Place needs above wants

Dear editor:

Your paper gave commissioner Doll a hard time for speaking out in favor of leaving the mill levy intact, with the idea that increased property values are a natural means of maintaining parity for any increased municipal expenditures each year. I would like to personally thank commissioner Doll as well as Garden City Community College trustees Clifford and Crist for taking the fiscally responsible path of requiring the municipalities they represent to budget and do a better job of forward planning for their expenditures.

We all want our community to prosper and grow. Over the last few years the very generous citizens of Finney County have voted for "The Front Door" project for the college, funded a massive new high school for USD 457, continue to provide funding for our zoo and a host of other projects. We have provided necessary tax abatements for business and industry to encourage growth and long-term prosperity.

However, as each taxing authority continues to ask for more money each year because they have wants (as opposed to needs) for special projects, deferred maintenance or projects they insist they have to fund due to need and poor planning, the taxpayers of this county are beginning to feel taken advantage of. I expect my property taxes to rise as the value of my home rises. But I object to the cumulative effect of the constant mill levy increases that push our taxation level beyond the inflated value of my home.

As a Finney County taxpayer, I have supported nearly all of the special bond issues, sales tax hikes and community improvement projects in the past as necessary, even if somewhat excessive at times. I constantly visit with many business people who own property, landlords who pay property taxes, businesses that might be willing to build but hesitate due to the high property taxes they face. The consensus is that while taxes are a necessary burden for all citizens, our institutions need to learn better budgeting skills and better separate their wants from their needs.

Over the years, I have served on the board of several nonprofit organizations. Without exception, each of these organizations encountered a cycle of economic hard times and was forced to balance its mission with the stark reality of major budget restrictions. They have all survived and even prosper because they addressed their problems by cutting back on wants, focusing on needs and rooting out wasteful or unproductive expenditures. In some cases, management change was necessary. To the directors of those organizations, I salute you. You did not have the luxury of running to the taxing authority and asking for more money; you worked within your budgets, did forward planning, and with a lot of very hard work, continue your missions. Our taxpayer-dependent institutions should take note of your example.

So, thank you to the commissioners and trustees who represent the already burdened citizens and businesses of this community and are willing to take a stand for fiscal responsibility. You are appreciated.

DOUGLAS LAUBACH,

Garden City

Lawmaker offers sincere thanks

Thank you voters.

After serving as your state representative for 11 terms (that's 22 years) my family and I decided it was time for me to retire and let someone else represent you in Topeka. I feel like I must have the best district in the state and it has certainly been my privilege to help with some of the problems you have had. I am still your legislator until the end of the year and am always available to help if you have problems or concerns pertaining to government intervention. Sometimes I can't do much because of federal regulations and/or other powers-that-be, but I will still do all that I can if you have a problem. I greatly treasure the many friends I have made over the district these past 22 years and hope you will keep in touch when the term ends. I appreciate the votes and support you have given me over the years. It has meant a great deal to me and to my family.

As for the upcoming election, there will still be the "Hayzlett" name on the ballot; that of my brother Randy. He shares the same values and beliefs as I do and wants what is best for this country freedom from too much government, too many taxes and government intrusion in our lives.

Again, thanks for putting your faith and trust in me all these years and letting me represent you in Topeka.

Sincerely,

GARY K. HAYZLETT,

Lakin

Hayzlett is a representative of District 122.