Monday, October 30, 2017

Author and Railroad Expert to Talk at Baldwin City Library

Kevin Surbaugh

 One hundred years ago this year the United States enter into World War One.  It was the first worldwide conflict of its kind.  This required mass mobilization like never before.  American railroads had to move troops, equipment ammunition and other supplies around the clock, twenty-four seven.
Image Courtesy of Rudy Daniels
An author and expert in the American railroads, Rudolph Daniels will be in Baldwin City on Monday, November 6, 2017.  According to profile, Daniels received his Ph. D. in Russian and Soviet Studies from the Pennsylvania State University in 1971.  Since which time, he has taught at colleges and universities in the United States and Germany.
His published works include numerous articles and five books. One of his books, Trains Across the Continent, a Complete History of U.S. and Canadian Railroads, was written at the request of the railroad industry and is considered the official account of our nation’s railroads.  Other books include Sioux City Railroads and Trains Across the Continent.
His latest book, The Great Railroad War, discusses “U.S. Railroads in World War One,” and is currently available at bookstores, Amazon or directly from Garbely Publishing. It is this book, that Daniels will be discussing at the Baldwin City Library on November 6.  Through Daniels deep knowledge of history and the railroads, in particular, we find out that the American Government took over and nationalized the railroads of the nation in 1918 and then relinquished them in 1920.  The nationalization was to ensure safety and peak operating efficiency during the war.
According to Bruce Eveland, of the Kansas Belle Dinner Train, Daniels is a member of the Midland Railway and has come to Baldwin City on numerous occasions just to ride the train.
 Daniels retired as Assistant Dean and Department Chair of Railroad Operations Technology at Western Iowa Tech Community College, in Sioux City, IA. In addition, he also created the educational portion of the Federal Railroad Administration’s website.
Daniels helped edit the professional Railway Atlas of the United States, and is a script consultant for a recent Public TV production of the “Orphan Trains”.
 According to his profile, his program is “U.S. Railroad Operations During World War I”, and it literally begins with a train call for Baldwin City as it happened all those years ago; "it will bring back memories to many people". Presenting the programs in an antique conductor’s uniform. Dr. Daniels eagerly accepts opportunities to speak on trains and railroads throughout the region.  His profile concludes with a brief story,
that when he was a child, Rudy, as he prefers to be called, could not decide whether he wanted to be a locomotive or caboose when he grew up. He still can’t decide. Nevertheless, he is currently known as the Mid-West’s “Super Conductor”.
He will also be signing books and all book sale proceeds will benefit the Baldwin City Library.  Reportedly Daniels is also in talks to make a presentation at the World War One Museum in Kansas City, however at this time that has not come to fruition.


U.S. Railroads in World War One
Date: November 6, 2017
Time: 6:30   P.M.
Location:  Baldwin City Library
Bring the children, yourself, spouse, railroad fans, and enthusiasts.







DCF Recognized for Accuracy in Disability Determinations

Press Release


Kansas Disability Determination Services number one in nation for accuracy

TOPEKA – For the second year in a row, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is recognizing the Kansas Department for Children and Families’ (DCF) Disability Determination Services (DDS) for its accuracy in disability determinations. In FY 2017, Kansas was number one in the nation, with an SSA accuracy rating of 99.1 percent, in disability determinations. The program was also number one in the nation in FY 2016. The SSA rates state accuracy by assessing and comparing disability decision errors.

DDS, a program within DCF’s Rehabilitation Services division, makes disability and blindness determinations for the SSA on most Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims filed or reviewed in Kansas.

DDS employs 34 disability examiners and 24 medical experts to make disability determinations. In the last fiscal year, DDS made decisions on approximately 20,000 cases.

“This recent achievement illustrates the hard work and dedication that our employees have for their job and their clients,” said Rehabilitation Services Director Michael Donnelly. 

In addition, DDS was identified by the SSA as the second best in the nation for performance accuracy, which is different than disability determination accuracy, as it is measured by the accuracy of all-encompassing disability decisions, including reconsiderations cases, hearings, continuing disability reviews, etc.


In addition to making disability determinations, DCF also offers vocational rehabilitation services to empower Kansans with disabilities to become successfully employed and self-reliant.

Recently, DCF launched a new program, Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS), to further its efforts to help Kansans with disabilities gain meaningful employment. Pre-ETS was first launched in FY 2017, and its services are designed to help youth with disabilities get an early start at job exploration, assist students with disabilities in making the transition from secondary to post-secondary education/training and to empower them to realize their full potential.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Area Happenings - Week of October 29, 2017

Here are the upcoming events that the Gazette has been made aware of as of  October 28, 2017.  To submit an item to the community events calendar, please email it to press@baldwingazette.com.


October 31, 2017

Halloween



November 6, 2017 


U.S. Railroads in World War One
Date: November 6, 2017Time: 6:30   P.M.
Location:  Baldwin City Library
Bring the children, yourself, spouse, railroad fans, and enthusiasts.

November 7, 2017

Election Day

Get out and Vote!



November 7, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

November 21, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

December 2, 2017
 6 PM
 Festival of Lights


 
December 5, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

December 19, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

December 29, 2017

COME AND ENJOY OUR
COMMUNITY DINNER  & FELLOWSHIP
          TO BE HELD  AT 6:00  to?


HOST
VINLAND UNITED CHURCH
1724 N 692 RD
BALDWIN CITY, KS 6600


January 2, 2018

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.



January 16, 2018

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.


Third Friday Art Walk and Farmers Market

Downtown Baldwin City





Every 4th Thursday of the Month
10 A.M. - 11 A.M.
Mobile Food Bank
Baldwin City New Life Assembly of God
118 5th St  Baldwin City, KS
Stay in car, line up and drive through



Every Tuesday through October  
Eudora Local Gardening Farmer’s Market
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm Tuesdays
through October 2016
1402 Church Street
Eudora, KS.
In the parking lot of Gene’s Hartland Foods.
Local, fresh produce and foods offered by local growers and producers!


Every Wednesday through October
De Soto Farmer’s Market (Fresh Promise’s Market)
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Wednesdays through October 2016
at The Barn at Kill Creek Farm
9200 Kill Creek Road
De Soto, KS
Local, fresh produce and foods offered by local growers and producers!


