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Correction: Governor Kelly issues statewide stay-at-home order effective Monday
Governor Laura Kelly Saturday morning issued a statewide stay-at-home order effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 30 continuing until April 19.
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League of Women Voters survey
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The League of Women Voters is conducting a newspaper questionnaire to run in the Great Bend Tribune the week before the primary election. All candidates for the Barton County Commission and The Kansas State Board of Education District’s were sent
questions. All of the candidates for County Commission returned their questionnaires and one candidate for Kansas State Board of Education. Each question is to be answered in 75 words or less. The League does not edit any thing however anything over 75 words
will not be printed. This is League of Women Voters policy.

Sally Cauble - Kansas State Board of Education - District 5 - Candidate for Re Election
Husband of 41 years, Dr. Steve Cauble,
Two married children
Three grandchildren
Born and grew up in Dodge City
K-12 education was in Dodge City public schools
Higher Education: Southwestern College - BA in Elementary Education
Teaching experience: Fredonia Public Schools; Wichita Public Schools; Memphis, Tenn.; Liberal (long-term substitution)
Business Experience: Co-Owner in Dr. Steve Cauble, Optometry; Co-Owner in PoorMann’s Unique Gifts (on line gift store)
Policy Boards: Liberal Public School USD 480; Kansas Association of School Board: At Risk Board; Southwestern College, Winfield, Youthville, Wichita; Kansas State Board of Education - Licensure Review Committee, Interstate Migrant Council, Governmental Affairs Committee of National Association of School Boards, Education Commission of the States
Why did you choose to run for this office?
I believe education is the future of Kansas. Education and children have always been my passion and I find representing western Kansas kids the best thing you can do. My degree in education led me to a teaching position then later to service on policy making entities such as the Liberal Board of Education, Southwestern College Board of Trustees, Youthville Board of Trustees and for the last eight years, service on the Kansas State Board of Education.
Do you support Common Core? If so please explain. If no how would you go about establishing standards for Kansas Schools if Common is not part of the Curriculum.
In kansas, the State Board of Education develops school standards and local school boards develop the curriculum to implement the standards. This process protects local control for curriculum selection so that we continue doing things the “Kansas way.”
Common Core standards address business and industry assertions that they were having trouble finding employees who applied basic skills learned in school. Even the military said that many who were enlisting could not pass entrance exams.
Do you believe teachers are entitled to the right of due process?
The real issue for some people is tenure for teachers but tenure and due process are not the same. I do not agree with how the Legislature removed due process without a hearing and fact finding.
Should non-certified individuals be allowed to teach in Kansas schools?
Teachers need training and professional development which qualifies them for a license (certification). It is a Kansas law that individuals can teach only if they are licensed. Non-certified individuals can be hired for para, school lunch programs, maintenance, etc.
In science classes in Kansas do you support the teaching of evolution, creationism or both?
I believe in the next generation science standards which establish that evolution must be taught. Students cannot further a career in any medical or life science career without courses that include the teaching of evolution. There is nothing in the standards that keeps a local school from choosing their own curriculum or having special projects. There are 40 different versions of creationism but student assessments by the state of Kansas require knowledge of evolution.


Alicia D. (Schartz) Straub
I am a 5th generation native of Barton County. After graduating as Valedictorian of the EHS Class of 1996, I attended BCC for 1 year, and transferred to Kansas State University. There I earned a B.S. in Apparel and Textile Marketing, and worked my way through Graduate School as a GTA. I then met my husband Will Straub during his six years of active duty service in the U.S. Army. Will and I are the very proud parents of three daughters, Alexa, Alaina, and Aliza.
Why did you choose to run for this office?
As a young woman, mother, and wife, I bring a different perspective on life in Barton County to the Commission. A large segment of our population is reaching retirement, and fewer young people are returning to raise their families here. I see the need for my generation to get involved in our local governments, and share the responsibilities of carrying our communities into the future.
If Governor Brownback’s budget slwrtfalls affect Barton County revenue, would you be in favor of providing increased funding for the shortfall? If so, what local increases would you support? If not, what cuts would you be willing to make?
Without being provided the detailed financial information regarding the County’s budget, I don’t feel that I can fairly answer this question. If so privileged to be elected as Barton County Commissioner, I would welcome the input of all citizens regarding their thoughts or concerns on all county business.
What improvements in county operations would you recommend?
I believe the role of an elected official is to represent the people. As with any city, county, state, or federal government operation there is always room for improvement in every department. I would carefully consider the needs of each individually.
People who live in the Three-mile Extra-territorial Zoning Area surrounding Great Bend are being governed by the City Council of Great Bend when decisions about zoning are made in this three-mile zone. However, the people who live in this zone are unable to vote in City Council elections. They can vote only for County Commissioners. Do you see this as a problem? If so, what would you do to correct this problem if you are elected as a County Commissioner?
This question involves too many intricacies to answer in just 75 words. In any case, all parties involved need a voice. I would encourage everyone to contact their City Council Members and County Commissioners to express their concerns.

