To the editor:
Gov. Graves has benched Gary Mitchell for not being "a team player" as his secretary of health & environment. Now our Douglas County leaders have a great opportunity to speak up in favor of Kansas' clean water and air.
Our state senator, Sandy Praeger, has been mentioned as a possible replacement at KDHE. Even if she doesn't join the governor's team, she has an obligation to advise him that her constituents favor a tough anti-pollution battler taking the field. Sen. Praeger should let Gov. Graves know the next KDHE head must make safeguarding our environmental health a top priority, something Mitchell seldom did.
Kansans all over our great state face big environmental challenges in the next few years. Giant hog operations that threaten groundwater, municipal and industrial river pollution, suburban sprawl that chews up farmland loss and dirties air: to name just a few. Mitchell showed no signs of leadership in meeting these challenges. It's pretty hard to believe his claim that he got benched for being too tough on polluters.
The 1998 Legislature killed another effort to help better the Kaw's water quality by limiting dredging. Mitchell did little to help citizens who sought better balance in how we use our local river. Sen. Praeger, who says she backs cleaning up the Kaw, can demonstrate her commitment by pressing the governor to name a KDHE head who makes environmental health a state priority every day.
440 Rock Fence Ct.