Another Dotte-Do-Over, Not Much Will Change

by Staff~

There is movement underfoot in Wyandotte County.  Whether because of social media or some other media, there is a growing awareness that things aren’t quite right in the Dotte. People are unhappy and restless.

A bill which increases our personal income tax passed in the  legislature recently, the largest tax increase in Kansas’ history. All legislators who represent Wyandotte County, including Representative, Kathy Wolfe Moore (D), Senator, David Haley(D) and Representative, Tom Burroughs (D), voted in favor of the tax increase–except one, Senator Steve Fitzgerald (R).

Then there’s the ongoing broken promise from ALL City and county politicians that our property taxes will stop increasing year after year—because of the Woodlands, because of Sandstone Amphitheater, because of consolidation and annexation, because of the NASCAR track, because of the Legends, because of the state-owned casino…the list goes on.  The promise remains broken.

Wyandotte is the poorest county in the metropolitan area.  It’s become a sick joke that our tiny county has one of the highest median property tax rates in the country. Median income doubles, on the other hand, just a few miles away in Johnson County. Makes a Dotte wonder what keeps going wrong over here.

Every measurement of physical health reveals that residents in the Dotte are more likely to suffer from cancer, heart disease, stroke, and almost all other diseases, more often than anywhere else in the state. Wyandotte County has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the area and THE HIGHEST infant mortality rate for African American babies in the entire country.

In happier news, Wyandotte County taxpayers now own a minor league baseball stadium. Also, because of the generosity of the Wyandotte County taxpayer, The T-Bones outstanding BPU bill is paid in full.  In addition, because we own the T-Bones stadium, the UG touts the $246,000 we’ll save by not having to pay property taxes on the stadium. Wait, what?

Sadly, for the UG administration/CEO anyway, taxpayers are starting to recognize the pretzel logic here. That is, while taxpayers will not be divvying up $246,000 to pay on behalf of a private business, we’ve lost $246,000 in tax revenue from a private business.  Because it’s not private anymore. We own it. You see what they did there? More and more Dottes do see it, and it’s not okay.

Magical Fairies Who Mow the Lawn

Supporters of this shysty land acquisition claim it’s a wash.  Taxpayers are saving a ton of money because the property is tax exempt, they say. But it’s not a wash. We’ve lost money. Nearly a quarter of million bucks. Also, I wonder who pays for maintenance and facility upgrades at our stadium. Oh, that’s right…we do. Because we own it and like all property owned by anybody, it must be cared for and maintained and the grass cut and the broken stuff fixed. These things are not tended to by the magical UG Fairies. They are tended to by humans who are given a bi-monthly pay check which is funded with taxpayer money.  My money. Your money. Where do we cut back in our own budgets so that we can afford these additional expenses?  I’m willing to guess here that the average Dotte is tapped out—tax wise.

This recent restlessness may be a result of Dottes finally realizing something the most Reverend Mayor Holland admitted in a recent candidate forum. Holland joked that the UG does not have a money printing machine in the basement of City Hall.  He may have been wise to keep that little detail a secret. Dottes now have to face the harsh reality that THE ONLY MONEY THE UG HAS IS TAKEN FROM PRIVATE CITIZENS in the form of taxes and fees.  Oh yeah, and private businesses—not the kind owned publicly that don’t pay taxes and fees like the T-Bones stadium (Sandstone Amphitheater, Memorial Hall, et al.)

Something is wrong in the Dotte. In fact, many things are wrong, but that’s nothing new. There is, however, an increased rancor coursing through the smallest county in the state. Residents are clamoring for answers. Upcoming county-wide elections offer a Dotte-Do-Over. From the head office—mayor/CEO, to sheriff, county commissioners and board members of the public utility (BPU), Dottes once again have an opportunity to try new leadership.

In past elections, nothing much changed in the county.  The same ole’ insider’s club generally remains in office, or plays a cool game of musical chairs, appointing and electing the entrenched and their in-laws and relatives.  Will the upcoming election be any different? We’ll find out who the players are after the August 1 primary.

