Residents in the 8th District will join other Jackson County voters next Tuesday, Nov. 5, to vote on several ballot issues. November elections in an off year usually have very low turnout. Jackson County election officials predict that only 12-15 percent of registered voters will turn out. I urge you, your family and friends to use your right and responsibility to vote.
Here are brief summaries of the ballot issues facing Eastern Jackson County voters:
Jackson County Question No. 1
“Shall the County of Jackson impose a sales tax at the rate of one-half of one percent for a period of 20 years solely for the purpose of promoting economic development by establishing a medical research and development institute in collaboration with and governed by an independent board composed of Children’s Mercy Hospital, Saint Luke’s Hospital, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute and Jackson County, that would create healthcare related jobs in the County and develop medical cures and discoveries for human diseases? All of the proceeds of this tax shall be deposited in a special account separate from the Jackson County general fund and any other special funds and utilized only for the purposes approved by the voters and set forth herein. An annual independent audit of these funds will be overseen by an oversight and audit board appointed by the County Executive and will be reported to the public and the Jackson County Legislature.”
A “yes” vote will authorize a one-half cent tax for medical research for 20 years. A “no” vote will deny the county the authority to impose this new tax.
Blue Springs Question
“Shall the City of Blue Springs, Missouri, impose a sales tax of one-half of one percent (half of 1%) for the purpose of providing funds for local parks for the City, including but not limited to, the construction of a community recreation center, park maintenance, park operations and park development, including the retirement of indebtedness relating to local parks?”
A “yes” vote will authorize a one-half cent tax for Blue Springs parks. A “no” vote will deny the city the authority to impose this new tax.
Public Water Supply District No. 13 (serving parts of Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Oak Grove and Grain Valley)
“Shall Public Water Supply District No. 13 of Jackson County, Missouri, issue waterworks system revenue bonds of the District in an amount not to exceed $3,000,000 for the purpose of paying all or part of the costs of constructing, extending, equipping and improving its waterworks system including without limitation the acquisition of any necessary rights-of-way, with the cost of operation and maintenance of said waterworks system and repayment of the principal of and the interest on said waterworks system revenue bonds to be payable solely from the revenue derived by the District from the operation of its waterworks system, including all future extensions and improvements thereto?”
A “yes” vote will authorize a $3 million bond for the water district. A “no” vote will deny the district the authority to issue a bond.
Involvement in the communities I represent is an important role in my job as your state senator. To help accomplish this, I try to attend as many meetings and community gatherings throughout the 8th Senatorial District as my schedule will allow. Examples of events I try to attend include town hall meetings, community festivals, public meetings, chamber or business group meetings and charity events, among others. Attending these gatherings gives me a chance to meet constituents whom I have not yet had the chance to meet, and to get feedback and ideas to take back to the State Capitol to better represent the district.
Over the past few months, I have attended events such as the Blue Springs Public Safety Citizens Advisory Board, Lake Tapawingo and Blue Springs Town Hall meetings, the Oak Hill Shelter BBQ Contest in Grain Valley, Walk/Bike to School Day at Thomas Ultican Elementary, and the Lee’s Summit High School vs. Blue Springs High School football game.
Over the next two months, prior to the beginning of the 2014 session, I plan to stop by as many city council and school board meetings as possible. I generally arrive 20 minutes early to talk with board or council members. Attending these meetings is a great way to find out what local issues I may need to address during session.
If you would like me to attend or speak at an event, or if you just want to bring a function to my attention, please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff to let us know the details. I will try and make my schedule fit as many community events as possible.
State Senator Will Kraus-R serves District Eight and is a resident of Lees Summit.