Every Thursday through October 
Cottin's Hardware Farmer's Market on Thursdays from
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
through September
at Cottin's Hardware & Rental back parking lot
1832 Massachusetts Street
Lawrence, KS
Local vendors offer a variety of goods including produce, baked items, hot foods, meats, eggs, soaps, jams, jellies, herbs, fudge and much more!;


Every Friday through October
Perry Lecompton Farmers' Market
Fridays from 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
at Bernie's parking lot
24 Hwy and Ferguson Road
Perry, KS
Visit the market to find fresh vegetables, fruits, homemade jams and jellies, baked goods, honey, fresh cut flowers, farm fresh eggs, handmade crafts and more!


Kansas Ranks as #37 Most Sexually Diseased State in U.S.A.

Press Release


Just in time for a little Halloween horror, BackgroundChecks.org has updated their Most Sexually Diseased States in America report. Since we first looked at the data, the CDC has published new findings, with new data from 2016 available.
The 10 most sexually diseased states are currently:
1. Alaska (no change)
2. Mississippi (+2)
3. Louisiana (-1)
4. Georgia (+3)
5. New Mexico (no change)
6. North Carolina (-3)
7. South Carolina (-1)
8. Arkansas (+1)
9. Delaware (+5)
10. Oklahoma (-2)
The 10 least sexually problematic states are currently:
1. Vermont (-3)
2. New Hampshire (+1)
3. West Virginia (+1)
4. Maine (+1)
5. Utah (no change)
6. Idaho (no change)
7. Wyoming (no change)
8. Connecticut (-1)
9. Massachusetts (+1)
10. New Jersey (no change)
Also worth mentioning is the increase in reported gonorrhea cases. The top ten worst states experienced a rise in the rate of gonorrhea per 100k residents. In Alaska (#1), Mississippi (#2) and Georgia (#4), the rate rose by more than 40 per 100k. The across-the-board increase in gonorrhea infection is startling, and many experts attribute it to the rising prevalence of antibiotic-resistant strains of the disease.  With Oklahoma being the worst =, coming in at number ten.
According to the report, Kansas ranks thirty-seventh.  Of the states surrounding Kansas, the state of Kansas ranks the best, with the lowest number of incidents per 100,000 residents. 
37.  Kansas
33. Nebraska
30. Colorado
15.Missouri
10.Oklahoma
Originally released on February 7, 2017, the ranking was created from local county and state health data, social media surveys, and CDC data on the rate of incidents per 100,000 residents for the two most common STDs; gonorrhea and chlamydia. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Baker Football Shuts Out Central Methodist, 49-0

Tyler Price, Assistant Director of Athletics | Communications, Baker University

BALDWIN CITY, Kansas – The number two ranked Baker University football team shined on Senior Day, as they shut out Central Methodist, 49-0, to move to a perfect 9-0 overall and 3-0 in the Heart Southern Division on Saturday.

This marks Baker’s fourteenth straight win inside Liston Stadium and twenty-sixth straight win over a Heart of America Athletic Conference opponent.

JD Woods had a record-breaking performance, as he broke Baker’s single game record for rushing in a game with his 313 yards on 28 attempts and four touchdowns.

He broke Kevin Alwine’s previous record of 306 yards rushing on 28 attempts against Missouri Valley back in 1985.

Marco Aguinaga got his first career start for the Wildcats at quarterback, as he went 31-of-37 for 233 yards and two touchdowns and he ran for 33 yards on seven carries.

This marks the Wildcats’ first shut out since September 5, 2015 at Culver-Stockton, when they shut out CSC, 58-0.

Baker’s defense was outstanding, as they allowed just 224 total yards of offense, as the Eagles ran for 128 yards and threw for 96 yards. Caleb Bedford went 12-of-39 and threw an interception to Aaron Hill.

Ryan Workman led Baker in tackles with seven and Landon Decker led the team in tackles for loss with 2.5, as a team BU had 10 tackles for loss.

Ten different Wildcats caught a pass, with ten coming from Nick Snider for 53-yards, Clarence Clark had a strong Senior Day with his six catches for 53 yards and a score and he connected on all seven on his PAT’s.

Tywonn Moss also had three catches for 30 yards and the first TD of the game. Woods ran in TD’s of 54-yards, 13-yards, 10-yards and 80-yards. Ronald Allen scored the final TD of the game from 11-yards out with 12:06 to go in the game.

The Wildcats improve to 32-14 all-time against CMU and have now won 11-straight against the Eagles.

Offensively, the Wildcats ran for 398 yards and threw for 233, accumulating 631 total yards.

BU allowed just 14 first downs and CMU punted eight times. Baker converted 31 first downs on the offensive side. 




NAIA Football Box Score
Team1234T
Central Methodist (Mo.)00000
Baker (Kan.)72114749

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Maple Leaf a Huge Success, Despite Early First Day Closure

 Kevin Surbaugh


The 59th annual Maple Leaf Festival began as usual with a large crowd of people from a diverse area descending upon the city of Baldwin City. However, pending storms forced the closure of the first day of the festival. Normally the Saturday events are open until 6 P.M. while Sunday the event closes at 5 P.M.
However, this year, forecasts of storms moving in the early evening forced the decision to close an hour and a half early on the first day.  With forecasts of potential wind and hail, the committee wanted to be safe rather than sorry.
Once the storms moved in, Baldwin City seemed to be spared of the hail and strong winds. Though portions, of the city, did lose power for a couple of minutes.  In the morning, the rain gauge at the Baldwin Gazette held just under three and a half inches.  Officially that rain gauge held, three and two-fifths.  According to a committee, via their Facebook page and messenger,
The vendors we spoke to said that it was a wonderful show even with the weather. They were also appreciative that we shut down early on Saturday so they had time to store their items without damage over night.  It was a wonderful weekend!!
 Something, we at the Gazette had also heard from several of the vendors.
Overall, the committee estimated that the event attracted  25,000 attendees this year. Property owners around the city, who had turned their yards, or at least part of their properties into temporary parking reported two days of full parking.  Parking lots in the area of Ninth and Jersey reported turning away people because they were full.  In their opinion, the crowds were huge.

Area parking lots range from $5-$15.
Though there were unconfirmed reports one was even charging $20.
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

Terri Sumner and her son Dagon enjoy a
funnel cake during Maple Leaf 2017.
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

Jody and Kathy Slaughter, Olathe, KS of JK Woodworking
displayed their handmade benches that convert into a table.
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh
Jo Demeresseman, Vinland, serving roasted sweet corn at the
Vinland Methodist booth.
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

Monday, October 23, 2017

State of LGBTQ Equality in Nine Kansas Cities Detailed in HRC’s 6th Edition of the Municipal Equality Index

Press Release

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community. The group released the following statement indicating most Kansas fall below their threshold of communities supporting their cause.

