Time to modify the Constitution

In response to Mr. Starr and your article on "Skepticism on School Funding," Mr. Starr says "... that the elected officials are failing their constituents." He advocates "... simply remove those officials from office ..." Gov. Brownback is advocating removing the cap that school districts currently have on them allowing an open checkbook for the school board. Whenever they need money, raise the property taxes.

Kansas citizens have no protection or recourse from what these officials want to do. This is by design. It was written into the Kansas Constitution. Article 2, Section 1 provides that, "The legislative power of this state shall be vested in a house of representatives and senate." Period, end of story. They interpret this to mean that no citizen has the right to propose any legislation to be voted on by the citizenry of Kansas.

In contrast, Article 5, Section 2 of the Constitution of Colorado states, "The legislative power of the state shall be vested in the general assembly consisting of a senate and house of representatives, both to be elected by the people, but the people reserve to themselves the power to propose laws and amendments to the Constitution and to enact or reject the same at the polls independent of the general assembly and also reserve power at their own option to approve or reject at the polls any act or item, section or part of any act of the general assembly."

The only recourse that Kansas citizenry has for a future is to demand of their representative to modify the Kansas Constitution. Until that time everyone needs to suck it in, set back and take it. We continually hear about the "corruption" in our government, both local and national and all we do is say "Oh, well what the hell, just the way business is done."

Just remember the power you are giving your elected officials when you vote them in. Once it is done that is the end of the story until next election. So what? They can't do that much damage in the next two to four years. Watch your property taxes.

Until we as citizens demand from our elected representatives to modify the Constitution and allow us some say in the governance of our local communities and the State of Kansas none of us has a right to complain. Our Freedom of Speech allows us to bring wasteful spending and incompetent actions to public light but we do so realizing there is not a darn thing we can do about them.

KENNETH RISHEL,

Garden City

New book store benefits library

The Friends of the Library book store is now open and ready to sell used books at a reasonable price. The store will be open during regular library hours and is located within the library complex just east of the circulation desk. The store will operate on the honor system and patrons can pay for purchases of books at the main circulation desk. Prices are currently set at $2 for hardcover books and $1 for paperbacks. The books are all in excellent condition and many in nearly new condition. The store will provide patrons the opportunity to buy books at a minimal cost. Many libraries around the country have Friends book stores that operate much in the same manner as the store in the Finney County Public Library.

The Friends Book Store is an attractive facility with custom-made shelving, tables and book spinner. The store was endorsed and approved by the Finney County Library Board of Trustees, the library administration and the Friends of the Library organization. Funding for the project was provided by a Finnup Foundation Trust grant, the Finney County Public Library and a major contribution from the Friends of the Library. The Friends will continue to have two book sales each year; but, with the addition of the store, books can be sold on a daily basis throughout the year. As in past years, all proceeds from the sale of books will be directed to the financial support of the Finney County Public Library. The primary contractor on the project was Gary Randle of Creative Interiors.

The Friends of the Library will hold its annual meeting on Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m., in the Finnup Room of the library. Come join us as the group discusses current and future projects that provide financial and in-kind support for the Finney County Public Library. Everyone is welcome.

KEN HARSHA,

Garden City

Harsha is president of the Friends of the Library.