years ago, the Dallas School District was going to have to cut swimming because there was not enough money to pay a coach. However, Jeff Bemrose volunteered to coach the team free of charge so that swimming could continue at Dallas High.
Since then, he has poured a copious amount of time into coaching. Not only does he coach us all season long, but from recruiting and garage sales to preseason workouts, he has invested time into the team outside of the swim season as well.
Jeff has taken the team to a new level during his time as coach. Last year, we took the first-ever girls team to state in one relay and three individual events and took one guy to state. Along with that, Deaven Vessell had a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke. The past few years have also provided many new school records, the most recent one being the girls 200-yard freestyle relay, which broke the record at the meet on Jan. 31.
Needless to say, none of this would be possible without Jeff. Without his willingness to give freely of his time and energy, Dallas would not have a swim team.
On behalf of the entire Dallas High swim team, we would like to give a big "thank you" to Jeff Bemrose for all he has given to the Dallas High School swim team. None of our successes would have been possible without you.
Melissa Biery, team captain
poor public policy
This is in reply to the Independence city manager and his marketing fabrications relating to the city's financial shortfalls ("Without bond help, city cuts will run deep," Feb. 20 Itemizer-Observer).
The doomsday spin on balancing the books and continued funding of city services is an insult to the educated taxpaying citizens of Independence. The city councilors know these statements are ridiculously extreme. The citizenry serving on the budget committee know these statements are a ruse designed to alarm the uninformed population.
Deceptive terminology attempting to "sell" us on these sobering suggestions only intensify the observations of how this town is running down the wrong path. Everyone involved with the city is responsible and accountable to the taxpayers in this budgeting process. The support for a new tax levy has been grossly overestimated and the timing is ill-advised.
The $10,000 lavished on a significantly less-than-scientific survey of approximately 224 people (not all surveyed even live in Independence) apparently hasn't slowed the finance office down in the wasteful dispersal of taxpayer dollars. The public forums amount to no more than an illusionist's slight of hand without any substance directed to the real issues facing the city. A head-in-the-sand, rear-in-the-air approach to running the town cannot be tolerated. Mr. Cline should take some comfort in the fact that he is not alone in the crosshairs of this transparent accountability.
The best decisions are easily selected. Every scenario, every outcome, every possibility already exists. Balancing the city budget by the city's own distributed information was simple without any consideration of new additional taxes. Few hesitate to imagine a less-than-desirable outcome if budget information has been deliberately distorted or quietly withheld from the taxpayers.
The city does have until March 11 to come up with an alternative solution to the perceived financial dilemma. Cool minds will persevere.