Emporia, KS

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Something to Think About


Steve Sauder is president of Emporia's Radio Stations, Inc. the owners of KVOE-AM 1400, Country 101.7 and Mix 104.9. Steve has been in a leadership position with ERS, Inc., since 1987.

October 2, 2015 - Guest STTA by Roger & Sherry Ferguson

Back in the Day…………

Why CAN’T we afford this new North Lyon County Consolidated School?  Our ancestors built schools for us.

 A quick trip to the Lyon County Archive provided us with the following information about Northern Heights High School (NHHS).

 “Due to the loss of students in the communities of Bushong, Allen, Admire and Miller schools the communities started discussing consolidation.  A vote on consolidation was held in May, 1955, and carried.  In September, 1955, an issue of $375,000 in bonds for construction and equipping a new high school carried.  The location was chosen and construction started in April 1956.”

So what did our ancestors build in terms of today’s money?  Using an inflation calculator ( http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm ) we find the school they built would cost $3,334,645.52 or 3 million dollars today.

The current proposed construction cost is 39 million dollars.   We don’t hesitate to say “back in the day” our parents and our grandparents would have voted against this proposal.  They were busy building schools back then, not a “Palace in the Pasture.” 

Recently editorial articles have been published describing the great education NHHS alumni have received and how it gave them morals to succeed.   An education that made them the people they are today.  We hope one of those moral values is that spending within our means DOES provide a quality education.  Be proud to make a fiscally responsible decision for future generations by Voting ‘NO’ on Oct. 7th.    

Roger and Sherry Ferguson

North Lyon County Residents

October 1, 2015 - Guest STTA by Nancy Wells

Click Here to read Nancy Well's Something to Think About


September 22, 2015


          On September 2, my topic was the proposal for a new school facility in Northern Lyon County. You will probably remember I started by stating that I was not a patron in the district and that I understood some would feel like this was none of my business. I accepted that and shared my observations.

          My thoughts were that the proponents of the new school had done a good job of trying to inform the voters. That there was a list of economic reasons to build the new facility including: gigantic transportation savings; classroom size efficiency that included an actual fifth grade example that would result annual savings in the $50 thousand range; energy savings and more.

          The reaction to my effort was a number of “thank you” notes from supporters and a few comments from others.

          There have been letters in the Gazette both for and against the bond issue. This has the looks of a tough decision that would be made by an informed electorate.

          Then Saturday I opened up my Gazette. The paper’s Editor& Publisher decided to weigh in on the bond election.

          Chris Walker is opposed suggesting “the tax increase would be insane.” He talked about people possibility being “shunned” if they voted no and let all know he’s voting no on October 7th.

          Chris is certainly within his rights to oppose the bond issue and say so using his mode, but something you may or may not know makes me wonder about his motives. 

          While the Walkers are USD 251 District patrons I think their children attend school elsewhere - makes one wonder.

If the USD 251 bond passes more Emporia kids will likely consider the new, smaller and closer school. That could raise my taxes. 

          North Lyon County voters have a major decision to make. Good Luck!         

          I’m Steve Sauder

September 16, 2015

Very impressed was my reaction to Emporia Board of Education’s applicants for the open spot on their board when Brent Windsor left.

          No less than six people applied – that was awesome! Thank you to: Jennifer Dalton; Shilo Good; Melissa Reed; Jeff Lutes; Iona Moore and the eventual selectee: Colleen Mitchell.

          Your willingness to serve was amazing. Especially given the difficulties facing K-12, public education in Kansas. Running a school district has long been hard work, but when you add in the messes our Kansas legislature and governor have created you have to wonder why anyone would want to serve?

          Look at the challenges being faced in North and South Lyon County and Chase County and you get a better understanding of what our school leaders are facing. Thanks to all that serve and thanks again to the applicants for the USD 253 opening.

          And, wow! What a great selection in Colleen Mitchell! Over thirty years of teaching experience and to say she was a good teacher would be a massive understatement! She was the Kansas Teacher of the Year in 2013 and a Master Teacher as well. She’s also part of a family that does business in our community thus giving her appreciation for things like property taxes and expenses.

          Colleen won’t be the only former teacher on the Board, but adding her experience will help non-teachers better understand. And, she too will get an education as to the challenges faced by school administrators. This has to be a win/win situation.