Kenneth A. Lebbin
I am an Ellinwood native recently retired from the ONEOK Hydrocarbon L.P. facility at Bushton where I was employed for 22 years. I owned and operated a retail/wholesale Phillips 66 Distributorship in Ellinwood for 13 years. I served the Ellinwood City Council for 21 + years working with six administrators and five mayors since 1978. I also served on the Ellinwood Fire Department for 22 years. Appointed the District 4 Commissioner. I am a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran who served honorably as an Air Traffic Controller and Control Tower Chief. I returned to and have resided in Ellinwood since 1977.
Why did you choose to run for this office?
After the untimely death of Don Cates I was approached to consider the position. I attended meetings, to decide if the office would be a fit for me and me a fit for the office, and after observing the interaction of the Commission Board I decided that it was an office to which I could bring a great deal of local governmental experience and understanding. I wish to maintain continuity and involvement in the position.
If Governor Brownback’ s budget shortfalls affect Barton County revenue, would you be in favor of providing increased funding for the shortfall? If so, what local increases would you support? If not, what cuts would you be willing to make?
The question is more how much will the County’s revenue be affected and not if. The County’s departments have done an excellent job of holding their budgets to a minimum that still allows them to function and supply services. The fact remains that you cannot cut your way to prosperity. When the point is reached that essential services will be lost, the possibility of responsibly raising the mil levy has to be an option.
What improvements in county operations would you recommend?
The County, as a whole, operates very efficiently and cooperatively. It is operated responsibly with pride in a job well done. The Department Heads understand the importance of fiscal responsibility and accountability of their and their employee’s actions. I continue to visit the departments to fully understand their roles. The Treasurer’s office continues to be a challenge due to its operations critically affecting all of Barton County. It is essential to resolve the issues involved.
People who live in the Three-mile Extra-territorial Zoning area surrounding Great Bend are being governed by the City Council of Great Bend when decisions about zoning are made in this three-mile zone. However, the people who live in this zone are unable to vote in City Council elections. They can vote only for County Commissioners. Do you see this as a problem? If so, what would you do to correct this problem if you are elected as a County Commissioner?
The Extra-territorial Zoning was created by Kansas legislation to enable communities to ensure growth continuity and preservation of property values. The Council only addresses zoning in that area. Requests for variances are heard by a zoning board of appointed, not elected officials, who determine if the change would be detrimental to those standards. That determination goes to the City Council for final disposition. Without it the mil levy would have to be raised as property values were affected.

Kenny Schremmer
I was born in Barton County, raised my children here and am now watching my grandchildren grow here. I make my living farming and running my business. I pay local taxes and am one of you ...always have been and always will be. I have served you for the past 12 years and I think I’ve done a pretty good job. I always take your calls and try to help in whatever way I can. I also help others in the county with their problems because I think we’re all in this together- friends and neighbors helping each other.
Why did you choose to run for this office?
Barton County has been good for me and my family. Being a county commissioner gives me the opportunity to give back all of the blessings I have received. I want a continued good life for my children and grandchildren and feel like l have the experience to make that happen for them. This is a great place to live; I just want to keep it that way.
If Governor Brownback’s budget shortfalls affect Barton County revenue, would you be in favor of providing increased funding for the shortfall? If so, what local increases would you support? If not, what cuts would you be willing to make?
Problems handed to the county because of decisions at the state make things difficult. No one wants to raise taxes or cut services, but sometimes tough choices have to be made. I will use my experience to do the responsible thing as I have tried to do in the past. We are stewards of the taxpayers’ money and trust and must maintain funding for roads, public health, ambulance service, and law enforcement.
What improvements in county operations would you recommend?
I think we are doing a very good job and are juggling raising taxes and providing services as well as anyone in the state. As long as we are able to maintain what we are doing, I would be hesitant to add anything new to the list of improvements. Law enforcement and road and bridge would be places that could use more funding if it were available.
People who live in the Three-mile Extra-territorial Zoning area surrounding Great Bend are being governed by the City Council of Great Bend when decisions about zoning are made in this three-mile zone. However, the people who live in this zone are unable to vote in City Council elections. They can vote only for County Commissioners. Do you see this as a problem? If so, what would you do to correct this problem if you are elected as a County Commissioner?
This is a city issue not a county issue. The county has zoning regulations that the city has chosen to adopt rather than creating their own regulations. I personally don’t think it is a problem, but if people think it is, a solution could be that the city could annex the three-mile territorial zone and then voters living there could vote for the city council members.

