Letter to the Editor

Need a 'Sane Gang'

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dear Editor,

Real estate taxes, vehicle taxes, gasoline taxes, income taxes, personal property taxes, capital gain taxes, estate taxes, alcohol taxes, cigarette taxes, use tax, lodging tax, sales tax, and sneaky taxes, disguised as, franchise fees, lottery proceeds, Keno proceeds, permits for this, permits for that, license fees for this, license fees for that. Remember when many of these were supposed to be temporary? Which of these do you have any control over?

Fact is the only tax we currently have any control over is city sales tax! Now they want to take that away by asking us to approve the tax with no sunset.

I say no way. It must have a sunset and frankly I'm not too happy with five years, and think it should be three or four. The tax must be kept at 1 percent.

I fear the future when the Feds might cut subsidizing our air service, or Grand Island pulls out of the loop leaving us to go it alone, then the city will have no choice but to subsidize air service!

May not happen, but it could as well as a dozen other things that might require a reserve taxing ability. Keep the half-percent as our ace in the hole.

The Gazette editorial and Mr. Trail's article correctly reported the majority of folks attending the April 20 sales tax meeting were those whose pockets are lined with our tax dollars.

In reviewing the wish list that came out of the meeting, I could not find anything that would generate a single private sector job.

I could not find a single proposal that would help stem the tide of our youth leaving the area. How many young folks will decide to stay in McCook because of a new city hall? How many new businesses will locate here because we have nice manholes?

Unless you have the eyesight of a cantaloupe or have not toured downtown lately you must realize our most pressing problem is the decline of the number of retail businesses downtown.

Show me a block without a vacant building.

This shame can be placed directly on the steps of City Hall. If we are to remain a "trade center" we must turn downtown around and only massive funding from the city can do that.

As shopping selections decline, so will the number of folks coming here to shop. Why do we rush to the malls in the big city? Because there's selection, there's six places to buy shoes, 10 places to buy clothing, etc.

While I have so many things on my plate I can't see the table, I say we must unite so they get it right. We are up against a stacked deck. If we add up the number of city employees, their spouses, those who enjoy contracts with the city and other birds of a feather, they have 400 to 500 votes in the bag. Now they want to change the rules and have the vote six months early!

We have no time. I look back at those brave souls who stood up on the Bingham City Manager issue. We can do it again. It's going to take even more effort.

I propose some responsible person or persons head up a new private club. We should call it the "SANE GANG." The Sane Gang's goal would be to organize volunteers to gather at least 1,500 signatures of registered voters to present at the Aug. 6 sales tax meeting, telling City Council what needs to be done.

Carol Samway and Todd Cappel got it right and they are not voices in the wilderness, they have stated the opinions of the majority, which we must prove to those in la-la land.

Where do I send my membership dues to the Sane Gang?

"Nuff said."

Bill Frasier


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