Agony of Defeat

first_imgHow many of you remember the old sport show called Wide World of Sports?  It was on long before anybody heard of ESPN.  The “agony of defeat” was exemplified by a skier falling off the end of a ski jump and crashing. This was the beginning of each show.  The “agony of defeat” could easily be seen because the skier was obviously hurt by the accident.  How about the emotional part of a defeat?Athletes put a lot of effort in training into their sport these days.  Some are naturals and win all the time.  How about the young boy/girl who works just as hard but comes in out of the awards each time?  It takes a good coaching staff and family support to keep these young athletes from getting depressed.  If you were ever an athlete, I am sure you remember certain defeats more than a lot of your wins.  I still remember my last baseball game when I missed stealing second base.  We not only lost the game, but we lost the conference as well.  I had the base stolen but my spikes got caught in the mud and I stopped one foot from reaching second base.  This is not the way I envisioned finishing my high school athletic career.last_img read more

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Sunday blog: Talking Chicken little, utility reserves, city election, marijuana and garbage collectors

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for April 12, 2015…1. Chicken Little.“Kansas, the tornado is coming!”It may go down as one of the nuttier weeks I’ve had in awhile when you factor in the election, the website controversies, Easter, and the personal things going in my life. So Wednesday’s non-storm was an accurate metaphor for the week in general.Wednesday, Chicken Little made a visit to Kansas to tell us the sky was falling. It wasn’t so much the weather information. We should all be informed of possible storms ahead. It was how the news was delivered. I actually felt bad for that Channel 12 weather forecaster on my tube Wednesday evening. I knew his bosses were telling him to get on screen and babble about an approaching tornado-like storm that was obviously not materializing, knowing full well half the Kansas population was hating his guts because they were missing a critical episode of “Survivor.”With all the hysteria, I thought at least we could get some rain out of the deal. No such luck. There’s an interesting blog (click here) written by Mark Bogner, who is a meteorologist himself and worked for Channel 3 for 23 years. It is titled “When a City Loses Its Ever-lovin’ Mind.’ In a nutshell, he wrote how weather reporting garners big TV ratings, how people canceled everything including going to work fearing the next impending disaster, and how social media just amplified the problem.Rumor has it Chicken Little was paid handsomely for his appearance here.As for me, I don’t know quite how to handle these weather reports without contributing to the hype. Even the National Weather Service warnings tend to be more wrong than right. I have contemplated not publishing any kind of weather forecast of any kind. But since this is an information site, I’m not comfortable about withholding “news.”It’s like being at the horse race track. You want to quit betting, but what if that next race, your guess may actually be right? 3. Election thoughts.I’m getting pretty good at predicting elections. I accurately picked the city election and the candidates in specific order and came close to even getting the percentages correctly.Shelley HanselI thought Shelley Hansel would win the mayor’s race but not carry the majority of the vote. Hansel, being the public figure she is, had the most name recognition by far. She was also buoyed by the split vote of four other candidates running. People can shoot me for saying this, but I’m not sure she would have won in a one-on-one race with Kelly Green.It was good to see a high voter turnout for a city election. Yes, it could be higher but if you compare Wellington’s city election turnout to those across the state, we were near the top in participation. The number of candidates filing this year was astronomical. Wellington is an engaged community and that bodes well for the future.Tami KlinedistCouple of things I noticed on the campaign. Hats off to Tami Klinedinst, a mayoral candidate who finished third. She worked her tail off in the campaign. She attended every council meeting including the work sessions. Her answers to the Sumner Newscow forum were very well thought out. She put in the time and made the commitment to educate herself on city issues. I’d like to see her run for council in 2017.Secondly, by accident, I discovered how much Green has grown as a civic leader. When I was doing these city council candidates forums, it was a massive heap of e-mails, cutting and pasting, and keeping everything straight. In the process, I accidentally grabbed Green’s 2013 answers to the Sumner Newscow questionnaire I sent out two years ago. It took me about four questions down to figure out her answers weren’t jiving with the questions above. When I suddenly realized I had the wrong answers, I went and got her 2015 responses.Kelly GreenWhat amazed me was how much more knowledgable she was in 2015 compared to 2013 on city issues. Her 2013 responses were terse and somewhat naive. But her 2015 responses were so much more well thought and insightful.And this illustrates an important part to serving in public office. It takes time to learn the system, and truly understand what is best for the city and the people you serve. And it’s one reason I’m not a “throw the bum out,” kind of guy, unless they truly need to be thrown out. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (12) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +17 Vote up Vote down garbage collector · 278 weeks ago Thank you from a Chiefs fan and garbage collector! Report Reply 0 replies · active 278 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down Jim · 278 weeks ago On the budget issue, who was city manager during 2010 to present? Report Reply 0 replies · active 278 weeks ago -8 Vote up Vote down JustMe · 278 weeks ago Pretty sure “sanitation specialist” is the politically correct term, Cue. “G-word collector” is a bit hurtful to those that specialize in sanitation operations. 