Letters (Dec. 23, 2009)

Why come down on innocent ice skating?


Last week?s edition of the Hillsboro Free Press had an article about ice skating on the pond at the ?south shop? south of Marion.

I can remember first skating on the pond in the late 1970s when it was a shop for Hallet Quarries. At that time, the east pond was not choked with cattails and offered better skating than the smaller west pond.

There were at least six families in the neighborhood here that would bring their kids to enjoy the safety of skating on a shallow pond close to home. Some years there might be a group of 20 adults and children enjoying an afternoon of skating.

I find it sad that the Marion County Commission has come down so hard on an innocent activity like ice skating. What if Commissioner Dallke?s fear of hundreds of ice skaters came to pass? Would it be a bad thing if people were exercising with their families in a fun and artful pastime? How did we get by with the crime of ice skating for more than 30 years?

The children that learned to skate on the little pond south of Marion have all grown up and moved to other parts of the country. My children are all living in out-of-state communities that value outdoor recreation and have skating ponds, hiking and biking trails available to encourage healthful lifestyles.

Harry E. Bennett



County appraiser ?war? not over yet


We?ve had enough people coming to us these past weeks out of concern that we feel dire need to respond.

We may have lost the battle, but are optimistic that we did not lose the war. Bad behavior and job deficiencies on the part of the present Marion County appraiser have been exposed. By doing that, we hope the treatment of citizens now, and in the future, will be improved.

There are 17.5 percent of the parcels inspected every year, so every six years a property is reinspected. Therefore, one third of Marion County is yet to be appraised under her direction. Hold her accountable!

If you should continue to have grievances or concerns with her, feel free to contact us or the county commissioners, and keep us informed.

Representatives from the State of Kansas Department of Taxation and Valuation, along with representatives from the Attorney General?s office in Topeka, admit the laws that allow unconditional limits in an appraisers behavior need to be ?tweaked.? In other words, adjustments need to be made.

If a county appraiser does his or her job efficiently, taxpayers shouldn?t need to appeal their taxes every year. In contrast to Dan Holub?s remarks, the appraiser?s ratio of job performance speaks for itself.

A positive suggestion for Marion County would be a five-man team of county commissioners, instead of three, along with a county administrator, for impartial governing.

If that isn?t an improvement, it certainly couldn?t be any worse than it is now. At present, we have one county commissioner ruling Marion County, and we all know by what means that is accomplished.

To heed the representatives? advice, Marion County citizens need to take care of critical matters concerning the county commission when it comes time to go to the polls.

Thanks to the many citizens and taxpayers of Marion County who supported us in this important endeavor. Thanks to the many folks who supported us privately, as well as publicly. Only we know how broad the support has been…and still is. It goes far beyond signing a petition.

We fought the good fight, and we did the best we could with the hand we were dealt.

It is what it is.

Incidentally, for your information neither the appraiser, nor any member of her staff was shot at by any citizen, at any time, in Marion County. That statement was a false misrepresentation of the truth by the appraiser. We researched that, too.

Gary Diepenbrock

Jerry Siebert


Gifts, promises and true intentions


It was the fragrance of myrrh and frankincense drifting through the dark night that drew them near to you. Amid the whine of wandering sheep, whose shepherd?s staff prods them along, the stars would appear and then disappear behind the veil of a sultry breeze. Dusty sandals and trodden hooves stepped gently as they passed beneath her shadow.

The cry of a baby would gather the ears of the shepherd and his sheep and make useless the staff that led them. A light bound to a flame shone through a manger as it trickles off the hay that lay next to the one crying from the cradle.

Gifts and promises abound, within the hay they lay mingled, gathered round about that he may see their true intentions.

Thane M. Schwartz


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