Kansas City Kansas

With the filing deadline at noon tomorrow, at least six candidates will be on the primary ballot for the open seat on the Unified Government Commission, 1st District at large.

The primary will be March 3 and the general election is April 7. Filing deadline is noon Tuesday, Jan. 27.

According to the Wyandotte County Election Commissioner’s candidate list, the candidates who have filed for UG Commission, 1st District at large, by Monday included LaVert A. Murray, Tamika Pledger, Janice (Grant) Witt, Christal Watson, Nathan Barnes and Mark Gilstrap.

Some other contests on the ballot are beginning to see more candidates, also.

Candidates include:

For UG Commissioner, 2nd District: Brian McKiernan, incumbent.

For UG Commissioner, 3rd District: Ann Murguia, incumbent.

For UG Commissioner, 4th District: Harold Johnson and Tarence Maddox, incumbent.

For UG Commissioner, 6th District: Angela Markley, 6th District.

For Register of Deeds: Nancy Burns, incumbent.

For Board of Public Utilities, at large, District 3: Norman D. Scott, Murray D. Anderson Sr., Thomas H. Gordon, Chris McCord.

For Board of Public Utilities, 1st District: Robert “Bob” Milan, incumbent, Freddy Wilson Jr.

For Board of Public Utilities, 3rd District: Jeff Bryant, incumbent.

For Kansas City Kansas Community College Board of Trustees: Ray Daniels, incumbent; Mary Ann Flunder, incumbent; Clyde A. Townsend, incumbent, Don Ash, incumbent, Victor B. Trammell.

For Turner Board of Education: Jeff Davidson, incumbent; Sherrie Watkins-Alvey, incumbent; Douglas Lockwood, incumbent, Becky Billigmeier, incumbent; Theresa Tillery, incumbent.

For Piper Board of Education: Tom Beebe, incumbent; Ashley Biondi, Steve Buff, Neal Palmer, incumbent; Lisa K. Sullivan, incumbent; Jeb Vader.

For Bonner Springs Board of Education: Timothy G. McGinnis, incumbent; David J. Pierce, incumbent; Patricia E. Welicky, incumbent, Olliea Jarrett, incumbent.

For Kansas City, Kan., Board of Education: George Breidenthal, incumbent; Maria Cecilia Ysaac, Irene Caudillo, Korri Hall-Thompson, Janey M. Humphries, Brenda C. Jones, incumbent.

For Bonner Springs city: Jeff Harrington, mayor, incumbent; Jack Knight, Bonner Springs City Council, Ward 1, incumbent; Mike Thompson, Bonner Springs City Council, Ward 1; Dani Gurley, Bonner Springs City Council, Ward 2; Racheal Haas, Bonner Springs City Council, Ward 2, incumbent; Jordan M. Mackey, Bonner Springs City Council, Ward 3; Robert W. Reeves, Bonner Springs City Council, Ward 3, incumbent; Eric Freeman, Bonner Springs City Council, Ward 4, incumbent.

For Edwardsville city: Chuck Stites, Edwardsville City Council, at large; Chuck Adams, Edwardsville City Council, at large, incumbent; Craig Crider, Edwardsville City Council, at large, incumbent; Terence P. Dunn, Edwardsville City Council, at large.

Fairfax Drainage District: Martin L. Quinn, director, incumbent, George Breidenthal, director; Kevin S. Brown, director, incumbent; Philip A. Kostelac, director, incumbent.

Kaw Valley Drainage District: James “Bundy” Jenkins, director, incumbent; David R. Morales, director, incumbent; Anthony Talavera Jr., director, incumbent.

Several Wyandotte County students were named to the fall 2014 dean’s list and dean’s honor roll at Ottawa University, Ottawa, Kan.

Those on the dean’s list were degree-seeking students who have earned a minimum of 24 hours over the preceding two semesters at Ottawa, and earned a semester grade point average of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale.

Those on the dean’s honor roll were degree-seeking students who have earned a minimum of 12 semester hours during the preceding semester, and earned a semester grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Those students receiving honors from Wyandotte County included:
From Edwardsville:
Hope Morgan, Dean’s Honor Roll

From Kansas City, Kan.:

Nicholas Deichler, Dean’s Honor Roll
Ryan Ellis, Dean’s List
Shelby Hanna, Dean’s List
Michael Harris, Dean’s Honor Roll
Samantha Leatherbury, Dean’s List
Bret Stratton, Dean’s Honor Roll
Marisa Worthy, Dean’s Honor Roll

Rep. Stan Frownfelter
Rep. Stan Frownfelter

Legislative update from State Rep. Stan Frownfelter, D – 37th Dist.

