The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 27, 1996 · Page 45
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 45

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, October 27, 1996
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THE SALINA JOURNAL VOTE 'BB SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1996 B SALINE COUNTY COMMISSION • DISTRICT 2 SALINE COUNTY COMMISSION • DISTRICT 3 A BATTLE OF SENSES Both Seim and Allen say roads need attention GROWTH MATTERS Controlling growth important to Culley, Forsberg Communication with county residents viewed as important By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal i can Seim says his common I sense makes him the best (candidate; Deane Allen (touts his business sense. But both contenders for the 2nd District Saline County Commission seat say they relate well with people and would try to improve communication with the public. Democrat Seim, a 65-year-old dairy farmer and lifelong county resident, said it's time a man with common sense was elected to office. Although no specific issue led to his filing for office, Seim, 6612 E. Farrelly, Gypsum, said he was Concerned about rural roads and bridges and about fair and equal property appraisals. A construction barrel has stood on Farrelly Road, near Seim's driveway, for Six months, cautioning drivers not to veer to the side, where the road was washed away during flooding. It's just one place where county roads need attention. "Rural residents are more concerned about roads than they are about taxes," Seim said. "The roads are better now than they have been, but they've been neglected too long." Allen, 3832 Country Club, a Republican, also professed concern about rural roads, saying he had traveled his district while campaigning in the primary election and drove many roads that were in dire need of work. If elected, he'd propose that a two- or three-tiered priority list be developed, outlining work needed on every county road and the cost of the repairs. Payment options — such as sales tax, property tax or user tax — would be discussed, and a proposal presented to citizens for a vote. "Somehow, we have to have roads and bridges," Allen said. "We just can't let the roads go back to the horse-and-buggy days." He suggested that non-tax funding options — including state or federal grants — be explored before tax funding. Seim said that when it comes to roads and other issues, the opinions of rural residents are vital. "We need commissioners who will listen to the people in the rural area, get rural opinions," he said. Some candidates, including Allen, have suggested communicating to the public through Community Access Television of Salina. But rural television viewers don't receive the access channel. Better, Seim said, would be to visit the Gypsum cafe in the morn- jjig and drink coffee and talk politics with the locals. Allen said he, too, planned to visit informally with people in his district, to discuss their views about issues. He noted that he was a lifelong county resident and was reared in the country. He now lives outside Salina on Country Club Road. Working with the public Seim and Allen both said they've learned to work with people to arrive at solutions to problems. Seim served for a time on the Saline County Zoning Appeals Board and served 16 years on the Southeast of Saline School Board. Allen serves on the city's Planning and Zoning Commission. But Allen said it's his work for 10 years as general manager and vice president of Triplett, Inc., 639 N. Ohio, and his work as a manag- .er for High Quality Low Cost Service Stations that sets him apart. In those positions, Allen dealt with both employees and customers, conducting meetings and seminars. "The county's business parallels what I've done in my career," Allen said. "I really dealt with people, changes, procedures, poll- pies. There's a lot to that." Holding down taxes Allen's major concern as a commissioner would be holding the line on property tax leyies. 1 "I would spend a lot of time figuring ways to cut expenditures and taxes," Allen said. 1 He noted that the county plans to increase spending in 1997 by two to three times the increase in the average cost of living. "That's excessive," Allen said. One way to hold the line might be decreasing duplication between city and county government and sharing equipment. DEANE ALLEN Republican • AGE: 70 • ADDRESS: 3832 Country Club Road • POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Is an appointed member of the Salina Planning Commission DEAN SEIM Democrat • AGE: 65 • ADDRESS: Gypsum • POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Served on Southeast of Saline School Board and Saline County Zoning Appeals Board What sort of development — retail, Industrial, residential — Is best suited for the 1-135-0Id U.S. 81 corridor between Schilling Road and Mentor Road? Is It Important that growth be controlled? I would support an effort to zone the area north of Water Well Road retail and south of Water Well Road industrial. Regarding the flooding problem, I would