October 31, 2014

Opinion: Brownlee thanks constituents, supporters

Sen. Karin Brownlee, R-Olathe

Guest Columnist

It has been a privilege and an honor to serve the people of the twenty-third Senate district for the past fourteen years. I am taking this opportunity to say thank you for intrusting this responsibility to me and to communicate some closing thoughts.

I will switch hats on January 10, 2011 from the Kansas Senate to Secretary of the Department of Labor. In this role, I will serve on Governor-elect Sam Brownback’s cabinet in the executive branch. I have prepared for this role in my years as chairperson of the Senate Commerce committee which has oversight for this agency. My goals for leading this agency will be similar to my goals as the state senator for this area: Serve the people in a manner that meets their needs and make decisions that a good steward would make in utilizing taxpayer’s money.

As I look back over the past fourteen years, I am very thankful for the friendships I have developed with the people in Edgerton, Gardner, Olathe, Spring Hill and rural areas of southwest Johnson County. I certainly intend to maintain these relationships and be helpful where I can.

Do I have any regrets over these years of service? There were times I would have liked to respond more quickly or get a hand written note returned to a young person who wrote to tell me they were praying for me. Sometimes there was not enough of me to do everything I wanted to do in responding to constituents. Nonetheless, I tried to give my constituents my best. Possibly one of my favorite things about being a state senator was successfully helping a citizen who was struggling with a state agency.

I have also endeavored to remain true to my principles. What are these principles? They are that government doesn’t know best, the private sector does and we need to have a business and tax climate that is conducive to growing private sector jobs. Another bedrock principle is that human life is precious and worthy of protection. Another principle that was particularly challenging in the past few years was that the state must live within its means just as your household and mine must live within our income.

Again, thank you for the privilege of serving as your state senator. May the Lord bless you and our great state of Kansas.

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