To the editor,
“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” When it comes to the proposed “Sheriff’s Amendment” on this November election ballot, the Kansas Constitution is not broken. The explanation is intentionally confusing, giving the impression that somehow we must protect our right to elect our county sheriff, when in fact Kansas law already does. This amendment is basically a “Job Security Law for Sheriffs,” making it more difficult and expensive to recall them when needed. Since a sheriff is elected locally, and works locally, he/she should be accountable to the local community. While a sheriff should be allowed to express concern about how policies affect the job, the office of sheriff should be non-partisan. In my opinion, it is not appropriate for a sheriff to be endorsing or campaigning for or against other candidates running for other offices.
Local counties should have the freedom to create whatever law enforcement arrangement meets their needs best, like Riley County has done. I have not seen or heard of any serious problem that needs to be fixed by this amendment, so I am voting, “NO”. The Kansas Constitution is better without it.
Likewise, the other amendment on the ballot is not really necessary, and will be harmful to democracy in Kansas if it is passed. We need to continue to have Separation of Powers in Kansas, but this amendment will give all power to the legislature. Proponents say we must eliminate regulations and streamline legislation. But who will actually benefit? Not us ordinary people who need regulatory protections, but big corporations and special interest groups who want to stifle or eliminate oversight or regulation. Again, the explanation is intentionally deceptive, implying that the legislature “would have no opportunity to revoke or suspend rules or regulations”, which simply is not true.
Our “elected” legislators already can pass laws to strike down any regulations that are not beneficial to their constituents. However, since many of our legislators run unopposed lately, they know that their jobs are basically locked in and they are reelected indefinitely. They don’t really need or want to listen to us locally. They are free to pay attention to outside groups with agendas that are not generated by us constituents, like this amendment. We must not willingly give more power to an already unbalanced majority legislature.
Our Kansas state government and Constitution will not be improved by this power-grabbing amendment. I am voting “NO”, because the Constitution does not need this “fix.”
Dee Anne Grummon