Posts Tagged ‘carl gerlach’

Op-Ed, Ben Hodge at RedState – 59% of Overland Park voters say city tax increases hurt the local economy. But Overland Park Council unanimously passes 46% tax increase.

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

My Email to voters today in Johnson County, Kansas.

Benjamin B. Hodge

- Chair, State & Local Reform Educational Group of Kansas
- State Representative (Overland Park and Olathe), 2007-’08
- Johnson County Community College Trustee, 2005-’09

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Poll: 59% of Overland Park Voters Think City Tax Increases
Will Hurt the Local Economy


Monday night, Overland Park City Council unanimously passed 46% property tax increase,
despite holding only one public hearing, and strong public opposition


Monday, I wrote to you about the scientific poll demonstrating that 67% of likely 2012 Overland Park voters preferred spending cuts, rather than tax increases, in order to balance the city budget.  When respondents were asked specifically about the proposed 46% property tax increase, an overwhelming number – 80% – of voters opposed the tax increase.  And 83% of likely 2012 voters wanted more public hearings on next year’s city budget.  There was only only one public hearing after the budget was announced, and this public hearing occurred after the Council had already unanimously voted to tentatively approve the 46% tax increase.

Unfortunately, on Monday  night the City Council voted unanimously 13-0 to increase city property taxes by 46%.  Here are some news accounts:

Today, we are releasing more information about the fiscally conservative views of Overland Park voters.  The following information is from a poll conducted by the State and Local Educational Foundation of Kansas.


A strong majority - 59% – of Overland Park voters believe city tax increases hurt the local economy.  Twenty-one percent (21%) of voters believe tax increases help the economy.  Fifteen percent (15%) believe there is no impact on the economy, and 6% are undecided.

When it comes to cuts in city government spending, a plurality – 44% - believe they help the local economy.  Twenty-seven percent (27%) believe spending cuts hurt the local economy, 22% believe there is no impact on the economy, and 7% are undecided.

Our own results among Overland Park voters compare closely with national results by the respected polling firm Rasmussen Reports.  On April 30, 2011, Rasmussen wrote:

“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 53% of Likely U.S. Voters say, generally speaking, tax cuts help the economy.  Most voters have shared that sentiment in surveys for years. Only 21% believe tax cuts hurt the economy, while 13% say they have no impact.  Another 13% are not sure. (to see survey question wording, click here.)  A plurality (48%) of voters say decreases in government spending will help the economy.  Twenty-nine percent (29%) say cutting government spending will hurt the economy.  Ten percent (10%) believe such decreases will have no impact, while 13% are not sure. These findings, too, have remained fairly consistent over the years.”


Op-ed, Ben Hodge in KC Monitor – Overland Park City Council wants to jam through a huge property tax increase

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Read the whole article by former Overland Park Representative Benjamin Hodge, here at the KC Monitor.

In part:

Council, Chamber get ‘bold’

Kansas City Star editorial tells us the “bold” choices being offered by Overland Park City Manager Bill Ebel: “One plan from Ebel would boost the city’s mill levy by 46 percent and bring in more than $10 million a year in new revenue. The other option, a 41 percent increase, would create an extra $9 million annually.” (more…)

Editorial — Poll, when cities lie about their citizens, does a city councilman deserve recall?

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

The poll (repeated at the bottom): free polls
If a city official lies about a citizen, and the mayor does not demand that the city manager correct the error, does the mayor deserve to be recalled?


The background:

Recently, an unnamed city “official” for Overland Park was quoted in The Kansas City Star, making a knowingly false statement against one its citizens, Jason Osterhaus, who had narrowly lost a 2009 primary race to incumbent Councilman Curt Skoog.  The official lied by falsely stating that the City of Overland Park had worked pleasantly with Osterhaus, after Osterhaus asked for a budget.  Osterhaus had made key plank in his 2009 campaign this: that he would put the budget online.  But recently, the “official” falsely criticized the accuracy Osterhaus’ statement — the official said that the budget already was online.

Here are the facts:  The City of Overland Park — under Mayor Carl Gerlach and City Manager John Nachbar — first asked Osterhaus to pay around $500 for a printed budget, in early 2009.  Later, the city provided Osterhaus with a largely meaningless printed document.  And weeks after that — only once Osterhaus was a candidate — did the city provide Osterhaus with what was even a SOMEWHAT helpful budget document, and for free.  Even this final document, however, had huge unexplained and unitemized holes in it.

Today — today, not in 2009 — there does exist online some semblance of a list of expenses, but it’s presently not known whether this online document is sufficiently specific.  And unhelpfully, the document is reportedly in a PDF format, rather than a smaller, more-searchable format.

The behavior by unnamed Overland Park officials smacks of arrogance and unaccountability.  One must ask:  Does John Nachbar think that he can do literally whatever he wants to do?  Is Nachbar perhaps under the illusion that more than a small number of residents still read the pro-corruption Johnson County Sun?

We’ve contacted the city, asking for an explanation and a remedy to this unacceptable behavior.  We’ll give Mayor Gerlach and Nachbar a reasonable amount of time to reply, but we want to know your opinion:  If they do not correct this clear error in judgment by an unnamed city “official” about one of his or her own residents, is this type of behavior worthy of a recall one one or more of the elected officials?

In order to see the results, please choose “Yes” or “No.”  You may leave comments on our page, here, if you wish (your first-ever comment must be approved by us, but you are then free to comment, at will.  We do not display your Email that you provide). free polls
If a city official lies about a citizen, and the mayor does not demand that the city manager correct the error, does the mayor deserve to be recalled?