The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 8, 1986 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, January 8, 1986
Page 9
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Local/Kansas The Salina Journal Wednesday, January 8,1986 Page 3 Former Lindsborg man named to Carlin's cabinet TOPEKA (AP) - Marvin A. "Mike" Harder, secretary of administration since October 1983, resigned Tuesday from Gov. John Carlin's cabinet. State budget director Alden Shields, formerly of Lindsborg, was named to the post. Carlin announced that Harder, a former administrative assistant to the late Gov. Robert Docking, would step down effective Jan. 17. Harder will return to the position of director of the .Capitol Complex Center,! iwhich he held before loin- ing Carlin's staff. ; Reports had surfaced in the Statehouse that ;Harder had become disenchanted with his •position and had planned to resign his post in April or May. But Carlin apparently preferred to expedite the change so he could give Shields a full year'as a cabinet-level agency director. Gary Stotts, chief budget analyst for Shields, will be appointed acting budget director in Shields' absence. Carlin praised Harder's work. "Mike Harder has served my administration and the people of Kansas well for the past two years," Carlin said. "I believe that our state has benefitted through Mike's wide range of experience both in government and in education." Harder, 64, was a political science professor at the University of Kansas before his appointment to Carlin's cabinet in October 1983 to replace Patrick Hurley. Harder has taught political science at KU's Capitol Complex Center in Topeka since 1974. Before that, he was a political science professor at Wichita State University. "Governor Carlin released me from my commitment to stay through the end of his term," Harder said. "I want to get back to teaching and this seemed like a good time to leave, although it's been a very rewarding experience." Harder was appointed an assistant in education to Docking in December 1967 and served during the legislative sessions in 196872. In 1971, Docking named Harder his special assistant for policy review and coordination, which made him responsible for formulating the governor's budget and legislative programs. He remained a political science professor at Wichita State during those years before moving to KU in May 1974 where he became director of a program of graduate public administration for state employees in Topeka. Although he generally enjoyed his stint in the cabinet, Harder said there were some frustrations. "I've had some days that were no fun and some sleepless nights," he said. "We have a Sperry Univac computer running at 99 percent capacity with no backups. I envision a scenario where it goes down on a day when paychecks are due, welfare checks must go out and payments to vendors and we can't do a thing." His inability to win legislative approval to develop a new computer system was a major frustration, but overall Harder said he'd gained valuable experience that he will put to use in the classroom. "Being in government, I've been able to be a participant-observer," he said. "This is like a lab experiment. Now I want to take advantage of this experience. I know it will make me a better professor." Harder, who is the nephew of state Sen. Joseph Harder, R-Moundridge, also served as Democratic State Party chairman in 195455 and was a delegate to the Democratic national conventions in 1956 and 1964. Shields, 42, is a native of Lindsborg and a graduate of Bethany College who was appointed as budget director in September 1984 to replace Lynn Muchmore, who was fired by Carlin. His salary as secretary of administration will be $63,108. A Republican, Shields was city manager in his hometown in 1977-81 when he became state budget director in Missouri. A year later he was named an aide to Missouri Gov. Christopher Bond, a position he held until November 1984. City moves closer to flood program D.E. Watson takes a look at the Great Plains Building, which he is attempting to rescue from the wrecking ball. Scott Wllllami Judge dismisses suit to save building By GORDON D. FIEDLER Jr. Staff Writer City planning commissioners Tuesday sent to the city commission a draft of a flood plain management ordinance, that, if passed, would enter Salina into the regular phase of the National Flood Insurance Program. The 13-page ordinance is based on a model document supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is in charge of administering the national flood insurance program. The ordinance drew some criticism from a handful of citizens, most of whom live north of the levee along North Fifth. The area is outside the city's flood protection levee and therefore is subject to serious flooding, according to the emergency management agency. The residents objected to the section of the ordinance that would prohibit them from rebuilding their homes if they suffered more than 50 percent damage in a flood or other natural disaster. "We should have the right to put (a house) back," said county resident Max Morgan, who was speaking on behalf of a North Fifth resident. Under the regulations, if approved, homes and other structures located in "flood ways" that are substantially damaged can't be rebuilt. City Planner Keith Rawlings said, however, there are exceptions. The owner could rebuild if the design of the structure was changed to lessen the risk of flooding, such as elevating By CAROL LICHTI Staff Writer A Salina attorney says he won't give up his battle to save a downtown building