I don’t typically do resolutions each New Year. I can resolve to do better, work harder, sleep more, workout regularly, all of that. And, really, we can all set goals that are attainable, not outlandish, and strive to hit them during the course of the 12 months ahead of us.
I will head into 2019 determined to continue to build my business, serve my community, read to Addy more often, walk downtown as much as possible and set an example I can be proud of with my daughter.
Similarly, Lee’s Summit should be resolving to get a few things done in 2019. And, likewise to our own aims and goals, these are going to take determination, tenacity and some hard work. But, I am convinced we can do it.
Resolution 1: City Council, get moving on the downtown performance space project.
This April will mark the six-year anniversary of voters passing the project that would bring an outdoor performance space to our award-winning downtown. And while speed bumps in land acquisition and funding have certainly dogged the project, there is no reason we shouldn’t be further along on this than we are, which is seemingly still on the drawing board. If we want voters approving future projects, we have to be more resolved to get current projects done.
Resolution 2: R-7 School District, please communicate better and with more openness with all of us.
Speaking of passing ballot measures, the residents, parents and taxpayers of Lee’s Summit are not going to blindly vote yes on bond issues to build new schools in the coming two years unless the district shows more willingness to show full transparency. In just the past 12 months, our administration has surprised our school board with the Innovation Tract vote, controversial groups have been proposed to be paid to speak and run training sessions (and have spoken for free at Campbell Middle School without board knowledge) and board members have broken their own written policy by applying for jobs in the district they were elected to serve. We can do better.
Resolution 3: Spend another $25 each quarter at a locally owned business.
While Small Business Saturday continues to be a major boon for local businesses in Lee’s Summit, these family-owned shops need to pay the bills and keep the doors open year-round. If we resolved to take $100 that we might pour into a big box store, chain restaurant or regional grocer and put it into family-owned businesses, the impact would be mighty and mightily felt.
Resolution 4: Let’s fill every Adopt-a-Street in Lee’s Summit.
We are one of the safest and healthiest cities in the nation. We can also be one the cleanest. There are currently 20 streets that are up for “adoption” in Lee’s Summit through this worthy Public Works program. And the city makes it easy on businesses and families to dive in and clean up. You’re only expected to clean the street quarterly and the city provides the trash bags and vests, and even picks up the trash when you’re done. It’s just that easy. Let’s finish 2019 with every adoptable street spoken for.
Resolution 5: Let’s continue to talk.
Whether in our elected bodies or in other areas of our community, Lee’s Summit is not unique in this aspect: when we disagree, we tend to distance ourselves from one another. This must stop. The City Charter Commission, the CMFP group and any number of other long-term visioning teams are going to ask citizens to be part of difficult and time-consuming decision-making processes. The lines of communication must stay open among dissenters and supporters. And often, that kind of example is led from the top of the organization.
Resolution 6: Put a use tax and sales tax increase to the voters.
We will have to find new revenue streams in Lee’s Summit and soon. It only makes sense to give the voters a few choices, especially as we continue to see an increase in online sales and decrease in sales tax collection. A strong educational campaign must accompany one or both options as well. There is a contingent of voters that will decline any rise in taxes. One look around Lee’s Summit, however, tells us that our taxes are put to judicious and proper use.
Have a wonderful 2019, all. May your year be filled with open communication, bold visioning and maybe even an extra workout or two.
Editor's Note: John Beaudoin is a Lee's Summit resident and award winning writer and former newspaper publisher in the Lee's Summit community. Views and opinions expressed in his columns do not necessarily reflect those of Link 2 Lee's Summit, it's employees or any other guest contributors.