Letters to the Editor (January 3, 2018)

Lake’s future needs a citizen board

In reading Dianne Novak’s paid statement in the Dec. 27 issue of the Free Press, I was a little taken aback by some of her comments. I do agree that the lake belongs to all residents of Marion County as well as being a tourist attraction for visitors to enjoy. However, I disagree with some other aspects of her letter.

Mrs. Novak states that it is time to trust and support the elected county commission. This could be possible if the elected officials would govern the way a commission is supposed to perform.

We have a commission that gives permission for things to be done without the consent or approval of the majority of the commission. We have some commissioners who have their own agenda without regard for the rest of the commission or what is best for the entire county.

Even this letter that Mrs. Novak has written seems to be from an individual agenda and not the representation of the commission itself, as she states that her letter does not represent or speak for her fellow commissioners.

It is also interesting that she is telling residents of Marion County to be silent and still, but yet prides herself in talking to a few residents in what they feel needs to be done. To me, this is a contradiction and besides, isn’t her role as an elected official to listen to concerns and work for the residents who elected her?

She also mentions that nobody can be pleased with the latest demands and shouting matches. The only demands and shouting matches that I am aware of are the ones occurring within the county commission meetings and usually between commissioners.

There seems to be too much micro-managing going on. It seems to me that a commission should trust in the work of their department heads and allow them to do the jobs that they have been trained to do. The department heads would report to the commission, as needed, and this should eliminate some of the pressure or stress put on the commission.

With the lake issue, the commission could ask for a lake board to be created through an election of seven to nine members that would also include the lake superintendent, conservation management and the zoning and planning department. This board could help in the planning of a much needed long-term management plan so all can enjoy what our lake has to offer.

During the Dec. 11 commissioners meeting, lake resident attendees asked the commission to work on a long-term plan and include help from Kansas State University, conservation land management, and the zoning and planning department.

This process will take time, but it is something that is needed and has been needed for quite some time. We have to preserve the lake, especially the water, so that all people can enjoy it’s recreational use without having to continually shut down due to issues of blue-green algae or other harmful contaminates.

I would like to encourage members of the commission, who are elected officials by the people, to work together as a board going forward and to formulate a lake committee/board to be involved in developing a long-term management plan.

Greg Wyatt

Marion County resident

Thanks to all who helped us in crisis

On Friday afternoon Dec. 22, we were relaxing—OK, sleeping—in our living room recliners by a toasty fire in our living room fireplace. Linda does not have a sense of smell, Delbert woke up by smelling smoke. He saw smoke on the ceiling, ran outside and saw smoke, so coming back inside he yells that our house is on fire.

It does not take long for smoke to be thick and you can’t breathe. 911 was called and the fire trucks started coming. Then a propane tank on the grill got hot and the explosion sounded like a bomb and the fire from it shot way up so it was getting worse.

So many people from Peabody came alongside to help, console, and just be there for us. We can’t say enough to express our thanks and appreciation for all their help.

First, the firefighters and the police were there so fast and jumped on the tasks at hand, and we admired them for their work and appreciated their professionalism at the job.

Our neighbors all wanted to put us up in their homes, they all wanted to help in some way, that outpouring warmed our hearts. Trisha Oursler became our “go-to-gal” to help with things as Linda was in too much shock to make decisions.

We will need help cleaning and moving things after the insurance people are done with their job. We appreciate Doug Heerey coming down even as the house was burning—he’s been wonderful.

We thank God we escaped and we thank God for everyone’s concern and help, thank-you again and again!

Linda and Del Eden

Peabody

Donating blood can aid students

Shelby Johnson, a Hillsboro High School senior, hosted the latest Red Cross blood drive Dec. 23 at Hillsboro City Hall. High school students are being encouraged to be more involved throughout Hills­boro’s drives as a way to gain involvement by younger donors and receive scholarship opportunities based on pints collected.

If 301 pints or more are collected annually, the high school will receive the maximum scholarship award of $3,000 from the Red Cross to distribute to the participating students.

A huge thank you to Dale’s Supermarket for donating their famous sausage for the meal, the city and its staff, Kiwanis, and the students who helped collect 64 pints of blood.

Each donor received a long-sleeve T-shirt from the Red Cross. Thank you especially to the donors for saving lives, you are true heroes.

Staci Silhan

Hillsboro Red Cross blood drive coordinator