To The Editor:
First, let me say that I am not distressed about city leadership in Washington.
We are fortunate to have a mayor who is pleasant, courteous, knowledgeable, and who works well with our eight council members. No elected official is perfect, but our council has made good decisions and has shown good common sense. We are blessed to have strong leadership.
Believe me, I know how a dysfunctional council can cost the city in so many ways. The city has also hired good replacements for retired city officials, such as city administrator, city engineer, police chief, street superintendent, etc. Washington appears to be in good hands.
As a resident, what’s not to like about the half-cent capital improvement sales tax? Look at the past results of this tax — our fire and police departments and their facilities and equipment. Look at our parks, library, downtown area, riverfront, communications department, our roads and bridges. I like the fact that people who shop in Washington help pay for these facilities and services with the sales tax.
The 1-cent general sales tax and the half-cent transportation tax are two other examples of how the city has used funds to make Washington a great community. The current half-cent renewal capital sales tax proposal has a citizens committee that is making suggestions on how to dedicate those funds for city wants and needs. It will be up to the council to make those final decisions, with citizen input. Remember, planning is invaluable but plans are usually useless in battle. No one knows for sure what the future holds and how the funds for the tax will need to be used but if the past reflects the future, we are in good hands.
The city has nothing to do with the license bureau loss. The Washington Area Chamber of Commerce ran the office and submitted a bid to Jefferson City to continue to do so. It also provided a useful space for the office. Personally, I do not like how the Jefferson City crowd treated the Washington Chamber, as well as other cities, but it is what it is.
I am disappointed about how we are maintaining the right of way in the Washington city limits. Thankfully, most property owners make the effort to keep the grass and weeds mowed. Lowe’s and the U.S. Postal Service do not, and there are others. I would like to see the city maintain this part of our right of way that has been neglected. I know it is MoDOT’s responsibility, but its funding does not allow for a lawn look. Most of our visitors and shoppers use the Highway 100 and 47 corridors. If the city can spend resources in the downtown and riverfront, we should be able to pick up the slack.
I encourage people to be thankful for our good leadership and hope that based on the city’s past usage of our sales tax dollars, they would again support the renewal of the half-cent capital sales tax.