Archive for Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Letters to the editor:

Improve existing roads first; Citizen of the year selection; Views on city government; Official county newspaper; Congressional reform would help

February 15, 2006

Improve existing roads first

To the editor:
Progress-at whose expense?

In reference to access to the turnpike, I feel that most people of the city of Tonganoxie and most people of Leavenworth County are probably in favor of progress and development. However, the residents who do live here and have lived here for a long time, should be considered first for the improvement of the streets in the city and the roads in the county. Many of the roads in the county have not been improved in the last 25 to 30 years, and the population and the travel on those roads have greatly increased.

So it is my feeling that we should improve the streets of Tonganoxie and the roads in Leavenworth County rather than promote development regarding the turnpike exit. In the event that the connection to the turnpike and the development does occur and generates revenue, then there should be a promise that the first monies received should be used to improve city streets and county roads.

George Warren,
Tonganoxie.

Citizen of the year selection

To the editor:

I would like to comment on the article in last week's paper on the citizen of the year.

As a soldier and civilian at Fort Riley, I find it interesting that a civilian should be recognized as the Citizen of the Year for Tonganoxie.

I understand Miss Boatwright is a celebrity. I am curious how she could be chosen over a soldier who gave his life in support of the country. Spc. Lucas Frantz seems like the better candidate. He gave his life to support and defend the constitution of the United States. He was instrumental in helping a struggling democracy form to take over the roll in providing freedom of speech.

The problem I see stems from the ability to make a difference in this world. Miss Boatwright is a wonderful celebrity, yet what has she done to make a difference in the country. Winning a beauty pageant and a television show is commendable, yet I wonder if more is needed.

Lance Sheldon,
Manhattan, Kan.

Views on city government

To the editor:

As Tonganoxie continues to grow, we need a government that can concentrate on political issues, which are crucial to our future. It is only logical that part-time leaders cannot adequately perform all the duties necessary in running our city government. We need a structure that will ensure accountability, efficiency and due process.

The chain-of-command should read from the top: mayor, city council, city administrator, department director or chief, supervisors, standard employee.

Director or chiefs should be responsible for their employees and departmental functions and be accountable to the administrator. The city administrator would act as a human resource director over all departmental entities and report all departmental information (with the exception of personnel matters) to the council and mayor. In the event of a dispute, the city council and mayor could act as a quasi-judicial appellate body, by ensuring a fair and unbiased appeal hearing.

The city administrator should also be responsible for the day-to-day duties which include (but are not limited to): all communication and mail, departmental reports, maintaining the budget, any other reporting or tasks the city council and/or mayor deems necessary in order for them to make well-informed decisions. Basically the administrator and department leaders do the work and report such, and our elected leaders perform the policy and decision-making.

If the council and mayor can trust the administrator to perform his/her job function and rely on the myriad reports and information given to them, the council and mayor can review all the information, take any action necessary and actually focus on the political issues that voted them into office. A solid structure is imperative for our city's efficiency and accountability. Tonganoxie's growth and our future depend on it.

Twen Barton,
Tonganoxie.

Official county newspaper

To the editor:

I have many friends in Leavenworth/Lansingho are going to be very pleased that the Tonganoxie Mirror is the county newspaper.

I haven't read the "Times staff's self-serving news and opinion columns about their newspaper's loss of official county newspaper status." However, I've heardountless complaints regarding their bias andnaccuracies.

Subscriptionso The Mirror should increase. Your offer topost all Leavenworth County public notices to the Web sites of The Mirror, the Lansing Current and the Basehor Sentinel newspapers, thus giving wide and convenient dissemination to all county residents, no matter where in the world they live, even without the cost of a subscription" is an extra bonus.

Leavenworth Times' Web site isxtremely inadequate.

The Tonganoxie Mirror is a high-quality newspaper -- andeb site.

Congratulations!

Beverly Muzzy,
McLouth.

Congressional reform would help

To the editor:

Recent editorials have identified some of the many problems with Congress. While these editorials are long on rhetoric about special interests, earmarking, K Street lobbyists, etc., they all lack any workable solutions. An innovative approach proposed by DownsizeDC.org is the "Read the Bills Act."

Under RTBA, every senator and representative would be required to attend sessions where bills would be read to them in their entirety. If RTBA were to come to a vote, it would be political suicide to vote against it because any member of Congress doing so would be taking the position that they don't want to know what they are voting on.

Imagine how concise bills would then become. Huge omnibus bills would likely become a thing of the past (who would want to listen while 1,000-plus pages are read to them?). And if bills containing earmarks and special-interest concessions were exposed to the light of day, it's less likely that they would be passed as well. Perhaps then we would truly no longer have "legislation without representation."

Melanie Marshall,
Leavenworth.

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