I was too wordy with my letter to the editor (8/28/13) – “A Frustrated Newtonian” so please find more of my conclusions.
1. Two Assistant City Managers, the City Engineer, the Head of the Water Department, and the Assistant City Attorney will not have to pay increased property tax and water utility fees because they do not live in Newton.
2. We have spent millions on a logistics park to get new industry and residents in town but we are sabotaging that effort with our high water rates. One realtor has expressed to me he has lost sales on homes because the potential residents cannot afford the present water rates let alone the new fees.
3. We have paid a consultant located in Kansas City $120,000 for at least five years ($60,000) per year with no prospects to re-locate in our logistic park east of town. The city commission voted to retain him for another year with a pay raise of $6,000 for a new total of $126,000. The Harvey County Commission opted out of paying one-half of his fee two years ago ($60,000 per year) for lack of performance, and our city government picked up their half with no questions asked.
4. Along with the five mill increase on our homes, the city commission voted to charge us a water utility fee of $17.75 per month for residential users, and $51.44 for commercial, institutional and industrial users.
5. At the August 13, 2013, meeting, we were told by one of our commissioners that he had an open mind and would listen to all our concerns. After we all expressed our thoughts on the budget he read a prepared text moving to accept the budget with all the increases as presented. So much for listening to our concerns and having an open mind.
I have been called an angry young man from those in power because I express my concern on the path we are taking, but really I am just a frustrated Newtonian who has given fifty years of time, talent, contributions, and energy trying to make my town the best it can be. I would hope those in power would join with me and become part of the community and do what is best for all of us!
— David A. Nygaard, Newton