Archive for Thursday, March 12, 2009

Letters to the Editor

March 12, 2009

To the editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to write an open letter to the citizens of Baldwin City regarding the upcoming mayoral race. Because, like the rest of the nation, we face issues of rising costs in utilities, fuel and tightened budgets, this is an important race.

We are truly fortunate to have three candidates who have demonstrated their willingness to serve the best interests of the community during this challenging time. However, our community has the highest local taxes and electricity rates in the county. Individuals who live on fixed incomes wonder how much longer they can hold out before continued rate increases and high bills place them in financial jeopardy.

High operating costs affect everyone. They discourage growth and make it hard for businesses in our community to make a profit. If utilities continue to rise, potential home buyers and developers will become discouraged and look to invest their money and their family’s lives where the cost of living is cheaper.

I know not all citizens in Baldwin want or advocate growth. However, we must understand that if we stop any and all growth, we will stagnate. If this happens how will we continue to support the infrastructure we have? Simply put, fewer people and businesses mean less revenue and tax base.

We need to elect a mayor who believes in working in conjunction with the city administrator, who asks city departments to be more responsive to citizens’ needs, and who can introduce new ideas on how to keep city costs in line.

Having worked in city government for 30 years, I have a good understanding of how it operates. I know what effective government is and is not. I understand and recognize that any governmental agency or successful business must have good leadership and management. Successful leaders possess vision, leadership, intelligence and, more importantly, a willingness to help and care for the citizens they serve. They believe in looking out for their constituency and community. They share a parent's intuition on knowing when to say “no” even when we believe a "yes" answer is better for us.

In my opinion Ken Wagner is clearly the best candidate for mayor. Ken is community minded and owns a local business. He is familiar with the myriad of issues facing both businesses and homeowners. He cares about quality of life issues and the support the citizens receive from their local government. Ken has served two terms on the Baldwin City Council so he is familiar with the challenges facing Baldwin City. Ken Wagner sincerely cares about Baldwin City and its citizens. He understands that city government is not there to be part of the problem, but to help solve problems.

Please vote on April 7 for a new direction. We want a person who cares for the community and is a proven leader. Ken Wagner gives us all of this. Vote Ken Wagner for mayor April.

Gerry and Cindy Cullumber

Baldwin City

To the editor,

I’ve wanted to talk about our upcoming elections and this venue would seem to be a good way … and what I want to talk about is “A Better Baldwin through affordable and enjoyable living.”

I am a business owner in Baldwin City, but I live just outside the city limits so I am not eligible to vote in this city election. So I figured the best way I could tell someone how I feel was to speak from the heart. This is a request for all eligible voters to come and learn why I and many, many others support current council member Ken Wagner as candidate for mayor, and city council candidate Bonnie Plumberg.

It’s really very simple. Ken has been a dedicated city councilman for the past six years and his honest and fearless approach to our city’s deficiencies and concerns are thankfully his own heartfelt concerns. Ken looks at the city as a business which is exactly what it is ... the business for our town and a business for all of us who work and live here. Ken is able to apply his many years and vast experiences as a successful business owner. I believe that Ken is the best man to turn this city in a new direction, back to being an affordable and enjoyable place to live for all of us.

You may not know who Bonnie is because she has been busy successfully running her own businesses for the past 30 years. Bonnie is a very gifted lady who will bring a fresh vision to Baldwin City, and help run it like a good business. She too, owns a business in Baldwin, and she is more than willing to share her knowledge and successful approach to help our city prosper. We are losing our delightful council member Amy Cleavinger and Bonnie is absolutely the right person to replace her and all the while adding a diverse perspective to our city council.

Ken and Bonnie will be meeting publicly with residents in the near future. For more information about when and where, call me at (785)817-6303

Don’t miss this, you all, you’ll enjoy the education as to who they are before you vote on April 7.

Diane Franklin

Rural Baldwin City

To the editor:

Cast your vote for me!

No, I am not running for office, even though the outcome of the upcoming election will very much affect me. You see, we own several properties within the city but live outside the voting limits; therefore we have nothing to say about the way our city is run or who is at the helm. Talk about “taxation without representation,” that is a phrase I understand all too well. Because I cannot vote in the upcoming city election, I am asking you to give some very serious consideration to who you vote for. Don’t just cast your vote for a friend of a friend or someone who has been around for a long time; make your vote really count by voting for the best person for the job. I believe that person to be Ken Wagner for mayor.

As a business property owner, I would welcome a mayor who is a successful business owner himself and has a proven record of dedication to the government of our city. We need someone who understands the importance of broadening the business base of our community. Even though businesses are assessed property taxes at more than double the rate of residential, little is being done to entice new businesses to the city. Fewer businesses mean lost revenue and a higher tax bill for all, you included. Which would you rather see, new businesses come to town or your property tax increase and your utility bills rise?

Unless some changes are made at city hall, I am afraid the latter will be the outcome.

Ken Wagner is a successful businessman because he is out there working at building his business every day and earning the trust and respect of his customers. You will not find a more generous supporter of the community whether it be rolling up his sleeves to erect play equipment in the park or contributing to numerous other community events. Despite the responsibilities that go along with running a successful business, he still finds time to devote to the business of the city. He has been a faithful member of the city council and an active member of the community who truly understands the importance of sharing the burden.

I urge you to exercise your privilege to vote on April 7 and to vote for the candidate who will work to once more make Baldwin City an affordable place to live and an amicable place for new businesses. A vote for Wagner is a vote for a sound business base for our community.

Diane Niehoff

Rural Baldwin City

To the editor:

Thank you to the Samaritans of Baldwin City who came to the aid of the Shawnee Mission Northwest cheerleading squad during the recent snow event.

When our bus was involved in an accident seven miles east of Baldwin City, many people stopped to provide warmth and transportation to Baldwin High School for the Baldwin Cheer and Dance Competition.

The kind spirit and generosity of your citizens reaffirms our pride in being Kansans. Thank you from the parents and booster members of the Shawnee Mission Northwest cheer squad.

Jeanette Houser


Election letter limits in effect

During the upcoming election for Baldwin City Council, mayor and school board, some restrictions on letters will apply. No letters will be accepted from candidates for office.

Also, the last week the Signal will accept letters regarding candidates for office will be for the March 26 issue. No letters for candidates will be printed in the issue the week before the election.

Questions regarding political letters should be directed to Jeff Myrick, editor/publisher, by phone or e-mail.


kermit 9 years, 3 months ago

We couldn't agree more that Ken Wagner is the man of the hour and the man for the job! He's our son-in-law and we may be prejudice, but his work ethic and honesty have always impressed us from the moment we met him some 28 years ago. He worked hard to put himself through college and seven days a week to build a successful business from scratch. We know his dedication to doing a job correctly and know he will use that same honesty, hard work and dedication to giving his all to Baldwin City.

Elise and Allan Hall


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