Opposition To The Sales Tax
By The Guy
The Manhattan Mercury ran a very good article about the opposition being conducted to the Riley County Commission half-cent sales tax that will be voted on November 5th.
The Mercury reported correctly, “Brake (Jon Brake, Free Press Publisher) refers to the $226,166.57 spent on roads and bridges between 1995 and 2001, in contrast to the $4 million spent on capital improvement items.”
The Mercury then reported: “County public works representatives were not available to confirm Brake’s figures.”
The Free Press has obtained a copy of  “Riley County Capital Improvement Program - Completed Projects” from the Riley County Clerks office. The report shows that the completed projects “Total To Date - $4,081,247.62.” It takes some work to find road and bridge work and the amounts but they add up to $226,166.57. The report was prepared by Johnette Mueller Riley County Budget and Finance Officer.
After reading the article the Free Press e-mailed a copy of the report to the Mercury. You can obtain a copy from the County Clerks Office or e-mail jonbrake@kansas.net and a copy will be sent.
The Mercury also quoted Riley County Chairman Bob Newsome, “I don’t even pay attention to the guy,” (Free Press Publisher Jon Brake) “His information is never correct.”
After reading this, the Publisher called Riley County Clerk Rich Vargo and told Vargo that from now on the Free Press wanted “Correct Information.”
All information reported in the Free Press about Riley County is obtained through Open Records Requests to the County Clerk Office. The Free Press has found the Clerk’s staff to be very knowledgeable and friendly. Clerk Vargo said he would let the Publisher and the Chairman workout this problem.
The Mercury also reported “Despite the anti-sales-tax yard signs, Newsome said the opposition movement will have no effect on the final outcome of the election.”
The response to that quote will be answered by the voters on November 5th and reported in the Mercury November 6th.