Letter to the editor
Thirty to forty folks from Allen County went to Topeka last Wednesday and Thursday to attend David Toland’s hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee.
The hearing was a painful experience for all.
It was plain to see that several senators had already made up their minds to vote against David and they had no intention of changing them.
What a shame. What an embarrassment to our democratic process. It is truly amazing we ever get good people to run for any public office.
David Toland deserves better. A very few folks in Allen County are mad at David because of the direction of progress. As one of the senators said at that meeting, “If you are doing anything in the public arena, someone is going to be mad about it.”
There to support David were two former Iola mayors, three former Allen County commissioners, the president and the chairman of the board of Iola Industries, two Thrive Allen County executives, a Methodist youth minister, the former director of Southeast Kansas Mental Health, the president of Allen Community College and numerous other folks that have active roles in Iola and Allen County.
These folks know the economics of Iola and Allen County. They have lived it — in many cases their whole adult lives. All of these folks have worked with David on more projects than I could name. All of these folks went to Topeka to support the confirmation of David Toland. All of these folks took two days out of their lives to show that support to the Senate committee.
I know there have been three or four letters and personal visits by two Iolans against David Toland.
I also know there have been close to 50 letters and calls asking for his confirmation.
I am a lifelong Republican, but I don’t judge people by their politics. David knows economic development. He is smart, energetic and hard working.
This week, the full Senate will vote on Toland’s nomination.
I ask the senators to please be sure you know the whole story and then vote to confirm David as the next Secretary of Commerce.
I will end with a 2011 quote from Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense: “To avoid criticism: say nothing; do nothing; be nothing.”
Those that know the truth will vote to confirm David Toland.
Mary Kay Heard,
Chairman of the Board,
Iola Industries, Inc.