October 7, 1999

By Jon A. Brake

They do not want to be called Communist. They do not want to be called
Socialist. They don’t even want to be called Liberal. It does not matter
what they are called or not called, they are in control of the Manhattan
City Commission and the Manhattan School Board.
Three conservative members were elected to the School Board last spring. It
has helped, but more are needed to bring a much needed change in the school
The City Commission is on a road to take this city into bankruptcy. In the
last eight years the City Budget has gone from $26 million to $55.5
million, and it will go higher.
Over the last ten years City Commissioners have been elected because they
have taken a strong stand on many different issues. They were for or
against building the mall, they were for or against giving the mall a tax
abatement. Any number of issues brought people forward and they became
known to the public.
At election time, we did not ask questions about the budget. We did not ask
questions about City finance. They were elected because voters recognized
the name. We should have asked: “are you now or have you ever been a member
of the ... Party?”  That sounds as if it is straight out of the 1950s and
it does not have a place in today’s discussions.
But, we must start asking candidates for public office where they stand on
fiscal and social issues. We must ask the hard questions to find out if a
candidate wants to turn the City of Manhattan into a Socialist State.
Here are a few of the goals of our Liberal leaders:
Living Wage; Smart Growth; Public Transportation; Clean Cities; Child Care;
Universal Health Care.
Manhattan is a great place to live. It is a beautiful town, but we need
better leadership. We need leaders that do not have an agenda, but want
what is best for Manhattan.
Living Wage, Smart Growth, Clean Cities are words that sound good, but when
exposed have little to do with the needs of this community. They are the
language of large cities, and the failed theories of other governments.
Manhattan must turn to what is right.