Editor’s note: The following are paid political letters.
Elect James, Matta and Butler
Budget is the most important city commission election topic. The bottom line is that the current commission raised our property tax by 9.4%. It is important to understand the budget philosophy of the eight commission candidates. Here is a voting guide on that topic.
Commissioners or candidates that will raise your taxes: Aaron Estabrook tops the list. He not only voted for the over three mill increase, but wanted it to be five mills. He ran last election stating that he was a budget conservative. Do not be fooled again. Usha Reddi has a long track record; that record is clear, yes for all property tax increases. Rich Jankovich spent four previous years on the commission, each year consistently voting to raise your mill levy. Monica Macfarlane has not cast any budget votes yet, but with her push for rental inspections and her non-definitive answers on tax rates, she is a sure bet for property tax increases. Marcus Kidd is a total unknown. He has not made any clear statements on budget, other than to say it should be equitable. Equitable does not necessarily mean fair, so he appears to be in the higher taxes camp.
Commissioners or candidates that will not raise your taxes: Wynn Butler has a clear ten-year voting record. He has not and will not raise the mill levy. John Matta has a four-year voting record all in favor of lower property taxes. In fact, during John Matta’s previous tenure on the commission, the mill levy was reduced — the only time that has happened in ten years. Kaleb James has not cast a ballot on the budget, but unlike other candidates his answers to budget questions are clear — the tax rate is too high, and he is determined to reduce the property tax burden.
The issue is the budget. It takes three votes to fix the budget. Elect James, Matta and Butler for a secure future for Manhattan.
Roger A. Seymour
1181 Rock Springs Lane
Reddi, Macfarlane would be great city commission candidates
Please join us in voting for Usha Reddi and Monica Macfarlane for Manhattan City Commission.
Usha Reddi has served Manhattan with courage and grade in two terms on the Commission. We were especially impressed during her 2020 mayoral term when Usha worked tirelessly with local, state and national leaders to ensure our city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was based on science and a commitment to public health. Few public servants are as smart and work as hard as Usha Reddi. She is an asset to our community and we look forward to her serving a third term on the Commission.
We have known Monica Macfarlane since her days as an undergraduate student at Kansas State University. Monica has impressed us with her intelligence, work ethic, and willingness to consider many perspectives before making a decision. Her experiences as a student, Army spouse, and parent of a USD 383 graduate have given Monica insight into the important issues our city faces as we strive to emerge from the pandemic. Monica Macfarlane will continue the Manhattan tradition of strong, smart, female leaders.
Our city is at a critical point in its evolution from a sleepy college town to a regional leader in education, business, and quality of life. We need city commissioners who are committed to ensuring Manhattan fulfills its full potential.
Voters may choose three candidates to represent them on the Manhattan city commission. We urge two of those choices to be Usha Reddi and Monica Macfarlane.
Leah and John Fliter
2825 Nevada St.
Hagemeister fair-minded and willing to listen
Karla Hagemeister has my vote for a second term on the USD 383 Board of Education.
I had the privilege of working with Karla on the 2018 school bond referendum. I found her to be open and fair-minded and willing to listen to varying viewpoints. In her first term on the board, she has shown a consistent commitment to policies which are in the best interest of our children. She has an analytical approach to looking at information in order to arrive at a decision. She is able to put issues in the context of the system as a whole.
Furthermore, I have found her to be forward looking while being very much aware of what has gone on before. I believe that Karla will bring these same qualities to her second term.
Those of us living in Manhattan are blessed by having many well-qualified individuals willing to run for public office. That is certainly true of this year’s races for city commission and board of education. Karla Hagemeister is one of those citizens. I urge your readers to join me in voting for her on or before Nov. 2.
C. Clyde Jones
2015 Rockhill Circle