Swearing in

The 2015 session of the Kansas Legislature began on Monday, Jan. 12, with the swearing in of 125 members of the Kansas House of Representatives. I was sworn in for my 9th session serving District 37. The calendar will remain full over the next few weeks as bills are introduced and committees begin their work. Complete daily calendars are available at www.kslegislature.org. I am working to keep constituents more informed via stan.frownfelter@house .ks.gov.

Brownback delivers inaugural address

Gov. Brownback was sworn in for his second term as Kansas governor on Monday, Jan. 12. In his inaugural address, he finally recognized that the state is facing severe economic problems. I was surprised, however, that he blamed the states’ problems on a “crisis of the family” rather than taking responsibilities for the results of his disastrous economic experiment. He went on to suggest that strengthening our “faith” and “morals” could resolve the self-created fiscal crisis. Rather than blaming Kansas families, I believe we should be working towards solutions that address the issues that affect them the most, such as funding education, creating jobs, and generating a fair tax plan.

Kansas fiscal crisis
For several months now, we have known that Kansas is facing a real fiscal crisis. The non-partisan Consensus Revenue Estimating Group warned the state is facing a budget deficit of nearly $280 million for the 2015 fiscal year. The crisis is a direct result of Brownback’s irresponsible tax experiment which provided tax cuts to the wealthiest Kansans. The shortfall is projected to exceed $648 million during the 2016 fiscal year when additional tax cuts are set to take effect, further shifting the tax burden on to low and middle income families. Last month Gov. Brownback suggested that the state fill the looming budget gap for 2015 by shifting current funds from state agencies to balance the budget. The Governor’s proposal includes:
• Cutting a $40 million scheduled investment to KPERS (Kansas State Employee Retirement System)
• Raiding $96 million from the State Highway Fund, and
• Cutting state agencies budgets to cover the deficit.

In the coming days Gov. Brownback will release his proposed budget for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal year and committee hearings will begin shortly after.

The state of Kansas was founded on a belief that everyone should have access to a quality public education, and our founders ensured we honor that tradition by placing a provision in Kansas’s Constitution requiring a suitable education for all Kansas children. Unfortunately, over the past several years Gov. Brownback and the Kansas Legislature failed to adequately fund K-12 education as schools have closed, test scores have dropped, and teachers have been laid off.

The failure to invest in public education threatens Kansas’ future, as current funding for public education remains equivalent to 1992 levels. As a result, in classrooms across the state schools are continuously asked to do more with less, fewer teachers serve more students, and parents are charged additional fees for their child’s education. The cost of public education is shifting to local taxpayers as school board members are forced to make the difficult decision to raise property taxes.

On Dec. 30 a three-judge panel affirmed that the State of Kansas was not meeting its Constitutional obligation to adequately fund public education. The legislature will now have to address the court ruling during this session. I assure you that I will continue to be a strong and vocal advocate for public schools in the Kansas Legislature.

State of the state
On Thursday, Jan. 15, Gov. Brownback delivered his fifth State of the State Address. The speech was met with great anticipation as the state is facing a budget deficit over $1 billion in the next five years. In fact, this fiscal crisis is worse than what we endured during the Great Recession.

Gov. Brownback has blamed a lot of people for the state’s economic troubles, but nonpartisan economists and budget analysts agree: the Brownback economic experiment is 100 percent to blame.

I didn’t come to Topeka to play politics. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who made the mess. After years of lagging job growth and cuts to our public schools, all that matters now is that the mess is cleaned up. I want to be part of the solution, but only if Gov. Brownback offers real solutions. That means we must honor our moral obligation– and court order– to restore funding to our schools, protect the investments we know strengthen our economy, and re-establish a responsible, competitive tax code where everyone pays their fair share.

I will certainly approach any proposal the governor offers with an open mind, but the process must begin with him. I look forward to hearing more specifics from Gov. Brownback about his plan to fix his economic experiment in his budget on Friday.