Many municipalities extend vital protections to their LGBTQ citizens and visitors

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Recently the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, released its sixth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), assessing LGBTQ equality in 506 cities across the nation, including nine in Kansas.
The 2017 Municipal Equality Index, the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy, shows that cities across the country, including in Kansas, continue to take the lead in supporting LGBTQ people and workers -- even in face of renewed attacks this year on the LGBTQ community by federal and state officials.
For LGBTQ Americans, legal protections and benefits vary widely depending on location -- states and cities have markedly different laws governing discrimination. 20 states have non-discrimination laws that include protections for LGBTQ people in employment, and 19 states have laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in places of public accommodation. But cities are leading the way: since the MEI’s debut in 2012, the number of cities earning perfect scores has increased more than sixfold, and today at least 24 million people live in cities that have more comprehensive, transgender-inclusive non-discrimination laws than their state.
The average score for cities in Kansas is 35 out of 100 points, which falls below the national average of 57.
Emporia
23
Hutchinson
32
Kansas City
35
Lawrence
74
Manhattan
57
Olathe
7
Overland Park
19
Topeka
35
Wichita
31
“This year’s MEI paints a vivid picture: cities big and small, in red and blue states alike, are continuing our progress toward full equality, regardless of the political drama unfolding in Washington, D.C., and in state legislatures across the country,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Today, the MEI serves as a vital tool for business leaders and municipal officials alike when it comes to economic development. CEOs know that in order to attract and retain the best employees, they must grow their companies in places that protect LGBTQ citizens from discrimination and actively open their doors to all communities. The MEI is the best tool to help these businesses make crucial evaluations about the welcoming -- or unwelcoming -- nature of towns and cities across the nation.”
“Our movement is stronger and more united than ever, and we stand in resistance to the unprecedented attacks on all our communities,” said Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of the Equality Federation Institute. “This report is a proven, powerful tool for local advocates to leverage in their efforts to win full equality at the local level, and serves as a reminder that we aren’t going back, despite a most hostile federal administration and organized opposition.”
Since the MEI’s debut in 2012, the number of cities earning perfect scores has increased by more than sixfold, and today at least 24 million people live in cities that have more comprehensive, transgender-inclusive non-discrimination laws than their state.
Progress on transgender equality has been particularly noteworthy in cities across America this year, continuing a positive trend that the MEI has tracked -- and encouraged -- since 2012. Transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits are offered to employees of 111 municipalities this year -- up from 86 in 2016, 66 in 2015 and just five in 2012. The MEI’s Issue Brief on Transgender-Inclusive Health Benefits is available here.
Other key findings from the 2017 Municipal Equality Index include:
  • 86 cities from states without comprehensive non-discrimination laws protecting LGBTQ people scored above the overall national average of 57 points. These cities averaged 84-point scores; 28 scored a perfect 100.
  • Cities continue to excel even in the absence of inclusive state laws: 41“All-Star” cities in states lacking comprehensive non-discrimination laws scored above 85 points, up from 37 last year, 31 in 2016, 15 in 2014, eight in 2013, and just two in 2012.
  • The national city score average increased from 55 to 57 points. 68 cities scored 100 points; 25 percent scored over 79 points; 50 percent scored over 59 points; 25 percent scored less than 36, and 11 cities scored zero points.
The MEI rated 506 cities including the 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the United States, the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, the cities home to the state’s two largest public universities, municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples and 98 cities selected by HRC and Equality Federation state group members and supporters. It assesses each city on 44 criteria covering citywide nondiscrimination protections, policies for municipal employees, city services, law enforcement, and city leadership’s relationship with the LGBTQ community. Starting in 2018, the MEI will introduce new criteria including protecting youth from “conversion therapy” and will deduct points for religious exemptions that allow discrimination by singling out LGBTQ people.
The full report, including detailed scorecards for every city, as well as a searchable database, is available online at www.hrc.org/mei.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Area Happenings - Week of October 22, 2017

Here are the upcoming events that the Gazette has been made aware of as of  October 21, 2017.  To submit an item to the community events calendar, please email it to press@baldwingazette.com.



October 25, 2017 






 October 26, 2017

 City Council and Mayoral Candidate Forum
  • 6-7 P.M. Mayoral Candidate Forum 
  • Refreshment Breaak  
  • 7:30-9:30 P.M. City Council Candidate Forum Forums will start promptly at 6 and 7:30
Lumberyard Art Center
718 High Street


October 27, 2017
 Messages 
Featuring the Baker University Choirs
Baker University Concert Choir,
Chamber Singers, and Community Choir

7:30pm

Rice Auditorium

Freewill donations accepted as fundraiser for choir’s tour to England in Spring 2018

October 27, 2017

Baldwin City Chamber and City of Baldwin City Civic Engagement Program
Got Electric Questions?
Rob Culey, Glenn Rodden and Brad Smith
Location: Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice

Time: 8-9 A.M.
 Refreshments Available

  October 28, 2017

COME AND ENJOY OUR
COMMUNITY DINNER  & FELLOWSHIP
          TO BE HELD  AT 6:00  to?



HOST
VINLAND UNITED CHURCH
1724 N 692 RD
BALDWIN CITY, KS 6600



November 6, 2017 


U.S. Railroads in World War One
Date: November 6, 2017Time: 6:30   P.M.
Location:  Baldwin City Library
Bring the children, yourself, spouse, railroad fans, and enthusiasts.
November 7, 2017

Election Day

Get out and Vote!



November 7, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

November 21, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

December 2, 2017
 6 PM
 Festival of Lights


 
December 5, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

December 19, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

December 29, 2017

COME AND ENJOY OUR
COMMUNITY DINNER  & FELLOWSHIP
          TO BE HELD  AT 6:00  to?


HOST
VINLAND UNITED CHURCH
1724 N 692 RD
BALDWIN CITY, KS 6600


January 2, 2018

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.



January 16, 2018

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.


Third Friday Art Walk and Farmers Market

Downtown Baldwin City





Every 4th Thursday of the Month
10 A.M. - 11 A.M.
Mobile Food Bank
Baldwin City New Life Assembly of God
118 5th St  Baldwin City, KS
Stay in car, line up and drive through



Every Tuesday through October  
Eudora Local Gardening Farmer’s Market
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm Tuesdays
through October 2016
1402 Church Street
Eudora, KS.
In the parking lot of Gene’s Hartland Foods.
Local, fresh produce and foods offered by local growers and producers!


