Archive for Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Get involved with city issues

November 15, 2000

Citizens of Baldwin. Last week proved to be both informative and to say the least topsy-turvey on Local, State and Federal politics. I would like to deviate for just a moment and thank everyone that voted in the Nov. 7 election. I, as well as many graduates of Baldwin High School, remember the lessons of Mrs. Mary Plank, our social studies teacher, who stressed that every vote is important. As I cast my ballot last Tuesday and saw Mrs. Plank working the polling station, I was reminded of that idea. Well, Mrs. Plank, you were right

on target. The results of the Federal election should stand as proof that being involved, casting your vote, is a responsibility we should all hold with reverence. If that is not proof enough I hope you took a look at the Veterans Day Remembrance. Ask a veteran what their duty and sacrifice to our Republic consisted of. It will make casting a ballot look like a far easier task in comparison.

Since the week was dominated by politics on all levels, let's turn back to our little corner of this great Republic. We discovered more details on the uses for the business/industrial park. Most of the business park will be enclosed in 6-foot high solid fencing. Businesses that are targeted for the park are ones that do not generate noise, pollution, high traffic volume or take up a lot of surface area. What sort of business does this leave in the park? Well, according to Mr. Paine's article, we are looking at equipment

storage, veterinary clinics and high-tech businesses. Well my response to this is simple. We now have a costly park, in the middle of the prairie, surrounded by 6 foot high fences, stocked with mythical businesses that generate little waste, pollution, noise or any other unwanted by-products. I have to ask the public, "Does anyone outside of city hall think this is a good idea?" My compatriots and concerned citizens think that this is a horrible idea.

Next let's talk about taxes. The Journal-World story on Veteran's Day pointed out that our little hamlet has the highest taxes in the county. As a matter of fact we are 28.217 mill levies higher than south Lawrence. This is significant for two reasons. One, will businesses be in a hurry to locate into a community where they will pay 28.2 mills more in taxes, be confined in a solid fenced "compound" where they are restricted on vehicular traffic and

from making a mess while conducting there business. I guess we can only hope that the "scenic view" of the 16 acre pond will compensate for all these hinderances to commerce. Second, if we already labor under this impressive tax load, will the city administrator guarantee that this load will not increase with the purchase of the park? This mentality of "Don't worry about

the mule, keep loading the wagon" in regards to taxes, and we taxpayers are the mule is getting out of hand.

Folks, we have seen a lot of events transpire in the past week. We have observed that getting involved in the democratic process is vital. It is extremely important for the people of this city to take a hard look at where we are headed. Is the plan of the city council and the city administrator one which will bring about progress? Or will it hang around our necks like the harness attached to the poor mule, pulling the "overtaxed" wagon. We have completed our draft of a petition which asks the city council of Baldwin City, to place the issue of purchasing this ground on the city electoral ballot for April 6, 2001. To sign the petition or learn more about it, contact me at or my home phone 594-3431. We will be circulating this petition city wide so that ALL residents can participate in this decision.

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