County building issue should be on the ballot

By Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

I read in this paper that the county commission has finalized the bylaws for a public building commission that doesn’t exist.

One thing that I have not read or heard is any reason that such a board is necessary or desirable.

It is pretty obvious that creating the PBC is all about the grand plan to expand and replace county courthouse facilities.

The only debate I’m aware of is a phony one about whether or not a citizens’ advisory board should be included. A non-voting, appointed advisory board. Appointed by whom?

One commissioner mumbled misgivings about an advisory group reflecting the will of the people. Can you really not see the answer to that problem?  I’m sure that we will be told that the courthouse plan can be put in place with no tax increases.

If millions of dollars can be spent with no revenue increase, maybe our current tax burden should be closely scrutinized, or perhaps we should study why services are curtailed and workers are furloughed.

Also, I am curious about the big rush! Are the commissioners thinking about the next election, or are they trying to get us in too deep to quit, kind of like betting on an iffy stud poker hand?

Commissioners, Riley County is not Wyandotte County. Few really big capital issues cross your collective desks and those that do can be decided within the current system in accordance with the Kansas constitution.

Just because something can be done doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. I believe that a PBC for Riley County can be described that way.

No matter how one feels about courthouse expansion or replacement, it is difficult to make a case for shutting the voters out of this important issue. I suppose that you could point out that the voting process is cumbersome and messy, but that is the nature of democracy. Elections cost money, but compared to the alternative, they are a bargain.

Voting will slow the process, but when making an important decision, that is usually a good thing.

Commissioners, put together a plan, present it to the people, and put it on the ballot at the next regular election. Voters, let them know how you feel about all of this.

Allan Specht
1100 Zeandale Road

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