The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 21, 1986 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, January 21, 1986
Page 3
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Local/Kansas The Salina Journal Tuesday, January 21,1986 Page 3 Reappraisal takes off; no one knows the full cost ByFREDJOHNSON Harris News Service A statewide reappraisal of real estate finally has taken to wing but no one is ready to say how much the journey will cost. Aerial photographers are flying over and across the state, taking the photographs that will become the basis for maps of every piece of property in all 105 counties. As the work is finished, negatives will be sent from the Property Valuation Division of the state Revenue Department to the counties, which will begin mapping and appraising. The 1985 Legislature ordered a statewide, computer-assisted reappraisal and gave the counties until Jan. 1, 1989, to finish the task. The Legislature also committed the state to picking up some of the cost although it stopped short of guar- anteeing any specific portion of the tab. Just how large a bill the counties will run up before the job is completed is uncertain. But county officials, facing the loss of federal revenue sharing funds after the third quarter of this year, want the state's contribution to be substantial. Bev Bradley, legislative coordinator for the Kansas Association of Counties and a member of the Property Valuation Division's reappraisal advisory committee, says the counties' association has recommended the state pay 75 percent of the cost. Gov. John Carlin's proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, however, calls for a 50-50 split is fair. Carlin slipped $8 million into the fiscal '87 budget for reappraisal and said he thought like amounts should Farm organizations oppose Carlin plan TOPEKA (AP) - Farm group opposition to Gov. John Carlin's executive order reorganizing the state Board of Agriculture is growing. The Committee of Kansas Farm Organizations, a coalition of 19 Kansas farm groups, issued a statement saying it unanimously opposes the executive order, which takes effect within 60 days of last week's opening of the Legislature unless one house or the other rejects it by adopting a resolution. House Speaker Mike Hayden has said there is substantial opposition in his body, but some observers say the opposition is not as strong to the proposed change as in past years. Governors of both political parties have suggested the same change for nearly seven decades, the last being Republican Gov. Robert F. Bennett a decade ago. Carlin, a Democrat, proposes to strip the Board of Agriculture of the power it has had for more than a century and make it only advisory to the state agriculture secretary. The board now is elected by farm organizations who send delegates to an annual state agriculture meeting in Topeka. Carlin also proposes to have future governors appoint the state agriculture secretary and make it a cabinet-level position, rather than have the secretary elected by the Board of Agriculture. "We have grave concerns with making the post of secretary of the state Board of Agriculture a gubernatorial appointment, as well as making the state board a policymaking group for the proposed cabinet level agency," said Nancy Kantola, president of the coalition of farm groups. "Under the current Board of Agriculture, farm groups have much- needed representation and input into the board's actions and responsibilities. This system has worked well for Kansas agriculture. It simply doesn't make sense to change what is now working. "We agree with the governor's goal to enhance the role of agriculture at the state level, but don't agree that this is the approach to achieve it." Carlin argued in his legislative message delivered last week that only if future governors of Kansas have direct responsibility for agricultural policy and programs will they be concerned enough to pay proper attention to farm issues. Since he is now in his final year as governor, Carlin noted, it would be up to his successor to appoint the first agriculture secretary under the new system. Brier defends paper ballot use in Kansas : By GORDON D. FIEDLER Jr. Staff Writer Secretary of State Jack Brier admits Kansas has one of the most stringent policies on electronic voting machines in the nation, and he said he's content to keep it that way. Brier was in J-" Salina Monday to talk to a meeting jt of the Saline if County R e- ' *"3» publican Women's Club, and said that _ until he approved • optical scanning H equipment for use Brier in Kansas three years ago, there hadn't been a piece of election machine equipment approved since 1957. Brier took office in 1978 and has been following standards established in the mid-1950s for electronic voting methods. During his tenure, Brier denied access to punch card voting machines, leaving counties without lever voting machines with the standard paper ballots. Brier said paper ballots are slow to count, but for the voter, they're simple. "Our goal is not to accommodate someone who doesn't want to work past 10 p.m. or the media that want the results in a hurry. Our goal is to make sure the count is accurate," he said. Hitchhiker jailed after stabbing ABILENE — A 20-year-old hitchhiker was in Dickinson County Jail Monday night in connection with the stabbing of a man near Chapman Sunday night, according to Under- sherif f Jim Coddington. Charles Brough, Hyattsville, Maryland, was stabbed in the chest with a knife, and was in stable condition in Asbury Hospital's intensive care unit, Coddington said. The hitchhiker is from Helena, Mont., but his name was being withheld until the