Karen Stephenson
Letter to the editor
I am seriously discouraged with the Gardner mayor.  Under no circumstances is it appropriate, let alone polite, for him to behave as he did at the city council meeting June 20.  Mr. Drovetta you need to remember that you were only elected by a majority of FOUR votes.
The rate at which you are going indicates that you are (or definitely should be) a one-term mayor.   It appears that Mr. Drovetta is eager to spend taxpayer funds; he, successfully, pushed for a mill levy increase last year.  Other Johnson County cities are just now considering such tax hikes; Overland Park is considering returning to “chip and seal” to maintain their streets in this down economy.  Yet Gardner continues to increase utility fees, seems inclined to hire new police personnel and probably will propose more and larger tax increases.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that our city administration and city council do not have a firm grasp or knowledge of the severity of the current financial situation in our city, county, state, country.  When the good times were rolling they (mayor and city council) spent our money like there was no end in sight.  Guess what;  The end is not only in sight, it is here!  We are top heavy with parks and recreation personnel and programs while other local municipalities have been smart enough to cut back.
I also object to an increase in our police force.  If this department is our best bargain for our tax dollars I am very disappointed.  Maybe once or twice a year I see an officer ticketing speeding cars on Main Street; actually we rarely see police cars west of Center Street.  Instead of hiring additional police officers, let’s quit duplicating services.  The Johnson County Sheriff Patrol answer 911 calls, why not allow them to handle all dispatching.  We pay city taxes and we pay county taxes, why duplicate services?
Another concern is the continued use of outside sources to consult.   If Ms. Melissa Mundt is doing a credible job, as interim city administrator, why not promote from within.  I certainly do not like the idea of hiring someone who is a friend of Mr. Drovetta or beholden to him for a bump in salary before we agree to hire him.
Citizens have indicated concern regarding the mayor’s unprofessional behavior at city council meetings and they have also indicated they don’t believe the council is looking in the right direction.  Maybe the council needs to listen to the tax payers.