It’s wrong to wager taxpayers’ money

This letter is a public request to the county commissioners that they rescind their proposal of a county-wide referendum to allow construction of a gambling casino in Marion County.

This letter is not to discuss the morality or lack thereof of gambling but to present the probabilities of losing a $10,000- to $15,000 bet.

Consider this:

(1) The state of Kansas is not a “referendum and initiative” state, which means that the proposed referendum is non-binding. If it passes, it really doesn’t mean anything except to the Pied Piper of Wichita, Bob Knight.

(2) Wyandotte County passed a similar referendum 10 years ago and they still haven’t received permission to build a casino.

(3) Since 1997, 50 bills have been introduced in the legislature for expanded gambling and none have passed.

(4) To allow for a private casino (not state run) to be built anywhere on non-Indian land, the Kansas Constitution would have to be amended-which, first of all, requires a favorable two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate and then a favorable vote of the people.

(5) According to the Oct. 11 issue of the Newton Kansan, Mr. Knight told the Harvey County commissioners that “interstate access ramps would be vital for visibility and access.” Is there an interstate highway in Marion County?

(6) Mr. Knight is trying to use the taxpayers’ money of Marion County to further his gambling goals for Wichita. Do you really believe he cares about Marion County? When he was mayor of Wichita and somewhat responsible for the well-being of the town, he opposed gambling.

Now, county commissioners, do you like the odds? If this $10,000 to $15,000 were your money, would you place the bet or would you rather use taxpayers’ money on what it was intended for: road repair, care for the elderly, salaries, etc.?

How about a novel idea of reducing the mill levy if there is such an abundance of betting money in the treasury?

You do have a fiduciary responsibility in how you spend the tax payers’ money.

Donald L. Dahl

State Rep., District 70


Casinos are a vice, not economic development

I am writing in regard to Bob Knight’s pitch for a casino in Marion County. I am totally opposed to it. I don’t think we need a casino in the backyard where our grandchildren grow up.

They pitch casinos as economic development. They are not economic development, they are a vice that plays on people. Casinos do not produce anything, they do not grow a crop, they do not manufacture anything.

I can’t understand our county commission spending $15,000 for a mail-in referendum for such a worthless endeavor. Surely that money could be spent in a more profitable manner.

Dalmer Kaufman


Our county cannot afford casino resort

We cannot afford a casino here in Marion County. Bob Knight tried to make it sound like all we had to do was hold out our hand and he would pour the money in.

Mr. Knight also wants us to decide quickly-perhaps before we consider the consequences. We all know nothing is free. A casino will cost our county severely. What will it cost?

Statistics show crime, poverty and bankruptcies will increase. We will need more law enforcement. More of our friends and neighbors will not be able to provide for their families. Businesses will have more trouble with bad checks and delinquent accounts.

The number of people addicted to gambling or with gambling problems will increase; some of these will be our friends and neighbors.

We are teaching our young people that financial success comes from the turn of a card or the roll of a dice, not hard work and diligence.

The jobs that a casino might provide our community-such as maids, waitresses, card dealers, etc.- do not teach job skills that are in great demand, nor do they produce anything of value.

The money a casino would provide us is not a result of production but will be taken away from those who cannot afford to lose it.

The type of people that a casino will bring to our community (gamblers) are generally not those we would have our families and children associate with.

Money will be taken out of the local economy and that will hurt the businesses right here at home.

We cannot afford this. The cost in dollars will be high, but the moral cost will be far higher. “He that is greedy of gain troubles his own house” (Prov. 15:27).

Our elected officials failed us when they allowed Mr. Knight to even present this to us. They were not looking out for our interests when they voted to spend $15,000 on a referendum.

We must not fail. We must tell Mr. Knight, “Thank-you, but we are not interested.”

Lance Thiessen


Boy Scouts and church efforts aid families

Thanks to the efforts of the Boy Scouts of Hillsboro and the Salina District United Methodist Women, many families in Marion County are being blessed.

Through the generosity of the residents of Hillsboro, the Boy Scouts collected more than 800 pounds of groceries for the food bank at Main Street Ministries. The Salina District UM Women made a much needed donation of cleaning and hygiene products to the food bank.

These contributions are vital in meeting the needs of families throughout Marion County.

The food bank is a volunteer-led outreach of Main Street Ministries. Open Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., the food bank is available to any family in need. We are grateful for the support of the many churches and volunteers who make the food bank possible.

The upcoming holidays are the busiest time of year at the food bank. All of us will have an opportunity to give a “food offering” Sunday, Nov. 20, at the community-wide Thanksgiving service.

Please come with a thankful heart and a bag full of groceries.

Jim Elliott, food bank volunteer


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