Tuesday, Jan. 08 2013 4:53PM
Vote it, sell it, get it done
By John Beaudoin
Let’s hope the Christmas holiday break was one of rest and relaxation for our Lee’s Summit City Council.
My New Year’s wish for our eight council members and Mayor Randy Rhoads is that they not only keep the April bond issues simple, but they also take an individual responsibility to sell these ideas to the voters.
Because of all the no-tax bond increases I have been a part of here and in other cities, this one could have the biggest fight ahead for it.
Not because the ideas aren’t sound: upgrading Pryor Road will do wonders for that stretch and giving Orchard a facelift will be a noticeable a welcome change to that area.
On top of road improvements, putting some cultural arts plans into place in downtown Lee’s Summit and at the amphitheater at Legacy keeps a promise we made years ago to focus on our creativity as a community.
These issues should be put on the April ballot to voters as two measures – roads and arts – and then the baton of selling these needs to be handed to everyone with an interest in seeing Lee’s Summit continue to thrive. And that group is led by our eight council members and Rhoads.
Let’s hope the confusions of the bond issue were indeed left in 2012 and that we can move forward with a group effort to get this done.
In tough economic times, even so-called no-tax bond increases are a challenging sell to the public.
Some, mistakenly, think that a “no” vote will lower their tax burden. Others think of this as waste spending in a time when the city should be “saving” money.
We call that stinkin’ thinkin.’
Councilman Ed Cockrell was right on last month when he noted that now is the time to take advantage of our bonding capacity and start these improvements.
He was persuasive enough to turn fellow Councilman Allan Gray to his way of thinking (on Orchard).
And now, once we get passed the final hurdle Jan. 10, we will be to the selling phase of this issue.
There are innumerable reasons to expect our elected officials to help champion this ballot measure. We have a new brand put into place now, a new leader of our branding efforts and a new vision for selling Lee’s Summit, both internally and externally.
But more than that, we have a new year. We have 365 new days for this council and mayor to showcase its leadership and turn talk into action.
Take advantage of it, folks. The next election is just a little over a year away.