Shawnee Dispatch

Letter: Don't buy the line on Ward 3, De Soto schools

October 2, 2013

Some say the appointment to the Shawnee Ward III City Council is already a done deal. Specifics of the arrangement were rumored in advance of public knowledge of the position vacancy. Attempts to draft any applicants are met with the response, “Why bother? They already know who they’ll pick.”

As a Ward III resident, I won’t buy it and neither should you. The Shawnee City Council will interview applicants at a public meeting on Oct. 28. Submit your applications to the City Clerk before 5 p.m. on Oct. 22.

In western Shawnee, 40 to 50 citizens are serving on a De Soto school district committee to study enrollment and school boundaries. Some say it’s already decided. Details are being spread through western Shawnee. They say it’s a charade, a public relations ploy. Patrons say property values will plummet, they’ll uproot their families, plant for-sale signs, and then move.

I won’t buy it. Study participants, myself included, have committed to meetings in October through January. There will be two public forums on Dec. 18 and 19. Possible Board of Education action is scheduled for Feb. 10. Tell elected board members what you think.

As an “engaged citizen,” I’m comfortable being vocal to local officials. I’m also comfortable calling out fellow citizens. True or not, we should refuse to buy any of it. Because if you do, you give away your power to accomplish something. Powerless citizens are silent citizens, and that’s when it really becomes a done deal.

-- Tony Lauer , Shawnee

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