Closing Boys Ranch would be foolish
Why would Sedgwick County consider closing the successful program at the Judge Riddel Boys Ranch (June 3 Eagle)? The potential savings of $1 million to $2 million will be eroded by alternative housing, and the boys who are not helped at the ranch are likely to be added to the prison rolls.
I participated in many budget crises as an employee of a manufacturing company for more than 35 years, and I realize that tough decisions have to be made. However, it is foolish to cut a successful program that might save 0.25 percent of the county’s $412 million budget for 2012.
Eliminate programs that are ineffective and, as an alternative, look at the big budget items and take measures that will distribute the financial pain. In business we knew that when times were tough, everyone had to “tighten his belt” and share in the pain.
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It is equally foolish to discuss needed upgrades to the ranch’s facilities at this time of budget crisis. Revisit that issue when better times return – and they will. The Boys Ranch is a model program that has helped many boys, and the buildings are fine for now.
Doing their job
I witnessed an injury traffic accident Monday morning at the corner of Main and Murdock. I checked on the occupants of the vehicles involved and called emergency responders. The Wichita Fire Department Station No. 1 crew was there in seconds and blocked off the intersection, attempting to protect the scene and all involved.
I was shocked when a Wichita Public Works and Utilities Department employee got out of his city pickup truck, approached one of the firefighters, raised his voice and demanded to know why they had blocked the entire intersection, which caused a delay in his travels. The firefighter, being more concerned with public safety and the possibly injured, continued to do his job.
I wonder if this city employee would have felt the same if he or one of his family members had been involved in the accident. I think that our firefighters and police officers are second to none and serve our community well.
Regarding “Council split on automatic pay increases” (June 3 Local & State): What other job has seen a 164 percent increase in pay since 2001, as the Wichita mayor’s job has? And now, without a vote, Mayor Carl Brewer and City Council members are about to receive a 2.3 percent pay raise.
Two members, Janet Miller and Michael O’Donnell, have refused the raise, but several of the others seem to be all for it. Council member Jeff Longwell stated, “I don’t want to let people think we’re not in recovery mode.” That seems to be assuming that we have recovered economically when, from what I can tell, the city is still millions of dollars in debt and unemployment is still high and shows little sign of improving in the short term.
Council member pay of $34,866 sounds pretty good for a part-time job. They justify the raise by claiming they work hard, and I have no doubt they do. But who doesn’t?
I only wish we all could give ourselves an automatic raise at someone else’s expense.
Gates is great
I am an 85-year-old retired teacher. I want to thank those responsible for honoring former Defense Secretary Robert Gates (May 31 Eagle). He is one of the best men to ever be on any president’s Cabinet.
Not buying hoaxes
In five more months, if Mitt Romney is elected, this grand failed experiment with statism will be over.
I am convinced that those on the left, excluding the useful idiots (and there are many), have adopted Keynesian economics not because they believe it will work but because it allows them to spend wildly and to control the lives of many Americans. The same holds true for the green movement. There are true believers, and then there are those looking for dollars and domination.
Fortunately, enough Americans are not buying these hoaxes that we will turn these folks out on their ears in November.
CAROL KRANTZ WEBB
The new Kansas
Maybe if Kansas were renamed Brownbackville, in honor of its new emperor – er – governor, those outside the state would take notice of what’s going on in the center of the country. It seems we’re known on a national level only for former residents Dorothy and Toto, who were blown out of here.
My Google search has led me to believe the national news media have not yet “gotten wind of” the scary stuff our governor is doing here, including the recent passage of a regressive tax bill. This bill helps businesses, but likely at the cost of drastic cuts to education and programs for the poor, disabled and elderly.
The news item late last year about the young lady who tweeted something unflattering about Gov. Sam Brownback spread across the country like a tornado, so I hope the rest of the country will become aware of the changes railroaded through the Legislature by our governor. In the meantime, many of us are contemplating moving to “fairer” grounds.