Every Wednesday through October
De Soto Farmer’s Market (Fresh Promise’s Market)
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Wednesdays through October 2016
at The Barn at Kill Creek Farm
9200 Kill Creek Road
De Soto, KS
Local, fresh produce and foods offered by local growers and producers!


Every Thursday through October 
Cottin's Hardware Farmer's Market on Thursdays from
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
through September
at Cottin's Hardware & Rental back parking lot
1832 Massachusetts Street
Lawrence, KS
Local vendors offer a variety of goods including produce, baked items, hot foods, meats, eggs, soaps, jams, jellies, herbs, fudge and much more!;


Every Friday through October
Perry Lecompton Farmers' Market
Fridays from 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
at Bernie's parking lot
24 Hwy and Ferguson Road
Perry, KS
Visit the market to find fresh vegetables, fruits, homemade jams and jellies, baked goods, honey, fresh cut flowers, farm fresh eggs, handmade crafts and more!


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Obituary: Lloyd Lacer


Lloyd Lacer
August 21, 1924 - October 18, 2017


Lloyd Lacer, age 93, of Baldwin City, Kansas died Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at Wellsville Manor Care Center in Wellsville, Kansas. Lloyd was born in Bucklin, Missouri on August 21, 1924, to Grover and Marie Lacer. He married Rowena (Mauk) Poindexter on June 5, 1985, and she survives him.
Lloyd Lacer
Lloyd served 4 years in the United States Army during World War II in the South Pacific theater
returning to a long and varied working life which included employment in the petroleum industry in oil production facilities in Libya and the Middle East. In 1985 Lloyd retired after a lengthy employment at the Hercules Ammunition Plant in DeSoto, Kansas and used his “retirement” years raising cattle, helping neighbors with farming chores and sharing life with his wife, Rowena. Lloyd enjoyed gathering with family and friends in the Baldwin community at the local feed store or pubs telling entertaining “true” stories and sharing bets on the latest sporting events. He considered
everyone a friend and if for some reason a wire got crossed, he usually figured out a way to set it straight.
Rowena would like to communicate her gratefulness for all the friends and relatives who attended Lloyd’s last birthday celebration in August and how much Lloyd appreciated that time.
A private gathering of family and close friends is planned at the Lacer home in Baldwin October 19-21.
A public memorial service is scheduled for October 28, 2017, at 1:00 pm at Oakwood Cemetery in Baldwin City, Kansas. Opportunity after the service has been made for guests to share memories and condolences.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Obituary: Robert “Bob” L. Morse

Robert “Bob” L. Morse, 72, of Baldwin City, Kansas passed away Sunday, October 15, 2017, at St. Francis Health Center, Topeka, KS. He was born December 20, 1944, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the son of Robert C. Morse and Bernice (Peterson) Morse, both deceased.
Robert “Bob” L. Morse
Bob served honorably as a Captain in the United States Army from 1968-1974. He served in Vietnam from 1969-1970. His military awards and decorations include The Soldier’s Medal; Bronze Star with ”V” device and 2 Oak Leaf Clusters; Air Medal; Republic of Vietnam Service Medal with 3 campaign stars; and Combat Infantry Badge.
Bob graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1973 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and in 1975 with a Juris Doctorate from the School of Law. He received a Masters of Law in Trial Advocacy from the University of Missouri- Kansas City in 1976. Bob became a criminal defense attorney, Olathe Municipal Judge, and a professor. He loved teaching at Johnson County Community College, Brown Mackie College and Kaplan University totaling over 25 years.
Bob’s most cherished titles were husband, father, and teacher. Bob was united in marriage to Bonnie Lauxen on July 10, 1971, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. She survives of the home. Other survivors include his daughter, Michelle Morse of Mission, KS and his son, Ryan Morse, and wife, Christine, of Medina, Texas and many beloved students.
A Celebration of Life Service with Military Honors will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, October 23, 2017 at Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home, 712 Ninth St., Baldwin City, KS. Prior to the service, the family will greet friends for a visitation beginning at 12:30 p.m. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Disabled American Veterans, www.dav.org or Unleashed Pet Rescue & Adoption, www.unleashedrescue.com c/o Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home, P.O. Box 64, Baldwin City, KS 66006. Condolences may be sent to the family through www.lamb-roberts.com.

Meet the Candidate - Brian Cramer

Candidate Questionnaire
Brian Cramer

Gazette: What sets you apart from other candidates? 
Cramer: 
For the past 18 months, I have actively volunteered for projects that impact economic vitality and quality of life in Baldwin City.  I have volunteered for Baldwin City Economic Development Corp., Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce, Baldwin City Senior Engagement Coordinating Council, and Douglas County E-Community.

I have experience working on a wide variety of Baldwin City initiatives including senior housing, youth entrepreneurship, and small business development.  I have also participated in fund raising projects for non-profits in Baldwin City including cultural and historic attractions.

I'm committed to serving Baldwin City now and in the future, regardless of the outcome of this election.

Gazette: What aspects of your personal history, accomplishments, and personal philosophy make you the best possible choice in this election cycle? 
Cramer: 
Personal accomplishments don't  matter once you are on the council.  What does matter, is being able to listen, learn, communicate, and make decisions based on the values of integrity, discipline, and character.



I am a team player, and I believe the other candidates who have communicated their ideas are as well.  My goal is for Baldwin City to be at its best, not for me to be the "best possible choice".

GazetteWhat do you see as the most important issue this election? 
Cramer:   I believe helping Baldwin City achieve responsible economic growth is the most important issue during this election.  Our Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) will provide property tax incentives for new construction and improvements to existing property.  But it won't do much unless we engage property owners, developers, and builders on the benefits of the NRP.


I am ready to help the council and city staff educate the public on the NRP if called on to do so.



Gazette: What would you do to ensure the community you hope to represent is a livable community? 
Cramer:  I would continue strong collaborations with the community organizations that make Baldwin City more livable.  Organizations such as the Chamber, Lumberyard Arts Center, Recreation Commission, and the Library do a fantastic job providing programs and services for our citizens.  Their leadership fosters growth in programs despite large increases in public funding.  That leadership helped inspire me to run for city council.  The City of Baldwin City supports these organizations in various ways, and I would be excited to collaborate with them as a councilperson.