also be very sensitive to the concerns of the existing homeowners in the area. Industrial development is best suited for the South 81 Highway corridor. We should encourage more growth with the least amount of county control possible. Would you decrease commissioner pay, increase it, or leave it as Is? Why? . The salary for commis- &oners should be left as it is. We need to work to cut waste out of all the county budget. I would vote to decrease the commissioners' pay. The cost of the county administrator is increasing. When the new administrator was hired, he was hired at a reduced salary so commissioners could have more hands-on involvement in county government. Since that time, the commissioners' and administrator's salaries have both risen. We need to be more fiscally prudent. Commissioners recently approved a 2-mlll property tax levy for 1997 to fund bridge replacements. Would you continue that levy In the years to come? DOUG FORSBERG Republican • AGE: 53 • ADDRESS: Assaria • POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Served on Southeast of Saline School Board CHUCK CULLEY Democrat • AGE: 57 • ADDRESS: 802 Scott • POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: None What sort of development — retail, industrial, residential — Is best suited for the l-135-Old U.S. 81 corridor between Schilling Road and Mentor Road? Is It Important that growth be controlled? I would consider continuing the 2-mill levy to replace bridges with the help of the Kansas Department of Transportation and federal grants that are available. I believe'citizens should ,have a say in the major decisions of county, :•;;/. government. The maintenance and repair of this county's roads and bridges is a major decision. We must involve the citizens. They must know the true condition of our roads. We cannot agree with a piecemeal effort to deal with major issues. Communication is the key. What do you see as the two major issues facing the county In the future? Retail and industrial. Yes, it's important that growth be regulated and controlled. Growth in Saline County needs to be controlled. The county has an interlocal agreement with the city that areas within one mile of the city limits shall be controlled by the city's development plan. Within Jhat mile limit, the city must approve any subdivision plat. The city plan calls for this corridor to be developed by light industry. Within this limit, the city could override any decision made by the county. I would hope that the city and county could come to some agreement to satisfy the needs of both retail and industrial growth. Would you decrease commissioner pay, increase It, or leave it as is? Why? . Leave as is. It's important to have enough pay to make the job attractive to qualified people. I Under no conditions would I i vote to increase the pay of the i commission and, if my I constituents voice a concern, I would look to cut salary. The roads and bridges are my number one priority. They need to be made safe for the school buses and county citizens that travel them every day. In many places it is difficult to meet large farm ! machinery as the road is so I narrow. ! We also need more I consistent and fair comparison ; appraisals. This can be i accomplished by making sure all appraisers and staff are fully trained and certified. We need for county government to live within its means. Increases in expenditures need to be parallel or less than the cost of living percentage. Which means even as real estate assessments rise, the cost of operating the government will remain constant indicating a substantial not a cosmetic decrease in the mill levy. There is no question the infrastructure of our county needs comprehensive improvement. Four years from now, if we have addressed this major issue head-on as a community, I will have done my job. Do you consider yourself politically conservative or liberal? What do those labels mean to you? I would consider myself I arjfi not an extreme a fiscal conservative or . either way* .but, cpnsider "Realistic Republican." myself as more middle of We need to be realistic the road. . about what cost-benefits there are to each expenditure, Being a retired business executive, I am well versed in cost-benefit analysis when it cgrnes to running 8private sector busloess. I believe'we pan use that philosophy In ths public sector. Being a conservative means: , Budgets dollars and. arriving at cost*benefit expenditures. Source: Candidate questionnaires. Some answers were edited for length. Commissioners recently approved a 2-mlll property tax levy for 1997 to fund bridge replacements. Would you continue that levy in the years to come? Yes, I feel that it's time to deal with the problem of old and antiquated bridges. There is no question that the condition of our roads and bridges in Saline County is the major issue facing our county. The 1997 commission will have seven to eight months to search for options. The 2-mill tax is only one option. Money will have to be found in the existing budget. If it takes keeping the tax, then we have no choice. We cannot continue to ignore this problem. What do you see as the two major issues facing the county in the future? Growth and funding. 