November 7, 2017, may reveal a very different Wyandotte County.  Or not.  History suggests the latter.

Here We Go Again

by Staff~

Well. Here we are with another election looming in Wyandotte County. I have to try pretty hard not to be cynical and just laugh when I think about elections in WyCo. The tired but true definition of insanity comes to mind. Voters continue to elect the same kinds of people and when nothing changes, they bitch and moan. I mean, let’s be perfectly honest here. If elected officials in WyCo had any intention of lowering or controlling property taxes, it’d already be done.

Regardless of their pre-election intentions, holding office in WyCo is a bit like being sucked into a vacuum of a tax and spend

Invaders from Reverend Holland's Church

Invaders from Reverend Holland’s Church

whirlwind unlike any they’ve ever imagined. We’ve all seen the promises, starting with the now defunct Woodlands, the bankrupted Legends Shopping and Tax Abatement Extravaganza, and now new rumors about a “healthy campus” proposed by Mayor Mark Holland.

Location for the 30 million dollar ‘healthy campus’ plan is slated for the 5th through 10th Street corridor in downtown KCK. Is it just me? I mean, yeah, this could potentially be a great success and propel Holland into the annals of legendary KCK Mayors.  In my most humble opinion, that very motivation is the one that leaves WyCo with rotting buildings and broken promises. It’s all about the legend. Everybody wants to be a rock star. Besides all that, there aren’t any annals of legendary mayors in KCK, at least not any which promoted WyCo into an affordable place to raise a family and retire. How’d those concrete pylons on State Avenue work out, legend-wise?   Mostly WyCo mayors are known for empty and rotting buildings that once held a promise of broadening the tax base and thus lowering those punishing property taxes for WyCo residents.

Candidates on Tuesday’s ballot look mostly the same as any other election in WyCo. Big promises. Similar backgrounds. At least for those who’ve held or run for office in the county. I can’t be the only one chuckling that the Tamika Pledger garnered no fewer than 122 votes in the primary election. I mean, seriously WyCo? And what about Terance Maddox? He won the primary for 4th district commissioner. So, yeah. I’m trying hard not to laugh.

In the 1st district commissioner primary, Melissa Bynum won and will face Mark Gilstrap in the general election.  Bynum has held office in local associations and groups around the county. She currently works for the mayor’s wife. WHAT??? Yeah. Still laughing. Bynum works for the mayor’s wife. The Falling Star, Kansas City’s withering excuse for a newspaper, accidentally stumbled on a true statement in an opinion piece recently, “Melissa Brune Bynum and Harold Johnson are highly qualified candidates who would work well with Mayor Mark Holland…”   Ya think? His wife is her boss! Of course she’ll work well with the boss’s husband. Sheesh. Good jobs are hard to come by in WyCo.

Gilstrap, a recently retired accountant for the UG is the logical choice for district 1 commissioner. Anybody know an accountant who likes to spend money? No. He’s a bean counter.

This would be a remarkable departure from business as usual in Wyandotte County. Somebody who doesn’t like spending other people’s money. Gilstrap lost a recent bid for a Kansas Senate seat. Not conservative enough. Before that, he was tossed out of a (D) seat for being too conservative.

Hmmm.. Imagine a candidate who clearly stands by his values in spite of the money-sucking vacuum whirling around him. Gilstrap would be my choice in WyCo. But, it’s WyCo. It may be easier to just bitch and moan.

The Candidate’s Final Stretch … Heading Toward the Finish Line

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Clinton Peaceniks Assault Deplorables

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Celebrating the American Dream in WyCo

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Same ole Wyandotte County

Two-term Kansas Representative Kathy Wolfe Moore recused herself from the battle between this small business owner and a Unified Government employee, neighbor of the Wine Barn. It may come as no surprise that the Unified Government Commissioners took the side of the Unified Government employee. This is, after all, Wyandotte…

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