Letters (March 26, 2014)

Heitschmidt will provide leadership

Those who know me are aware that I have always been a very active member of the community. For a small town to survive, a lot of people have to volunteer their time and pitch in to make things happen. I try to do my part and appreciate it when others do the same.

But sometimes a willingness to volunteer is not all that?s needed. For some time, Marion has been stuck in a cycle of controversy. Our city government has been burdened with squabbles and bickering. We seem to lurch from one problem to another. We don?t plan and avoid problems, we are reactive, always playing catch-up. Finger-pointing and crying foul seem to dominate the headlines.

It is time for leadership. Marion needs a mayor who has demonstrated the ability to solve problems?someone who will not only volunteer their time, but who can wisely lead our city in a business-like manner. You can devote all the time in the world to a task, but if you just spin your wheels you will never be successful. We have been spinning our wheels for too long.

I have had the pleasure of working with Todd Heit?schmidt on a number of projects and organizations. Todd volunteers his time in the Kiwanis Club (past president), Marion Advance?ment Campaign (chairman), Marion Economic Develop?ment Board (chairman) and several other activities.

He has been a productive and respected member of the city council. As a business leader in the community, he knows how to get things done.

As mayor he will stabilize our city government. He will bring leadership to meetings and direction to city employees. He will seek to improve our infrastructure and guide our city toward growth and an improved economy. He will lead.

I plan to cast my vote for Todd Heitschmidt for mayor of Marion. I have seen him in action, and know he is the person this city needs to get us moving in the right direction. I urge my friends in the city to do the same and elect Todd mayor.

Gene Winkler,

Marion

Local-elections bill could hurt schools

There are currently bills in the Kansas House and Senate that would change the way school boards are elected. This is simply a legislative fix to a problem that does not exist.

The current process keeps attention and emphasis on local issues, and ensures boards of education remain among the most accountable to their electorate of any elected officials. Boards of education are the only true volunteer leadership at the local level and the only ones who serve without compensation.

The current system is devoid of divisive partisan politics and allows for the governance of our public schools by a community of individuals, not one party or the other. We see this as an attempt to usurp local governance and have outlined a number of troubling issues with this legislation.

However, in spite of testimony presented by numerous opponents, including KASB board members and staff, these bills remain active.

This issue clearly needs more discussion and study. There are often unintended consequences with hasty decisions, and the governance of our public schools is far too important to change on the strength of a few narrow arguments.

Frank Henderson Jr.,

KASB president and

USD 345-Seaman

Board of Education

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