Archive for Wednesday, March 7, 2001

Letters to the editor

March 7, 2001

Let's continue online

To the editor:

The level of interest in this year's mayoral and council elections have been tremendous. It's great to see the residents of this city actively discussing the issues that so deeply affect them. I'd like to suggest that in addition to the various coffee & chat groups that have sprung up all over town, I think we should all start utilizing the "Speak Out" section of the Signal's Web site. This would be a great way for all of us to talk about the issues and the candidates from the comfort of your home or office.

For those of you who have never used an Internet forum, I think you'll be fascinated with how it works and how easy it is to use. It's a great way to get your opinion out and read other people's ideas as well. You can even choose a login name that will be known only to the administrators of the site, not to the public in general, if you wish to retain some degree of anonymity. Let's extend the great discussions happening all over town. Candidates for the new council feel communication is a huge problem. This

would be one way of addressing it. I challenge all of you to log on to

www.signal.baldwincity.com and click on to the "Speak Out" section. It could get very interesting very fast! If you are unsure of how it all works I'm sure someone at the Signal would be happy to walk you through it the first time. After that you will be a pro. Believe me, if I can do it so can you.

Diane Wagner

501 Lawrence Street

Clearing the air

Citizens of Baldwin. I would like to take this opportunity to heartily

congratulate all of the "survivors" of the primary election. Our community of candidates has grown smaller, but we still have another election to win before we can begin having an impact on our city. It would be an understatement that the fur has really flown since the primary results have rolled. I think that quite a few surprises occurred in election and the overwhelming feeling of "change is needed" in Baldwin City has been heard loud and clear. I have fielded a huge volume of congratulations, comments and a few snide remarks both in public and in print since Tuesday night. I would

like to take this chance to answer some questions about myself that have been brought to my attention.

First, and foremost I as a commercial contractor have nothing to gain as mayor of Baldwin City. The Firetree Plaza project that my construction company is building, and invested in the project, is not to be sold. It is, with my other investors, my investment in Baldwin City. I believe strongly enough in this community that I am willing to risk my financial holdings to provide our city with basic businesses that are sorely lacking. I will not nor can I use the position of mayor to profit financially for myself. If anything I have more to risk than gain by taking on this heavy responsibility.

Second, it has been stated by the incumbent mayor that the weather was the primary factor in the election, and did not show how the town really felt. More people voted in this primary than any previous primary, snow storm or no snow storm. The truth of the matter is that the city is dissatisfied with the present leaders, and had a strong desire for change. When an incumbent receives only 14 percent of the vote it is time to retire from public life with dignity, not attack the peoples' choice for leadership.

Third, I was also asked if elected am I going to "clean house" at city hall. This is erroneous in nature since I have no intentions of turning the current staff upside down. I will tell the people of Baldwin that if I am presented with an employee that is not serving the public that his or her employment is in jeopardy. I have learned in the private sector that ineffective employees have to be dealt with and personnel that can accomplish the mission have to be found.

Finally, why am I a better choice than Slade Dillon for the position of mayor? This is a difficult question to answer since Slade and I stand together on many issues. I can only sum up the difference between the two of us with the following statement. "The choices and decisions that I have made both in business and in my private life, versus those that Mr. Dillon has made, would show that I exercise leadership, sound judgment, and a healthy dose of common sense."

Thank you to all that voted in the primary election and people of Baldwin, stay involved in the process and vote on April 3.

Sincerely,

Ken Hayes

Mayoral candidate

Thank you, Baldwin

To the Editor:

Thank you Baldwin City! Once again a call was made and the people of Baldwin City and the surrounding communities responded! The Baldwin City Community Bone Marrow Donor Drive was a huge success! We had an ending count of 98 people who donated. I would like to thank all of the donors for their time and contributions to our cause. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers and people who helped make this drive a success.

Heart of America Bone Marrow Donor Registry, Dennis Nichols; Hedges Real Estate and Krystal Williams; The Baldwin Ledger; Mid America Bank; Raco Car Wash; Baldwin Care Center; Girl Scout Troops No. 579 & No. 608; Katy & Carol Taul; Amy Wright; Cranberry Market; USD 348, Tom Mundinger, John Gottstein; Baker University; Worden UMW; Ethel Johnston; The Lawrence Journal-World, Kevin Bates, Aaron Lindberg; All Community Churches; Susan Baker; The Baldwin City Signal and Jeff Myrick; Baldwin State Bank, Arrowhead Hardware and Joey the Clown.

A special thanks to my volunteers: Krystal Williams; Virginia Wilson; Jackie Tanking; Amy Wright; Mike & Donna Kneedler and The Robertson Family.

I think Baldwin City is a Great place to live! Thank you everyone!

Sincerely, Patty Carpenter

Baldwin City

City comes through

To the Editor:

The Baldwin community has done it again. We say we need your help and everyone is willing to pitch in. Thanks to all who sold raffle tickets, bought raffle tickets, donated pies, cakes, cookies and other foods. Thanks to all who donated money and items, came to the dinner and helped with the dinner for the Brock Robertson family. All of it was a huge success. Thanks again neighbors.

