This Week's Poll Questions by Greg Walters
Some people may not be familiar with the issues in this week's poll questions. The following is a brief summation of the three questions covered by this week's polls.
Proposition A: This is the Earnings Tax vote. If you support repeal of the earnings tax, vote yes. If you are opposed to repeal of the earnings tax, vote no.
Proposition B: This proposition would place restrictions on dog breeding operations in Missouri. It would prohibit any breeder from having more than 50 dogs at one time. It would set minimum standards for the housing and feeding of dogs used in breeding. It would also create a misdemeanor crime for "puppy mill cruelty".
Constitutional Amendment 3: Prohibits state and local governments from imposing any new tax on the sale and transfer of of homes. To prohibit the imposition of new taxes on the sale of homes in Missouri vote yes. To allow the creation of new taxes on the sale of homes in Missouri, vote no.
To vote on these questions go to the top left corner of this page.
The following transcript is from the opening remarks given by Greg Walters at the Lee's Summit Chamber of Commerce Political Forum held on October 13th.
My name is Greg Walters. I am a candidate for the Sixth District seat on the Jackson County Legislature.
I was first elected to public office at the age of 24.
During my terms in office I earned my reputation as a fiscal conservative who believes that we already pay enough in taxes and that government must learn to live within its means.
I have been out of public office for the last couple of years and find that I miss the process of working with others to improve our communities.
I feel I still have a lot to offer.
I have very strongly held beliefs that the role of government, be it at the federal, state or local level, should act as a servant of the people.
And, that it is the responsibility of our governmental bodies to make certain that society runs smoothly through the maintenance of our infrastructure and development of opportunities for all of us to improve our quality of life.
I also believe that some of our governmental bodies have strayed from that tenant of good government. This is evident in the proliferation of what are commonly called “tax incentives” for corporate businesses. These incentives, be they tax abatements, TIFS, CID’s or any other combination of the alphabet, have been misused.
What is worse, the cost of those unpaid taxes has been shifted to area homeowners.
You see this in increased property taxes.
You see it when you pay an extra “sales tax” when you shop at a store that has been granted a tax break.
These tax incentives favor the commercial developer. In short, they pay less – you pay more.
The collateral damage to our economic infrastructure is witnessed in the failure of small businesses who cannot compete with the large stores that are given this unfair advantage in the marketplace.
Jackson County has a seat on every TIF Commission within its borders. I believe the County should take a more proactive role in the decision making process on ALL projects that include tax incentives.
Looking to the future . . .
I am very interested in the concept of improving our mass transportation and believe that County Executive Mike Sanders is on the right track in pursuing the creation of Regional Rapid Rail for the metropolitan area. I look forward to being part of the team that makes Light Rail a reality.
Finally, I want to thank the Chamber of Commerce of Lee’s Summit for hosting this event. You have a beautiful city. It has been my pleasure to campaign here.
Coldwell Banker Closes its Downtown Raytown Office
Coldwell Banker has closed its Downtown Raytown office.Coldwell Banker was one of three Downtown Raytown businesses to receive a property tax abatement for improvements to its office by the City of Raytown. In return for improvements to their buildings, the City exempted the three businesses from paying municipal real estate property taxes.
Even though the building is now vacant, the property owner will continue to receive the property tax abatement for the remainder of the 12 years on the agreement.
The City can avoid such predicaments by writing "claw backs" into property tax abatement packages. Claw backs allow the city to rescind property tax abatements if the property granted an abatement should become vacant. Other cities (Kansas City and North Kansas City) have used such agreements in the past. They are an effective tool that ensures commercial property owners will keep their end of the bargain on property tax abatements.
The two other business locations to receive similar tax abatements are still operating. They are Bennettis' Coffee and Clark's Appliance.
No Pay Increases Planned for City Employees
The Raytown City Council is scheduled to consider the final draft of their annual budget at their next meeting. One point of controversy is the lack of pay increases for city employees.
Two years ago the city granted 7% across the board pay increases for city employees. The move came as a surprise to local residents and business owners, many of whom had lost their jobs or suffered pay cuts in response to the recession.
The proposed budget has caused tension at City Hall.
The City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 19th at Raytown City Hall, 10000 East 59th Street. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m.
Yo-Yo Yogurt! by Jenn Walters
I have such an on-again, off-again relationship with yogurt. I’ll eat it daily or twice daily for a month and then, out of the blue, drop it like a hot potato. Which is dumb. Because that “hot potato” is full of good-for-your-tummy bacteria, calcium and deliciousness. Whether it’s a flavored yogurt or plain yogurt that you snazz up with some mix-ins, I have now realized that I should have never broken up with yogurt, even if it’s just for a weekend. Hopefully, yogurt will take me back.
A few months ago, we reviewed a slew of yogurts, but we thought we’d revisit the subject with an emphasis on low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is seriously thick, creamy and filled with protein, which makes it a perfect post-workout snack. Check out our ideas below to keep your yogurt-relationship full of surprise and nutritious excitement!
Who says plain is boring? Plain yogurt is one of my favorite things EVER because it’s like a blank canvas for your culinary desires. After a run, I’ll grab a few big scoops of non-fat Greek yogurt and top it with some berries, honey and maybe a few nuts for crunch. Other times, I’ll mix it with some chocolate protein powder for a pudding-like treat. Occasionally, I’ll even throw it in a smoothie or eat it with cereal instead of milk. The possibilities are endless…
Plain nonfat yogurt and Greek yogurt has a sour flavor to it. At first, trying it plain, I wasn’t sure how much I liked it. And then I realized that it tastes just like sour cream, except it is thicker, creamier and has fewer cals and more protein than sour cream. In other words, it kicks sour cream’s arse and then some. So the next time you want a topping for your burrito or a dip for your raw veggies, make it with yogurt, and you’ll reap the tasty benefits (and not even notice a difference)!
Sometimes when you don’t have time or are having trouble channeling your inner Giada De Laurentiis, you just needto grab a snack that’s tasty and good for ya. That’s where the pre-flavored Greek yogurts come in play. They’re portable, tasty and are offered in fun flavors. Erin and I recently taste-tested the new Chobani Greek yogurts and fell in love. Erin went gaga over the pomegranate flavor, and I developed a healthy obsession with the pineapple variety. They both taste great, and with 18 grams of protein, less than 200 calories and all natural ingredients, you can see why we loved ‘em so.
Do It Yourself!
I’m not gonna lie; Greek yogurts aren’t cheap (unless you’re lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s nearby, in which case it’s much, much more affordable). However, if you’re okay with getting a little Martha Stewart in the kitchen, you can make your own! All you need is a bowl, colander, cheese cloth, a large container of plain non-fat yogurt and some time in the fridge. I would go through the steps, but this blog explains it really well (with pictures, too!), so I’m not even trying. And it totally works and tastes just like the store-bought brands. I make it almost weekly I heart it so much.
Yogurt really does rock, doesn’t it? So many options! I don’t think I’ll ever leave it again. Feel free to share the nitty-gritty on your yogurt relationship in the comments!
To read more of Jenn’s musings go to Fit Bottomed Girls
High School Sports . . .
To catch up on O'Hara Sports use this link O'Hara High School
To catch up on Raytown South Sports use this link Raytown South High School