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In the end, besides consideration for the additional property tax to maintain both 'the stick' (jail expansion) and 'the carrot' (full-service community mental health care), I have to consider the community's future for affordable single-family housing, a living wage, and the quality of education in my beloved Lawrence.
I admonish our county comission for ignoring the compassion of most voters, by failing to *reverse* the order of these two issues, and for not framing their arguments with people like me in mind.
I absolutely loathe dishonest, cynical behavior, and will never side with groups like Americans for Prosperity for any reason, which verges on 'cutting off my nose to spite my face.'
Can anyone understand my heart-hurt and (now) probable change of vote?
Posted 23 April 2018, 8:53 p.m.
I am *really* unhappy at my choices on this vote. Ms. Henderson *agrees* with me that No One wants to subsidize convicted nonresident prisoners, yet it appears we have little or no choice on that matter.
I didn't know, for example, that *state prisons* and the KDOC can summarily take over county prison space if they exceed space at Lansing! For chrisakes, this whole system, from federal to state to local jails is a mess, and NOT voting "yes" on this ballot appears only to make it impossible to obtain what we've already gone years and years without: Adequate mental health in Douglas County.
Posted 23 April 2018, 8:35 p.m.
As for the other objection, after re-reading Elvyn Jones' article on *why* Johnson County won't take in additional inmates (Especially since *their* residents comprise the state's largest number of convicted felons!) is a brilliant cop-out on taking back their convicted residents currently living in OUR jail!
Posted 23 April 2018, 6:49 p.m.
Holy-Mother-Mary-Joseph-and-Jesus-Jumpin’-Jahosafat-CRAP! I am hellatiously unhappy that *this* group of humans just had to stick its nose into this matter. That just sticks in my craw and makes me a real cranky-pants on whether to vote no anymore.
I looked up Melissa Henderson's replies to my queries on the recent interview news article about what-if scenarios if the vote fails... and not only is it true that Kansas cities *may not* exempt groceries (unlike most other states), the Koch Brothers and their ilk helped pass that law!
So, now a MAJOR objection I have to this sales tax is, in my mind, the direct fault of a cynical effort to claim why they're against it!! Jeez-oh-peets that FROSTS my cookies!
Posted 23 April 2018, 6:39 p.m.
If Ms. Henderson is unable to answer my questions of ignorance, may I provide a "shout-out" to *any* pro-proposition poster to help me understand your position vis-à-vis these questions?
Posted 23 April 2018, 11:23 a.m.
...issue in the manner they did, but I hope you can understand my personal reluctance to accept an "either-or" implicit threat that mental health needs clearly come second to imprisonment.
BTW, forgive my ignorance, but *why* would a taxpayer want to subsidize either a jail cell or mental health services to any prisoner from out of county? I understand if you find my attitude to be exclusionary, but 30% of the prison population becomes (in my mind) an expensive proposition, especially if that out-of-county statistic grows. I am of the belief that local taxes should pay for local needs. An example for me would be county road maintenance, or medical and shelter services for our indigents first. It's not because I want to exclude, more than addressing our problems successfully before and first, and dealing with all others afterwards.
And, to finish my selfish parsimonious thought... if we were to return any and all offenders to serve time in their home counties, how would that policy affect the jail population?
Posted 23 April 2018, 9:36 a.m.
Ms. Henderson; could you help *me* understand why the county did not exclude groceries (food purchased for home consumption) from the 1/2 cent sales tax?
While we will (I hope) agree to disagree about this referendum, I want you to understand that I strenuously object to a regressive tax structure, particularly as it affects grocery purchases, regardless *what* the government's reason is.
I concede to you that I do not have a grasp on *why* the county chose to present this
Posted 23 April 2018, 9:13 a.m.
This....commission recently *denied* the Well's family request for much-needed improvements to Well's Overlook County Park in order to make. their. point. that, it turns out, was. a. lie? They caused unnecessary collateral damage just to make news??!
Does everyone know and understand what just happened? Do you know that the family which donated that parkland can take it back if they show cause?!?
That land was given with a *Conditional Donation Clause* (my words). If the county does not properly maintain that park, and the family can show cause for its deterioration by the county, they can repossess! In fact, the county nearly lost that park years ago for those conditions, and took drastic measures to improve the park because they had let the facilities and land deteriorate!!
This is the family whose modest request was denied last month...made an example of, by a county commission which LIED about its legal requirement to build additional jail cells?
Wow. Who's next??
Posted 18 April 2018, 8:02 a.m.
Of course! Just out of curiosity, would you a property owner, Ms. Watts? Would you be as supportive were this permanent-into-perpetuity tax hike was assessed against your home?
You accept that, despite the baby-brand-new social programs; despite the complete insufficient action over the last two decades of the county to adequately address the backlog of court cases (which will continue to be understaffed) and the fact that the county *will not* allow an independent audit of its court and jail system practices PRIOR to taking on a (come-hell-or-high-water) permanent regressive sales tax that YOU can (no doubt) drive somewhere else to avoid paying...while the working poor, or poverty struck, get. to. pay.
Right? And if you can console yourself that these poor people (mostly minorities, mostly unable to afford a personal lawyer) get "help," and you're not having to pay property tax for it, then YEE-ahh let's do it!
You do. not. shove. responsibility for a permanent community structure onto the backs of people buying bread and meat for themselves and/or their family. You do. not. enact. such a permanent tax with no sunset, no end. no accountability.
i did NOT raise my children to be so selfish, so irresponsible. I will vote NO until the county puts these programs (and more!) into place long enough to accumulate the data needed to make such a draconian request.
Posted 13 April 2018, 9:03 a.m.
What I cannot seem to get across to Ms. Thellman (who I have great admiration for, btw) is that the Cart is in front of the Horse on this avoidable crisis.
For close to Two Decades, county officials were aware district case loads were backing up, jailed minorities were piling up, and mental health, community services and social services were either being killed or were already dead through state funding, and neither she nor any other county rep were willing to step up to offer the services they are (suddenly) touting on this poison-pill-ballot.
Politics? Hubris? Johnson County learned (to its regret) that more expensive jail cells wasn't the answer! How can this county commission ignore that evidence? How is it that the county *cannot* continue to transfer its prisoners until they implement what Ms. Thellman claims is an advanced mental health proposal?
No one (whom I know) is denigrating the portion of this ballot suddenly offering the services we need to start the process of rehabiliting our dead community mental health system.
To offer it only as a backhanded sop to the irreversible and forever more annual expense to all, and worse, through a proven-way-to-hurt-the-working-poor, regressive sales tax with *no exemption on food,* is selfishly reprehensible at best, and criminal amorality at worst. It is completely contrary to any proclaimed progressive community.
This county commission has done a complete disservice to its vulnerable population over the last twenty (20) years. To pit property owners against consumers via its draconian predictions is dishonest and manipulative.
I thought our county leaders and representatives better than this.
Posted 12 April 2018, 10:23 a.m.
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