Alice Gurley and Amy Wright

Baldwin City

Candidate suprised

To the Editor:

I was surprised to read in the Baldwin City Ledger on Thursday, March 2, that mayoral candidate Key Hayes said that, "he has been meeting with city council candidates Ken Wagner, George McCrary and Todd Cohen on a regular basis to discuss with them where the city should be headed and that he endorses those candidates and believes they can bring the needed change." As Porky used to say at the end of every Bugs Bunny cartoon, "That's all folks!" Apparently the election is over and the new team is at work!

Hold it! That was just the primary election. Only one fourth of the eligible Baldwin voters were able to overcome the snow and ice to reach the polls. Almost three fourths are yet to be heard from. That will happen on April 3. Let's all be courteous and democratic and wait to see what those other voters have to say.

And what's this about exclusive "endorsements" and private team "meetings" to plan our future? Team meetings and team objectives are great in basketball, but in city government one is suppose to think for oneself, represent the voters and vote his or her own conscience. Teamwork and private meetings are as undesirable in city government as they are in juries.

In fact, for elected officials there is a state open meetings law that provides harsh penalties for public officials who meet in private to carry on city business.

In the same article McCrary is quoted as saying, "My biggest objective is that the city works well with Baker and the school district. We need to get Baker, the school district and the city all on the same page with the same focus and objectives." Now what does that mean? As a voter, what am I voting for? What do we have to do to "get on the same page" or have "the same focus and objectives?" Is the city to start teaching students, or is Baker to begin helping with sewer and water and electricity? Please explain your plans. Whatever the plans, team members Hayes and Cohen agree with McCrary. Hayes claims there is a "lack of communication" with Baker and USD 348. Cohen expresses a need for a "better working relationship with entities such as Baker and the school district."

As a voter, I need more information before I know what to think about all this teamwork among the candidates and with the schools. This could be harmless, good sounding rhetoric, "team spirit" if you will. On the other hand, it may signal a desire to merge entities that are better left to operate as independent units in our society; like for example, individual city council members, church and state, or government and business. Friends, yes; partners, no. That would not be a good idea. We continue to need the balance provided by mutual "watchdogs" in our free system.

With that in mind, let me remind us all of the names of those candidates who are independent and who are not endorsed by Mr. Hayes. They are Slade Dillon, Carol Taul, Lee Whaley and Gene Nelson. To rephrase a popular song, fellow voters, "Let's let the watchdogs out!"

Gene Nelson

voter and council candidate

Baldwin City

(Editor's note: Hayes, Wagner, McCrary and Cohen have all stated that they are running independently, not as a group. Hayes has endorsed those three, but there is not a coalition, they say.)

Taul says thanks

To the Editor:

First I would like to say thank you to my campaign supporters and I am looking forward to moving ahead. If elected I look forward to working with the current administration as well as newly elected officials to enhance my leadership skills.

I feel I have sound decision making skills and have a concern for the community. I am willing to listen to both sides and will work hard to gather facts or seek out people who are familiar with the issue before making any decisions.

Carol Taul

Baldwin City

Write in Krysztof

To the Editor:

In the week since the primary election, I have had the occasion to speak with several Baldwin City residents who were very dismayed with the primary election results. Apparently, many of these residents did not vote because of the weather. They assumed, like I did, that Mayor Stan Krysztof would definitely make the general election and that they could vote for him at that time. These residents have followed city government for many years and know that Mayor Krysztof has been one of the most proactive mayors we have had in quite some time. With all of the progress that has been made in the city over the last four years, it was amazing that some of the candidates are advocating "cleaning house," saying Mayor Krysztof has done nothing. What are they talking about? Virtually all of the electric lines in the city have been upgraded, the sewer lines have been inspected and upgraded and/or rerouted, coalitions have been formed with other government entities, along with other cities, to enhance our water pressure, 56 Highway has been upgraded to add a turn lane, and traffic flow has been improved. These improvements are just in reference to the infrastructure.

More new businesses and industries are contacting the city to discuss possible relocation within the city, but there is little or no land available for these types of non-retail businesses. They don't want prime highway space, nor do they want to pay prime highway prices for their business locations. However, mayoral candidates continue to bemoan the purchase of the property southwest of town that would fit that bill. This example and others I have sited underscore either a keen lack of knowledge on the part of the candidates, or a blatant disregard of the facts to benefit their individual campaigns.

I appreciate those candidates that are running because they want to do what is best for the city. However, I have a problem with those candidates that harbor a grudge for some perceived injustice. But the most dangerous candidates are those that want the office in order to further their own endeavors by changing public policy, such as eliminating the building permit fees that the current city administration has enacted. These fees help pay for the infrastructure that new construction impacts, however, some builders would have the existing residents pick up that tab.

It is with these facts in mind that I am requesting that the registered voters of Baldwin City, of which fewer than one third voted in the primary election, join me in the write in campaign to re-elect Mayor Stan Krysztof.

Tamara Starkey

Baldwin City

Commenting has been disabled for this item.