Voters sound off

Wednesday, November 9, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:01 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

“I support the parks system. I believe in fun places for children to play.” — Alma Hopkins, 41, health educator for Missouri Department of Health

“Especially as a woman, who fought for the right to vote, I think it’s important to vote.” — Elizabeth McElmurry, 31, teacher at Jefferson Junior High School

“The main one that caught my eye was the farmers market ... (All the propositions) seemed like a reasonable amount of money for good services.”

— Jeffrey Harper, 38, flight attendant

“I voted no on the first three and yes on the last three. I felt like it was worthwhile paying for the roads, but I felt like the other money can be spent in better ways down the road.” — Richard Davenport, 41

“I voted against all tax increases. They are high enough as they are, and I don’t think we need all these other things. Things like the ice rink and farmers market should be left to private enterprise. They shouldn’t have citizens pay for anything they may not use.” — Mike Foot

“I think an ice rink is vital to the community. There are lots of children missing out on a great sport in Columbia. Right now, there are lots of kids on the team from Columbia that have to travel a half-hour anyway. I also think it’s important for Mizzou’s hockey team.”

— Erin Hervey, 30

“I voted my conscience.” — Cynthia Kimball, 51, stay-at-home mom

“I don’t want any more taxes. The only thing I voted yes for was the police and development. They hide it; they raise taxes and then just extend it.” — Dennis Fitzmaurice

“You’ve got to think forward, and you have to look to the future.” — Larry Windmoeller, 59, retired

“I always vote. I think all the issues were important. There isn’t one that motivated me. If there was only one issue, I would have voted. According to the news, they expected a 10 percent voter turnout. That means 90 percent of the people are letting 10 percent of the people make the decisions, and I don’t think that is right.” — Dale Griessel, 71, retired banker

“Ever since I have been eligible to vote — five years ago — I’ve tried to make a concerted effort to put my two cents in and make an impact on issues that are important to our community. I read over material, tried to research and make as educated a vote as I could. ... I find it important for the community whether I use it (parks) or not — for the greater good.” — Nathan Thomas, 23, library supervisor

“I want to keep our public services going, in good shape like they should be. I think we should support our city and pay for better parks and streets and sidewalks. I supported all of the proposals because they extend taxes to public services.” — Willi Meyers, 62, MU professor

“I vote because it’s important to voice my opinion on taxes. I don’t support additional taxes on roads or increased charges on new development. In the case of the latter, the fees end up getting passed along.” — Bill Froebel, 49, engineer

“I vote in every election because it is my civic duty. We are privileged to live in this country. I weigh the pros and cons on every issue, and I think an additional tax, in the case of Proposition 2, would be tough on members of the lower income population to pay. I voted yes on everything else.” — Katie Dunne, 31, quality coordinator

“I support tax incentives and voted yes on all propositions.” — Barabara Reys, 51, MU professor

“Don’t complain if you don’t vote. It’s often the people who complain most that don’t exercise their constitutional right. I voted yes on all issues except Proposition 2, the one dealing with the farmers market and a new ice rink.” — Ronald Leone, 42, attorney and lobbyist

“The town is growing, and its infrastructure can’t support it. I support citywide park and road improvements. I voted yes on all.” — Deanna Bokinsky, 39, MU Health Care

“There are more people driving around Columbia with ‘Support Our Troops’ stickers on their cars than there are voting.” — Cynthia Arendt, 57, director of Family Consumer Sciences for the state of Missouri

“I am voting today because if I don’t, taxes will definitely increase. Specifically, I support taxes for parks and streets. In the case of police and fire departments, they can have all of the money that they need. But in the case of development fees rising by 400 percent with approval of Proposition 6, I don’t approve. I just added construction on my house. It hits us.” — Debra Froebel, 49, director of patient accounts, St. Marys Hospital, Jefferson City

“My grandparents are from Louisiana, and so am I. My family instilled in me an obligation to vote. A lot of people worked hard and struggled to get to where we are. I will probably vote yes on all issues.” — Swana Blackburn, 32, graduate student

“I feel strongly about (the development tax). I voted for it. I voted for the fire safety tax, but I didn’t vote for any other increases or extensions.” — Matt Clervi, 37, business owner

“I always come to vote. I feel strongly about not increasing taxes and finding other ways. It seems like every time we turn around, they’re trying to raise taxes. They told us last time that they would only need the taxes for a short time, and here they are again. They can cut spending in other ways.” — Mike Cary, 47, manager

“I usually vote on most opportunities. I voted yes on all of them.” — Ken Hammann, 58, MU administrator

“I thought all of them were important, and I voted for the propositions.” — Jim Scheppers, 51, insurance company manager

“They’re all for the good and the growth of the city. We’re years behind where a city of this size should be, and we need people’s vote — the right vote — to vote yes.” — Pat Hostetler, 56, vice president MBS Textbooks and co-chairman of Columbia On the Move

“We try to vote in every election. All of the propositions we thought made sense.” — Brent Mallinckrodt, 49, MU professor

“Anytime there is an election I try to get out and utilize the vote. There were a lot of city issues on this ballot. I think (Sixth Ward residents) are all pretty much for these propositions.” — Rodney Kitchen, 54, retired

