Tuesday, Feb. 05 2013 5:26PM
Committee forms to tout bond issue
By Russ Pulley
The campaign to pass bond issues for Lee’s Summit roads and cultural facilities in the April election is getting started.
A campaign committee called “Foundations for our Future” has formed, co-chaired by Christine Bushyhead and Brad Cox, both members of the Lee’s Summit Economic Council’s executive committee. Bud Hertzog is treasurer.
The committee is working on a tight schedule to organize, fundraise and address various groups before the April 2 election.
After months-long discussion about exactly which projects to put on the ballot, the Lee’s Summit City Council unanimously voted to put two questions on the ballot. Whether the city should bond:
• $2.9 million to improve the Legacy Park Amphitheater, remodel a 1939 post office for a home for the Lee’s Summit Historical Museum and an outdoor performance venue nearby off Market Street.
• $4.6 million to rebuild Orchard Street and for adding paved shoulders to Pryor Road.
The proposed borrowing won’t increase the city’s debt levy, but owners would not get a small property tax decrease which would occur over a period of years as other bonds are repaid.
Supporters of the road projects say they are needed to provide safe walking conditions for pedestrians and improve connectivity.
The committee’s goal for campaign funds is $20,000 to $25,000, Bushyhead said, to support an information campaign that will include a mix of speaker’s bureau, advertising, social media, mailers and yard signs.
She said the committee doesn’t expect an organized opposition campaign.
Supporters of the road projects are needed to provide safe walking conditions for pedestrians and improve connectivity.
Bushyhead said funding cultural arts facilities is a new step for the city, but it’s a continuation of its tradition as a leading municipality. Passing the bonds is important for both quality of life and economic development, she said.
Bushyhead said the city needs to provide amenities that will encourage young entrepreneurs and their employees to locate homes and businesses in the city.
“We’re enhancing our product, we want to continue to be competitive and create enthusiasm to attract targeted industries,” Bushyhead said. “The creative class is a reality.”
She also said Lee’s Summit’s individual spending on the arts is higher than the Jackson County average and there are a lot of talented individuals in the community looking for opportunity for performance, creating art or viewing.
“Everyone likes some aspect of the arts, music or live theater, or exhibits or choral music, everyone has one piece of art they enjoy.”