December 18, 2014

Uninformed citizens get government they deserve

With less than a month to go before the April 2 general election, it’s time for voters to get informed. If they haven’t already, voters should be using the next several weeks to acquaint themselves with the candidates that will be on that ballot.
This newspaper, as well as a variety of sources on the Internet and local forums, offer tons of information to potential voters.
In upcoming editions of The Gardner News candidates’ answers to questionnaires will run. There voters will find information about contested races in Gardner and Spring Hill municipalities and contested races for USD 230 and 231 school board.
The Johnson County election Web site, LINK, is also a valuable resource for voters. On that site, voters will find a list of candidates for each office, and in many cases Web addresses for the candidates’ own sites.
For example, all of the candidates for Gardner City Council and mayor maintain websites, blogs or Facebook pages.
On The Gardner News website, www.gardnernews.com, a series of videos introducing the candidates for Gardner council, mayor, and USD 231 school board appears.
In addition to that wealth of information, voters also can find newspaper endorsements and political groups’ endorsements of individual candidates. For example, the Mainstream Coalition and Kansans for Life offer their endorsements to many candidates in a majority of races. We’re certain those aren’t the only large organizations that are likely to offer candidate endorsements that can be found with a few clicks of a button on Google or other Internet search engines.
Voting isn’t simply a right. It’s a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Please take the time to learn about the candidates before casting a ballot on April 2.
Elections have consequences, and an uninformed public gets the government it deserves.

Written by the editorial staff.

Comments

  1. Judith Rogers says:

    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is a Dictator with lots of appointees to do his bidding.

  2. Voters can learn more about my candidacy for USD 231 Board of Education in a couple ways:

    Please visit and click “like” on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BrettLimerForUSD231BoardOfEducation to stay connected to my campaign.

    You can also go to http://www.usd231.info for more information. Thank you for supporting Brett Limer in District 2! :)

  3. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    I think Walter meant April 2. :)

  4. Judith Rogers says:

    The citizens of Gardner have a tremendous problem with the transparency of their CITY GOVERNMENT, SCHOOL DIST., COUNTY, STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS and that came about because citizens have not been doing their jobs for years and not held politicians and bureaucrats accountable for their words, actions, inaction and voting records.

    You get slimy government because citizens are apathetic, uninformed and uneducated on important issues just like many of those in office. Politics are a slimy business and the citizens pay a huge price for what is going on in their government halls of shame. Citizens are going to have to step up to the plate and provide the much needed oversight and regulation – those two things of oversight and regulation are hated by slimy politicians and the thieves – they want to wheel and deal as they please and when they put that stone wall up before you, then you know you are in big trouble.

    One of the biggest problems we have today is that that many of the people who are elected into office do not have the time to do the thorough job that is necessary for good, honest government – they have full time jobs, a spouse and family to serve and many, many outside obligations, stresses, etc. This is where you look for good actual LEADERSHIP skills and someone who has an exceptional moral compass. So many involved in our government entities have totally lost their moral compass and some never had one. Some come to meetings or serve who are too afraid to ask questions on things they do not understand and let their pride and their ego get in the way of actually serving the people as they should. Many a time I have seen elected officials have that deer in the headlights look but they still go on to vote on an issue, budget, etc. and not even begin to understand fully what they are voting for. No question or asking for information is a dumb thing to do – it is dumb to act or vote without full knowledge or information. I ask questions all the time and the politicians and bureaucrats really get their nose out of joint with me but hey, I have learned that’s okay – I learn something every day by asking questions or having an inquisitive mind. Another reason to look for a HUMBLE person to serve – leave your ego and your slimy politics in the trunk of your car.

    One of the greatest detriments to our government today is little, if no involvment by citizens. Important issues are so complex and involved, that it takes a huge amount of time and research to have the knowledge needed to make an informed decision. Leaders are going to have to get citizens involved to provide that time consuming search for the truth and knowledge that is so needed. Citizen committees, panels, investigators, etc., etc. are needed so much and they need to be made up with a true cross section of the citizens of a community with all of their talents, experience, honesty, etc. that they have to offer – we don’t need more political appointments of the same ole cronies and rubber stampers. LEADERS bring about great results involving the people with all of their talents and decency – dictators and moral corruption bring you enslavement to the thieves, high taxes and numerous other adverse affects. Some projects, issues, etc. will need to be broken down into small sections and small groups of citizens working together in numerous groups and then the final recommendations, product or whatever is produced for the needs of ALL in the community. Fairness and equality need to be banners that fly high again. If you come to this community to live, to do business or visit, expect to pay your FULL taxes, same utility costs for ALL entities and don’t be looking for a way to transfer your tax burdens, costs, expenses to others.

