Mallory Herrmann

A resolution passed by the city council this week urges city citizens “to become informed related to Proposition D and to exercise the right to vote on November 6, 2018.”

Proposition D is a statewide ballot initiative to increase the motor fuel tax by two and one half cents per gallon annually for four years beginning July 1, 2019. The tax would generate an estimated $288 million annually in funding for state law enforcement and an estimated $123 million annually in funding for local governments for road construction and maintenance.

The resolution was submitted to Mayor Bill Baird’s office for consideration by the Missouri Municipal League, who calls themselves “an independent, statewide, not-for-profit association” that promotes unity and cooperation among Missouri cities, towns and villages.

Councilmember Bob Johnson voiced concern that the council making such a resolution would be inappropriate given that it’s a proposed measure for the entire state and not directly applicable to the city. While it doesn’t suggest that the council (or voters) should support or oppose the proposition, it does single out the issue.

“I know it’s not lobbying,” Johnson said, “although … it’s the eye of the beholder.”

Councilmember Rob Binney disagreed, saying that the proposed tax affects Lee’s Summit residents and is merely encouraging all citizens to stay informed and to vote in November.

Councilmember Diane Forte chimed in to thank the mayor for bringing this resolution to the council.

“I, for one, will now look into Proposition D a little bit more and I think that’s the intent of what we’re doing here,” Forte said, adding “honestly, I wouldn’t have looked into it more if you hadn’t have said it.”

Ultimately the resolution passed unanimously at the council’s September 6 regular session. All councilmembers were present.