Back In “The LK”
I was reminded yesterday about how special it is to be part of “A Community.” The single best thing I have ever done was choose to return to “The LK” a/k/a Liberal Kansas to live my life. I was getting my hair cut by Stanley Cordova, who I graduated from high school with and is a true artist. Patsy Boles, who is like a mother to me, called Stanley while I was in the chair. Later that day I talked with Kevin Lamm who is married to the granddaughter of Don and Dot Vangieson. Liberal and Seward County are more than just names. They are the people who have chosen to raise families, live lives, and dream dreams. In Topeka when we talk about schoolteachers and education, I think of names and faces. Mrs. Vargas, Mr. Chain, Mrs. Oblander, Mr. Fox, Mrs. Hofferber, Mrs Westerman, etc. etc. It’s probably bad to list names, there are too many deserving names. When I think of roads, I think of Carliles. When I think of staying and raising a family in Liberal, I think of my mother with one of her grandkids on her lap. I see my wife holding her fathers hand.
I paid my taxes this week like many of you. It was frustrating. Next month I get to pay the 2nd half of my property taxes and my car tags. Everyday I pay sales tax on nearly everything I buy. I wonder if I’m getting any bang for my buck from those taxes. I am frustrated with those that are gaming the system. I worry about the senior citizen on a fixed income whose property taxes go up every year more than their income.
Then, I think of the Mosaic fundraiser I attended this week. Mosaic serves those with severe developmental disabilities. Nearly all of their clients are on Medicaid. I think of the funding issues they face. The waiting lists to receive services. I think of how blessed I am. I think of how good our education system can be. One of my favorite memories of education in Liberal was seeing the joy my daughter had with Mrs. Clifton, her first grade teacher, raising; I think it was, mealworms in her class. What a simple yet wonderful educational experience.
We live in an imperfect world, full of corruption and generosity, the good and the bad, kindness and caring. In Topeka, we need to make sure you get your bang for your buck. We need to stop people from gaming the system. We need to help those that need help. We need to educate our youth. We need safe roads and safe water. We need to make sure our community has the tools to be successful. When issues are discussed in Topeka it’s not statistics to me, it’s your faces and your names.
A Legislative Forum will be hosted April 21st at 12:00 pm by the Liberal Chamber of Commerce at the Depot. It is a brown bag lunch; drinks and cookies will be provided. Senator Garrett Love and I will be there. I also plan on having a legislative coffee at Spencer Browne’s at 9:00 am Saturday April 25th. The final part of the legislative session begins April 29th.
I don’t want to always focus on the negative. Government is about helping us have a framework to be safe and successful, but there are always those that try and take advantage of situations. If you suspect any kind of fraud or corruption phone numbers to report it can be found at https://www.da.ks.gov/phonebook/tollfree.asp.
Frank Carlson (January 23, 1893 – May 30, 1987) was an American politician who served as the 30th Governor of Kansas, Kansas State Representative, United States Representative, and United States Senator from Kansas. Carlson is the only Kansan to have held all four offices. His political career spanned 40 years, beginning in November 1928 and ending in January 1969.
“There are no self-made men. It is your friends who make you what you are.”
“As a young girl, I saw commitment in my grandmother, who helped Grandpa homestead our farm on the Kansas prairie. Somehow they outlasted the Dust Bowl, the Depression, and the tornadoes that terrorize the Great Plains.” Sheri L. Dew
Thank you for the opportunity to serve, there is no place like home. Our rural communities are the backbone of a strong Kansas. During the session please contact me any time. My email is Shannon.firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is 785-296-7655.