Letters to the Editor

Letters on budget-bleeding Kansas, privatizing custodians, guns, public service

State is once again ‘Bleeding Kansas’

It is often said that history is prone to repeat itself. From Kansas history we hear tales of a gang of raiders in our state that caused us to be known as “Bleeding Kansas.” Once again, Kansas finds itself “bleeding,” this time because of the poor financial management by our governor and our Legislature.

We have a leader who puts a failed tax policy ahead of the welfare of the citizens of Kansas, and a Legislature that seems to lack the good judgment to make the necessary decisions and act for the benefit of constituents. We have the “raiding” of highway funds, education funding, adequate funding for health services, and Kansas pension funds, to name just a few. And taxes were raised on citizens to pay for the monies lost by this refusal to do what is right for Kansas citizens.

Kansas is no longer a “sun is shining” state. It is time to resurrect our old nickname. We are once again “Bleeding Kansas,” because of a lack of responsible leadership and financial management that threatens the welfare and safety of Kansans.

In the coming elections, Kansans need to elect new representatives willing to work for the restoration of financial balance and security for our state.

Leslie Plunk, Wichita

‘No’ to privatization

Regarding the Wichita school district possibly privatizing it custodial personnel: Traditionally, custodial and other ministry personnel have been a vital support for the positive outcome of a service organization. They were tied to the whole venture by their salaries, benefits and sense of belonging. Workers knew that their contribution was part of the success of the organization.

Who stands to lose out in privatization? The parent organization is no longer accountable for salaries, days off, seniority and even place of work. At the same time, the ties that gave workers pride in the ministry outcome is somewhat weakened. The privatizing group makes money. The workers may suffer from lack of seniority status and attention to their basic needs, both in salary and benefits. They are no longer sure that they are a vital part of the parent ministry.

In some places that have privatized services, the work has been less acceptable. In the case of privatization of detention centers, the services provided were far from sufficient.

Also, a pathway for workers to move from lower class to middle class is not there, because incentives and benefits formerly supplied, such as certain holidays, are eliminated. Workers’ vitality is compromised.

Use every means to support this issue of justice for workers. Churches and individuals are asked to stand for workers on this present consideration.

Sister Dorothy LeBlanc, Wichita

Don’t blame guns

As of April 20, more than 1,000 people in Chicago had been shot this year. That is a mind-numbing, heartbreaking statistic.

I do not know all of the facts, but I would wager that very few of those shootings involved honest, hardworking people, and even fewer involved members of the vilified National Rifle Association. I would also bet that none of those guns jumped out of a closet and shot someone by itself.

That doesn’t matter to certain people, who feel that firearms are inherently evil.

Evil does exist. When children are born into situations of hopelessness, a culture is created that places little value on human life. That’s the problem. That’s the evil.

Our next president will likely fill several positions on the Supreme Court. Those judges will again be asked to interpret the Second Amendment. Hillary Clinton believes that certain gun bans are the solution, and her nominees will feel the same way.

Unfortunately, even if all guns are removed from the law-abiding, the evil will still exist. And, you can bet, the evil will still have guns.

Steve Fowler, Wichita

Career of service

The first week in May is Public Service Recognition Week. It honors individuals who have committed their professional lives to improving the quality of life of their fellow citizens.

When public employees are doing their jobs well, we don’t notice. We take for granted that water will come out of the faucet when we turn on that tap and that the water will be safe to drink; that the ambulance or fire truck will come quickly when we call 911; that traffic lights will work; that birth, death and marriage certificates will be accurate; that playground equipment will be safe for our children and grandchildren; that teachers will be competent to instruct the next generation of workers; that epidemics of contagious and infectious diseases can be contained; that criminals will be arrested, tried and incarcerated; that the court system will be impartial and efficient; that nursing homes and foster homes will be safe for our most vulnerable citizens.

Every society needs both public- and private-sector workers to produce the goods and services that meet our basic needs and satisfy our human wants. We rely on them to do their jobs, to show up every day ready to serve. They deserve our gratitude. A simple “thank you” can mean a lot.

I hope that future generations will recognize the rewards inherent in pursuing public service careers that help improve quality of life and build communities that are prosperous, livable and enjoyable.

Nancy McCarthy Snyder, Wichita

Director, Wichita State University Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs

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