Kansas Senate, Third District
What are the top three issues facing the state of Kansas, and how would you address them, if elected?
Quality public education and decreased tax burden. Maintaining a balance between high quality public education and lowering taxes are equally important and interrelated issues. We must work to decrease the tax burden, particularly with respect to the impact on property taxes and we must find ways to distribute funds for public education fairly to the school districts so that all children in the state have the same quality resources available to them. We must find ways to be more efficient in the organization and delivery of education so that funds available can be best used. The burden created by high property taxes hurts persons on fixed incomes. I will work to gradually decrease mill levy and exercise local funding options.
I strongly support economic development and will work to initiate incentives to attract as well as regain small business in northeast Kansas, including agri-business and family farms. Success in education and decreasing the tax burden also are interrelated with economic development. Economic development increases our tax base and a reputation for quality education attracts new business and its employees.
The concerns and agenda of the citizenry of this area need to be addressed when approaching these issues.
Input from Kansans must be sought and differing views weighed before decisions are made that impact on them. This is my agenda.
Should additional state funds be earmarked for the education of Kansas children in K-12? Explain your answer.
It would be great if increased funds could be earmarked for education. But throwing more money in the education budget does not guarantee that we will have quality education. I strongly support emphasizing restructuring the administration, organization and delivery of education, instead of more money. Good teachers are not paid enough, yet too much money is spent on administration, buildings and programs, rather than emphasizing the basic educational values. We need to teach our children to think, to read and to problem solve and, consequently, to become creative and productive citizens.
What unique qualifications would you bring to the job of state senator?
My formal education (12 years post high school) and 44 years of professional involvement in ministry have given me the ability to listen to others, to weigh differing views and to seek input before making decisions. In my 5 1/2 years as Lansing City Council member and three years as council president and mayor pro-tem, I developed a no-nonsense approach to government that allows me to pay attention to all my constituents and gives me an ability to be a strong voice representing their concerns.
What should be done at the state level to handle the effects of growth in northeast Kansas?
Continued commitment to infrastructure, such as the 1999 highway bill, stabilizing the property tax reductions and creating an atmosphere of excellence in education will all contribute to the development economically of northeast Kansas, allowing us to handle the effects of growth here. Planned growth and commitment to making our area a great place to live, raise children and enjoy life are all goals connected to my candidacy.