To the editor:
“Falling Into Poverty” meets “Kansas Athletics — Zenger reviewing 6-figure salaries,” a juxtaposition of tragic irony. Eighty-five percent (36 folks) of KA Inc. are paid $100,000-plus ($48 per hour plus benefits). Roy Coker made $9 per hour (no benefits). Thirty-six KA Inc. staff earn more than $100,000. Twenty-two thousand Douglas County residents are at poverty level. Maybe AD Zenger will review KA Inc.’s moral compass along with those salaries. Zenger said, “You deal with the hand you’ve been dealt.” I get it. The question is what hand will Zenger deal?
KA Inc. is not responsible for the Cokers’ desperate situation but serves as a metaphor for how we, as a society, are complicit by our complacency and participation in materialistic zeal and corrupt greed, the kind the fat cats on Wall Street and D.C. exalt over and encourage, the kind that’s contributed to the Cokers’ circumstances and the rising number of families “Falling Into Poverty.” They’re our neighbors. Many more ride the razor’s edge of poverty.
We’ll hope that KA Inc. chooses to model fiscal restraint, as many of us do. This economic crisis is far from over. KA Inc. plays a visible role in our community; the athletes are role models for our youth and so too the administrators for the athletes.
What’s vital is the Cokers’ stability and the fading “black cloud” of loss. If everyone in Douglas County donated $1, the Cokers would “earn” a KA Inc. salary. Not sure how to make that happen, but my dollar and I are willing.