Vote yes to continue the 1-cent sales tax

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sikeston voters have the opportunity Tuesday to approve the continuation of a 1-cent sales tax that will shape the future of our community for the next decade.

First approved by Sikeston voters in 2004, the 1-cent sales tax has been used to fund improvements in the Public Safety Department, to provide revenue for the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority and to finance the city's obligation to the SEMO-Sikeston college campus.

I've written in the past about the serious need for continued funding to the LCRA and today, I hope to outline some of the Public Safety improvements funded with this tax.

As a major beneficiary of the tax funds, Public Safety has been able to hire and retain some of the best-equipped and best-trained officers in this region.

But unless our salary range remains competitive, other nearby communities will target our officers and we'll become a training ground for other departments.

You can solve that problem with a vote in favor of the 1-cent tax this Tuesday.

Since the increased funding first began here, retention has improved substantially and the most serious crimes - Part 1 Crimes - are down 40 percent.

Because of this increased funding, our Public Safety Department has been able to staff four detectives dedicated to the drug activity in our community.

That effort too will continue with your vote this Tuesday.

These additional revenues have allowed us to make major progress in eliminating meth labs that once operated here as well.

And because of the increase staffing in our fire division, homeowners and businesses have seen a decrease in their insurance policies.

This list goes on.

Here's the bottom line.

Our community desperately needs to approve this 1-cent sales tax to address the fight against crime, the deterioration of neighborhoods and the overall progress that our community is experiencing at long last.

Please vote yes this Tuesday and help move our community forward.

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