In an article by Yael Abouhalkah (“Abacadabra”), he decribes how there is “trouble in Johnson County’s paradise.” He does this by way of back-drop for the race next year for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners between the incumbent Mr. Ed (The Talking Horse’s Ass) Eilert of Overland Park, and Mr. Laura Scott, a.k.a. Ed Peterson, a fellow Commission member from Fairway.
Yael notes parenthetically that the population of Johnson County is aging and that the county is no longer The Golden Ghetto of yore in terms of income growth and general affluence. Combine that with slowing population growth and an aging
infrastructure and the lavish spending increases by local governments are a thing of the past. Yael, of course, has an easy solution to this problem—raise taxes throughout the county.
The collective wisdom of The Kansas City Star Editorial Board is that taxes and spending can never be too high. After all, its members reason, money spent on education, for example, means a better educated, more productive work force, which means more personal income, which means higher tax revenues—so education spending always will pay for itself! Like in Kansas City, Missouri. Look at the buoyant prosperity on the east side of Kansas City or along Noland Road in Independence.
Mr. Abracadabra implies for this reason that Peterson (married to former Star virago Laura Scott) is the better choice for Commission Chair, i.e. he knows the surest path to prosperity is massive tax hikes. Eilert will only say he won’t raise taxes as a first resort. Come on Mr. Ed, get with the program!
Eilert had so much promise and such a long history of sketchy dealings.
Just recently, for instance, Ed (“Lurch,” to his friends, after the character on The Addams Family), has championed the Museum of Suburbia, to be built in the former King Louie bowling alley at 87th and Metcalf. The county paid four million dollars to buy the derelict structure to erect a monument to suburban sprawl. (One wonders why you need a monument to a phenomenon which is so vital and alive throughout the county. As architect Christopher Wren’s epitaph said; “Si monumentum requiris, circumspice,” i.e., if you seek a monument, look around you.)
Abacadabra is equally adamant that part of the problem is that Johnson County has grown more conservative both in terms of its elected representatives and its increasing unwillingness to fund the Old Guard Machine beloved by the Star Editorial Board. He cites U.S. Congressman Kevin Yoder as an ultra-conservative, ignoring the fact that Yoder was the candidate of the moderate wing of the Johnson County Republican Party. Maybe his conservative voting record and the conservative takeover of the State Senate is simply a recognition by the electorate that the old free-spending ways are not working. (I think Mr. A would agree with me it’s not because the voters of JoCo necessarily embrace the Brownback/Tea Party agenda!)
So there’s the state of political wisdom about the future course of Johnson County—the Dumb (Ed Eilert), the Dumber (Ed Peterson), and the Dumbest (Mr. Abacadabra and the rest of the Star Editorial Board!)