Thursday, February 02, 2006


State Rep. Jay Wasson, R-Nixa, has the best rules of asking taxpayers for money, whenever something needs to be built. Though he has not made them official, the Mailbox has garnered them over the course of many interviews, and thus makes them official:

  1. Make sure you spend what you have the best way you can.
  2. If you find a public need that cannot be afforded otherwise, plea your case to the voters.
  3. Ask for no more or no less than you absolutely need.

So, Springfield is wanting to get a crime lab, even though voters said no when they rejected the Community Safety Initiative. The Springfield media has been filled with
different opinions about whether they should, even though voters said "no." The Mailbox points out two things:

~ Voters' positions are reversed by legislators all the time. Missouri did, when they passed a bill allowing concealed weapons after state voters said "no." Ozark aldermen instituted a "sewer connection fee" to pay for a new wastewater plant even though Ozark voters said no to a similar impact fee. So let's stop all talk of feeling betrayed, about Springfield city officials not listening to the voters. If Springfield was dealing with an issue with which the talking heads agreed, the city would be enjoying their support.

~ Voters did not say no to a crime lab. Voters said no to enacting a new tax to pay for a crime lab and other things. If Springfield is figuring out how to get something new with the money they already have, then that's good for all of us—including those of us in Christian County. A Springfield crime lab would greatly assist all of southwest Missouri in our fight against meth.

Had Springfield followed Wasson's unofficial rules (those are the Mailbox's words, not Wasson's), they might not be having this debate, because they would have already found a way to get a crime lab or accomplish some of their other goals. A tax is usually the best way to fund something, but it's not always the best way to accomplish a goal.

I voted no, but still want a crime lab. I'm ok with paying a new tax for a crime lab without earmarking some of the tax for other things (childe saftey initiative).
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