“I just believe we all should vote.” — Jana Hawley, 50, professor

“Well there’s one-eighth (cent) of an increase, that’s not much. I think we can all benefit from these propositions.” — Jim Berkley, 79, retired

“It’s just time for (sales taxes) to come up. It’s not that big of a deal.” — Scott Ayers, 39, self-employed

“I think (the ballot) certainly loaded up. You have to be careful because it can be seen as a regressive tax.” — Jeremy Duke, 37, private practice counselor

“I support the idea of the farmers market, but I’m not sure that it was a good idea to pair the ice rink and the farmers market together, because they are so different. ... The sales taxes are going to hit the poor the hardest and will promote urban sprawl.” — Linda F. Tremaine, 57, research secretary

“To some extent, I think all these things should already be in our budget. Our sales tax is already fairly high. ... The streets, sidewalks and fire improvement issues are most important to me. The farmers market and ice rink are nice, but I wouldn’t necessarily use them as much.” — Christine Staelens, 45, accountant

“It’s up to the people to decide if they are important, but Columbia’s usually good at passing their taxes. ... I drive a lot; I’m always on the road. The tax extensions on roads mostly pertain to me. There are a lot of traffic problems.” — Jason VanEaton, 34, in-state chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Kit Bond

“I think our parks are just exceptional, and I wanted to make sure they continue to get funding.” — Mary Flatt, 45, associate director of sales at Brady Commons Bookstore

“I think they’re all worthy causes. I think there’s definitely a need for road infrastructure in some places, but I’m not sure they always plan ahead well enough.” — John Larkin, 62, MU records management analyst

“I live close to Stephens Lake Park, and I really am glad that that’s a park and not being developed. I think there should be a park in every neighborhood.” — Jean Herman, 53, secretary

“I really think the developers should pay more of the freight. I think (developers) have gotten pretty much a free ride. We all need to chip in here.” — Maurita McCarthy, 57, administrator

“(I support) sidewalks because I’m very much in favor of our disabled people having access and no barriers. Street improvements as well are part of helping disabled people. It goes beyond just the sidewalks.” — Randall Kilgore, 50, information administrator with the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

“Personally, I live in a city like Columbia because they spend money on the right things.” — Hal Williamson, 55, physician

“I’ll support any way to distribute the cost of roads more evenly.” — Tony Thomas, 26, MU graduate student

“The point is that if they are doing the development they can pay for it.” — Anne Thomas, 26, MU employee

“I enjoy the farmers market, so I’m willing to support that, and I use the parks quite a bit. ... I am a Democrat, and I believe in spending when there are sufficient funds.” — Amanda Nell, 31, MU Career Center

“Most of them were just an extension of sales tax, and I feel the money spent is worth it.” — Don Psiers, 57, MU faculty

“I supported all of the propositions. I think certainly the fire and public safety issue was the most important issue on the ballot. Proposition 2 was probably the least important. I think (the city) worked very hard to create these proposals, and I had already decided I was going to support them. I’m very supportive of our mayor and the job he is doing.” — Russel Breyfogle, 70, retired social worker

“The roads are a major issue for me. I think we just need to keep them up and build new ones. I supported all of the ballot issues.”— Robert Simms, 44, director of information technology for the city of Columbia

“I was concerned with all of the ballot issues. I was very concerned with the sales tax issue. We already have one of the highest sales tax rates in the state, and I think that the city thought they could get away with this because of the nature of the shopping centers here in Columbia like the mall, Sam’s Club and other places. I know Columbia is growing big time, but I believe it is growing in spite of sales tax, not because of it. I voted no on all the propositions except the proposition on public safety. I supported public safety because of our growth rate. I can see the need for more fire equipment. I looked on the city’s Web site, and they were bragging about how they spent two to three times more money on parks than other cities. I don’t think that is necessarily a good thing.” — David Westfall, 32, computer technician

“I was most interested in the development tax. We’re developing so fast, and we need some help with the infrastructure in the city.” — Theresa Langley, 52, office manager

“I think the parks tax was most important. I was specifically in favor of Proposition 1. I run on the trails and take my kids to the parks and to walk with me on the trails. I was in favor of most of the propositions except Proposition 2. I don’t think we need those things. I just don’t think we need them when we could do those things at the Boone County Fairgrounds.” — Matt Volkert, 32, attorney

“I saw the tax extension for the fire department and Police Department as the most important issue. New equipment for the fire department and training for the police department is important. Public safety is always a concern to me. It’s important that those guys have good equipment and training in case my house is bursting in flames. I also felt strongly about Proposition 6. I thought it was not in my best interest to pass costs on to developers. That would lead to developers passing the cost on to others and eventually discouraging growth. I think it is important for Columbia to continue to grow and expand to support more jobs, opportunities and commerce for the community.” — Duane Epperson, 40, information technology

“I voted for the development increase because Columbia is growing so fast and developers need to pay for their share and not pass the fees on to existing homeowners.” — Kara Rohr, 35

“I’ve voted all my life, and I voted today because it’s just something I do. All the initiatives pretty well covered the same things: improvement.” — Franklin Dillon, 77, retired

“I voted no on all of them because we should let these taxes expire. We passed the park sales tax to buy Stephens Lake, and we did it and it shouldn’t be extended beyond that. I voted against the development fee increase because it was just going to be passed on to homeowners.”

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