A majority of the Johnson County Commission voted to not renew my contract as Johnson County manager, effective Dec. 31. I’m told the majority wants a more fiscally and socially conservative direction, imposing more oversight over county operations and adopting a more laissez-faire attitude toward regulation. Although this direction runs somewhat contrary to the county charter, I respect it.
I want to thank county residents and the more than 4,000 employees I’ve served with these past 16 years. Together, we steered the community through the recession, reducing staffing by 12 percent and ongoing expenses by $47 million. We added libraries and parks and the Arts and Heritage Center, passed a sales tax to replace the courthouse and medical examiner facility, and planned for the new Tomahawk wastewater facility. We maintained AAA bond ratings and the lowest county mill levy in Kansas.
I am proud of the culture of our organization: dedicated to public service, striving for constant improvement and living the Athenian oath to leave this community better than we found it.
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My hope is that I can express my passion and talents to help this region and county prosper in some other capacity come Dec. 31. Thank you for the privilege to serve. For my entire letter, see
What if …
I just can’t help but wonder if the Chiefs had shown respect for our flag, our country, our veterans who gave their lives for us, their fans and themselves — would they have been more successful, making everyone proud?
If nothing else, setting an example to people of all ages would not have been a bad thing. There’s not much hope in Kansas City for playing in the Super Bowl.
A lost cause
I have come to the conclusion that running and getting elected is the noblest of professions, set with the lowest bar possible. We have elected Donald Trump as president, and he has put that bar about as low as it can go.
Eric Greitens comes in as an ex-Navy SEAL with a gun, and he gets elected. He has followed Trump’s example with dark money and excuses to maintain secrecy. Kansas has Kris Kobach. Need I say more?
To our precious elected officials, transparency is a nice word that means nothing. When you don’t vote, people of dubious nature get elected. Mike Cierpiot and his backers spent nearly $1 million to Hillary Shields’ $48,000, and barely won the Missouri state Senate seat. It was money, not Republican values.
On and on it goes, with tons of verbiage but no action. Term limits are an alternative, but with those currently in power, this will never happen.
I have also come to the conclusion we need to get rid of both parties. They are as crooked as those who are elected. When you don’t vote, this is what we all get — and probably deserve.
Hit the brakes
Perhaps Congress and the president should put on hold new legislation until all their issues of alleged sexual misconduct, collusion with the Russians, false statements and insults have been cleared up.
We are not going to get to the heart of what is good nor bad within the country as long as all of this swirls about us.
Cross it out
It might surprise many Kansas voters to learn that Kansas pays for a voter-registration list maintenance program for 27 states. This system, Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck, is so vulnerable that its database of 100 million Americans’ voter records could be hacked by a novice, according to technology website Gizmodo.
After learning this, the Kansas secretary of state is reportedly reviewing data security issues and pledging to fix them.
Counterproposal: Kansas should end Crosscheck. Member states should instead join the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC.
Why consolidate around ERIC rather than Crosscheck? ERIC, paid for by a cost-sharing agreement among member states, is secure, effective and run by a bipartisan board of 12. By contrast, Crosscheck is inaccurate, insecure and wasteful, risks denying Americans their right to vote, and lacks oversight.
Crosscheck is run by a single, partisan state, which opens the door to politicization. In the event of a data breach, Kansas taxpayers would likely be on the hook for the cost to remediate.
Kansas tax dollars should not be used to run, fix or protect this flawed, unnecessary program. Kansas should end Crosscheck and join ERIC.