As you consider your vote for Mayor on April 2nd please join me in re-electing Mayor Mike Allison for another term. Due to Mayor Allison’s leadership the City of Great Bend has seen considerable progress, for instance: the increase in population over the last 10 years, city streets and zoo have been improved, and we are striving for American Zoological Accreditation, a new water park, youth programs at the middle and high school, visiting high school graduates in college to entice them to return to Great Bend after graduation, just to mention a few. Working with the council, staff, other units of government (state and local) and the business community we have experienced growth that has led to an increase in property values that has allowed the City to keep a constant mill levy while keeping up with increased costs in providing essential services to its residents.
And now for some facts:
City of Great Bend Mill levy: 2009 - 41.63 - +.85; 2010 - 41.49 - +1.46; 2011 - 42.33 - +1.46; 2012 - 43.79 - -.014; 2013 - 43.39; Total 1.91.
Total increase in mill levy is 1.91 not 3.5 as stated by Candidate Myers. Check the facts they can be obtained city office or give me a call and I will share the data.
Population figures as of 1990 were 15,472: 2000 - 15,345: and in 2010 15,995: all of which can be obtained from the US Census office.
As a result of policies over the last number of years the city has also seen an increase in sales tax collections for the city’s 1/2 % sales tax from $1,420,058 to $1,985,239, a 36% increase. These dollars collected are used to reduce property taxes, infrastructure improvements, such as streets and other city needs too numerous to list, and for economic development.
Streets repair and reconstruction continue to be a priority for City Staff and the Governing Body. The City was spending approximately $600,000.00 per year on streets repairs until 2008 when the voters approved a 1/4 % sales tax dedicated to improving the Cities streets. While much needs to be done, you the voters are responsible for the street improvements. These dollars were leveraged with state and federal funds to make improvements of almost $10,000,000.00.
The recent decision on Health Care for city employees, as I recall, was a 5 to 3 vote by the city council not just one member “fighting” for city employees.
The intersection of Broadway and Harrison has been a topic of discussion in this community for well over 20 years by numerous councils. A decision was reached after considerable discussion and two public meetings. Using the recommendations from the public meetings the council voted have city staff make modifications to the intersection and wait approximately 24 months to determine what impact the changes made in the visibility and accidents at the intersection. The cost of adding the traffic signals was in the range of $250,000 in addition to the completed improvements.
The convention center discussion has been difficult for the council and there has not been any decision made on remodeling the current facility or to build a new one. What was ask, at a public meeting, that if a decision was made to build a new one would the community support paying the taxes to support the decision. There has been no decision made to raise taxes to build a new convention center. To me Candidate Myers’ comments are political campaign rhetoric as he has supported many of the decision made so far on the current convention center.
In closing let me add that making decisions as a member of the City Council is a team effort. It is my belief that the teamwork between the Governing Body and staff is what makes the City of GREAT Bend a great place to live, work, play and raise a family.
Serving with Mike Allison is a pleasure, I find him to be very positive, proactive, cooperative and willing to listen to other opinions, even when we do not agree. In my opinion, Mike serves the City of Great Bend and its residents above any self interest. My fear about Mayor Allison’s opponent is that he would attempt to manage day-to-day operations of city departments, which is the Administrative Staff’s job not the Mayors or councilmembers. The duties of the Mayor, Council and Administrative Staff positions can be reviewed on the City of Great Bend’s web site at www.greatbendks.net.
City Council Member