GazetteIf money were no obstacle, what is one project you’d like to see the city move forward on? 
Cramer:  Let's focus on making money less of an obstacle instead of pretending it's not.  That starts by assertively pursuing economic growth while considering how we spend tax dollars and revenue from utilities.  


Gazette: Polls show most voters don't think government works. What would you do to reform the underlying structures and systems that seem to be a major cause of the problem? 
Cramer:
I applaud City staff that traveled to Florida to face a hurricane and restore power to our distant neighbors.  Their spirit was supported by City administration, council, and our citizens.  That's one example of our local government at work.  It works here in Baldwin City on a daily basis...you can see examples of it everywhere.

The city council has improved over the past four years, and I believe it can continue to make more improvement over the next four.


Gazette: Do you think eliminating obsolete laws, regulations (and bureaucracies) would help reduce wasteful spending in government? And if so, how would you do it? 
Cramer:  The city council approves the budget, so wasteful spending should be addressed during the budget formation process.  As a councilperson, I would demand full transparency to get the best information from city staff.  I'm not aware of any laws or regulations that prevent doing those things.





 Gazette: Do you think state and local civil service rules make it harder to cut wasteful spending and to efficiently manage public agencies? If so, what would you do about it? 
Cramer:  Again, the council is responsible for approving the budget and policy.  It's about planning and considering all options including cuts prior to budget approval.





Gazette: What is your position on the Baldwin City Recreation Center?
Cramer: I agree with the City Council's desire to have citizens vote on this issue. 

LDCHD news release about community flu clinics

Press Release


Lawrence, KS – The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department has scheduled three
community flu vaccination clinics. They will be:
• Tuesday, Oct. 17 — 4-6 p.m., Eudora City Hall, 4 E. Seventh St., Eudora.
• Thursday, Nov. 2 — 3:30-5:45 p.m., Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St.,
Lawrence.
• Wednesday, Nov. 8 — 4-6 p.m. Baldwin City Public Library, 800 Seventh St., Baldwin
City.
Participants should bring health insurance information or cash, credit card or check. The flu shot is:
• $28 for children ages 6 months to 35 months.
• $35 for individuals 3 years and older.
• $62 for the high-dose vaccine for individuals 65 years and older.
The Health Department recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should get a
yearly flu vaccine. Getting the vaccination is the most effective way to avoid getting the flu, a
contagious respiratory illness.
Influenza can cause mild to severe symptoms and can lead to hospitalizations and death.
During the 2016-17 flu season, influenza was a contributing factor or directly caused 1,205
deaths in Kansas, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Those
most at risk are infants and young children, older adults and pregnant women; however, flu is
unpredictable and even healthy children and adults can get flu.
Clinic Supervisor Kathy Colson said it’s not only important to get vaccinated to protect yourself,
but also your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. “People can be infected with the flu
virus and not be showing symptoms. During this time, those persons may still spread the virus
to others.”
For more information about flu or to view Douglas County flu activity, visit ldchealth.org/flu.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Meet the Candidate - Brian Messenger

Candidate Questionnaire

Gazette: What sets you apart from other candidates? 
Messenger:   No response/Unable to contact

Gazette: What aspects of your personal history, accomplishments, and personal philosophy make you the best possible choice in this election cycle? 
Messenger:   No response/Unable to contact

GazetteWhat do you see as the most important issue this election? 
Messenger:   No response/Unable to contact



Gazette: What would you do to ensure the community you hope to represent is a livable community? 
Messenger:   No response/Unable to contact


GazetteIf money were no obstacle, what is one project you’d like to see the city move forward on? 
Messenger:   No response/Unable to contact


Gazette: Polls show most voters don't think government works. What would you do to reform the underlying structures and systems that seem to be a major cause of the problem? 
Messenger:  No response/Unable to contact



Gazette: Do you think eliminating obsolete laws, regulations (and bureaucracies) would help reduce wasteful spending in government? And if so, how would you do it? 
Messenger:   No response/Unable to contact





 Gazette: Do you think state and local civil service rules make it harder to cut wasteful spending and to efficiently manage public agencies? If so, what would you do about it? 
Messenger:   No response/Unable to contact





Gazette: What is your position on the Baldwin City Recreation Center?
Messenger:  No response/Unable to contact

Jenkins, Loebsack Send Letter to HHS on Direct Supervision

Press Release

Congress Person Lynn
Jenkins
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recently, Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (KS-R) and Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-D) sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services Don Wright to permanently prevent Medicare’s enforcement of unreasonable and inflexible direct supervision rules for outpatient therapy services at Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and other small, rural hospitals. The bipartisan letter was signed by 54 other members of the House of Representatives.

“Critical Access Hospitals and small hospitals are the lifeblood of rural communities,” said Congresswoman Jenkins. “Permanently preventing the “direct supervision” rule will help CAHs and other rural hospitals plan for the future and focus more on their patients. I will continue working to repeal burdensome regulations on our rural and critical access hospitals to ensure their continued presence and vitality throughout Kansas.”

“We must keep fighting to ensure all Iowans have access to high-quality health care no matter where they live,” said Loebsack. “Critical Access Hospitals play an important role in rural communities by providing access to primary, emergency, and acute care services. I have visited CAHs across the state that has struggled to meet the direct supervision requirement. I am proud to continue working with Rep. Jenkins on a bipartisan basis to permanently extend this rule to provide CAHs with certainty that they deserve.”


Dear Acting Secretary Wright:

On July 13, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the proposed rule for “Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System Changes for 2018.” While we were pleased CMS included a two-year moratorium on enforcement of its burdensome direct supervision requirement for outpatient therapeutic services provided in certain small and rural hospitals, we urge you to include a moratorium for the current year, 2017, and to permanently extend the enforcement moratorium.

Under current regulations, hospitals must perform most outpatient therapeutic services under the “direct supervision” of a physician or qualified non-physician practitioner, which can be challenging for small and rural hospitals due to already low numbers of available health professionals and associated costs. When these services become too expensive or difficult to provide under “direct supervision” requirements, they are at risk of being terminated, leaving patients without access to care in their communities.