1. To open the door of communication between the people and their government. I To build trust in county government. 2. To find funds to improve our county transportation system. Do you consider yourself politically conservative or liberal? What do those labels mean to you? Fiscally conservative — responsible and resourceful. Constituency liberal — open minded and unbiased. I am not an extreme either way, but consider myself as more middle of the road. These are nothing but labels. A liberal is one who looks to create a progressive government subject to reform. A political conservative looks to preserve existing conditions while resisting change. In many respects I would consider myself conservative. I dislike change just for the sake of change. On the other hand, there are problems in our county that cannot be ignored. "To preserve existing conditions" no longer can satisfy the needs of the people of Saline County. No matter what label is attached to an elected official, we can no longer ignore our problems and pretend they don't exist. Source: Candidate questionnaires. Some answers were edited for length. Finding a way to pay for new developments on candidate's minds By SHARON MONTAGUE The Salina Journal s he was driving from Salina to Abilene on Country Club Road one afternoon, i Doug Forsberg was struck '*by the number of houses that had popped up since last he'd been by that way. They're representative of a trend in city-dwellers moving into the country, said Forsberg, the Republican candidate for the 3rd District Saline County Commission seat. And they're representative of one of the biggest issues facing the county in the future — controlling growth. His Democratic opponent, Chuck Culley, is concerned about growth as well. But the greatest concern of Culley, a former history and government teacher at Salina South High School, is returning the government to the people. "As you look at all levels of government, there's a loss of sight of representative government," Culley said. "So often, elected officials get the idea that they were elected to make decisions for the people. "You are elected to make decisions with the people." In dealing with any issue — from growth to deteriorating roads and bridges — Culley said he would listen to the people who elected him and work with them to find solutions. "It's vitally important that we bring government back to the people," Culley said. One of the most important issues that needs to be resolved, Forsberg said, is how to control residential development in the county. A dairy farmer most of his life, Forsberg said it would be nice to be able to sell off a few acres of farm ground to make money. And farmers should have that right, within reason, Forsberg said. But there's the possibility that people moving into rural areas would want water and sewer services and other amenities, which the county can't afford to provide. A tax on road users? Money also will be needed to repair roads and replace bridges, Forsberg said, and property owners already are bearing a burden in taxes. Forsberg suggested taxing the users of roads — sand haulers, asphalt companies. He also suggested a sales tax to fund a bridge replacement program. "If we could avoid property tax increases, we should do so," he said. Culley doesn't have the solution for paying for road maintenance and repairs. But he said he's willing to talk with officials from the state's other 104 counties, to find out their ideas. And he promises to schedule meetings at least once a month, to solicit citizen input into all county issues. "The problems in Saline County are not my problems, and the solutions are not my solutions," Culley said. "They are our problems and our solutions." Change meeting times Culley also will suggest that county commission meetings be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, rather than 4 p.m., to allow more people an opportunity to attend. "I've been told people still won't come, but they should have the opportunity," Culley said. "If they feel welcome and comfortable, I think they will attend. There is interest and concern in government out there." •ELECT* ALLAN WHITE STATE SENATE DEMOCRAT - 24th DISTRICT Pol, Adv. Paid for by White for Senate Committee Carolce Miner, Treasurer Shirley Jacques, Chair 'ayrjW s)MjfJ:inB h-AJJ^' JM jfl I F ' ^ Salina JournalUJt hutoiU'itphy. lor loy.os, lor iUivurusrawnb. tor ilieris. inr CnniKVMiin t inc. inv spe^uil an ™. i™ ferlocal wws IM,-^.,,, ts. tur news, lis Jcliv«\w'ur hiv.li jijj:ul;ition, i'oi ph<noi!i:tpliy. ini k|«i||^r iuhct memento lor v'.ifials, liu ( •"imiSTRitr Line. I'.'i '•|K: l :-,al art Vin*. k'l '''' iiicns. tin news. Uir Jriftn)' to! liijjli envulalicn lot reiidcrnhip. fofijFdSWClCSs. loi .shopping. -,cr. iC-t's (or lllld tft)J t llJ£f|lth '"" |11C| inserts, lot news. Tor (LTrvcr^Tir bi[(h nivuluiinii. 1 01 ic.uJoi.ship. for special editions, lor sU'.>()pm|f.

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