I grew up in Emporia and graduated from EHS in 1975, ESU in 1978 with a BSB, and ESU again in 1993 with an MBA.
I worked 10 years in healthcare, 8 of those years as a CEO.
I served 2 years on a city council in South Central Kansas.
The past 25 years I have lived and worked in Emporia. I have operated several trucking companies and currently operate a hydro-cleaning firm.
I have managed staffs of from 25 - 250 and managed budgets in the 10's of millions of dollars.
Emporia High School - 1975
Emporia State University - 1978 - Bachelor of Science in Business
Emporia State University - 1993 - Master in Business Administration
2 years on city council in Attica, Kansas in the mid 1980's.
2036 Road F 5
Emporia, Kansas 66801
1. I have 35 years experience as a Business Manager and Owner.
2. That has taught me budget and manage large scale operations.
3. I have worked in the public sector and know how to balance the needs of the organization with the needs of the local tax payers. I managed a county district hospital for 7 years.
4. I have hired and managed staffs ranging from 25-250.
5. For the past 25 years I have worked in the private sector and have averaged paying over $1,000,000 in payroll into our local economy each year.
6. For me the MOST important aspect of this years election is to find candidates that understand the need to get the economy up and running again while also maintaining policies that will protect all of our citizens. In addition, as a county commissioner I believe it is important to manage and control our budget but yet it is also critical that we employ and maintain good people so we can continue to provide the services that our citizens require. I AM THAT CANDIDATE.
The single largest and most unknown factor facing our county in the next year or two are the costs associated with the Covid 19 pandemic. These costs are going to be tremendous, and at this time almost impossible to predict.
To deal with these unknown issues I believe we need to control our spending and hold the line on our mill levy. However I DO NOT advocate lowering the mill levy until we know the extent of the impact of the pandemic. I DO NOT want to find LYON county facing the same type of layoffs that I have read other cities and counties are having to face because they did not plan ahead.
Secondly, I would like to see the county take a more active role in promoting economic growth for small and medium sized companies. Helping local business grow is the easiest way to expand our tax base and create new jobs.
I believe that these types of decisions need to be made based on sound mid-range (3-5 year) and long-term ( 5-10 year) planning.
Within state guidelines or statutes, we need to plan ahead in order to evaluate the necessary financing costs for these items and then make a plan on how to get them completed. My priority would be for projects that would benefit the largest number of county residents as a whole.
Another important notion is that of a rainy day fund. These funds can be used when an unexpected opportunity presents itself that would require the city or county participate to close a deal on something that would be a tremendous benefit to the county and its citizens.
A commissioner's sole responsibility during a crisis is to do what is best for the majority of the citizens.
Especially during a crisis, we see and hear from a large number of people on both extremes of any topic, the current Covid 19 pandemic is like that as well. There is NO single policy or decision that will make everyone happy but it is a commissioner's job to look at the issue from all sides and think about what is best for everyone. This includes young and old people, our business owners as well as our community that needs service. In addition, we can not forget the impact of this current situation on our school children, from the grades right up to the students at ESU.
As the old saying goes, you can't wait till it stops raining, we must learn to work in the rain. We have to figure out how to make changes so we can all get moving again, just like we did after 911.
I believe that economic growth and development is the key to the county's future. We must find a way to educate and retain our young people in the county. To do that we have to have jobs and opportunities for them.
My plan is to focus on small to medium size companies that we can either help grow locally or attract into our community. Smaller companies have smaller demands for such things as water, sewer, and electricity, and therefore can often times locate into the smaller communities within our county. These companies are also often only looking for a little help rather than some huge multi-million dollar handout.
The other part of my plan would be to manage our local costs and budgets so when we try to attract business they will see Lyon county as a positive and financially beneficial place to locate their business.
Native Kansan, married for 51 years to Jane Peck, local business owner, father of two daughters, both of whom are ESU graduates, and grandfather to 4 grandchildren. Lyon County resident and homeowner for past 42 years, graduate of Barton County Community College with a degree in criminal justice.
Assoc. Degree, Criminal Justice, Barton County Community College; Graduate KS Law Enforcement Training Center; Graduate, KS Highway Patrol Training Academy; Graduate, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center; Graduate, FBI Firearms Training Course; Graduate, NRA Firearms Training Course; Graduate, Dept of Energy Training Course
Member of KS Peace Officers Assoc and Past President and Board of Directors; Member American Legion Post #5; Member KS Masonic Lodge; Volunteer Special Olympics of KS;
2920 Hidden Lakes Drive, Emporia, KS 66801
I was raised in the ranching/farming community of Matfield Green, KS. I served in the U.S. Air Force for 4 years during the Viet Nam era as a non-commissioned officer in charge of communications for Tinker AF Base, OK. I was Deputy Sheriff in Chase County and while there I started the Chase County EMT Program. Entered the KS Highway Patrol in 1978, stationed in Emporia. Established the "You and the Law" for the 5th grade classes of Emporia School District. While with the KS Highway, I was elected President of the KS Peace Officers Association, and established a training budget for the 3,000+ members. I also prepared testimony and presented it to the KS Legislature on law enforcement issues.
1. PROPERTY TAXES: I believe that every property owner that I have talked with feel that they are paying too much for their property taxes. High taxes discourage housing and business growth. We have to lower the mill levy in order to encourage growth. There are two initiatives that are working in Lyon County right now to address this issue: Road to Recovery and Ignite Emporia. With the backing of the Lyon County Commission these initiatives will succeed in their mission to help business and housing growth in Lyon County.
2. SALES TAX INCOME: Right now sales tax receipts are holding solid but that might not always be true. With the COVID-19 virus and the effects it is having on our community, people are not shopping as they have in the past. Many are turning to online shopping rather than spending their tax dollars locally. It is incumbent on all Lyon County residents to shop locally whenever possible. As a Commissioner, it will be my responsibility to ensure that every tax dollar is spent wisely, locally and is not wasted.
The first thing to consider is price. Before any money is appropriated, the following questions should be addressed: Is the project worth the money to be spent? Is it in the budget? Is it imperative that the outlay be done as soon as possible or is there time to look for alternative funding sources? If the price is too high, is there an alternative that will meet the same needs at a lower price. We also need to consider how many citizens will be impacted by the outlay.
The first responsibility is to educate myself as to the national, state and local health guidelines. It is important to insure the health and safety of all Lyon County residents. We need to solicit and follow sound advice from our health officials, taking into consideration the fact that they are experts in their fields as we look to them for information and guidance. We need to be able to adapt the information and guidelines to fit the needs of Lyon County and protect our residents and any visitors to our community.
I would like to hope to see a 5-10% increase in business and housing during the next 5-10 years. This may seem like a lofty expectation but if goals aren't set there is nothing to work towards. This is not something that one person can do alone, it takes a committed community with everyone willing to work together. As I have said before, I believe there are several organizations in existence right now that can help implement this goal and they should be expanded and encouraged to grow. I believe it is important to continue to keep a tight and balanced budget and give the youth of Emporia a reason to stay and work with and for their community.