Saturday, August 11, 2018

Which Council Members Will Vote to Waste $75,000

So, which Shawnee City Council Members will vote to waste $75,000?

How did this come about?  Easy, there is a movement to build a new community center on the west side of town which will cost approximately $34 million dollars.  Dat's alotta bucks.

Anyway various aspects of the financing has to go before the voters to include a possible mill levy increase. 

Now here's the kicker.......some folks would like the vote to be on a mail ballot in the spring.  There is the waste.  Any ballot question could be piggy backed on either the summer primary election or the fall general election, at no cost to the city

A mail ballot will cost approximately $75,000.  How do I know that?  Easy.  About two years ago when the sales tax increase was being proposed for road repairs the former city manager (Carol Gonzales) went before the council and said a mail ballot would cost approximately $30,000.  That did not seem accurate.  So, yours truly contacted the county elections folks, got the information and came up with a figure in the mid $60's thousands.  More than double what the former city manager had told the council.   At a subsequent meeting, the former city manager did tell the council members that the cost would be close to $70,000.  (Guess it took a citizen of the community to teach her basic math).  It eventually went on a regular ballot.

Anyway, allowing for an increase in population and costs associated with printing, election staff time etc. it would be safe to add 5% to the previous estimate.  As such a mail ballot would push the cost close to the $75K figure.  Ridiculous when there is a way to get it done at no charge.

But why are there some folks who want a mail ballot?  Easy, for the same reason that folks wanted it back for the sales tax increase.  Based on voter returns of mail ballots, and push efforts, it would probably have a better chance of passing on a mail ballot.  Not quite rigging an election, but putting the odds in the favor of one side of an issue.

As such, it will be interesting to see which members of the council vote to blow $75K.