🙂 Report Reply 1 reply · active 278 weeks ago -9 Vote up Vote down QWERTY · 278 weeks ago Cue, Marijuana is a prescription drug. Our schools need the money. Everyone uses it anyway( A lot of people.) Why not make money off of it. It has many beneficial properties and can be used for so many other reasons than getting a buzz. If the state demonstrates their power to take away the will of the people then we no longer live in a free society. Period. Could the state pass the legislation? No because of all the tight wad’s who are brown nosing the Koch brothers agenda. As #6 on the Forbes list I am sure they have Brownback under their thumb as their puppet. Compared to the rest of the United States we are like residents of Yoder, Kansas compared to the rest of the state. If things don’t start changing to adapt to the new group of people who will inevitably be running this state, county, city soon they will start leaving to pursue a successful career elsewhere. We have to learn how to adapt to change rather than oppose it. I do not even personally smoke or use marijuana but the Positives far outweigh the negatives and I can’t understand why people are so against it. Report Reply 3 replies · active 278 weeks ago +10 Vote up Vote down Guest · 278 weeks ago Weather reporters…darned if you do and darned if you don’t! Report Reply 0 replies · active 278 weeks ago +12 Vote up Vote down Guest · 278 weeks ago Damn good article! Report Reply 0 replies · active 278 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down credence · 278 weeks ago Concerning the City’s use of the utility fund; I agree with you Tracy, the questions we should be asking start with why the City needs to draw on the utility fund. The fund was intended to provide funds for emergency situations, such as disasters, not to support ever increasing expenditures. The City needs to look at reducing expenses and not finding new revenue sources. Unfortunately our little City has seen a steady decline in population over the past 30 years and the loss of several business, the life blood of a small community, and it does not look as though this trend is going to change. However, our city government still maintains the same level of employment and service for ever decreasing numbers of citizens. I believe it is time to explore ways to decrease costs rather than trying to find ways to increase revenues, especially when those revenues are being taken from the utility fund. Report Reply 0 replies · active 278 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down Jon Holmes · 278 weeks ago How about the cost of Vandenburg a major project that needed to be done for years , the street department building that was also needed. Repairs that are put off don’t go away they just get more expensive. City taxes have not been raised in years .The money has to come from somewhere so suppliment from the utility fund or raise the mill levy . Apathy is abundant everywhere , people, get involved then you’ll know what’s going on.I know the council people you have and they are good people who care about Wellington. Report Reply 0 replies · active 278 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments 5. Shout out of the week… I always ponder with shout outs, because it is always so easy to overlook the good things in life. But the other day, I was watching the garbage collectors take away my trash and wondered what a thankless job that has to be. Does anyone really thank them or give them high fives or give them any thought whatsoever as they perform what has to be the most physically demanding job of the day? Yet, without them, we’d be in knee deep garbage.So this week my shout out goes to the garbage collectors. You’re doing a great job – even those who are Kansas City Chief fans and give me hell about my Broncos.Follow us on Twitter.center_img 2. Where was should be outraged…The way people reacted to Wednesday’s non-storm is a lot like what is going on with the City of Wellington’s Utility Reserve Fund controversy.It’s fascinating so many people believe there is missing money as if it has been secretly embezzled when there has not been a shred of evidence to substantiate such accusations. And if government officials attempt to explain the situation, they are considered suspicious and/or withholding information.But the reality is this outrage is misguided. People are so busy looking for something criminal, when they should be concerned about the way the city finances have been handled. I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact the city in the past five years has depleted almost $5.7 million from its reserve funds and possibly sacrificing its municipality bond rating all for the sake of keeping the mill levy same.Wellington City Clerk Shane Shields sent me more figures Friday outlining the cash shortfall of the general fund. According to his figures, had the city not taken any money from the utility reserves, the municipality would have either cut expenses by $2.2 million or have a mill levy increase of 66.43 mills!Holy moly.Of course, the city has always taken money out of the utility fund, and the City of Wellington Financial Advisor John Haas made that point clearly at a recent work session meeting that it is good to do so. As has been documented, the percentage of the removal of funds is what is in question – which has gone from 8 percent in 2010 to 13 percent in 2015 (see story here).The question that people should be asking is, what has changed in the past five years? In 2010, our utility cash reserves were at $11.24 million. At the end of 2015 it will be $5.5 million. In 2010, the city took out $1.15 million out of the utility fund with it was still sitting with $11.23 million in reserves. Our mill levy was exactly the same as it is now.So that to me says:a) the city today is incurring a tremendous amount more in expenses than it did in 2010, or…b) the revenue stream isn’t close to being where it was five years ago.And that is the question we should be asking. Why is that?Are the city departments spending more? Is the hospital draining us dry? Is it this new construction of a $5.7 million Westar substation and electrical transmission lines being built a huge factor? Or is the local economy so much in the crapper that we don’t have that much tax revenue we had five years to work with? Maybe it’s a combination of everything. Maybe it has nothing to do with nothing.I, as a taxpayer, would like more specifics.Nevertheless, I encourage people to not jump to conclusions or go on some conspiracy rant. This is an issue that deserves proper study and a thoughtful resolution.By the way Shelley Hansel and Kip Etter welcome to the council, and congratulations to Jim Valentine and Kelly Green for another four-year term… Better you than me. 4. Wichita’s marijuana proposal…I like to think of myself as a nuance kind of guy which seems appropriate when talking about marijuana.For instance, I’m against legalizing marijuana recreationally which I have documented here, and I’m iffy on the legalization of medical marijuana because there are other alternative prescription drugs out there that do the same thing.However, I would have voted for the marijuana proposal in Wichita which reduces the penalties for marijuana possession.Why? I find it silly to throw someone in jail for something that is legal in a bordering state. Yes, a wrist slapping misdemeanor with a fine like a traffic ticket is sufficient enough.And stay with me here, I’m also OK with Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt asking for the state Supreme Court to strike down the ballot initiative I support. Why? Because city law can’t supersede state law. Schmidt may be a weasel on many issues, but here he’s upholding the state law, which is his job. If you don’t like state law, change it.Which is precisely, where this is going. Kansas in the next 10 years will have legalized marijuana. I see no evidence that the marijuana tide is turning back whether I or you like it or not. I would have placed money that the marijuana initiative wasn’t going to pass in Wichita. And it did. If marijuana forces are winning battles in the conservative Brownback heartland, then they have the battle won.It will be a monumental moment when Sumner Newscow runs down to do a feature story on Wellington’s new downtown marijuana shop. I’m predicting 2025.last_img read more

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