sheriff's department further investigates the stabbing, Coddington said. "A lot of counties are going to be levying several mills to pay for it." —Max Hayen be committed in fiscal years 1988 and 1989. A $24 million state contribution over three years would represent almost half of the $50 million the revenue department has estimated the project will cost, although officials are not ready to bet their estimate is correct, or even close. Property valuation director Vic Miller says the $50 million is a rough estimate, put forth shortly after the '85 Legislature approved reappraisal. He says he should have a better handle on the cost after receiving reappraisal outlines and cost estimates from each county and a draft of the computer hardware and Brough picked up a hitchhiker on Interstate 70 near Denver. When they approached Salina, Brough let the hitchhiker drive so Brough could sleep, Coddington said. About 8 p.m. Sunday, Brough woke up when the hitchhiker stopped the car near I-70's Chapman exit and allegedly began stabbing him with a knife, Coddington said. The man was stabbed about four tunes in his chest, Coddington said. Authorities are searching for the knife, and must further investigate the stabbing before charges can be filed, he said. software requirements for the project. Almost three-fourths of the counties have submitted their plans for review, and a consulting firm is scheduled to complete its analysis of computer requirements next month, Miller said. Once the Legislature has a good estimate of the cost it can determine what portion the state will pay and how much it should allocate each year, he said. The Legislature could increase the state contributions in '88 and '89 if the $8 million for fiscal '87 proves insufficient, he said. The state already has made its first contribution. Miller's division is paying $375,000 for the aerial photography and negatives that will be provided to the counties. The photographers' deadline for that phase of the job is May 15. Regardless of how much of the financial burden the state assumes, a lot of counties are going to be scrambling to cover their end of the costs, according to Marion County Appraiser Max Hayen, former president of the North Central Kansas County Appraisers Association and a member of the reappraisal advisory committee. A few counties anticipated reappraisal and set some money aside to help fund it, but they are the exception rather than the rule, he said. "A lot of counties are going to be levying several mills to pay for it," Hayen said. Hayen thinks the project is progressing well now although Miller and his division were criticized last summer. "I don't think the PVD expected the Legislature to pass a reappraisal bill," he says. "They kind of got off to a slow start but things are moving well now and I'm satisfied that what they've done has been good." Hayen also gives Miller high marks for hiring experienced people from other states to supervise various phases of the reappraisal and help counties with their end of the load. "He has been criticized for taking too much authority but, in truth, someone has to lead the parade and I think he's doing a good job." So far, only four of the 105 counties in Kansas use voting machines. They are Wyandotte, Shawnee, Johnson and Sedgwick. All others, including Saline, use paper. Brier said he denied punch card voting not because of inaccuracies, but because of the method of voting. Voters punch out numbers that correspond to names in a book kept in the voting booth. "We felt voting for a number instead of names was a significant disadvantage," he said. Although he approved optical scanning equipment for use in the state, he said the devices were not without disadvantages. The cost is one. The machines average $45,000 to $50,000. "How much is it worth to find out the results quicker?" he askeO. Saline County had examined one machine and even set aside about $50,000 in federal revenue sharing money for the device, but later decided to wait until more companies are allowed to offer the product in the state. "There is still only one company approved in the state," County Clerk Shirley Jacques said. "There are others that have applied, but all in all, it just didn't seem to be the time to pursue it. It's a major change in the voting procedure, and I would feel better if we (were) waiting to have others to at least look at," Jacques said. A client sorts dishes In the kitchen of Kenwood View as part of the OCCK program. Craig ChandUr OCCK ponders program expansions By JIM BOLE Staff Writer A new type of work program developed this year by the Occupational Center of Central Kansas may be expanding, and two other existing work programs are continuing to grow, an OCCK official said Monday. Phyllis Anderson, administrative services coordinator, said OCCK was beginning to talk with more local businesses about the Integrated Employment Training Program, which began in September. Two other job programs, Sparkle Car Wash and Quality Custodial Services, recently have expanded their operations, Anderson said. The integrated training program is different from the center's other vocational programs because people work for the employer, not OCCK, Anderson said. This allows employees to learn how to fit into a work environment and gain more independence. It also reduces the cost and OCCK staff members needed for a vocational program, she said. Currently one Salina business is involved in the program. Two people work four-hour shifts in the kitchen at Kenwood View Nursing Home, 900 Elmhurst. One of the kitchen helpers, a 51-year-old woman, said she did similar work at OCCK, and was enjoying her first job outside the center. She