Archive for Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Candidates face off at forum

October 23, 2002

Candidates for the First District seat on the Leavenworth County Commission squared off Saturday during an election forum in Leavenworth.

Incumbent Don Navinsky, a Democrat from Easton, stressed the experience he's gained during the past eight years as a commissioner.

"I believe I have the ability to perform the job," he said.

Republican J.C. Tellefson, who lives in Leavenworth, said it was time for some new blood.

"We have an opportunity now to make a difference with proactive leadership," he said.

The two men both said they believe a county administrator would be beneficial to the workings of the county.

The question of whether the county should create an administrator's position will be on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

While Navinsky said in an interview on Tuesday that he would cut his salary by $10,000 to help finance the administrator's position, Tellefson said that may not be enough.

"I think at least $10,000," he said.

And he believes the county could kick in the money it has budgeted for help with setting the county's budget.

"Last year, they spent $19,000 on budget preparation," he said. "We have to assign that $19,000 to the county administration, and then I think we at least cut $10,000. And there are other places I think we can get a little bit more money."

Navinsky said he would honor what voters decide on the issue.

"I do think the time has come that the county has grown so much that it would be a great assistance to the commissioners (to hire an administrator)," he said.

Although Navinsky said he would take a $10,000 cut, and that was the consensus with the other two commissioners, he said the commission did not take a vote on the matter.

Saturday's forum was sponsored by the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce and the Leavenworth Center of Kansas City Kansas Community College.

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