    When I hear the candidates speak I continue to hear the same ole rhetoric – citizens need more – they need to be looking for people with true LEADERSHIP SKILLS who realize they can’t do it all by themselves and they have got to bring citizens into WANTING to be a part of their government entities and by feeling their opinions, thoughts, viewpoints are respected and listened to and to bring that about you are going to have to put an END to cronyism government and slimy politics. Not an easy task – you don’t want to be just looking at to what Olathe, Overland Park or any other city of state is doing – DO WHAT IS RIGHT AND DECENT FOR YOUR COMMUNITY AND THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE.

  5. Judith Rogers says:

    This from the Kansas Watchdog………..those Red State Republicans will never help citizens with respect to Open Records requests or making sure Open Meetings Act is enforced – that is my opinion. It is important to know the words, actions, inaction and voting records of candidates for office.

    ***************************************************************

    It’s naked breasts vs. open records, so guess what

    PAPERWORK: Despite being introduced even before the start of the legislative session, Sen. Jake LaTurner’s bill regulating fees for open records still has yet to receive a hearing.

    The legislative session is half over, and so far lawmakers have discussed bills that tell strippers to cover up and allow politicians to accept thousands of dollars in undocumented gifts.

    But a bill to dramatically increase the public’s access to its own records has, so far, languished.

    Guess it’s just not as sexy as HB 2054, which would ban lap dances and bare breasts in strip clubs. Or, it simply doesn’t have the appeal of changing the reporting threshold for gifts to state lawmakers from lobbyists; HB 2314 increases perks and shrouds some gifts in secrecy.

    The open records bill, SB10, was penned by freshman Sen. Jake LaTurner, R-Pittsburg, and would usher in a number of sweeping changes to the Kansas Open Records Act and the Kansas Open Meetings Act.

    In addition to requiring public bodies to record minutes during meetings, the bill would limit records fees to no more than 25 cents per page and prevent public agencies from charging for staff time to fill an open records request.

    “Right now, virtually anything can be charged for staff time,” LaTurner said, citing examples where he thought constituents were overcharged for access to public records.

    Kansas Watchdog learned first-hand how excessive staff fees could potentially close off access to public documents. Watchdog asked for welfare transaction records, which the Kansas Department for Children and Families said would cost $406 to provide.

    LaTurner’s bill was submitted before the session began. Question is, why would such a measure go untouched ?

    Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer, R-Grinnell, suggested Senate leaders could be to blame.

    Ostmeyer, who chairs the Federal and State Affairs committee, said he was puzzled when Senate President Susan Wagle sent the bill his way, instead of the Ethics, Elections and Local Government committee. Ostmeyer said he told LaTurner he could “go ahead and introduce it (the bill), but I don’t think it’s going to see much daylight in this committee.”

    Ostmeyer said he hasn’t received a specific request for a hearing on the legislation.

    “I guess maybe leadership isn’t interested in it either,” Ostmeyer added.

    Wagle, R-Wichita, said that isn’t the case, and she called for further discussion of SB10.

    State Senate President Susan Wagle
    “I looked at it (the bill) and I thought it was a good proposal, I’d like to hear what both sides have to say about

    it,” Wagle said, noting she sent the bill to federal and state affairs because LaTurner holds a seat on the committee, and thought it would be more likely to pass there.

    Sen. Tom Hawk, D-Manhattan, has been a skeptic of LaTurner’s bill from the start. While he’s quick to temper his criticism with his support for open records law, he fears that by eliminating staff fees small public agencies would be overrun with time-consuming, impractical open records requests.

    “I just want to be careful we’re not too reactive that we could create some other problem for a state agency,” Hawk said.

    State Sen. Tom Hawk
    However, it’s a concern already addressed in state statute. LaTurner’s bill doesn’t alter K.S.A. 45-218, which allows agencies to refuse any request “intended to disrupt other essential functions of the public agency.”

    LaTurner said the federal and state committee is “exempt” from standard bill deadlines, meaning SB10 isn’t subject to the March 1 deadline. The senator remains confident his bill will receive a committee hearing.

    “I think that the message is starting to get across, this is pretty popular with the people of Kansas and something needs to be done,” LaTurner said.

    **********************************************************************

    P.S. What happened to Walter’s posting???

  6. Blazer14 says:

    I’m guessing the headline of this article should be “Uninformed Citizens” rather than “Uniformed Citizens”…….

  7. Charlie K says:

    I too thought this article was going to be about citizens in uniforms lol.

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