Gary McKay

Gary McKay Tribune guest columnist

This will be the last chance I will get to address the community through the news media before the election May 8. I would like to take this opportunity to ask for your support to be elected to the Kokomo Common Council at-large seat. I would be remiss if I did not address some issues before the election.

The first issue would be in the matter of property taxes. I have heard your voice by talking with you door to door. Everyone is in agreement that the current property tax system is unacceptable. The answer to a better system does not fall with one or another candidate to be the savior for property tax relief. To get results the community must stand together and tell state government that this system is not fair and we demand change now!

The second point I would like to address is about the current city council. I have heard members that are seeking to regain office spin the budget woes of the city back to the current administration for placing blame. My research shows that in 2004 the current council voted for a deficit budget that turned out to be the biggest budget in the history of Kokomo. The mayor and state had to cut the budget by $15 million in order to balance it. Mr. Karickhoff and other members of the council won’t address this type of issue.

Point three. In September 2006 Mr. Karickhoff led the charge to remove money to add two much needed additional police officers that his fellow council members had added when he was on vacation. I am not sure of his reasoning, but he advised that if we needed more officers we could come and ask again later. Mr. Karickhoff, we need those officers now and have for many years! We have attacked the growing drug problem in this community, and the additional officers were to help us in this fight against the cancer of drug abuse that is spreading through our town. This is a safety issue for all citizens of Kokomo.

Point four. In 2006 the administration was pushing for a much needed landlord/rental property ordinance. Mr. Karickhoff amended the ordinance to add a requirement for tenant registration to try to kill the ordinance. The ordinance instead passed through with the registration requirements still attached. It was later found that a registration requirement would place female abuse victims in danger because the record would be public knowledge to anyone who wanted to review it. This opened the door to abusers being able to track their victims. The council had to remove the amendment to ensure the safety of these victims.

And my last point is the recent politically motivated, out of control media battle in reference to push polling. I have remained positive with a consistent message of making Kokomo a better place throughout my entire campaign. I know lots of people on both sides of the ticket, some whom I consider friends. This community is much wiser than some think. The people see right through what has transpired in reference to this situation. I talked at length with Mayor McKillip about these accusations and advised him of my disgust. Mayor McKillip advised me that he has no desire to run negative political campaigns of any sort, especially when personal attacks are involved. The message I got from Matt McKillip was the same as he has given me for the last four years: stay positive.

It is no secret that the mayor has people doing anything to see him voted out of office. I feel these attacks have not been generated by any political interests but by someone who has made the mayor an enemy for whatever reason. I have witnessed these attacks on the mayor, the city controller, the police chief and even myself for many years. If this matter could ever be proven it would point this direction. It is what these people see as a way of getting the Republican Party to fight in open forum so it can destroy itself. Is this surprising? No. Whoever has taken this election to the lowest form it could attain should be ashamed. I have the deepest respect for anyone who opens themselves up to run for office. I assure the voters that the McKillip side of the ballot did not commit this horrible, false poll that has erupted into name calling and false accusations.

As I have stated in the past, the time is now for this city to move forward with good conservative government that will guide us to becoming one of the top communities in the Midwest. Together we can do this.

Gary McKay is seeking the Republican nomination for an at-large seat on the city council.

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