Local man files for commission seat
For Tonganoxie resident Ken Rahjes, running for a county commission seat is a way to serve the greater community.
And the 38-year-old father of four believes it's a pivotal time for Leavenworth County.
Rahjes, a Republican, is seeking the Third District seat on the Leavenworth County Commission currently held by Joe Daniels Jr., who is not seeking a second term. Two other candidates -- Republican Dick Brauer, Linwood, and Democrat Jerry Willburn, 20130 Douglas -- have filed for the post. The filing deadline is noon June 10, and the primary election will be Aug. 3, while the general election is set for Nov. 2.
Recent growth in the county necessitates good management, Rahjes said.
"I think that what we've seen in growth in the county is that we do have some challenges, but through those challenges, there are some tremendous opportunities," he said. "One of the main reasons I'm running is to do my part to maintain the quality of life we've come to expect in the county."
Rahjes would like to examine whether to hire a county manager.
"If we look at that, the possibility of finding cost-savings and the possibility of lowering taxes might be there," he said.
And Rahjes, who filed for office by collecting signatures on a petition, said he's discovered that taxes and roads are important to area residents. He said he believes everyone must "share in those growing pains."
"We all want good roads, but sometimes we think it's somebody else's responsibility," Rahjes said.
To increase accessibility to southern Leavenworth County residents, Rahjes would like to maintain office hours at the county annex, which is at Laming Road and U.S. Highway 24-40 in Tonganoxie. In addition, he'd like the county to move more quickly toward making services available on-line.
"Since we do have a lot of folks who commute, let's make governmental services available on-line and convenient when it's convenient to the customer," he said.
Rahjes, who has lived in Tonganoxie for three years, has served for a year on the Tonganoxie Public Library board, and was appointed its treasurer last September. He and his family are members of West Haven Baptist Church.
He currently is completing a bachelor's degree at Kansas State University in Manhattan and is vice president of marketing for Association Resources and Management in Topeka, a firm that provides management and lobbying resources for associations. Previously, Rahjes worked as a radio producer of a nationally syndicated show that centered on agriculture-related issues. He also spent several years as a full-time farmer in his native Phillips County.
Rahjes and his wife, Lori, who live at 314 E. Eighth, have four school-aged children, Will, Grant, Sarah and Matthew.