began working at the nursing home in September and hopes to get a job doing laundry when she completes the program in a few months, she said. Physically and mentally disabled people, selected for the program by OCCK, are hired by a local employer. They are paid by the employer, and receive a minimum amount of supervision and training from OCCK. Three people from VISTA, Volunteers In Service To America, provide on-the-job supervision for OCCK, and will assist workers with their jobs if necessary, said Deb Wall, a VISTA site coordinator. Employees in the program work for up to six months. They not only learn vocational skills, but also develop work habits such as communicating with employers and other fellow employees, Wall said. "These kind of programs turn tax users into taxpayers,'' Wall said. Bob Hodge, Kenwood View administrator, said he has been pleased with the employees' hard work and enjoyed the chance to provide work and learning opportunities for the disabled. Quality Custodial Systems and Sparkle Car Wash, 439 S. Broadway, are businesses operated by OCCK that provide jobs for more than 25 of its clients, Anderson said. Quality Custodial Systems, which provides custodial services for many local businesses, doubled its business in 1985, Anderson said. Three to six more people will be hired this year because of the increase in business, Anderson said. The company was started in 1982 and employs about 18 people. The car wash employs eight people and is almost two years old. This month, it added Sundays to its schedule, making it a seven-day-a-week operation. Employees are getting more hours of work, and additional workers may be hired, Anderson said. Teacher helps Asians in move to America By JILL CASEY Staff Writer Southeast Asian refugees are survivors in every sense of the word, a speaker said Monday night at Salina Central High School. The refugees have survived persecution, the flight from persecution and have survived on the minimal food and medicine in refugee camps. After they arrive in their new countries in the West, they must survive with little knowledge of the language and customs, said Erica Hagen, the speaker. Hagen spent 18 months in Thai refugee camps in 1980 and 1981, where she taught English and culture in an attempt to prepare Southeast Asians for life in America. Her task was monumental, she said, as the East-West split spans all areas of life. Since her time at the refugee camps, Hagen has been traveling across the United States to give presentations. She hopes to educate Americans so the Southeast Asian transition to American culture can be smoothed. Her visit to Salina schools and her presentation Monday night were sponsored by the Indochinese Reset- tlement Center, 2075 S. Ohio, and the Salina School District. Hagen peppered her presentation with background on the war-torn region and provided the 40-odd listeners with maps and slides. She said Southeast Asian refugees usually go to Thailand. The United States has promised to help refugees in Thai camps because most are fleeing the oppression that resulted from regimes like those of Cambodia's Pol Pot, which the United States has opposed. Some, such as Laotian refugees, were promised sanctuary because they fought the United States' "secret war" against communist sympathizers in their country. When Southeast Asians arrive in America, they find everything to be different, Hagen said, from the body language to the way they now purchase food. '"There's a story that a family was very disappointed when they opened a can of Crisco and found that the chicken pictured on the outside of the can wasn't in it," Hagen said. "There, people mostly shop in open markets, where they can see the food instead of cans, bottles and boxes. 1 ' Four House Democrats want insurance attention TOPEKA (AP) - Four House Democrats made public Monday a letter they sent legislative leaders asking that attention be paid to difficulties in obtaining liability insurance coverage. "Among the hardest hit are states, municipalities, environmental concerns, day care centers, product manufacturers, truckers, nurse midwives, officers and directors and other businesses, both large and small," the letter said. "If these difficulties are not addressed, many service providers may be forced out of business. Municipalities, if unable to procure adequate liability coverage at reasonable prices, may cease to provide services traditionally rendered by the public sector." The letter was signed by Reps. Rick Bowden, Goddard; Diane Gjerstad, Wichita; Larry Turh- quist, Salina, and Donna Whiteman, Hutchinson. It was addressed to Sen. Neil Arasmith, R-Phillipsburg, chairman of the Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, and Rep. Rex Hoy, R- Mission, chairman of the House Insurance Committee. Senate President Robert V. Talkington, House Speaker Mike Hayden, Senate Minority Leader Michael Johnston and House Minority Leader Marvin Barkis also were to receive copies of the letter. The letter seeks a joint meeting of the Senate and House committees which handle insurance legislation "for the purpose of educating comittee members on the availability and affordability status of liability insurance in Kansas, as well as to what extent and in what ways the insurance commissioner is monitoring the issue." The legislators said they want to know if Insurance Commissioner Fletcher Bell would be proposing legislation to deal with the problem. "If the liability insurance issue is left unresolved, the effects will be felt by individuals, private and public entities, profit and nonprofit organizations and businesses," the letter said.

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