The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 26, 1996 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, October 26, 1996
Page 3
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THE. SALINA JOURNAL V CAMPAIGN '96: POLITICS IN SALINA GREAT PLAINS SATURDAY. OCTOBER 26, 1996 A3 r 4 county officials can relax as election nears Longtime officeholders have no opposition as they seek re-election By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal E very four years, Randy Duncan takes to the phone and the streets, trying to drum up a Republican candidate to challenge Saline County Clerk Shirley Jacques, a Democrat. Every four years Duncan, the county's Republican party chairman, comes up empty-handed. "It's part of the job to try to get candidates," Duncan said. "But we have to be honest with the people we're attempting to recruit. We tell them we'd like to have them as candidates, but that it would be very difficult to unseat an incumbent." So, with no Republican to challenge her, Jacques, 65, 509 W. Republic, will face her fourth consecutive general election Nov. 5 without opposition. Republicans Keith Lilly, 72, Mentor, and Marilyn Weber, 64, 2210 Melrose, are running unopposed as county treasurer and register of deeds, respectively, and Democrat Julie McKenna, 43, Salina, has no opposition in the county attorney race. "With those administrative offices, once you're there, it's almost like you're there for life unless there is something terribly wrong within the office," Duncan said. "The likelihood of a challenger V EDUCATION "Maybe nobody wants the job. Maybe I shouldn't either." Keith Lilly Saline County treasurer "If things run smoothly, they're less apt to stir up opposition." Shirley Jacques > Saline County clerk succeeding is not very good unless there's the hint of a scandal or impropriety in office." Lilly can't remember the last time he was opposed in an election and actually had to campaign for his job. He traded the treasurer's job with another man during the late 1950s, when treasurers were only allowed to serve two consecutive two-year terms. The term was lengthened to four years and term limits were abandoned, and Lilly has won election to consecutive four-year terms since 1967. He faced opposition only two times during those years, the last time in the 1984 election. Asked why challengers have stayed away, Lilly said, "Maybe nobody wants the job. Maybe I shouldn't either." Weber is running without opposition for the first time since being elected in 1988. •She suggested the pay (about $30,000 a year) and the specialization of her job have kept challengers at bay. The register of deeds must have a knowledge of real estate descriptions and be able to research chains of title, she said. The county treasurer is paid about $30,000, the county clerk about $33,500 and the county attorney about $46,700. Lilly suggested people might not be attracted to his job because it's not a policy-making position. "All I do is follow the statutes," he said. And people serving as county clerks, treasurers and registers of deeds don't generate as much attention as, say, county or city commissioners or school board members. "Those jobs might not seem as attractive in terms of compensation and glamour level," said Kenneth Collier, professor of political science at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. "The treasurer doesn't have much independent authority, not a lot of visibility. Those positions don't seem to be seen as steppingstones to higher positions. People are not aware of those positions except at election time." Collier said that in most cases, if the officeholder isn't making waves, he or she is retained by voters. And holders of administrative offices like hers don't stir up controversy because they don't set policy, Jacques said. "If things run smoothly, if people get good service, they're less apt to stir up opposition," Jacques said. Party politics may not count Party affiliation and participation in party politics don't seem to have an effect on these longtime officeholders. Lilly and Jacques, the two candidates with the longest tenure in office, belong to different political parties and have different philosophies concerning political activism: Lilly, a Republican, doesn't participate at all in party politics; Jacques is actively involved in her party, serving as campaign chairman for a Democratic state representative candidate and serving on the Democratic National Committee. "I don't know that that's important," Lilly said. "A lot of people are, and a lot aren't. Shirley is very active in her party. There's nothing wrong with it. I'm just not the kind to get involved." Jacques thinks it's important for people — especially elected officials — to be involved in their political party. "You don't get there without political parties," Jacques said. "You owe something back to them. If you aren't involved, your own party could, conceivably, think they could do better with someone else." Then again, Jacques looks down the hall toward Lilly's office. "No one has been more successful and no one has been more apolitical," she said. "It's not unheard of. You can ignore the party and do a good job, provide good service, and continue to be elected. In the end, I think that's what people base their decisions on." Kansas Wesleyan aims to boost enrollment 30 percent in 5 years School has become a magnet for so-called nontraditional students By GORDON D. FIEDLER JR. Tlie Salina Journal At Kansas Wesleyan University's next commencement, President Marshall Stanton hopes the recipients of the diplomas are not just graduating college students but satisfied customers. , Within five years, the university hopes to boost the number of •satisfied customers by more than • 30 percent. An enrollment in! crease is the cornerstone of the ;school's latest comprehensive •_ strategic plan. Starting officially on Jan. 1, the plan, called Launching the Next Century, is the second such endeavor in the college's .history. : The first five-year plan ends ;this year. • "The primary focus is on the "various things that make Wesleyan a stronger institution with higher enrollment," Stanton said of the next five years. ; Wesleyan's full-time equivalent ^enrollment is nearly 600. The goal Us to reach 800 by the year 2001. ; To do that, the university must ;-be a place students not. only want {to come to but to stay. > -The strategic goals aim to make "We're educating people to be leaders, to learn critical-thinking skills." Marshall Stanton Kansas Wesleyan University president Wesleyan a welcome place by upgrading facilities, strengthening academic programs and counseling and improving student services. The school's first five-year comprehensive plan ends this year having successfully raised $8.2 million in part to improve buildings. Money also went into general operations and the endowment. To meet its enrollment goal, Wesleyan will be able to cast its net beyond the pool of typical 18- year-old high school graduates. Over the years, the school has become a magnet for so-called nontraditional students — those in their 20s, 30s and 40s returning to college or starting for the first time later in life. "Fifty percent of our students are nontraditional," Stanton said. (The school's student body president is a grandfather in his 40s.) Helping to age Wesleyan's student body are its most popular ma- jors: nursing, teacher education, criminal justice, addictions counseling and its business courses. The school will soon be adding short, noncredit courses targeted to specific groups or businesses. Stanton is not concerned that to reach its enrollment goal Wesleyan will be trying to sell a liberal arts education in an era where the emphasis seems to be on vocational and technical careers. "We're educating people to be leaders, to learn critical-thinking skills," Stanton said of the school's appeal. Large Selection Used Furniture & Appliances TED AUGUSTINE'S , FURNITURE WAREHOUSE ^SmllesWestofSallna ' I * ' Thurs. 9-8, 823-6792 1-800-563-1831 Events of the Day Salina Journal Due To A Family Illness We will be closed until further notice. Watch the Salina Journal for our Grand Re-Opening 913-825-9837 723 Bishop ICC CAPAMS HOLLYWOOD STYLE! movict ncvcR movco LIKC THIS. C1986 METRO-QOIDWYN-MAYER INC. Toll Free 888-8M-SHOW Bicentennial FRI. OCT. 25 THRU SUN. OCT. 27 • oltna, KB In Salina, 816-Show Centtr FRI ..OCT. M 7:30PM IS. -":Sg $.=:*^.=5SSS&. "All Seats Reserved $14.50 ft $12.50 ~ -)riond>«<lon«^00«K»untlHHJiw|i>ot!5<<xiliaW42«4l<lwT1ck«> &^^&^sisS&s^ t & lHa>K JD Pay for the Sneak Preview of "Dear Qod" tonight at 7:15 and then stay as our gue»t for the 9:20 showing of the "Flret Wlvee Club!" 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