Hold on to your hats. Despite earlier optimism in The Kansas City Star, the Water Services Task Force is likely to recommend that combined water/sewer bills double in 10 years.
Kansas City already has the highest premiums in the metropolitan area — close to $100 a month average bill compared with $78 in Kansas City, Kan., $63 in Independence and around $58 in Johnson County.
At the water task force meeting Feb. 7, draft scenarios showed water rates increasing to around $200 per month in 2027.
Citizens already pay sales, earnings and property taxes for basic city services and infrastructure. Water infrastructure should be no different. The task force’s guiding principle that rates alone recover the cost of service as well as infrastructure is flawed.
With water rates already the highest in the area, the city should look within existing revenue sources to fund the bulk of infrastructure requirements.
There’s something amiss in the reporting about the early days of the Trump administration and the direction the country is going. Most reports seem shaded by agitated portrayals highlighting anger, protest and demonstration.
I can’t speak for every gathering here in the city, but I can say that after having led three weeks of constituent visits to the Kansas senatorial offices, I have met only the most eloquent, articulate, moving and, occasionally, demanding people. Wonderful, thoughtful and somewhat dismayed neighbors and new friends — but never, ever, not even once close to violent or unruly.
The characterizations of angry demonstrators besieging loyal staffers at district congressional offices strike me as gratuitous chyron chasing and provocative headline noise for grabbing consumers.
Far more interesting is the developing story of a deeply concerned, newly reinvigorated electorate engaging in its civic duty — wanting to hear real answers, begging for sustained conversation and hoping to be heard.
Leslie D. Mark
Congress has finally repealed one of President Barack Obama’s most onerous acts. Not his sin of providing health insurance to U.S. citizens, but his rule enacted after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that prevented an estimated 75,000 mentally ill people who can’t manage their own Social Security finances from purchasing weapons. (Feb. 16, 2A, “Congress blocks rule barring mentally impaired from guns”)
With generous Republicans being led by an articulate, caring president, we are finally putting (fire)power back in the hands of all people.
Our southern border immigration problem could be solved very quickly without additional legislation or presidential orders by simply enforcing existing laws and putting company owners and CEOs who hire illegals in jail.
Both company executives and immigrants are law breakers, but only the immigrants are prosecuted and deported. If executives were incarcerated, it would get the attention of others out of self-preservation, and the immigration problem would disappear.
The economy and employment picture would improve dramatically because those violating companies would be forced to pay a livable wage. Consumer impact would be slight and offset by taking so many off government assistance.
Our tax dollars should not supplement minimum-wage employers and add to owner profits and CEO bonuses.
Letters have been written. Testimony has been given. Fears have been expressed. All because the official ban on concealed carry of firearms on college campuses and elsewhere is soon slated to end in Kansas.
Those against officially allowing concealed firearm carry totally ignore reality. They make straw-man arguments about shootings — teachers fearing students for receiving bad grades, students partying in a drunken stupor or people going crazy in a hospital. All these things can happen now.
The problem appears to be our mindset as a society. University officials and lawmakers incapable of basic truth and logic are the problems. No one wants anyone harmed, but those in charge should be using their influence to promote personal restraint and responsibility, not a dishonest utopia based on rules made to correct every perceived problem.