Letters (Jan. 5, 2011)

Leaders, why not plan for the best?


Doug Kjellin, new city administrator in Marion and economic development director, summed up the problem with economic development in Marion County. He said, “We better plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

Mr. Kjellin, effective change isn’t built on hope. When will we learn to plan for the best? There is so much that can be done to change our economy for the better, especially in a shrinking economy.

Perhaps the best New Year’s resolution our leaders can offer is the commitment to start planning for the best.

Stan Thiessen



Emler not worthy of Senate leadership


The news of the day is that State Sen. Jay Emler has ascended to majority leader of the Kansas Senate for the 2011 session. For the citizens of Washington, Clay, Dickinson, Marion, Butler and Cowley counties, the selection of Sen. Emler is a bitter pill to swallow.

In 2006 the Legislature passed a law, KSA 79-227, that granted the Keystone/TransCanada Cushing Extension pipeline a 10-year exemption from local property taxes in the six counties it passes through. The estimated lost tax draw to the six counties is estimated to be over $18 million per year.

It is now known that the exemption did not bring the pipeline to Kansas, because the route had been planned since before 2004. None of the states north of Kansas gave TransCanada property-tax exemptions nor did Kansas exempt property taxes to the Keystone pipeline now operating across northeast Kansas.

As chairman of the Senate Utilities and Energy Committee in 2006, Sen. Emler was a key player in drafting and passing this flawed and unfair law. In the past year, as the revelations and impact of this law became known to the press and citizens, Sen. Emler has been AWOL and mostly unavailable except to claim he was lied to.

TransCanada officials say they never asked for the exemption but that it was offered as a gift by the legislators.

When a bill, SB584, was introduced in the 2010 legislative session to restore some of the lost tax revenue to the six counties it was declared DOA. Where was Sen. Emler’s support, since several of the counties are in his district?

There are three possibilities to explain Senator Emler’s actions: he was ill-informed and ignorant, he was too gullible, or he was corrupted by the large foreign energy company.

This blot on Sen. Emler’s 10-year legislative career should have eliminated him from ever being considered for re-election, much less a leadership position.

Harry E. Bennett



Those who stay home deserve respect, too


Soldiers who put their lives on the line for the sake of freedom for their homeland deserve the respect and gratefulness of those who benefit from their service.

But so do those who stay at home, doing their duty to protect the supplies. Many served in hospitals, others farmed and were businessmen who helped supply the war effort.

This reminds me of the story of David at Ziklag, found in I Samuel 30. After David discovered that his camp at Ziklag had been burned and ravaged by the Amalekites, David asked God if he should pursue them to recover the families that had been taken. God said yes. So David took 400 of his 600 men overtook the Amalekites, and rescued all that had been taken.

When David and his men returned to Brook Basore, a dispute concerning the spoils of war broke out between the men who went with David and those who stayed behind. Then men who fought did not think the men who stayed behind were worthy to share in the spoils. But David said since God had delivered the enemy into their hands, all were worthy of the spoils.

This became a statute for Israel from that day on. So it is with those who fight for our homeland and those who stay home to protect it. Each are worthy to receive the same freedom that was fought for, for each did their share.

We have much to be thankful for in that all our wars have been fought in other countries and not our own, except for the 9/11 attacks. I hope this story will help many to understand that if some did not stay at home, the enemy could have come in and ravaged our homeland. So they too are worthy of membership, for they did fight for their homeland, but in a different way.

Karen Nikkel


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