• Time For A Change!

Guy W. Midkiff

Washington, Missouri is a well-kept secret, nestled on the banks of the Missouri River. It is a special city that traces its rich heritage back to German immigrants that saw similarities to their old country. They left Germany for a fresh chance and new opportunity – it was time for a change away from their old country.


Now more than ever, it is time for a change in Washington, Missouri. Many of our aspiring national candidates are using the phrase, “Time for a Change.” Citizens of Washington have been saying so for several years now, that is is truly “Tme for a change.”


But unlike those national candidates, I quantify what change really means. Change just for the sake of change is not always a good thing.


Our city budget has grown at a breathtaking 100% in less than 7 years. In the exact same time span, the total gross income, raked in by Washington, Missouri, has grown by an eye-popping 200%. I ask you, have you seen a 200% improvement in Washington? Has unchecked government spending made your life anywhere near 200% better? The answer that I have heard, without exception, is “NO.”


Has our population grown at anywhere near the 200% rise in city income? No. The population over the same time frame has grown by 6%.


Change means rolling back tax levies to the maximum extent possible every year. It means spending your money smartly and not on wasteful schemes such as the recent $36,000 light pole fiasco. It means using windfalls intelligently and not used as patronage programs or plowing the funds back into the ever-expanding city budget. Change means seriously considering how we are doing business at city hall and what areas wastefully overlap into other departments. We must do a better job prioritizing expenditures and realizing we don’t get everything on the wish list.


Many feel that the opportunities that attracted the original founding families here only exist now for a select few. I am a firm believer in capitalism and growth – smart growth. My experience with government has proven that governments will take every penny from the taxpayer that they can. I have also learned that governments must differentiate themselves from corporate America and cast off any such ties. The closer this unholy alliance becomes, the greater the temptation and ability there is for tax payer dollars to end up in corporate welfare schemes. A perfect example of corporate welfare, at its worst, is Washington Regional Airport. The taxpayers have already dumped $7 million down this bottomless pit and city officials are preparing to dump another $8 million.


And why are we doing it? That is a good question and I am still looking for an answer. What I know is that we pay $48,000 annually to manage an airport that has no: airplane rentals, no airplane school, no airplane maintenance, no charter service, no freight service, no skydiving club, no airplane rides, nothing but hangar space for the manager to keep his private airplane and hangar space for some other privately owned aircraft. Corporate welfare is scant justification to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on a community airport that should remain just that, a community airport.


So, how can you do your part in my campaign slogan of, “It is time for a change!” You can use the power given you by the Founding Fathers and our Constitution, you can vote.


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