Written by Administrator Tuesday, 23 January 2007 18:00The sky isn't falling with conceal-carry
This is a rebuttal to David Vogel's column published Jan. 17. It seems more and more media outlets have a habit of publishing one-sided news reports and editorials, so here is another perspective.
Usually, I don't stick up for politicians, but the Kansas House and Senate did exactly what their constituency wanted with the passage of SB 418, otherwise known as the conceal-carry bill. After all, they had to have quite a few votes to override a governor's veto. That should speak volumes.
SB 418 is not a means of allowing "almost anyone and his or her dog to carry around a hidden handgun." Other than the applicant of a CC permit having to undergo training, he or she also must pass a background investigation.
Also, these permits are highly regulated in where, how and when a person can carry their firearm. Example: a drunk can't carry a weapon, and will have his permit suspended if he gets caught doing so.
With regard to carrying a "small nuclear missile launcher," I hardly see how that has anything to do with carrying a concealed pistol. What this law does allow for are honest people in our state with a clean record, who have passed a training course, to carry a pistol in his or her defense. Believe it or not, criminals do prefer unarmed victims.
As far as being worried about the sky falling with the new law, look at all of the other states who have had this type of law in place for quite some time now. These states are still in existence, and the concealed-weapons/global-warming boogie-man has yet to create anarchy.
Before someone starts spouting off about how the law enforcement community hates this new law, let me put that theory in check. I am a police officer. I am in total favor of our citizens carrying a weapon provided they have the necessary qualifications.
It isn't uncommon for police officers to stop citizens with firearms in their vehicles. It doesn't bother me at all. Most people usually say whether or not they have a firearm. It is the people who don't say anything that bother me.
My point is? The bad guys are going to carry a weapon regardless of the law; it is the good guys that will stay legal.
Not all officers share my views, but a large number of them do. They just usually keep their opinions to themselves for political reasons. Thanks.
C. Eric Rust
Council candidate apologies to citizens
As a candidate for Florence City Council, I have a duty to apologize and inform you of the status of this community.
In the past I have sought to implement full compliance with the Americans with Disability Act, a federal law that has been endorsed by Kansas state statutes. My actions were perceived as an attempt to reduce the town from that of a marginal town to a dust town, according to comments made by a leading city council member in the May 2005 issue of the Florence Crossroads.
Information obtained from two internet sources (www.city-data.com/city/Florence-Kansas.html and www.florenceks.com/Information.html) indicates a sizeable increase in the number of city employees, from a total of four full-time employees and four part-time employees, for a total of eight (dated March 2002) to a current amount of 12 or 13 full-time employees and three part-time employees, for a total of 15 to 16 employees.
That is nearly double the employees required in 2002, when the population was 671. The current published population various from 636 and 651.
The annual budget for the City of Florence, based upon copies obtained through the county clerk's office for Marion County, demonstrates an increase from 743,761 in 2002 to an estimated 799,196 for 2007.
The final assessed valuation for the city in 2002 was $2,056,464 and for 2007 is $1,580,568 a, decrease of $475,896 with a remaining debt load of $441,072.
The data suggests a decline in population, an increase in the number of city employees, a decrease in assessed value, and upon further investigation, the discovery of multiple issues of non-compliance to state and federal laws, statutes, and regulations.
In reviewing budget documents, Internet sources and other documents concerning the status of the city, I have made several conclusions.
First, the governing body of the City of Florence has failed its constituency in not providing necessary and essential services to those in the community.
The second was written by the city attorney when she remarked in a letter to another attorney: "Clearly, the City of Florence has not kept up with its ADA obligations as well as perhaps it could have. I have only been city attorney for one year and the current members of the city council are also relatively new to their positions. While this certainly does not excuse any non-compliance by the city, I think it is fair to say that neither the council nor I were previously aware of the city's status with regard to compliance with the ADA" (letter dated May 3, 2005).
Prior to September 2005, the city received 11 violations from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the city also received monitoring violations for the months of September, October, November and December of 2005, also a violation in January and again in March 2006, for a grand total of 17 violations pertaining to the city's water.
This does not include citations for the sewage ponds, dike or burn pit.
Since April 2005, I have sought to petition local, state and federal government agencies on behalf of the community. Issues include medical care, emergency services, community development and involvement, health and environment-all items listed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as essential services.
The issues remain unresolved; therefore, I render my personal apology. The greatest lesson learned was that change must be accomplished within the confines of the governing body, a body committed unto the community rather than self-interest.
My failure has denied this community the services and accommodation it is entitled to and accorded by law.
Gerald E. Cleverley