Archive for Thursday, March 31, 2005

BRAC, sales tax

March 31, 2005

To the editor:

There's been a great deal of talk and speculation about the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure Commission) process. A recent AP article in The Leavenworth Times highlighted the extent to which states were attempting to keep their military installations off the BRAC list. This is important since once your installation is on the list the Congress must accept or reject the entire list. Bottom line is to ensure that Fort Leavenworth is NOT on that list.

One of the factors that goes into deciding who stays off the list is a community's ability to absorb new missions and the inevitable expansion of personnel and their families. Things like availability of land for development, good transportation (roads) network and quality schools are contributing factors.

In my view, the countywide 1 percent sales tax issue is a prime example of the community's willingness to pay for expanded infrastructure. Likewise, the Lansing K-5 school bond issue to modernize our educational infrastructure to meet the needs of a 21st-century education for our children is another key component of our readiness to support growth in our community.

Clearly, nobody can guarantee that Fort Leavenworth will or will not make the BRAC list. And I'm not arguing that we should support the 1 percent sales tax extension and the K-5 school bond issue solely on the basis of BRAC considerations. However, when we go into the voting booth on April 5, we need to be aware of the broader implications of our decisions.

In my view, our ability to provide quality services and infrastructure to our citizens to keep pace with the growth we are experiencing supports the passage of the 1 percent sales tax extension. Likewise, passage of the K-5 school bond issue is the right thing to do for our children, their safety and their continued development.

Bob Ulin

Lansing Council member,

Ward 3

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