The American Hospital Association, which represents nearly 2,000 small and rural hospitals, has stated that hospital outpatient services in rural communities have always been – and will continue to be provided by licensed, skilled professionals under the overall direction of a physician. However, if CMS enforces its burdensome direct supervision policy in these vulnerable facilities, we are concerned that many hospitals will simply stop offering certain services or drastically limit when they are offered to patients because they cannot afford to maintain compliance with the regulation. Furthermore, we are concerned that without a moratorium in 2017, hospitals operations and services may be jeopardized by the prospect of enforcement of this burdensome regulation.
We appreciate your willingness to listen to and consider our concerns, and for your commitment to protect access to patient care in rural communities and provide regulatory relief to America’s small and rural hospitals.

Baldwin High Community Homecoming

Kevin Surbaugh

 Baldwin High School held a community-wide Homecoming Celebration complete with a parade in downtown Baldwin City on Thursday, October 12, 2017.   Citizens from throughout the district came out to pump the team up, before the big victory that came the next night.
Baldwin High Football Team   Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

Baldwin High fans show their support for Baldwin Football
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh

Baldwin City Council Agenda - October 17, 2017

Baldwin City Public Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS 66006
TUESDAY
October 17, 2017
7:00 PM

A. Call to Order- Mayor Marilyn Pearse
B. Consent Agenda
   1. Minutes of the October 3, 2017, Regular Meeting
C. Public Comment:
Members of the public are welcome to comment on items relating to City business not listed on this
Agenda. Please stand and wait to be recognized by the Mayor. As a general practice, the comments may or may not be acted upon by the Council during the meeting, or Council may refer the items to staff for .follow up.
If you wish to comment on an item listed on the Agenda, a sign-up sheet is provided for you to sign in and .provide your address. You will be called on when the Agenda item of interest is under discussion by the Council.
D. Special Reports or Presentations
   1. Highway 56 Project Update -- BG Consultants
E. Old Business
F. New Business
  1. Mayor appointments
       a. Gerard Arantowicz-library board
       b. Glenn Rodden - treasurer
 2. Ordinance 1381 Amending Water Rates
3. Ordinance 1380 Amending Sewer Rates
4. Lotatorium discussion
5. Capital Improvement Plan discussion
G. Committee and/or Commission Reports
1. Budget and Finance/Kathy Gerstner, David Simmons
2. Community Development Committee/A.J. Stevens, Tony Brown
3. Public Health and Safety Committee/David Simmons, Kathy Gerstner
4. Public Works Committee/Christi Darnell, A.J. Stevens
5. Utilities Committee/ Tony Brown, Christi Darnell
H. City Administrator and Staff comments
I. Council & Mayor Comments
J. Executive Session
K. Adjourn

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Meet the Candidate - Peter Sexton

Candidate Questionnaire

Peter Sexton
Gazette: What sets you apart from other candidates? 
Sexton:     I have demonstrated integrity and reliability to the voting public in two states (OH and IL) by re-election to three positions within three different venues: Village Council, Village Trustee and Township Trustee. I am a fiscal conservative, preferring to save before we invest, and in all cases, evaluate carefully whether projects are needs vs wants. I have a great deal of respect for public expressions of support or opposition, but I urge all parties involved in any issue to hear and understand both points of view before judging the right or wrong of their concern. Volume does not make right any more than silence is a sign of concealment. Experience, in my case, 32 years, is a valuable aid to navigate the changing geography of government. I love where I live and I’m ready to serve!





Gazette: What aspects of your personal history, accomplishments, and personal philosophy make you the best possible choice in this election cycle? 
Sexton:   Career history includes, Advertising and Periodical Publishing, representing or employed by major national manufacturers including Baldwin Piano Co., General Electric (Co.) Aircraft Gas Turbine Div, Chrysler Corp, Formica Corp., Anchor Hocking Glass, Rust-Oleum Coatings, The Merchandise Mart (Chi), Condé Nast Publications and Simmons-Boardman Publications. 
With civic experience including having been active in local government in Mariemont, OH (ten years elected to Village Council) and Lake Bluff, IL eight years as Village Trustee, six years Village Clerk, four years Township Trustee and four years as a Commissioner on the Northeast IL Planning Commission serving incorporated and unincorporated areas of six counties in Greater Chicago. Total of 32 years of experience in local government.  Member of the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce, serving on the Visitors Bureau, Senior Engagement Coordinating Council and the Mural Project.  Judge for Baldwin HS Future Business Leaders of America  Chairman, Board of Elders, Church of the Redeemer, Mettawa, IL; member, Christ Church, Lake Forest, IL and New Hope Fellowship, Lawrence, KS.

GazetteWhat do you see as the most important issue this election? 
Sexton:   Housing, Residential Tax Base, Consistent Enforcement of Planning & Zoning regulations, Improve Communication and Cooperative Activities of three groups: City Administration, Economic Development Corp. and Tourism Bureau. Areas of concern include (a) Aesthetics – Curb appeal, (b) Provision for temporary overnight accommodation of visitors and (c) Variety of price points attractive to both retirees and new family formations.



Gazette: What would you do to ensure the community you hope to represent is a livable community? 
Sexton:   Anticipated growth of both incorporated area and median age of residents, possibility of 12-15% for both categories. Availability of affordable housing and state of the national economy may also have significant impact on the demographic profile and the pace of change. Will retirees (both local agricultural and business professionals retreating from higher cost urban areas) compete with a younger audience seeking a small-town environment to raise a family? Will there be any significant changes in the commercial/industrial climate to accelerate or retard change in any category? Will Baldwin City and its school system have sufficient facilities and qualified staff to attract businesses to locate here and maintain a suitable balance of tax revenue base to accomplish affordable growth?


GazetteIf money were no obstacle, what is one project you’d like to see the city move forward on? 
Sexton:  No Response


Gazette: Polls show most voters don't think government works. What would you do to reform the underlying structures and systems that seem to be a major cause of the problem? 
Sexton: No Response



Gazette: Do you think eliminating obsolete laws, regulations (and bureaucracies) would help reduce wasteful spending in government? And if so, how would you do it? 
Sexton:  No Response





 Gazette: Do you think state and local civil service rules make it harder to cut wasteful spending and to efficiently manage public agencies? If so, what would you do about it? 
Sexton:   No Response





Gazette: What is your position on the Baldwin City Recreation Center?
Sexton: No Response

Number 2 Baker Charges Past MNU, 48-14

Tyler Price, Assistant Director of Athletics | Communications  Baker University

BALDWIN CITY, Kansas – After a slow start and a 30-minute lightning delay, the number two ranked Baker University football team regrouped and defeated rival Mid-America Nazerine, 48-14, to move to a perfect 7-0 on the season and opens up Heart Southern Division play with a 1-0 record.