Jennifer Schattz
I was born and raised in Great Bend, graduated from FHSU (bachelors and masters) and returned to the community I love to raise my family. My husband, Shannon Schartz, and I have three children, Melanie Lewis, Dane and Brianna; and two grandchildren, Declan and Delaney Lewis. I have worked as a journalist for the Great Bend Tribune, instructor at BCC and am now the public information director for USD 428 as well as a Barton County Commissioner. I sit on boards for The Center, Great Bend Chamber, Be Well Barton County and Star of Hope.
Why did you choose to run for this office?
I enjoy public service and consider myself a public servant, not a politician. The experience I have makes me a valuable county asset and I am willing to continue working to lead my community through tough economic times. I have no agenda other than to serve my constituents in a thoughtful, deliberate way. It is my hope that I have proven myself worthy of being reelected to another four years in office.
If Governor Brownback’s budget shortfalls affect Barton County revenue, would you be in favor of providing increased funding for the shortfall? If so, what local increases would you support? If not, what cuts would you be willing to make?
My county experience has balanced services with a relatively stable mill levy, one of the lowest in the state. I have helped keep expenses down and departments are working within the same budgets they have since 2009 when they had 10 percent budget cuts. Experience in the job is crucial to understanding how to maintain services taxpayers deserve and levying appropriate taxes, despite inflation and state cuts. I promise to continue doing the same.
What improvements in county operations would you recommend?
We must be conservative about making improvements when it’s difficult just to maintain. County roads are very important and since that is the largest budget, we should seek innovations to make dollars stretch farther. We need to study our sand requirements and whether or not we should buy a dredge to replace the worn-out one. The county continues to do more with less and we have tightened the budget appropriately without sacrificing services.
People who live in the Three-mile Extra-territorial Zoning area surrounding Great Bend are being governed by the City Council of Great Bend when decisions about zoning are made in this three-mile zone. However, the people who live in this zone are unable to vote in City Council elections. They can vote only for County Commissioners. Do you see this as a problem? If so, what would you do to correct this problem if you are elected as a County Commissioner?
As a county commissioner, I know where my job begins and ends. That’s why I understand that this is a city issue and outside county jurisdiction. However, if voters will elect representatives who work for the good of all taxpayers, this will be less of a concern. We need leaders who do not see boundaries that separate us and are willing to work together for the common good. I am that leader.

Dean Akings
I am a lifelong resident of Barton County and married to Lily (Dumler) Akings for 49 years. We have two grown children, Randall and Melissa, both of Lenexa. I am a graduate of Hoisington High School; Barton County Community College with an Associate degree in Criminal Justice; Fort Hays State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology; Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center; FBI Academy. I enlisted in the US Navy Seabees and served two years before being honorably discharged. I also served with the Army Reserves. I am a member of Trinity Lutheran Church; Kansas Peace Officers Association; FBI National Academy; Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police; and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Why did you choose to run for this office?
I have chosen to run for this position in conjunction with my retirement as Police Chief. I have served our community for over 37 years and wish to continue that service as your county commissioner. I believe that I have the qualifications, experience and desire that is necessary to work as a team member on the Commission. It would be and honor and privilege to serve as your county commissioner.
If Governor Brown back’s budget shortfalls affect Barton County revenue, would you be in favor of providing increased funding for the shortfall? If so, what local increases would you support? If not, what cuts would you be willing to make?
That Depends. If the budget shortfalls affect the safety and wellbeing of our citizens then I would support increased funding. We would need to prioritize the county’s needs and make adjustments where necessary. If significant additional revenue is needed, let the citizens decide by way of a referendum.
What improvements in county operations would you recommend?
I feel that the County has hardworking, dedicated employees. We can improve County operations by providing the best training possible. We must give the departments the tools needed to complete the mission. The rest will take care of itself.
People who live in the Three-mile extra-territorial zoning area surrounding Great Bend are being governed by the City Council of Great Bend when decisions about zoning are made in this three-mile zone. However, the people who live in this zone are unable to vote in City Council elections. They can vote only for County Commissioners. Do you see this as a problem? If so, what would you do to correct this problem if you are elected as a County Commissioner?
I do not see this as a problem. When decisions are made in the three mile zone, it is made by the zoning commission and sent to the city council for their approval or disapproval. The planning commission has seven members, five from the city and two from the county( who live in the three mile area). The County has the authority to adopt and enforce zoning regulation in the three mile area if they choose to do so.