In terms of a “profession,” America’s future does not lie in the hands of presidents, politicians, lawyers, doctors, accountants, and other leaders. Her future lies in the hands of the professionals who will be teaching those who will become the future presidents, politicians, lawyers, doctors, accountants and other leaders, America’s Teachers.
Strike 1. No civilian member on an unelected 911 Board responsible to no one, but themselves legislated by themselves for themselves – If the tax is passed, by statute, a 911 Board is appointed, not elected, which specifically excludes the appointment of a civilian member. Even worse that appointed Board “shall have the power provided in section 190.339 and shall exercise all powers and duties exercised by the county commission under this chapter, and the commission shall relinquish all powers and duties relating to the provision of emergency services under this chapter to the board.” (RSMo 190.335(12)). (more…)
Branson, Mo., August 5, 2012 – “They” are the City of Branson, Taney County, Branson Landing Transportation Development District, Branson/Lakes Area Tourism Community Enhancement District, Taney County Ambulance District, all of whom have made the intentional decision not to join the State of Missouri in providing (more…)
It seemed surreal, almost as if the Ole Seagull wasn’t actually in the crowded room in Branson filled with some of Branson’s biggest power brokers and a sprinkling of others. Although, it was as if they didn’t even notice him, he was surprised he was there because lowly Seagulls are not normally invited to the meetings where the “Condors roost” unless they want something from them. (more…)
In examining the opinion piece appearing in the October 23 edition of the Branson Tri-Lakes News by James Strahan, Taney County Assessor (Strahan) entitled, “Assessor’s office should remain” the Ole Seagull was reminded of an Abraham Lincoln quote. The quote says, “I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood; and the accidental truth of the assertion, does not justify or excuse him.” (more…)
“Yes” means “No” and “No” means “Yes” or ” How much additional authority do you want to give the city of Branson to tax you and your property?”
Missouri voters going to the polls in the November election will have to vote “Yes” for “No” and “No for “Yes” on two important issues relating to their pocket books. Remember always the Ole Seagull’s warning, “We promise that if you vote for this we will do that.” “What the heck does that mean?” “By itself nothing, but when you add up the total number of times you have voted for ‘this’ and they actually did ‘that,’ or a variation involving less than what was promised the significance of the warning becomes clear.”
A recent headline in this paper blared out “Assessor calls for vote to dissolve P & Z department.” The first paragraph of the article stated “Taney County Assessor James Strahan called on the county commission to place an initiative on the ballot to dissolve the county’s Planning and Zoning Department but before the day was out a disgruntled county resident agreed to take up the cause.” It also stated, “Strahan, whose family owns a large farm, doesn’t like the way the government handles regulations on farmers. He said there should be no intervention when it comes to farm land.”
An Ole Seagull’s prayer would be that if you remember nothing else from this column that you would ask yourself what you would do if you were the teacher in the following scenario. It’s Monday morning, you look up from your desk into the distressed eyes of one of your first grade students who says, “My mommy forgot to cook for us this weekend.”
In a 2005 column entitled, “‘Free at last,’ a new Freeus County formed from the western portion of Taney County?” the Ole Seagull wrote, “Ok, let’s get to the nubbin of it, eastern and western Taney County live in two different worlds. An outsider watching what has been transpiring recently would sense the same thing that the Ole Seagull sensed when he moved to Taney County just about twenty years ago; that eastern Taney County and the Taney County Commissioners treat the economic generator of the vast majority of (more…)
From an Ole Seagull’s perspective, the answers to most of the following questions should be of interest to many of the citizens and businesses of Branson and Taney County for what he believes are obvious reasons. But then, what does an Ole Seagull know?
1. Has the Branson Landing TIF raised enough revenue so that, on an annual basis, year to year, it can pay off its debt service for each of the years it has been open?
2. Is there a TIF funded reserve fund set aside for such payments?
3. If the answer to 2 is “Yes” 3-5 become pertinent if not skip down to 6. How is it funded?
4. What is the current balance of that fund and is there any danger of it running out in the near future?
5. If that fund has ever been used in full or in part to pay on the Branson Landing TIF debt because the TIF receipts were not sufficient, how much and when?
6. If the TIF receipts and the TIF reserve account, if in existence, aren’t enough to pay the debt service is there any possibility that the residents and businesses of Branson could have to pay it either directly or through a loss of services?
7. If the answer to 6 is “Yes” what specific revenue streams of the city are impacted first and how does it eventually flow through to the individual citizen or business?
8. Where is the specific consideration in the potentially $60 million dollar contract the city has with the Branson Airport?
9. Could the recent action of the Branson Board of Aldermen involving payments under Branson Airport Contract influence future legal actions or negotiations involving that contract.
10. Should the word “honor” be used in connection with anything involving the Branson Airport Contract from its inception to the boards recent action involving it?
11. Does the legislation authorizing the city of Branson to impose its city tourism tax permit the use of 75 percent of the tax authorized for infrastructure for the operation of such infrastructure as well as its construction?
12. How many water meters are there in the city of Branson?
13. What is the annual total of the funds, beside debt service, being paid to Branson Landing for maintenance, net operating loss at the Convention Center and the Branson Airport Contract etc.?
14. In addition to the increase in water bills that has been taking place over the last three year for Branson citizens and businesses it may still have to go higher because of what?
15. The average job created by the Branson Landing and Branson Hills TIFF actually pays how much per year?
16. The Federal Poverty Level for a family of two adults and two children is?
17. Is there actually a behind the scenes movement that encourages Branson tourism related businesses not to register with the state and pay the appropriate taxes on the sale of show and attraction tickets that the Missouri Supreme Court says the law requires them to pay?
18. Exactly what is the city of Branson’s position on that issue and what is it doing to insure that every penny it is owed in sales and tourism tax is collected and used for the benefit of the citizens and businesses of Branson?
19. Will the recent layoff of Taney County Road and Bridge personnel impact on the condition and safety of Taney County roads and bridges?
20 What other options or plans were seriously considered before they were laid off?
21. Is there a priority list of county services that would indicate those services that are more essential than others?
22. If not why not?
23. How much did Taney County spend fighting the Tax Assessor issue with the state?
24. Where did the millions of dollars that Taney County had committed to the building of the Taneycomo Bridge go when they didn’t have to spend it because Federal Stimulus money was used for the project instead?
25. Has there been any discussion of collecting a real estate property tax from the residents of Taney County for the purposes of running county government?
Whoops, missed one.
26. Does anyone besides an Ole Seagull really care?