This is Baker’s fourth win over Mid-America Nazarene in the last five seasons and marks its 24th-straight win over a Heart of America Athletic Conference opponent.

The Pioneers scored first on a Trey Cooper pass to Marquis McQuire from 28-yards out to put Mid-America Nazerine up, 7-0.

Clarence Clark put Baker on the board for the first time with 13:17 to go in the 2nd quarter on a 21-yard FG.

Then a thunderous lightning bolt hit near Liston Stadium and sent the crowd fleeing out of the Stadium, causing a 30-minute lightning delay.

Baker came out recharged after the delay and scored 32-unanswered points, with another Clarence Clark field goal from 46-yards out.

Then safety Grant Elston picked off a Cooper pass and raced to the end zone for a pick-six from 50-yards out to put BU up, 12-7, Clark then ran in the PAT for two points, to make the score 14-7.

Logan Brettell scored his first TD of the game on a 10-yard run right after halftime, then he connected with Clark on a 20-yard TD pass to give BU the 28-7 lead.

Baker wasn’t done yet, JD Woods ran in a 1-yard touchdown run before Mid-America Nazerine finally scored again on a 4-yard pass from Cooper to Kobe Hardin.

The longest offensive play of the day came with 12:22 to go in the fourth quarter, when Tywonn Moss scored on a 42-yard pass from Brettell and Brandon Mueller ended the scoring for Baker with 5:39 to go in the game on a nifty 5-yard TD scamper.

The Wildcat offense finished with 450 total yards. Brettell went 23-of-36 for 341 yards passing and two scores and he led the team in rushing with 61 yards on 10 carries.

Trey Cooper struggled for Mid-America Nazerine throwing three interceptions and went 18-of-41 for 123 yards.

Elston had two picks for Baker and six tackles, while Landon Decker also had an interception and recovered a fumble.

Kegan Schumann led all players with nine tackles and Josh Kock had another sack, giving him 28 on his impressive career.

Baker held Mid-America Nazerine to just 263 total yards and allowed just 3.1 yards per play, while the BU offense averaged 6.0 yards per play.

Six different ‘Cats had a reception, as Moss had a monster game with seven catches for 142 yards and Clark finished with seven receptions for 95 yards.

The Wildcats next travel to Kansas City, Missouri to face Avila on Saturday, October 21 at 1 p.m.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Number. 2 Baker vs. MNU to be Broadcast on Watch ESPN/ESPN 3

Tyler Price, Assistant Director of Athletics | Communications  Baker University

 
BALDWIN CITY, Kansas – The number two Baker University football team will renew its rivalry against MidAmerica Nazarene University on Saturday, October 14 at 11:07 a.m. in a game that will be broadcast worldwide on the Watch ESPN App/ESPN 3 and locally on KSMO-TV.

Fans may watch the game on its home computer, tablet or mobile devices via the Watch ESPN app and on its television set on KSMO-TV.

The matchup inside Liston Stadium will be the 37th all-time, as Baker leads the series, 19-17.

The Wildcats have won three of the last four games including a 55-34 win in Olathe, Kansas last year.

Baker is 6-0 for the third time in four years and has won 23-straight games against a Heart of America Athletic Conference opponent.

The Wildcats are one of the hottest teams across the nation, as they sport a 50-8 record since the start of the 2013 season.

MNU enters the contest 3-3 and has lost three-straight games after beginning the year, 3-0.

The Pioneers have accumulated 22.5 sacks this season, which ranks number four in the NAIA and linebacker Dominic Swillum ranks number 2 in the NAIA in tackles per game at 14.3.

Quarterback Trey Cooper has thrown for 1,651 yards this season and 13 touchdowns with five interceptions.

The Wildcats feature the number two ranked scoring offense in the NAIA, as they average 53.5 points per game and Clarence Clark leads the NAIA in total scoring with 90 points.

He is the NAIA’s all-time leading scorer by nearly 100 points with 43 TD’s, 43 field goals and 226 PAT’s totaling 613 points.

Baker also features the 2016 NAIA National Player of the Year in Logan Brettell. The senior is now Baker’s all-time leader in passing yards with 8,446, passing TD’s 84 and total offensive yards with 9,083.

Brettell has thrown for 1,901 yards this season with 21 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

Seven Wildcats have 10 or more receptions, as Nick Snider leads the pack with 28 and Clark leads the team in receiving yards with 657.

Defensively Indie Allen is the NAIA’s fifth-leading tackler per game at 11.7 tackles per game. Baker has 19 sacks by its defense, which is number ninth in the country.

Two-time defending Heart South Co-Defensive Player of the Year, Josh Kock leads Baker in sacks with five, while Jack Taylor and Allen each have three sacks apiece. Baker is +4 in turnover margin, while MNU is -1.

Number 4 BU Soccer Pushes Win Streak to Nine with Win over Number 12 CMU

Tyler Price, Assistant Director of Athletics | Communications  Baker University

 
BALDWIN CITY, Kansas – The number four ranked Baker University men’s soccer team picked up its ninth-straight win on Wednesday evening, defeating number twelve Central Methodist, 2-1 in Fayette, Missouri.

With the win, Baker improves to 11-1-1 overall and 7-0 in Heart play, while the Eagles fall to 9-2-2 and 5-1-2 in conference action. Baker hasn’t lost a match since its third match of the season on September 2.

The ‘Cats got off to a quick start when sophomore defender Joah Hickel nailed a shot past keeper Vince Gelei in just the third minute of the match.

The Eagles would respond in the thirtieth minute with a goal from Jackson Darnell to tie the match at 1-1.

In the eightieth minute, a CMU foul inside the penalty box gave Baker a chance to take the lead on a penalty kick.

Reigning Heart Offensive Player of the Week Blake Levine stepped up and nailed the PK into the upper right corner of the goal, giving the ‘Cats a 2-1 lead and ultimately the win.

Collectively, Baker recorded nine shots on the evening with five on goal, while the Eagles managed 15 shots and four on goal.

Levine led the ‘Cats on the offensive side of the ball, recording three shots with all three on goal and Joseph Houlihan attempted two shots. CMU’s Darnell led the attack with five shots.

Freshman goalkeeper Alberto Ciroi had another excellent night for Baker, recording three saves and only allowing one goal.

