Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Letter to Mayor Jeff Meyers

I have just sent the following by email to the mayor.  If he responds, I will publish that here.
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Dear Jeff,

Reference is made to the recent council meeting of Monday 3/26/12 and Council Member Jeff Vaught’s comments. And, I will explain how I feel this reflects on you.

I am sure you are aware that it is upsetting that he said I had no stake in Shawnee since I do not pay property taxes direct. He did say he realizes that the amount is included in the rent but unlike him I do not have a statement showing that type of item.

Vaught’s comments were indicative of an individual who believes that renters as opposed to owners are in a different class and cannot have a stake in the city they live in. Apparently he truly does not understand the concept of the property taxes being included in the rent. Nor does he probably understand that renters pay personal property taxes on their vehicles, sales taxes, franchise fees, ad nauseam, all to the benefit of the city. And, by renting, in my case, contributing to $235,000 in property taxes.

Using Vaught’s concept that renters don’t have a stake makes me wonder what his feelings are about the current State Rep in the 23rd District, Brett Hildabrand (Shawnee/Merriam) and his immediate predecessor, Milack Talia. Mr. Hildabrand currently resides in an apartment, and did so at the time of his election.

If my memory serves me correctly, Mr. Talia also lived in an apartment at the time of his election and then subsequently moved into a private residence. Would he care to tell these two gentlemen that they don’t/didn’t have a stake in the 23rd District because they are/were renters?

Now how does this reflect upon you? As the mayor of Shawnee you are supposed to be the mayor of Shawnee, not the mayor of one group of residents. When a council member says that just because a person rents they do not have a stake in their city, then it was incumbent upon you to set him straight. That all persons living in Shawnee have a stake in the city. You failed to say anything about that? Does that mean that you agree with him that renters do not have a stake in the city? Over the years I have heard you admonish speakers who, in your opinion, were disrespectful to members of the council. In this case a member of the council disrespected an entire group of people and you sir, said nothing.

Your silence and inaction at the meeting on this item would lead me to believe that you give tacit approval to his commentary on that subject.