Archive for Thursday, January 14, 2010

Letters to the Editor

January 14, 2010

To the editor

I would like to take this opportunity to thank several of the citizens of Baldwin City for their assistance during the Christmas blizzard. I was informed by members of my department that these people went above and beyond to assist other citizens by pulling stuck vehicles from the snow at least nine times, transporting people to various locations, pulling our police vehicles out of the snow at least six times and pulling an ambulance out of the snow.

These individuals; Nathan and Jessica Worley, Jason Worley, Lacey and Mikey Erickson, Bruce Brown and a few other unnamed citizens, spent their personal time and used their personal vehicles to assist Baldwin City residents during our first blizzard in many years. I would like to personally thank these people for their efforts. People like these individuals make Baldwin City a great place to live.

Greg Neis

Chief of Police

Baldwin City Police Department

To the editor:

An open letter to the Baldwin School Board and Supt. Paul Dorathy:

I must ask you whether you feel proud of what you have done to taxes of the people who you are supposed to represent. You have had a major part in making us the highest taxed segment of Douglas County. You may feel proud of your accomplishments, but you should be ashamed.

Now, I am a senior citizen with no big college degree, but I and other folks who have been around for a while were concerned as were some of the bankers, that the future looked pretty dark. I guess you didn’t have the foresight to evaluate the signs of homes being foreclosed, high taxes, plus high utility costs the city incurred to accommodate the large number of new homes, fuel costs out of reason for folks that thought they would like to move here and commute to work in the city. They soon found this to be more expense than bargained for. With costs as they are, I don’t think you will find growth to justify the need for all the additional facilities you have committed us to. You sold this bill of goods to voters who either had money or who had no idea what this would do to the district taxes. As most know, it is easy to get voters cranked up on issues, to buy signs, to beat down doors to get what they think they want. It is difficult to organize the opponents to fight against them as most are older and figure it is a lost cause anyway.

We are stuck with what you have done to us already. The only thing that could be altered in the plans could be to forget about the Performing Arts Center, but I’m sure that would destroy some of the glamour of your great plan for our district.

Many taxpayers in this district are extremely disappointed in your willingness to commit us to the expense we now must endure. You may be able to pay the extra taxes, but you didn’t think of those who are trying to meet expenses on Social Security income or a person who has an hourly income of somewhere between $10 to $15 and making monthly house payments. You never thought about them in your haste to do big things, did you?

Of course, when we say why are we spending all this money for this new construction and we must lay off teachers, we get the response that this money comes out of a different pot. It comes from the same pot, your constituents. You must have a place for funds, when needed, that are there to use for these emergencies. If there are not provisions for this, then you need to change the rules for it rather than going “hell bent” to find a way to spend every cent.

Lee Whaley

Baldwin City


Bloggerboo 8 years, 5 months ago


The rules for which "pot" the money comes from isn't determined by USD 348. It is determined by the state, I believe.

Please stop blaming the administration for doing this to you. Yes, they proposed the plan, and then they presented it to the community. It was the community who voted for it, so you can either thank or condemn your neighbors. The school made a decision about how it could best meet the needs of its students and the community, and the community supported it. So, please lay off the "did you ever think of us"? They gave us all a chance to decide.


K_dub 8 years, 5 months ago

Very nice editorial Officer Neis.

I always enjoy hearing people give credit and thanks to those who aren't expecting it.

Thanks to your department as well for all of the work you do that seems to go unnoticed.

Happy New Year!


Torch 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree with Lee...but Amy Cleavinger is the one who wiped a tear from her eye saying: "it's for the kids".

Sure...the lemmings in Baldwin voted for the mountain of debt we took on - but Dorathy, Cleavinger, and a host of others campaigned hard to get it pushed through.

So, Bloggerboo, they need to accept the responsibility for selling this catastrophe just as they would if it were a great success. Whether we voted for it or was their plan and washing their hands saying: "well, YOU voted for it!" is like a used car salesman saying: "well, YOU signed the contract!" after pawning off a lemon on you.


Julie Craig 8 years, 5 months ago

Blogger - I can see what the frustration is. We as a District are taking on new facilities while we can't afford to pay the employees or maintain the programs already existing.

We are also building new schools and at the same time, debating the closure of existing schools that are well maintained.

Until the State of Kansas gets back on its feet financially, I think it's a good idea to reevaluate what we are doing.


sandman 8 years, 5 months ago

And there’s Blogger……Right on cue. Skipping down the path singing… "Sunshine Lollypops and Rainbows Everything is Wonderful".


hipgrrrrl 8 years, 5 months ago

The applicable point made by Lee Whaley is that without the proposal put forth by the school board, there would have been no proposal to vote on and the hardship(s) noted would not have existed.

Just because something is a current reality doesn't mean that it takes the right away from someone to complain about it, point out difficulties associated with it or just diss it. Perhaps it seems useless and irritating to those who know what's best for all of us, but perhaps those folks "in the know" could exhibit more patience for those of us who feel better after pointing out our dissatisfaction with the current reality. I mean, y'all did win, after all.

Thank you, Chief Neis, for taking the time to note those in our community that went above and beyond what most would have or did do during the blast of weather. How nice! Makes one feel better about living in Baldwin.


Bloggerboo 8 years, 5 months ago

Hipgrrl, Gazoo, Sandman: you've all fallen prey to this common attack on the district. So, let's see, according to Lee, the school was supposed to foresee high gas prices, high utility rates because of so many new homes, and from those things realize that they should just not do what is best for kids...let the kids remain in a too small school, with pests and mold, to boot? Continue to be the only school in the league with no track, and too small ball fields that don't drain properly? Continue to go back on a promise years ago to finally build an auditorium for children and adults who have an interest to practice their craft?

And let's see, the bond cost the average taxpayer what? $20 a month extra? So, all you greedy inglorious basterds would rather not pay an extra $20 a month to buy the C H E A P E S T facilities money could buy? Seriously, look up the cost of the facilities as it has come in way under budget allowing the district to do far more than they originally planned.

I am truly sorry if the extra $20 a month put you over the top and you are now out on your butt in Baldwin. However, please rest assured that the children are better off for it. Much better off, because now maybe we can attract decent teachers, coaches, and professionals to this district instead of watching them all walk away. A better Baldwin City is on its way, trust me.


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