Baker will next take on the William Penn Statesmen on Saturday, October 14 at 7:30 p.m. inside Liston Stadium.


NAIA Men's Soccer Box Score
Team12T
Baker (Kan.)112
Central Methodist (Mo.)101

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Baker Football Continues to Hold Number 2 Spot in Top 25 Ranking

Tyler Price, Assistant Director of Athletics | Communications

BALDWIN CITY, Kansas – The Baker University football team has kept the number two ranking in all six of the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 polls this season including Monday’s installment, announced by the NAIA national office.


The 6-0 Wildcats enjoyed its Bye week last week, while number one St. Francis (Ind.) won the NAIA Game of the Week, 35-18, over then-number 20 Concordia (Mich.) last Saturday.

Baker is 6-0 for the third time in the last four years and has won 23-straight games against a Heart of America Athletic Conference opponent.

Also ranked this week from the Heart includes number 6 Grand View and number 12 Benedictine. Both fell to the Wildcats this season.

Next up, the Wildcats face rival MNU on Saturday, October 14 at 11:07 a.m. inside Liston Stadium in a game that will be broadcast worldwide on the Watch ESPN App/ESPN 3 and locally on KSMO-TV.


The number two ranked ‘Cats also feature the number two scoring offense in the NAIA, as they average 53.5 points per game.

Clarence Clark is still the nations leading scorer with 90 points and Indie Allen is fifth in the country in tackles per game at 11.7.

Baker is now one of eight teams in the NAIA with an undefeated record, including number one St. Francis (6-0), Reinhardt (Ga.) (5-0), Morningside (Iowa) (6-0), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (5-0), Southern Oregon (5-0), Langston (Okla.) (5-0), Georgetown (Ky.) (5-0).

Monday, October 9, 2017

Meet the Candidate - Susan Pitts

Candidate Questionnaire

Gazette: What sets you apart from other candidates? 
Pitts:  I’m energetic, resourceful and forward thinking. I recognize the importance of keeping our small town charm while promoting responsible growth and as a business owner in Baldwin, I have a deep understanding of the needs of the community.   I’m passionate.  I’ll go to great lengths to stand up for what I believe is the right choice for Baldwin.  I have a very strong sense of responsibility to my community.  Baldwin City has provided me the security and sense of community that comes with small town living.  To give back through public service is something I would take very seriously and consider an honor and privilege.

Gazette: What aspects of your personal history, accomplishments, and personal philosophy make you the best possible choice in this election cycle? 
Pitts:  I have owned a couple of businesses allowing me to gain multiple facets of experience and knowledge that can be applied to the City Council.  In addition I am the assistant to a CEO of a large business requiring me to be resourceful, insightful, organized and essentially a jack of all trades.  I’ve been involved in fundraisers, have headed a local community volunteer organization and stay on top of the important issues surrounding Baldwin.
I believe in providing a voice for Baldwin, even if it’s not always my personal opinion.  I believe in listening to the concerns of the citizens and taking them seriously.  I believe the people of Baldwin should be actively engaged in City Council Meetings and decisions should be transparent.  It’s the people of Baldwin that make it what it is; disregarding their needs is detrimental to the overall good of the town.


GazetteWhat do you see as the most important issue this election? 
Pitts:  Retaining our culture and small town charm are vital but at the same time some commercial and residential growth should be embraced in a fiscally responsible manner.  Keeping government spending  to a minimum is something I know everyone can agree on so we need to find ways to bring more revenue to Baldwin while minimizing our local cost of living.   The cost of electricity in Baldwin is a constant concern of the citizens and certainly brings up our overall cost of living.  Exploring alternatives should be a constant priority.



Gazette: What would you do to ensure the community you hope to represent is a livable community? 
Pitts:  I think Baldwin is already on a great path.  We have several wonderful amenities in our little town, but are still small enough to offer a sanctuary from faster paced communities.  To continue this path we have to grow responsibly, we have to keep an eye on our cost of living (utilities, taxes, etc.) to make Baldwin livable for all income levels and we have to embrace new opportunities to bring new revenue to our town.


GazetteIf money were no obstacle, what is one project you’d like to see the city move forward on? 
Pitts:  The Recreation Center, hands down.  A recreation center is one amenity that would offer substantial value to Baldwin.  It’s the type of amenity that attracts future residents and businesses.  In addition, with everything the rec center would offer it would promote healthier lifestyles for the residents of Baldwin, most importantly the children.  With that said, unfortunately money is an obstacle and realistically the rec center has to be funded in a way that has minimal impact to the citizens.


Gazette: Polls show most voters don't think government works. What would you do to reform the underlying structures and systems that seem to be a major cause of the problem? 
Pitts:  Irresponsible government spending and inefficiencies are a large contributor to the popular opinion that government doesn’t work.  If I had the opportunity to reform systems currently in place I would start with holding them accountable to a budget and to achieving quality results.  If we continue down our current path, without any type of reform, federal spending is projected to soar in the near future.



Gazette: Do you think eliminating obsolete laws, regulations (and bureaucracies) would help reduce wasteful spending in government? And if so, how would you do it? 
Pitts:  Absolutely.  The less convoluted the laws and regulations the easier it is to manage them through law enforcement and the judicial system.  It would be beneficial for the current laws/regulations in place to be regularly reviewed and eliminate those considered unnecessary or outdated.





 Gazette: Do you think state and local civil service rules make it harder to cut wasteful spending and to efficiently manage public agencies? If so, what would you do about it? 
Pitts:  A great deal of wasteful spending is tied to convoluted rules and regulations in government agencies.  Without more specifics on which rules/regulations and which particular agency it’s a very broad question and difficult to answer precisely.  Closely managing budgets and holding agencies accountable is the only way to get an effective grasp on continued wasteful spending of tax payers money.





Gazette: What is your position on the Baldwin City Recreation Center?
Pitts:  As I stated in a previous question, a Recreation Center would be an added amenity of tremendous value to our little town. I’m a huge proponent of growth in Baldwin but it has to be carefully analyzed. I’m not aware of a feasibility study being completed on this. If it is I would love to see the results and if it hasn’t I think it’s something that needs to be done before moving forward. We have to know if the demand is there. If the demand is there, then we need to look at funding. Is there a way to fund this with minimal impact to the citizens? How much per year, be it through sales tax, mil levy increases, etc., would the average Baldwin citizen be willing to pay? These are all things that need to be considered. It has to be the right decision for the town as a whole.