To the editor:
Near the end of the 1939 movie "The Wizard of Oz," the cast is mesmerized by the wizard's pyrotechnics. Toto, on the other hand, is slowly pulling back the curtain exposing the fraud. Would Dorothy have made it home without that clever dog?
Sometimes I think we have a similar deception taking place right here in Lawrence. Arguments about growth and development are bandied about with great emotion. Development will destroy us! What seems to have gone unnoticed is the ever-increasing property tax. Each year like clockwork the bill is significantly greater despite a curtailment in development. Guess what, taxes also can destroy! Are we taking too much out of our economy and hastening the acknowledged downturn? Can normal families move here and afford to conduct commerce? Will people start to leave and take their firms and jobs with them?
Maybe it is time for a year or two with no tax increases after all these years of rapid tax growth. During this respite perhaps there could be an independent re-examination of our priorities before we launch off in new directions ($30 million library, New Urbanism demonstration, new recreation center, etc.)? None of these are essential! How much of our current spending is no longer essential?
There are certainly many bills in the state Legislature that would, if passed, force us to perform such a re-examination. Are we in Lawrence the only ones who do not see what is happening? Where is Toto when you need him/her?