Kansas City has a lot riding on the outcome of the $800 million bond package on Tuesday’s ballot. So does Mayor Sly James.
He has been the face of the campaign for Questions 1, 2 and 3, which would require an escalating property tax increase to pay for the bonds.
James has been on most of the mailed ads and has spoken at dozens of public events. His public popularity could help push the plan to passage on Tuesday.
Still, it’s going to be difficult. All need 57.1 percent approval to pass. If voters defeat one or more of the proposals, that will be a stinging defeat for James.
My recommendation is to vote “YES” on all three questions. More below from an earlier post.
— Question 1 would finance $600 million to repair streets, bridges and sidewalks. Positively, part of the proposal eliminates sidewalk assessments against homeowners.
— Question 2 would spend $150 million for flood control. This would help the city get access to hundreds of millions in federal matching funds.
— Question 3 would use $50 million to fix public buildings. The key to this one passing is the city’s pledge to build a new animal shelter, with the help of private funds.
I recommend a “NO” vote on Question 4, which is an eighth-cent sales tax increase for ill-defined improvements in the central city.
This one was put on the ballot through initiative petition. It has questionable oversight if passed, and the list of projects funded by the money — about $8.5 million a year — is iffy as well.
Boosting economic development in the inner city makes good sense. But Question 4 is the wrong way to do it.
Here’s more from an earlier post on Question 4.
Finally, I recommend a “NO” vote on Question 5, which would reduce the penalties imposed on people who possess small amounts of marijuana.
This is another issue put on the ballot through an initiative petition.
If the replies to my blog post are any indication, however, this one will pass easily.
Still, guess what?
Unless you vote — and 90 percent of registered voters reportedly won’t do that on Tuesday — you won’t get to help decide what happens with your money in the future.