Johnson Countians need leaders who will eagerly tackle crucial issues such as how to improve transit in the sprawling county and to efficiently finance top-flight parks and libraries.
To help meet that challenge, The Star recommends two candidates in the contested nonpartisan County Commission races on the Nov. 6 ballot.
3rd District Steve Klika has provided admirable leadership for the Blue Valley School Districts board of education. Klika helped pare recent budgets without weakening the most important driver in the countys growth K-12 education.
Klika also played a key role in fashioning a visionary and cost-efficient transit plan that could if properly financed meet the needs of the countys growing number of seniors and low-income residents
Opponent Terry Presta, a former state representative from Garden City, sorely lacks Prestas wide-ranging community involvement.
6th District Incumbent Calvin Hayden has performed as promised after his election in 2008.
He held the line on taxes while prodding the county staff to provide services more efficiently in lean times. Hayden has taken seriously the prime roles of commissioners making timely appointments to county boards and taking the time to listen to constituents.
Haydens opponent is John Toplikar, who left little positive imprint during two earlier terms on the commission. He most recently finished third in the race for commission chairman in 2010. In 2008, Hayden defeated Toplikar by 42 votes; the lowlight came when Toplikar was filmed removing two Hayden campaign signs.
Hayden is the clear choice.