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Check That Paystub

Mike Sanders, Jackson County Exec., assesses govt. solvency. (Click to enlarge.)
Photos by Dan Verbeck/KCUR
Mike Sanders, Jackson County Exec., assesses govt. solvency. (Click to enlarge.)

By Dan Verbeck

Kansas City, MO. – For a second consecutive year, and at a time when local governments are cutting employees and their pay, Jackson County's Executive is proposing a three percent merit-pool pay hike for county workers.

Mike Sanders talks of it during his annual " State of the County" address. He attributes county solvency to a series of changes made in the last five years. They include a partnership with Kansas City for a regional Jail. In Sanders words, "in its first two years of operation, we have saved taxpayers five million dollars."

Sanders also says the sheriff's radio communication system is dangerously inadequate, that deputies are unable to talk with area police departments and the highway patrol.

So Sanders says a regional radio approach has cut the cost of a new system that could have run as high as $27 million. The county's share will be six million-- "we've identified funds. We're paying cash for this. How about that?" The County Executive also expects results of a federally funded regional transit study to be done late next spring.

Unlike light rail, this system uses existing rail lines and existing rolling stock and, Sanders says, is essential to compete in the 21st century global economy.

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