August 8, 2017
The results of last Tuesday’s primary election show two things: Shawnee residents do not support the broad use of tax incentives like TIFs and CIDs to spur development, and that city leaders are out of touch with their constituents.
Consider the Bellmont Promenade project: two weeks ago, the city council approved a $19.5 million incentive package for its development. The vote was six to three. Of the six council members who supported the proposal, two were up for reelection. I write “were” because the members in question, Brandon Kenig and Jeff Vaught, were both eliminated in the primary election on August 1st.
Furthermore, it should be recognized that the four candidates advancing to the general election to replace Kenig and Vaught are all leery of the indiscriminate use of tax incentives, which the incumbents favored.
The people have sent a message to the city government: you are passing out too many tax breaks to developers, while private residents’ taxes continue to rise, and other services are jeopardized.
Secondly, citizens would like to see improvement of existing infrastructure.
Basically, residents want balance, and a voice. Obviously, the governing body has been deaf, or two of its incumbents wouldn’t have lost reelection.
As the council continues to vote on development projects, they would be well-advised to keep this in mind, because if they won’t listen to their constituents, the ballot box will.
Lifelong Shawnee resident and Republican ward IV precinct committeeman
Originally published at: http://www.shawneedispatch.com/news/2017/aug/08/letter-editor-recent-election-results-speak-volume/