Written by Hillsboro Free Press Tuesday, 23 October 2012 14:14
Candidate planning a forum for voters
In running for county commissioner, I was happy to see I had an opponent. It is a sad thing to behold when you step into the voting booth, look at the ballot and realize there are only a few, if any, choices to make.
An election victory by default (only one candidate) actually serves no purpose other than to fill a position. It does not vindicate the actions of an incumbent nor does it give voters a chance to pick a new direction.
Gary Lewis, by choosing to run against me, volunteered to offer a new direction to Marion County citizens, and has stated it is time for a change. However, other than making a few de facto accusations in his campaign literature, he has offered no specifics for consideration.
Todd Heitschmidt, chairman of the Marion County Republicans, contacted Mr. Lewis and me about setting up a candidate forum to provide voters a chance to make a decision concerning “staying the course” or “choosing a new direction.”
Unfortunately, Mr. Lewis chose not to participate. Thus, the voters will have to make a decision based not on facts and ideas, but on a hunch or by counting campaign signs.
In the spirit of the democratic process, I will sponsor a candidate forum at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Marion County Lake Hall. It is open to the public and Mr. Lewis is invited to attend, I will save a seat for him. I will specifically discuss and take questions concerning “hidden agendas” and “civil leadership” as well as answer any other questions as to my actions of the past eight years and future goals.
County’s effort on roads appreciated
I would like to publicly commend our county commissioners, chairman Dan Holub, Randy Dallke and Roger Fleming, and county road director Randy Crawford for their commitment and efforts to improve numerous roads across our county.
A year ago, there were numerous county roads with high levels of traffic that were in disrepair and needing serious attention. Through the efforts of the commissioners and Mr. Crawford, the county roads department and APAC greatly improved the means of transportation in the county.
On behalf of the bus drivers and activity sponsors who transport students on a regular basis, safety has been greatly improved. In regard to those who commute to jobs in other counties, access has been greatly improved. And in particular, for those living on these highly trafficked roads, livability has been greatly improved.
I appreciate the fact that Mr. Crawford is thinking forward to ongoing maintenance to protect the investment and build a plan for upkeep for all Marion County roads.
In a time when budgets are tight, I commend the commissioners for thinking toward the future for the benefit of our entire county.
John Fast, superintendent
Goessel USD 411
Day trip in county was outstanding
Recently, 30 Kansas Explorer Club members from all over the state came to Marion County for one of our group adventures. The fun of the adventures is that we go to places not normally open to the public. We had a most tremendous time seeing Marion County with new eyes.
After starting our day with the baked sausage special at Main Street Cafe in Durham, we boarded the very cool Marion County Tourism Bus and went to Elm Springs, Sand Canyon, Sterling Rocks and the springs at Sauble Ranch.
A long line of cars could not have made it on these roads and the paths in the pastures. The tourism bus—and bus driver Woody Crawshaw—made the whole trip possible.
Each of these landmarks was so picturesque. From the flowing water at Elm Springs and the springs on Sauble Ranch, to the thick red sand and sandstone formations at Sand Canyon, to the huge craggy collection of flint rock at Sterling Rocks—it was an impressive array of geological features.
To be able to climb all over the rocks, take pictures and enjoy the space and peace of the country made it so appealing.
We topped off the day with a delicious steak dinner with all the trimmings at Florence’s Corral at the Mercantile. To sit and unwind in the unexpected setting of the Corral and enjoy such a first-class meal made for a perfect ending.
There were elements in this day trip that would have pleased anyone from New York City to Germany. From your natural assets, to your restaurants, to your people, I want you to know, Marion County, that you have one of the best day trips Kansas can offer.
Special thanks to Teresa Huffman for planning every detail of this memorable day.
Marci Penner, director
Kansas Sampler Foundation