OestmannTo the Citizens of Arkansas City:

On behalf of the City Commission and City Manager Nick Hernandez, I would like to thank each and every one of you who voted this month to approve the SCKMC Sales Tax. The tax was approved by a vote margin of 1,885 to 467.

The faith you have shown in your public officials and hospital administrators will not go unrewarded. Moreover, I thank you for showing your overwhelming support for our hard-working City employees and their families.

This affirmative vote is not a signal to rest on our laurels. Rather, we must redouble our efforts to work at making South Central Kansas Medical Center a profitable facility, one we all can be proud of. That begins with a renewed commitment to physician recruitment and program development, as well as continued strides in patient satisfaction and positive health outcomes.

CEO Virgil Watson Jr. and his staff will continue to make monthly reports to the City Commission, and Hernandez and Vice Mayor Dan Jurkovich will continue to attend monthly meetings of the SCKMC Board of Trustees. All parties involved in continued progress at the medical center will continue to be held accountable.

To those who voted against this tax measure, I want to express that I understand your frustration. No one wants to see taxes go up, myself most of all.

But I hope you understand that the alternative would have been so much worse. Arkansas City has acted to ensure its financial future for the next 10 years.

I thank you all for exercising your democratic right to vote, regardless of your preference in this specific matter, and I urge you all not only to remain active and engaged in the political process at the ballot box, but also at our meetings.

We will work to make sure this tax is not in vain. Best wishes to all!
Mayor Duane L. Oestmann