marked for extinction. D.E. Watson on Tuesday lost one round in the fight when District Court Judge David Knudson dismissed Watson's lawsuit that sought to prevent the razing of the Great Plains Building, 119 S. Seventh. The building houses Watson's office. The city wants to demolish the building to make room for off-street parking as part of a downtown renovation project. Despite the setback, Watson plans to keep fighting- ; , "I don't intend to quit," Watson said. "I'm not • going to take it sitting down." ' • Knudson also denied a request for a temporary ; injunction to halt the condemnation process. Watson, 80, contended at a Monday court hearing that condemning the building was unconstitu- '. tional and that the property was being acquired for ' private, rather than public, use. The parking lot would be built for downtown merchants, not the public, he said. Knudson, however, ruled that under state law the taking of private property for off-street parking constitutes public use. He also ruled that under the lease agreement, Watson has no real interest in the condemnation proceeding or award. Watson, however, said: "I do have the right to appeal." Watson said would consider other legal options to prevent his forced move from the office he has occupied since 1982. "It is a strategically located, sturdy, well-built, appropriate office building," he said. "I don't know why they want to tear down a sturdy building." The building, constructed in 1920, is one of five downtown properties that the city has filed condemnation suits against as the next step in the $6.5 million plan to revitalize the downtown business district. The property is being acquired to make room for 290 to 350 parking spaces, construction of arcades and crosswalks and other improvements. "They just can't destroy buildings or businesses and in the next breath say they are trying to (improve) downtown," Watson said. If more parking spaces were needed downtown, he said, the city should construct multiple-story parking areas on existing lots, which would make room for more businesses. Although construction of a multi-level parking lot would be expensive, it would not be substantially more than the cost of demolishing the Great Plains Building and providing a new parking lot, he said. "It's a plain waste," Watson said. Watson attended three commission meetings to protest the razing plans. "I'm not for tearing down any building," he said. Instead, he favors refurbishing or renovation. The building would be full of tenants, he said, if it were not for publicity about the structure's fate. People have not moved in because of the fear they would have to move back out, he said. If the building can be saved from the wrecking ball,' 'it would be here when buildings next to it are gone," Watson said. Carlin wrestles with state funding problems Carlin proposes altering pension plan TOPEKA (AP) - Gov. John Carlin proposed Tuesday the state totally fund the state employee pension plan in lieu of giving cost-of-living salary increases this year — but only if the 1986 Legislature approves a tax increase. It's been estimated that a 1-cent hike in the state sales tax would generate $190 million. Of that amount, $46.3 million would be used so state employees would not have to contribute to their pension plan. Carlin said at his weekly news conference that "year in, and year but," education remains a "critical" issue in Kansas. "In 1986, education is the cornerstone issue to a broad discussion regarding the future development of the Kansas economy." To build on that cornerstone, Carlin has proposed increasing the current 3 percent state sales tax to 4 percent. The money would be used for a variety of programs. He said Kansas is in danger of losing its fight with other states to keep its best and brightest at home. He called it a "battle of the minds." "Unless the Legislature realizes it cannot again shortchange education to avoid making tough decisions, Kansas is going to lose that battle," he said. "We must invest in our schools or admit defeat." On Tuesday, he unveiled how education would benefit from the sales tax, with details of spending for each of the six regent universities and for elementary and high schools. There would be no cost-of-living salary increases for any state employee, teacher, university professor or faculty or judicial personnel under the plan. Instead, the governor proposed the state fully fund the employees' pension program, which he said was equal to giving a 4 percent to 5 percent salary increase. "This proposal would significantly improve the fringe benefit package for state employees," Carlin said. In comparison, Carlin said if that same money were put into salary increases, employees would get only about a 3 percent hike. "There's a tax benefit factor, a take-home pay factor and the fact this is a permanent improvement in the fringe package," he said. "To accomplish a 4 percent or 5 percent cost-of-living increase, it would take a lot more money." Lottery, pari-mutuel betting are endorsed TOPEKA (AP) -Gov. John Carlin on Tuesday endorsed proposals in a recently released statewide economic development report and said a state lottery and pari-mutuel betting could help pay for some of the recommended programs. The University of Kansas Institute for Public Policy and Business Research released the report Monday, which included more than 30 proposals to enhance the state's economic future, including tax breaks for businesses and the creation of a new legislative committee. During a news conference Tuesday, Carlin said he "wholeheartedly" backed