Letters to the Editor

Letters on County Commission, supply and demand, farmland tax, Dempsey, cowboy boots at graduation

Expect better from commissioners

Every Wednesday I dread listening to the local evening news to find out what new steps our Sedgwick County Commission has taken to move away from being a progressive, high-quality county.

In fairness to two excellent county commissioners, Dave Unruh and Tim Norton, this activity is only happening because of the addition of Jim Howell to the commission. That now puts “the big three” in the majority on most issues. I had high hopes Howell would have his own thought process and some common sense to not always vote with Karl Peterjohn and Richard Ranzau, who have displayed ultraconservative ways since they were first elected to the commission.

It must be very disheartening to Unruh and Norton to see many of the great things they helped put in place for the county now being dismantled by Peterjohn, Ranzau and Howell. The latest regressive act by the commission – to terminate the agreement with the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (May 21 Local & State) – was another example of poor judgment that we’ve grown to expect out of this new majority .

It seems clear they are only practicing their own ideology and not listening to the people. I know that seems to be the popular way to operate for most politicians in Washington, D.C., and in Topeka, but surely we are better than that here in our own hometown.



Not leading

I respectfully requested that the non-leading Sedgwick County commissioners resign. They are not leading and, thus, not doing their job. They don’t deserve the $85,000 each is paid.



Demand needed

Americans were trying not to purchase gasoline before the prices fell, because their buying power has eroded over the past 30 years due to the loss of manufacturing, killing of unions, offshoring and even cutting of benefits (“Cheaper oil fails to boost U.S. economy,” May 21 Business Today). They have flatlining paychecks.

Yes, the stock market is at all-time highs, and the wealthy and upper middle class are living in something like a parallel universe. What has largely affected the lower classes is starting to cut into the white-collar jobs of America.

Meanwhile, our Legislature and governor continue to push supply-side economics, even though these policies have only led to pain since the 1980s. Kansans are beginning to wake up and realize that for free-market logic to work, individuals must have disposable income. These policies, which seem to always believe in trickle-down economics, are now affecting more of the upper middle class.

It is encouraging that companies such as Wal-Mart have decided to raise wages across the board. There are two sides to the supply-side coin, the other side being demand. Until those in positions of influence understand this, we will continue to have at best a sputtering economy.



Doing harm

Sen. Jeff Melcher, R-Leawood, as part of the tax plan to balance the self-inflicted budget crisis in Kansas, wants to impose a $3-an-acre excise tax on agricultural land in Kansas (“Senate postpones debate on newest tax plan a week,” May 22 Eagle). I wonder if Melcher has ever been on a farm.

Property taxes in Kansas are already high. Such a tax increase on our upland, unimproved Butler County farm, which has been in the family for six generations, would mean a third of the rental income would go to property taxes.

What Kansas needs instead is for voters to excise a bunch of these irresponsible legislators in the next election before they do more harm.



Appreciate general

Gen. Martin Dempsey has served the United States for more than 40 years. During his time as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he maintained a perfect balance between pressure to deploy the troops and consideration for their safety.

He deserves our appreciation.



Taxing donations?

I made a purchase at a local Wal-Mart last week. At checkout the clerk asked me if I wished to make a contribution to the Children’s Miracle Network, and I agreed. I didn’t think anything about it until I looked at my register receipt when I got home.

I was charged sales tax on my purchase plus my donation. Was this an error in register programming on Wal-Mart’s part? Or has the governor sunk to a new low trying to fill the budget gap by taxing charitable donations?


Bel Aire

Out of touch

When did Cheney High School become so out of touch with its traditions and roots? School officials deemed cowboy boots to be unacceptable attire for the boys to wear at their own graduation ceremony.

This is a public school in a rural Kansas community. Do administrators not understand that cowboy boots are a part of a culture and way of life that many of us hold near and dear?

I understand that they probably don’t want boys to show up in their work boots with mud and manure on them. But I see absolutely nothing wrong with them wearing their nice dress boots to this occasion. Has this school become so out of touch that officials have to mandate to the patrons what they deem to be appropriate?

Parents and students have rights, too.



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