Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 283
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for March 24, 2005

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

The April 5th municipal elections are little more than a week away, and we're again seeing a total non-campaign. I know there are 5 candidates for 3 city council seats, and a bunch of people running for several Warrensburg R-VI School Board seats. I will have to vote absentee in this election and right now, I have no idea who these people are or what they stand for.

I did my research. First I went to the Johnson County website looking for sample ballots or information about the election. I figured that at least I could find a list of candidates and numbers to be elected Ė no such luck.

I went to the city website. It lists the current members with a short blurb each has written about himself/herself. It doesn't tell when their terms expire. It doesn't have any information about the candidates, or anything else about the election.

I went to the Warrensburg R-VI School District website. Not only do they not list the candidates, they don't even list the current school board members.

I went to the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce website. Publicizing candidates is not their job, but they are at least having a "meet the candidates" opportunity at the Chamber Breakfast, March 30th, 7-8 AM at the American Legion hall.

I went looking for local newspaper websites. I found one "Under Construction." If we donít take the appropriate paper, we wonít have any information whatsoever. We won't know how the school board candidates stand on tax systems & rates, disciplinary systems, technology, or any other issue. We wonít know how the city council candidates stand on development issues, city taxes, garbage pickup or any other issue. We won't even know what other races may be on the ballot.

So it appears we will have another meager turnout for the April election, followed by the usual handwringing about voter apathy. Those few who vote will reelect incumbents and fill vacant seats with the most familiar names. Since the public doesn't demand more, I guess we deserve what we get.

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