Archive for Wednesday, June 13, 2001

Letter: Accountability to taxpayer

June 13, 2001

To the editor:

I have read with great interest recent letters to the editor about responsibility in government. I, as a city employee, can tell you I take accountability to the taxpayer seriously. But it seems to be voiced loudest by a handful of downtown business owners who are angry about paying part of the downtown renovation. Is their concern for the public good, or their own narrow agenda? Their success seems to be measured by how much money the city has to spend to appease them, and I as a taxpayer, am not thrilled at the prospect of paying for their "hissy fit."

It appears the voters want their employees to live near Tonganoxie. The point should be to find the best person for the job, not someone's political favorite. What business could operate, hiring and training someone, just to watch them leave the position for a better paying position? Kathy Bard went right to work after only minimal familiarization. This was in the taxpayers' interest, because we got a good value for the dollars spent. And regardless of the view that her $29,500 salary is "high," the fact is that many Tonganoxie employees are among the lowest paid in the area. We want our employees to live here, but a police officer can't afford to buy a house in this market on a salary of $21,500.

I think government has to be responsible to the people. But the people should be responsible too. The city administration and council deal with the city's problems on a daily basis, and it's too easy to pick them apart. All I hear from some people is complaining about what's wrong and how it "should be." I hear nothing about how we, as a city, are going to get there. I know there has to be more out there than just a handful of angry downtown business owners.

Mark Williams,


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