          Why would anyone want to serve on a public school Board of Education?

While local control is always talked about our state and federal governing bodies have perfected the art of mandating programs or requirements, but often without proper funding?

          Thankfully, we have local folks willing to take on the challenge, so thanks again to everyone willing to serve.

          I’m Steve Sauder and there’s something to think about.

September 10, 2015

Kansas City baseball has a rich history which includes only one World Championship, but the memories are amazing.

          In 1955 Kansas City became a major league baseball city. Unfortunately, the A’s were awful from day one until 1967 when they moved to Oakland. Names like Catfish Hunter and Blue Moon Odom came on board in 66 and Reggie Jackson was drafted the year before A’s success started in California.

          A’s memories include: Gus Zerial, Harry “Suitcase” Simpson, Vic Power, Bert “Campy” Campaneris, Lou Krausse and Lou Pinella. And of course Charles O. Finley.

          Fortunately major league baseball liked Kansas City and the Royal’s were created one year after the A’s left.

Since 1969 the Royal’s are 3,610 and 3,840 not including last night. They’ve played in three World Series winning in 1985. Our boy’s have made the playoffs just 8 times in 46 years, but we still love them!

This year’s team is very talented. Recently Major League Baseball named a Franchise Four for each team. The Royal’s 4 best players were: George Brett, Frank White, Dan Quisenberry and Brett Saberhagen. No argument here.

Just for fun let’s do “Best Ever” by position.

Left field is Alex Gordan with Bo Jackson a close second; Center field goes to Lorenzo Cain in a battle with Amos Otis and Willie Wilson; Right field is tough with Al Cowens edging Jeramine Dye; Brett at third; Alcides Escobar at short over Freddie Patek; White at second with Eric Hozmer at first over John Mayberry and Steve “Bye Bye” Balboni. DH is tough, but Hal McCrea was special; Salvadore Perez is my catcher. Pitchers are too difficult to pick. Saberhagen and Quiz were great, but so were Splittorf, Leanard, Busby, Greinke, Cone, Montgomery and Holland. And maybe Wade Davis!

This year’s team is special. Very talented and getting the breaks winners seem to find. Not sure what happened last night, but this recent skid should NOT be a concern. No, it’s not fun to lose, but this is baseball and those other guys are really good too. Teams like the White Sox are playing to impress – it’s September!

Ned Yost is using his big advantage in the standings to get his players rested and ready for the playoffs. Win or lose in the post season what Ned is doing right now is calculated to make his team better in October.  

Here’s a fun question to ponder: If you are starting a team made up of former Royal’s who is your first pick? George Brett or Bo Jackson.

Royal’s baseball – got to love’em!

I’m Steve Sauder

September 3, 2015

Today my topic is the Bond Issue for a new facility in USD 251, North Lyon County on October seventh.

I’m not a patron in the district so if you say this is none of my business I’ll accept that but, still offer my thoughts.

Listening to Board of Education President Matt Horton and Superintendant Aron Dody Monday convinced me that this plan to build a new K-12 facility, district office and athletic facilities in one location makes very good sense.

No one wants to add dollars to their tax bill, but that’s going to happen in USD 251 whether this issue passes or not.

Dody offers a compelling laundry list of economic factors that make building a new facility seem reasonable.

Cost savings from transportation alone will be staggering! Currently buses criss-cross the district to get students to class and sometimes kids even have to change buses.

More manageable classes save dollars: Example: 32 fifth grader this year in Americus and 9 in Reading. If together there would need 2 teachers with 21 and 20 students. Reality – 3 classes, 3 teachers with an additional cost of about $50,000!

Obviously maintaining and staffing the 3 existing buildings is far more expensive than just one.

Energy savings in the new school will be gigantic!

It would seem plausible that enrollment in 251 could increase with better proximity to potential students from other districts.

It appears the 251 Board has made every effort to involve patrons and answer their questions.

North Lyon County is an area made up incredibly good, strong, and hard working people. Drive around the area and you can see the tremendous pride folks have in their properties.

Seems to me that that same pride will be exhibited in this new school? The upside seems enormous. In a state where leadership is seriously lacking USD 251 leaders are setting an example about which the district can take great pride.

It will be a big decision on October seventh. Hopefully everyone will get well informed and vote.

I’m Steve Sauder