Letters to the editor

08/12/2014 5:06 PM

08/12/2014 5:06 PM

Wasted tax dollars

The news that bridge officials approved a $76 million funding package for a steel net to protect potential suicide victims from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge is a prime example of what’s wrong with government today.

Millions of dollars mean nothing to government officials, and they fail to realize that they are spending this money only to force suicide victims to find another way to kill themselves. All this money will not prevent suicides.

Additionally, the report states that $49 million of this funding will come from federal money. I don’t believe I ever had a chance to vote on spending that much of my tax money on a useless project in another state.

It’s like Missouri adding mile-markers every 10th of a mile along the highways. You and I never got a chance to say that was an expensive project, nor approve the money spent. Just another waste of tax dollars.

I think we’ve reached the age in which large scale expenditures should be approved by registering voters online. Then we can see if issues reach the necessary “Likes” to get approved before our tax dollars are wasted.

Dennis G. Smith


Sen. Pat Roberts

I woke up sickened that you won again. Anyone in our Senate as long as you have been there is repugnant and clearly not the intention of our founders.

Well, it works for you but not the people. Stop running, for heaven's sake.

You are clearly a Republican in name only and part of the party establishment of both political parties, which is killing this country. The power must be intoxicating, eh?

And, surely many representatives do this, but living in Washington, D.C., area soooo long, really? Renting a chair in Kansas isn't enough.

What a fraud you are. Disgusting but rather typical these days, wouldn't you say?

Del Hoge Smith

Overland Park

Clueless Republicans

Once again, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is wasting time by bringing a stupid lawsuit against President Barack Obama. I would think our country has bigger problems, but the House has refused to deal with them — many because the ideas came from President Obama and the American public.

This lawsuit will be expensive, and guess who will have to pay for it? Right the first time — the American taxpayer. I think all Republicans who voted for this inane measure should bear the legal fees for this litigation and not you and me.

I am not sure the Republicans have really figured out what the problems facing this country are, but, if they would read the letters to the editor, they might get a clue.

Marlene Shulkin

Overland Park

Streetcars vs. buses

Years ago, Kansas City had streetcars. For, I assume good reasons, we tore out the streetcar tracks and replaced streetcars with buses.

Now we are asked to spends hundreds of millions to replace buses with streetcars and their tracks. Why?

I read The Star from cover to cover every morning. I watch the local news every evening.

However, I have never heard anyone (politician, business person, community leader or private citizen) ever explain the reason we should spend the money to replace buses with streetcars. If there is a case to be made for streetcars over buses, would someone please make it so the rest of us could evaluate it?

Tom Fisher


Wastewater blues

In 2014, Johnson County changed the wastewater billing structure to a unified rate model. The county found a way to increase waste water charges by unifying the components of the billing statement. During the current economic conditions, people are having troubles paying their bills.

The new billing structure will only serve to hasten this trend. Moving within the Johnson County Wastewater service area could turn out to be an adventure in government micromanagement. Better check the wastewater website before moving.

In the inaugural edition of JOCO Magazine, the county notes, “Wastewater: self-funded enterprise.” My fear is the notation means that Johnson County will have the ability to: borrow against the proceeds from the wastewater billing; and over spend in the name of government innovation to keep in line with the utility industry’s best practices.

The Kansas Corporation Commission is the utility regulating body of the state of Kansas. The commission does not regulate water or wastewater services in the state. In Johnson County, the cities of De Soto, Edgerton, Gardner, Spring Hill and a portion of Olathe have wastewater as an integral part of the water bill.

Capital costs of the sanitary sewer system should not be directly covered by wastewater customers. Instead, developers should be required to cover more of the financial burden of new construction.

The conversion of the sewer tax to a fee basis billing system is complete? The storm water tax is still a line item on some property tax bills. Overland Park refers to the storm water taxes collected as funds from the storm water utility fund.

Federal government creative financing and overspending are the two reasons for our current national crisis. The Mission “driveway tax” is a good example of how fast creative government financing can get out of control.

After only a few years, the city cannot immediately repeal the Transportation Utility Fee because of borrowing against the proceeds. My fear is that Johnson County could be taking the same path as the U.S. and Mission.

Jeff Harkness

Overland Park

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