Archive for Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Letter to the editor: a matter of leadership

March 13, 2002

I laud you for the position that you have taken on the commemorative paperweights that our legislators decided that we, the taxpayers, should buy for them. In this time of severe budget cuts, the purchase is irresponsible, reprehensible and shows a lack of common sense. I was disappointed that you didn't tell what our representative, Kenny Wilk, had to say on the issue. In a story printed in the March 1 edition of the Lawrence Journal-World, our representative was quoted as saying, "If you have a little something to commemorate that (the Statehouse project), I'm hard pressed to see the harm." Since the first order of business this legislative year was to increase the salaries of the legislators, I suggest that he can buy his own souvenir. Was it not Mark Twin who said that man is the only animal that blushes or should?

Rep. Wilk has distinguished himself in this session. His voting record in support of education received a 40 percent approval rate by the Kansas chapter of the National Education Association, an organization of individuals who educate the children of Kansas on a daily basis. He demonstrated his leadership by dismissing a public opinion poll by the Kansas University Policy Research Institute that indicated Kansans would support more tax money to support education and said it would not motivate legislators. By his actions, Kansans and the financial problems in education do not seem to motivate him.

Re. Wilk's voting record on education and his viewpoint on what constitutes an appropriate taxpayer expenditure leads one to question exactly who he is serving: the people of his district or himself? Representation that is concerned more with the trappings of office instead of demonstrating leadership is poor representation indeed. The children and people in this district deserve better.

Craig Phillips,


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