Letter to the editor — December 19, 2017

Dear editor,
A gift by any other name might well be called poison. In English, a gift is defined as something given voluntarily and without restrictions. In German, the word gift translates as poison!
This was probably the way the group from Moran felt as they listened to a committee appointed by Allen County commissioners rip into their plan to expand and repair the grocery in Moran. As could have been guessed by any high school student, their plan did not promise a surviving or promising future for the grocery store. As a business that operates on a normal profit margin of 3 percent, it would be hard to envision anyone taking over old inventory with a deteriorating building and inefficient freezers and lighting. Therefore the decision was also inevitable, from a business standpoint.
However, this was not the outcome that a county commission with a “boatload” of money to give away had projected when they gave (loaned) to two out-of-county businesses  money for projected sales and services that will directly compete with other local businesses in Iola. And yet the Moran and Mildred businesses were applying for money to survive in small towns that need their services far more than Iola needs a hotel and high-priced grocery.
The finance committee did their due diligence but that does not let the county commissioners off the hook! In the past all committee recommendations have been approved by the commissioners and therefore this process allows our commissioners to obviate their responsibilities to make decisions we voted for them to make, not their appointed flunkies.
This county commission has been very disappointing when it comes to making hard decisions, specifically nothing on our hospital being decertified (temporarily) for mammograms without a word from these commissioners who are in charge of all the employees at the hospital except the ones running it for us. Yet our commissioners “fired” no one.
I say the money for Moran and Mildred should be approved for the “well-being” of our county and its citizens.
Larry Walden,
Iola, Kan.

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