To the editor:
I watched the televised podcasts of the Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 meetings of the Leavenworth County Board of County Commissioners. I was especially interested in the discussions concerning expansion of the county commission to five districts and commissioners.
Commissioner Holland stated the simplest way to expand the commission would be to keep the three current geographic/population districts and increase the commission to five members by simply adding two countywide at-large commissioners.
I seriously question the rationale/logic of adding at-large commissioners. To me, the most probable result of this action would be that northern Leavenworth County would/could quickly dominate the commission by electing as many as four of the five commissioners – District 1, District 2 and both of the two at-large commissioners. Currently, 65 to 70 percent of the county population resides in approximately 50 percent of the northern county area.
Voters will likely vote for their nearest neighbor commissioner, probably electing four of the five commissioners from the local Leavenworth/Lansing/Easton area. This would leave the population of southern Leavenworth, District 3, (Basehor and Tonganoxie), with only one commissioner serving 30 to 35 percent of the county population. This would not be an equitable spread of county commissioners.
I strongly recommend that the commission quickly drop thoughts of organizing the county commission with at-large commissioners.
The most equitable county commission would be five districts, each with 20 percent of the county electors – about 12,500 electors each based on a total of 63,000 county electors. Each of the five 12,500 population districts would thus elect a commissioner dedicated to that district.