Thoughts on the election
I am writing this on the day before the mid-term election. I have no real clue as to the outcome just hunches and wishful thinking. Hopefully, the candidates with a conservative bent will do well. Still, those with liberal progressive thinking have a millstone around their necks dragging them down, their President Biden, so I think that the results will be good for our countryís future.
The big issue for local voters, McCook residents, is the upcoming bond issue where we will commit to an additional half-cent sales tax, for twenty years. The issue will partially fund rebuilding our swimming pool and the creation of an awesome new baseball and soccer complex. Due to great efforts by local groups and many more individuals, the advertising for the bond issue has been a bit overwhelming. A few with contrary opinions have spoken up but have been pretty well drowned out by the fervor of those in favor.
In the opinion of this, OLD and former City Council member, little has been said about the commitment of property taxes that will bring the two projects to fruition. The bond issue for the sales tax increase will come to an end in twenty years but the need for increased property taxes will go on and on.
The swimming pool should have been rebuilt several years ago using tax monies levied by the City in their year-to-year business. A major problem with the present system lies with a great leak in the system that filters and sanitizes the pool water. A fairly simple solution is to seal off the ancient 80-year-old sand-based system and replace it with a modern filtration system. Then too it looks to me that the proponents of the rebuild want an additional splash pad with squirting water, slides and other modern amenities for the younger set. Not spoken of much but a glorious new big bath house will be created to replace our rather small 1930ís building. Yes, our community needs it for our current youth and to attract young professional families with children for our population and future workforce to increase. As in grow!
The proposed new ball complex is a completely different animal from the swimming pool issue. God bless my friend Lloyd Benjamin and his wife Elizabeth for donating the acres of farmland for the project. I just wish that they had purchased closer in like the cornfield north of Q Street and just east of the Case IH Dealership. Also, the College has plenty of room for its own ball fields on the former golf course next to the old Elks Club, property that was donated to them but is currently mostly unused. Ball fields there were constructed and used for a statewide American Legion state tournament years ago but since have been abandoned.
Again, in my opinion, a ball complex should be within walking distance of where our youth live. The proposed site does not come close to meeting that standard. Access to it necessitates driving along county road Drive 716, which is just an extension of Q Street, out past McCook Public Power and a fair-sized industrial area. It will be a long walk and McCook has no public transportation.
Still, there is a bright side to the proposed location. At present, our city is a bit landlocked. New homes are being constructed outside city limits, in part, to avoid city taxes. With the new ballpark where groundwater is inadequate the city will need to extend the municipal water main to that site. They might as well also extend a sewage mainline there also. City streets to follow. In so doing the city should also extend the city limits west to county road Drive RD 383 and include all the area between Highway 6&34 and RD 716. Doing so would add the nice luxury homes on the west side of the golf course and the two businesses along 6&34 to our city tax rolls. I am sure that those presently living and running businesses there are probably happy to avoid paying city property taxes but they will in turn get to vote on city issues. It is called progress.
Iíll be happy when this election day becomes history for a selfish reason. At the time of writing, I have received 81 requests for money for candidates and for polling data. None of which I have answered and only clicked to delete. I suspect that you dear readers have had to put up with the same intrusions of your internet. I seldom use Facebook and none of the other social media sites that are time wasters in my opinion. Our world of instant communication is a wonderful thing and over time I am sure it will sort itself out to become less intrusive. Right or wrong it is the world that we live in today and I canít even imagine what the future will bring.
That is the way that I saw it.