findings in the report and that he basically supports its recommendations. The report, which also was presented to House Speaker Mike Hayden and Senate President Robert Talkington, said the state's economy was in a state of transition and said the state must invest economic development programs. Recommendations in the report included: • Creation of a Kansas Science and Technology Authority to operate several economic development programs, including new ones designed to help "new and innovative" businesses and to finance the development of "high-risk ventures." • Formation of a task force on agriculture development and marketing. • A sales tax exemption on manufacturing equipment and on computers used in business for Kansas firms. • An income tax credit for business-related research and development expenses. • Support for the so-called classification amendment to the state constitution, which would phase out property taxes on inventories. • Creation of a joint legislative committee on economic development or separate House and Senate committees. • Establishment of a state community development block grant program. The federal government has such a program for providing money to communities for improvements and industrial parks. Carlin told reporters that a state lottery and pari-mutuel betting could produce revenue to pay for economic development programs such as the ones listed in the report. the structure, or by receiving a variance. Flood ways are those areas necessary to carry stream and river flows during a heavy rainfall that might be expected every 100 years, and because those areas pose the most flooding risk the emergency management agency would require higher flood insurance premiums. Realtor Alice Denning, who represented the Salina Board of Realtors during hearings on the flood insurance program, asked that the language in parts of the document more accurately reflect local flooding conditions. Denning was most critical of the description of Salina as being "subject to inundation which results in loss of life and property, health, and safety hazards, disruption of commerce and governmental services, extraordinary public expenditure for flood protection and relief, and impairment of the tax base." She said such wording did not reflect Salina's infrequent bout with storm runoff. "This overstates the situation in Salina," she said. "We (the real estate community) feel admitting to such a situation is not good policy." The city commission could receive the ordinance as early as Monday. The Federal Emergency Management Agency wants the ordinance by Feb. 5. Failure by the city to adopt the ordinance would result in sanctions against the city, such as loss of federal money for disaster relief. Briefly Training session set for tutors The Little House Adult Learning Center has scheduled three sessions this spring to train volunteer tutors for its adult literacy program. The sessions will be from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Friday, and from9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 7 and March 7. Volunteers must complete all sessions before becoming tutors. For more information call Dorothy Carmichael, program coordinator, or DorisAnn Brinegar, director, at Little House, 825-8402. Little House is open from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 9 to noon Saturday. Hess pleads guilty to embezzlement OLATHE (AP) — Former state Sen. Paul Hess, who fled the United States in November with his three young children, pleaded guilty Tuesday to embezzling $14,587 of an insurance settlement intended for two clients. Under a plea agreement, Hess will surrender his law license and make restitution of not less than $20,000 to Dorothy Emery and her son Randall, who had retained him as their attorney in February 1985 when Randall was injured in a car accident. Hess, a three-term senator who once was considered a rising star in Kansas politics, had been accused of embezzling a $25,000 insurance settlement. An additional count of felony theft was dropped as part of the plea agreement. Spring classes to start at CCCC CONCORDIA — Classes for the spring semester at Cloud County Community College are to begin Tuesday. Registration for freshmen will be from 9 a.m. to noon Monday. Sophomores will register from 1 to 4 p.m. KWEvening College dates set Registration for Kansas Wesleyan Evening College spring courses begins Feb. 4. Registration is in Pioneer Hall from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Special evening registration will be Jan. 30 from 5 to 7:30. For more information, call 827-5541, ext. 213. Citizens school group to meet MARQUETTE — Citizens for Community Schools will meet at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Marquette School gymnasium. The group's legislative committee will report on plans to testify on behalf of a school closing bill that is to be introduced by Rep. Robin Leach, D-Linwood, and Rep. LeRoy Fry, D-Little River. The bill is an attempt to resist consolidation of rural schools by giving voters served by the school the final say on whether that school should be closed. Current state law requires only that the majority of voters in a school district approve a school closing, regardless of whether their children attend that school. For more information, telephone president Richard Reeves, Dor- ranee, at 913-666-4342; vice president Jeff Coatney, Linwood, at 913-7233201; treasurer Steve Piper, Marquette, at 913-546-2390; or secretary Carol Dauer.Brookville, at 913-225-6703. .

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