Wrong to refuse to serve others
“We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” It was a sign posted in cafes and restaurants and at drugstore lunch counters in our country throughout much of the 20th century. It was neither a threat nor a promise to refuse service to “anyone.” Rather, it was notice that no one of African descent would be served there. It was commonly accepted by a large majority as just the way things were, or even as they should be. It began to disappear when some brave and proud African-Americans just sat at the counter not being served.
The Kansas House passed a bill that would make it legal for either public or private employees to refuse to serve same-sex couples. Proponents pretend it is a right of freedom of religion. The faithful of the Westboro Baptist Church see their spewing of hate as their right rooted in their religion. Forbidding girls to attend school is lawful in some countries based on religious beliefs, as is controlling what women wear on their heads and disallowing them to drive cars.
Our freedom of religion does not allow such laws, nor does it allow denying someone service based entirely on whom that person married.
The Sedgwick County Commission’s 2014 legislative platform includes this position: “All property-tax increases that raise the mill levy should also be required to receive voter approval.” This is current state law concerning local sales-tax hikes. This provision was also in the commission’s 2013 platform.
Former state Rep. Joe Scapa supports this platform position. A Feb. 1 Eagle article about his candidacy for the Kansas House included comments by a county commissioner who was in the minority on the commission’s vote on this platform.
This position on property-tax hikes is current policy in three of the four states surrounding Kansas. Empowering voters concerning property-tax hikes is a major reason why these states enjoy a comparative advantage over Kansas in retaining and attracting business.
Despite this significant advantage, voter approval of property-tax hikes remains controversial at the Statehouse. The Kansas Association of Counties, as well as other government lobbying groups, strongly opposes legislation that would require voter approval of property-tax hikes.
Sedgwick County commissioner
Enjoy good news
I enjoy reading The Eagle’s articles on Mondays about people who volunteer. With all the bad things that are in the news, it is nice to read about good, kindhearted people who do what they can to help other people.
REGINALD S. NULAN