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.
I’ve thought for some time that our local governments were somewhat delinquent by not directly supporting Emporia State University. All state schools our size – Washburn, Pittsburg and Hays – receive annual support from their local governments.
This leaves ESU vulnerable if Kansas decides to close a school and given the lack of leadership in our state that could happen.
Fortunately our LyonCounty and Emporia city commissions are deep into consideration to create a direct subsidy to the University for scholarships. The effort is called “A University Community in Motion.” It was discussed last week in a joint meeting. It seems most are on board maybe with exception of one commissioner suggesting the city already does a lot for ESU. That is true, but given ESU’s importance to our city I doubt the city could ever be doing too much for the school.
The proposal is for a half a million dollars a year be provided to ESU for new scholarships. This is an awesome idea that would absolutely transform the school recruiting efforts. Of course, the big question becomes where does the money come from? That hasn’t been determined.
This of course will raise the ire of those who oppose any tax increase even for a really good cause.
The commissioner’s aren’t tipping their hands, but I have an idea I think could result in lower overall taxes after a few years.
My suggestion is to float a county-wide sales tax. No doubt there would be opposition, but the good might outweigh the bad. Attention would need to be paid to not making high ticket items non-competitive of course. We would vote on a sales tax increase, so all sides could be heard.
Here’s my logic.
First, don’t limit recipients to Lyon Countians. There are not enough students in our county plus the Jones Trust money already helps those kids and this new money could be added on for local kids.
The limitation I would suggest would be these scholarships would be for on campus students only!
Currently ESU has just over 6,000 students. Just over 50% of those students now attend classes on campus. This new money should be used to force students to live locally. All recipients would need to live in LyonCounty and attend classes on campus, not on-line.
Half a million dollars in new scholarships ought to create 500 new students. I think a new ESU student is equal to a new job. Adding 500 new students would boost ESU’s economic impact by over 15%.
My numbers may not be exact, but I’m guessing my logic makes a lot more sense than the dribble Governor Brownback has been offering.
If I am correct increased consumption should result in much higher sales tax revenues for the county which could eventually be used to reduce taxes. This could create a win, win, win situation!
“A University Community in Motion” is not only a good insurance policy and stimulus for ESU, but also an opportunity to lower taxes, but only if we give it a try!
Call a commissioner today and let them know how YOU feel.
I’m Steve Sauder.
Emporia’s Memory Walk to end Alzheimer’s Disease will be this Sunday at the Lyon County Fair Grounds. Registration starts at 1:30 with the Walk starting at 2:30. Prior to the Walk a social time will be held for friends to meet and talk.
Often we hear that someone is suffering from Dementia and we think that’s not as serious as Alzheimer’s, but we’d be wrong. Both are serious and neither is a normal part of aging. The following may help you understand the difference.
A good analogy to the term dementia is “fever.” Fever refers to an elevated temperature, indicating that a person is sick. But it does not give any information about what is causing the sickness.
In the same way, dementia means that there is something wrong with a person’s brain, but it does not provide any information about what is causing the memory or cognitive difficulties.
Dementia is not a disease; it is the clinical presentation or symptoms of a disease. There are many possible causes of dementia. They are degenerative diseases of the brain that get worse over time.
The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s, accounting for as many as 70-80% of all cases of dementia.
Approximately 5.3 million Americans currently live with Alzheimer's Disease.
Emporia’s Memory Walk is Sunday at the Fairgrounds. Much progress has been made in Alzheimer’s research, but much if left to be done. The number of victims is massive and for each victim there is a caregiver and family. Please attend the Walk and also offer prayers for the people affected by these cruel diseases.
I’m Steve Sauder
I just called him “Calhoun.” We met through friend Jeff Hawes when we were all at Wentworth Military Academy Summer Camp when I was ten years old.
William Kenneth Calhoun III died this past at home in Lawrence. He was 71.
On KVOE News over the weekend I called him an “icon” in Emporia for my generation. Calhoun was involved in more things outside his field of endeavor than anyone I know.
As the news of his death started to sink in it hit me that while we had allowed Calhoun to fix many things locally we had made a big mistake. We should have forced Kenny Calhoun to Topeka or even Washington because of his unique ability to force budget considerations and planning.
Early work for Calhoun was at Newman’s Department Store the family business on Commercial Street. He kept it afloat for a long time through rough times for retailers and finally gracefully closed it out.
While a Commercial Street merchant Calhoun led almost single-handedly the project to revitalize downtown Emporia. Our downtown street design was Ken’s and he was the ringleader in getting rid of parking meters and building parking lots.
They called Calhoun the “Mayor” at Lake Kahola. The lake was special to the Calhoun’s and Ken kept his finger in Kahola business right up through the sale from Emporia to the leaseholders.
Calhoun was president of the Emporia Country Club 3 times – 1974, 1998, and 2012. Guess what – he wasn’t president because things were rosy. Again he was a fixer helping find ways to keep the club open.
Calhoun attended Culver Military School in Mexico, Missouri and later Kansas University and loved his reunions and old classmates.
Calhoun was a KU fan and Lady Hornet Basketball supporter.
Before moving to Lawrence three years ago Ken managed the Emporia Community Foundation for 12 years of magnificent growth.
Calhoun loved Emporia but moved to Lawrence to finish his life and find some new challenges. His wife Judy told me at the time of Calhoun’s death he was chairing a finance committee and because it was budget time and he was so excited.
Seems to me what I need to do now is warn St. Peter about Calhoun. Ol’ Pete better have his heaven’s Mission Statement up to date, goals set and budget balanced because Kenny Calhoun will soon be looking over his shoulder!
RIP Ken, you were one of a kind.
I’m Steve Sauder
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 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