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Letters to the editor on Visioneering vote, Huelskamp, county debt, Egyptian rights, liberals, Festival of Trees

  • Published Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at 12 a.m.

Letters to the Editor

Include your full name, home address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are edited for clarity and length; 200 words or fewer are best. Letters may be published in any format and become the property of The Eagle.

Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202

E-mail: letters@wichitaeagle.com

Fax: 316-269-6799

For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

Better uses of funds than Visioneering

An editorial criticizing my vote concerning the $40,000 funding for Visioneering ignored an important point (“Roadblocks to progress,” Dec. 2 Eagle Editorial). My vote was for restoring $40,000 in county funds for the Sedgwick County Zoo that had been reduced earlier this year. I believe that this is a higher priority than Visioneering.

The Visioneering folks are one of at least three separate groups that are “planning” this community’s future. I believe that their performance measurements and tracking of goals need to be improved, and they have not provided the data and updates that I had previously sought for their original objectives. This is not a new concern. I have stated this at earlier discussions about Visioneering where I expressed concerns, but I reluctantly went ahead and voted with the majority last year concerning this expenditure.

Two priorities that the Visioneering group said it is now undertaking are improving tourism into our community and bringing visitors downtown. At the Nov. 28 commission meeting, I stated that I would have preferred to allocate the $40,000 in funding into three categories: $25,000 for the zoo and $5,000 to restore some of the funds for the Wichita River Festival that had been cut, leaving $10,000 for Visioneering. This suggestion did not receive a commission vote. I believe that this formula would do more for bringing visitors downtown and enhancing tourism in our county.

KARL PETERJOHN

Sedgwick County commissioner

Wichita

Huelskamp out

Well, it is finally official: Kansas 1st Congressional District Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, is roadkill.

This politician sat himself, obstacle-like, in the middle of the road one too many times. A leading tractor-trailer driver out of the GOP garage gleefully gunned the engine and just squashed him flat. (House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, reportedly removed the uncooperative Huelskamp from the powerful agriculture and budget committees.)

Ah, remember those now long-distant days when Kansas Sen. Robert Dole (formerly Kansas 1st District Rep. Dole), the majority leader of the Senate, was rated by the mainstream news media as the second most powerful man in the free world (right behind the president of the United States).

You know, if one is not interested in governing, and has no earthly idea of how to be a good politician, then he should be thrown out of office. Western Kansas voters: The ball will be in your court again in two years.

NOVELENE ROSS

Wichita

Avoid debt

Sedgwick County Commissioner Richard Ranzau deserves to be commended for trying to get Sedgwick County to pay for the I-235 and Kellogg interchange with cash (Dec. 1 Eagle). His call for fiscal responsibility was a breath of fresh air at a time when governments at all levels just want more debt. Too many governments are in bankruptcy or financial calamity, and I hope the county and city of Wichita can avoid worse debt problems.

Commissioners Ranzau and Karl Peterjohn created a discussion on the commission about paying cash for the project and saving the interest expense. It is always better not to be in debt, and planning wisely is the best way to handle the county’s responsibilities.

JAMES KILPATRICK Jr.

Wichita

Protect rights

If Egypt is going to construct a constitution, it needs to include a bill of rights that limit the power of government on citizens. It needs a set of amendments that would force the will of the majority to respect the liberties of the minorities.

From time to time we all have a view different from the prevailing view of the majority. These views must be respected.

There are plenty of people (some residing in Kansas) who would, given the chance, use government to inflict their will on all of us. If Egypt is ever going to enjoy the virtues of a true democracy, it has to have these rights and a judicial system with which to enforce them. Otherwise, Egyptians will have just elected another dictator, and the suffering from the Arab Spring will be for naught.

MIKE HUBBELL

Kingman

Earned the right

A reader writing a long diatribe against President Obama (“Not a ‘hissy fit,’” Dec. 2 Letters to the Editor) said: “Folks who have served in the military and have worked and paid taxes all their lives have earned the right to wave the flag. What have liberals done?”

Well, this liberal has served in the military and worked and paid taxes until my retirement at age 66. So I guess that means I have earned the right to wave the flag in favor of Obama and his policies that may just save us from the disaster created by the non-liberals.

MARSHA HEPHNER

Arkansas City

Thanks for peek

I attended the sneak peek of Goodwill Industries’ Festival of Trees. It was wonderful.

It was good to see the elderly (like me) and the disabled moving through the decorated Christmas trees and wreaths. There was sufficient room for walkers and wheelchairs and folks helping one another to discover the multitude of beauties.

The trees and wreaths ranged from small to large and traditional to very modern. Variation is one thing humanity is really good at.

BERNY F. ALBRIGHT

Wichita

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