Archive for Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Letter: Council member seeks input

July 22, 2008

To the editor:

I would appreciate the opinion of Shawnee residents. At the July 14 City Council meeting, I made a motion to limit the City Council members' trips that are funded by city tax dollars to one per year without a vote of the Council for approval. The motion died because of a four-to-four tie as the mayor chose not to vote.

The four Council members voting against limiting travel were Cheryl Scott, Neal Sawyer, Dawn Kuhn and Mickey Sandifer. The Council members that voted in favor of limiting travel were Dan Pflumm, Frank Goode, Michelle Distler and Kevin Straub.

Some of the Council members that voted against limiting travel refuted it stating that the residents of Shawnee encourage such trips so the Council members become more educated and a professional politician.

They said it is a trust issue on behalf of the Council and that, as adults, each Council member could decide which trips to go on or not. I find this to be a dollars-and-cents issue where our tax dollars are funding trips. I find it difficult to propose a 5 percent franchise fee for Shawnee residents' electric and gas bills without considering at least a 50 percent reduction in travel and entertainment expenses.

I doubt that most Shawnee residents realize that some Council members take as many as four trips a year. Furthermore, I doubt that most residents would approve of city tax dollars funding more than one trip per year without justification and approval.

Please e-mail me directly at kevin@straubrealty.com with your opinion.

If you would like to express your opinion to the mayor and other Council members, go to the City of Shawnee Web site at cityofshawnee.org to e-mail them.

Thank you,

Kevin Straub

Shawnee City Council member, Ward III

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