Archive for Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Letters to the editor: Pay for police, firefighters; Turnpike interchange; Mobile home park residents; Fourth Street residents not to blame

August 23, 2006

PAY FOR POLICE, FIREFIGHTERS
To the editor:

On June 14, 2006, a two-paragraph article appeared in the sports section. Tonganoxie Police Chief Kenny Carpenter and Fire Chief Dave Bennett were asking the city council about budget increases for department personnel pay increases. They stated that, at present, "We are the lowest paid in the entire Tonganoxie area."

I have not seen any follow-up articles in The Mirror about this issue. I would like to ask The Mirror to cover first responder compensation rates more closely. It is my understanding that yearly budget increases for wages above cost of living increases have been approved year after year, and yet, never implemented. Crime in our area is not likely to decrease with growth and greater access. If I have my facts correct, there are several city council members who are blocking these approved wage hikes from going into effect.

Here are my major concerns:

  • It is just plain wrong to underpay a dedicated group of people who put their lives on the line every day for our safety.
  • It is inconceivable that pay increases have been approved and promised, but simply not implemented.
  • It is ridiculous to dump millions of dollars into a road system if the support structure isn't there to maintain safety.

The few council members blocking these increases are taking advantage of our police and fire departments. Perhaps they think these people have nowhere else to go, or aren't smart enough to get "good" jobs.

I think it would be interesting to interview council members and let them speak for themselves on this issue to clear up any misunderstandings.

Jerry Botts,
Tonganoxie.

TURNPIKE INTERCHANGE

To the editor:

Tonganoxie was a wise Indian chief who has a city named for him. If he thought the turnpike interchange would benefit the town, he would have settled there.

Vote early and vote often.

Steve Crupper,
Tonganoxie.

MOBILE HOME PARK RESIDENTS

To the editor:

You don't know me. I'm a resident of the Paradise Trailer Park. A recent article in The Mirror states that the county has been fighting the problems at the park for 18 years. Have county commissioners taken the time to get to know the situation of those people they'd like to displace?

Many of the residents have lived here for many years. Most live on fixed incomes and have medical bills that consume most of their income. Many aren't getting assistance from state or federal aide.

There are residents that take care of the area where they reside. I don't disagree there are issues in the park that may not comply with the ordinances and beautification, but to my knowledge there are no odors from sewers or trash. There hasn't been a crime issue. If the issue is zoning, then the length of time the park has been around should make it easy to approve, especially if it is grandfathered in.

Would county commissioners feel the same if a family member were living here? Would county commissioners be willing to take them in?

My take is that the county is taking advantage of the recent passing of the park owner. It is up for sale, with the possibility for improvements on the sale. No meetings have been held to my knowledge to discuss this or what effect any changes would have on us residents, especially financially.

Isn't the United States a land of tolerance? People put up fences or trees to block out what they don't want to see on their neighbors' property. They don't petition to get them moved. Would county commissioners want someone to force them to move?

Please consider fully before taking action against us.

Frances Justice,
Tonganoxie.

FOURTH STREET RESIDENTS NOT TO BLAME

To the editor:

The city of Tonganoxie seems to have a problem with being able to deliver water to the new middle school in a timely manner. It appears the city council and city administrator (the city) are trying to blame the property owners on Fourth Street for the delay. They make it sound like the property owners are the villains who will not allow the city to put a water line through their property and are depriving children from being able to go to school. Typical misplaced blame! The city is trying to shift their irresponsible actions away form themselves to the innocent property owners.

When the area including Fourth Street was annexed into the city, were easements sought and obtained in connection with the city's long-term plan? After the new middle school bond was passed, did the city try to negotiate with residents to obtain the necessary easements or check to see if they had easements? Obviously not. If they had done as they should, there would be no problems now. What was the city administrator doing during this time. I realize he is very busy telling citizens he and the city have the right to cut down any tree they want to in their easement. That is not true, even if they had an easement, which they do not.

It seems as the city thought they were above the law and could come onto citizens' property and use it as if it were their own, cutting down trees, removing top soil, etc. They seem to think they can use whatever route they want in order to lay the water line and sidewalks. They may not do this. The easement must be least intrusive as possible to the property owner. By coming in and running roughshod over the property owners, you violate Kansas easement laws, the Bill of Rights of Kansas and section one of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If you do not have an easement or permission to be on a person's property, you are trespassing. If you destroy their property while you are there, I believe that is called criminal trespass.

The citizens should hire an attorney and file an injunction against the city until proper easements are negotiated.

R.E. Rooker,
Rural Linwood.

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