Archive for Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Job helps Ward decide on issues

March 25, 2009

Since beginning his time on the council, Jason Ward has been working toward doing things he thought would make Tonganoxie a better community.

Some of those things have included a new water park, the skate park and Chieftain Trail.

“Anytime that you can have those types of amenities without increasing taxes is a wonderful opportunity,” Ward said.

Ward and his wife, Amy, first moved to Tonganoxie because it was conveniently located near the homes of both of their parents and his job at Shook, Hardy and Bacon in Kansas City, Mo., where he has been a practicing product liability lawyer for 10 years.

He believes that what has made Tonganoxie a good community is that city leaders have done a good job building infrastructure to provide those amenities. He mentioned the new waste water treatment plant and public works building as well as the BPU waterline that should go out for bid this summer.

Ward said that he uses the skills and experience he has acquired as an attorney to help him on the council.

“I think my profession lends itself to critical thinking,” he said. “I am a very analytical person and break things down to their finer elements until I make a decision.”

And once those elements are broken down, he said it’s a balancing act to listen to feedback form both sides of an issue as well as what he finds would be the best for the community.

Sometimes it’s not easy.

“I think liquor sales was a difficult vote for me,” Ward said. “As a member of the council and as a proponent of business development you want all of your business to do well in the city, but at the same time you have groups of your constituents that don’t favor liquor sales on religious holidays and on days of the Sabbath.

“You certainly hear from folks that are on both sides of the issue. You have to remove your own personal opinion and make decisions that are the most fair decision for businesses and for the constituents.”

In May of 2008, councilmembers Ward, Paula Crook and Steve Gumm voted in favor of allowing retail liquor sales on Labor, Memorial and Independence days.

Comments

Trouble 5 years, 7 months ago

First of all. The new Water Park did raise the Sale Tax. My Opinion this is raising TAXES! Now the City has one of the highs sale Tax in the State of Kansas. My opinion this is one of the Biggest reason why we are loosing businesses in town. And Maybe the businesses don't have the support from its City. Plus, the Water Park is not what we were promised. The City said it was going to be bigger, but it is smaller. It might hold more water, but this is because of the deep end is deeper then the old pool. The Old pool had 9ft...new pool has 12ft. Is the Pool paying for it self? I bet not! Is user fees paying for operations? I bet not! So how much are we the tax payer having to cough up extra? I bet a lot!

 Ward said he uses his skill and experiences he has acquired as an attorney. OH, He is an "Attorney". Lawyers are the most Honest people out of all the profession in the US. He is using his "SKILLS" aright!!

 The new pubic works building. Well that is worth 2 million dollars. He is "Proud" of this? Its bigger then Lawrence pubic works building.  The City is running with the Big Boys now.  What did I read that cost the tax payers to heat this building? Oh,Ah, $15,000.00 dollars for 4 months. What do they use this big building for anyway?  They don't use it to park the city work trucks in the building. They do get to watch TV with the Flat screen that the tax payers bought for them. Maybe if I get off work early one day I will go watch Jerry Springer with them. Something to be PROUD of the New public works building.

Good luck Mr. Jason Ward on the election. All of your accomplishments that you have "DONE to the City" tax payers. All of your "SKILLS" as an Attorney just might get you in... But you just might have scared the people away. "We can't afford you."
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Justin 5 years, 7 months ago

Trouble - It appears that you have some deep-seeded issues with Mr. Ward. Can you tell us whether you are a former elected official in Tonganoxie? Regardless of whether that is the case, your comments may be interpreted by others as a poor reflection of your personal integrity and an unwillingness to act in the best interest of the community. Maybe you should consider addressing your personal issues with Mr. Ward and leave the comments field to those that enjoy blogs without bias. Thanks.

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Trouble 5 years, 7 months ago

Are you the blog "Warden"? I Do have integrity and an willingness to act in the best interest in our community!! I wish I had time to get involved with the council meetings. I'm to busy working and paying my Taxes so Mr.Ward and the others can spend it faster then I can bring it home. That's why I blog! Sometime the truth hurts. If you are so sensitive about hearing negative things about Mr. Ward maybe you shouldn't be on this site. If Mr. Ward want to be re-elected he needs to look at his mistakes, "which he has made" and learn from them. But most grown-ups deal with it and try to learn by their mistakes.

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tongieproud 5 years, 7 months ago

In hopes of putting an end to the half-truths and misinformation being propagated by a certain individual - The community at large VOTED to raise the sales tax to build the pool (more than 65% voted "yes"). The new pool is bigger. The information I was given says the old pool had 4,000 square feet of water surface area, the new pool has 6,200 square feet. Not only is it bigger, it has more useable space than the last pool, with the zero-depth entry and graduated basin. User fees never pay for a pool. They didn't with the old pool, and they won't cover expenses of this pool, either. That's a fact of life, and you could make a case for anything the city does as being subsidized - does the police department bring in enough revenue from tickets to offset their expenses? What about the fire department? Now, those are essentials services, but you see my point. Cities provide services to their patrons. The old pool had reached the end of its life. The city, with its budget could not afford to build a new one. A proposal was put on the ballot, and the people of Tonganoxie (over 65% of those that voted) voted "yes" to increase the sales tax to make that new pool a reality.

With regard to sales tax, Tonganoxie's 8.05% is right in line with peer communities around the metro (on the Kansas side – the sales tax is even higher in MO).

Bonner Springs = 8.05% DeSoto = 8.275% Gardner = 8.025% KCK = 7.55%, however, the Legend's is 8.15% Spring Hill = 8.025% Ottawa = 7.9% Lansing/Leavenworth = 7.3%, however, do the math. For a $100 purchase in Tonganoxie, you pay 75 cents more than in these two communities.
Lawrence = 7.85%, again, do the math. For a $100 purchase in Tonganoxie, you pay 20 cents more than the same purchase in Lawrence.

But all of this is a moot point, as the change to the sales tax isn’t attributable to any one person on the council. It was the will of the majority of people in Tonganoxie. Are they all anti-business?

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Trouble 5 years, 6 months ago

Sales tax: Bonner Springs = 8.12% = Population = 8,121 DeSoto =8.27% = Population =5,687 Gardner = 8.05% = Population = 9,369 Legends's = 8.15% Population = 153,956 Spring Hill =8.02% Population = 2,727 Ottawa = 7.9 = Population = 12,828 Lawrence = 7.85 = Population = 89,852 Tonganoxie = 8.05% = Population = 4,156

Just a note: All of these City's have Big Businesses to support their sale tax. All these City's but Spring Hill has a bigger Population then Tonganoxie has also.

Yes the citizen voted for this pool.

You say 4,000 square feet of water surface area for the old one and 6,200 square feet on this new pool. The zero-depth is nice for the kids , But it take up a large a mount of your water surface area! I have been there with my family and as far as water surface area to swim, it is smaller. The pool should pay for its self. Fee that are brought in should take care of the operations. Don't they have fees that are received by attendance,swim lessons,water aerobics, concession stand,Pool rentals. Yes, it should pay for it self.

I never said that the Citizen of Tonganoxie is anti- business. I do beleive that we were miss lead about the size of the pool.

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