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Archive for Saturday, July 9, 2011

About 150 attend meeting on SRS closure

July 9, 2011

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Robert Harder,  who has held the position of SRS secretary the longest in state history, speaks to a crowd of about 150 people during a meeting of the Douglas County Democratic Party Saturday, July 9, 2011, at the Lawrence Public Library. Harder said the prevailing political climate at the Statehouse represented a departure from decades of bi-partisan support for social services.

Robert Harder, who has held the position of SRS secretary the longest in state history, speaks to a crowd of about 150 people during a meeting of the Douglas County Democratic Party Saturday, July 9, 2011, at the Lawrence Public Library. Harder said the prevailing political climate at the Statehouse represented a departure from decades of bi-partisan support for social services.

If Gov. Sam Brownback's plan to shut down the Lawrence office of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services goes into effect, it will harm many vulnerable Kansans, social workers and law enforcement officials said Saturday.

For example, Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said police must have a social worker accompany them if they go into a school to interview an alleged victim of sexual abuse.

The decision by SRS Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. to shut down the Lawrence office will make it more difficult to get a social worker in these instances, Branson said.

"I'm just very fearful that we are going to miss a lot of people who are in need of care," Branson said. "We have children going through horrific instances in their lives, and we have small windows to go in and make a difference, and the governor and secretary have closed that window on us," he said.

He said without the timely availability of an SRS social worker, the child could face having to return to his or her abuser at the end of the school day before police could intervene.

Branson's comments were made during a meeting at the Lawrence Public Library that was attended by a packed crowd of about 150 people, many of whom had to stand or sit in adjacent rooms.

Those in attendance expressed anger and shock at the Brownback administration's decision announced July 1 to close nine SRS offices, with Lawrence being the largest one by far. The closures would take effect within three months. Siedlecki has said the 87 employees will be able to get jobs at other SRS offices.

Brownback and Siedlecki have said the closures are needed to save money during tight budget times, and that those receiving SRS services in Lawrence can continue to get assistance by accessing them online or traveling to offices in Topeka, Overland Park or Ottawa. Brownback has noted that Lawrence is served by several four-lane roads.

Many at the meeting said that was unrealistic.

Gayle Sigurdson of Lawrence said she thought the closure of SRS offices was intended to cut state spending by making it more difficult for people to get help.

She also said the way Siedlecki announced the closures without any public meetings to gain input was a "suspension of the Democratic process."

"These closures were made without public comment, or participation of our local legislators and without any formal appeals process," she said.

She said she feared Brownback's statement on Friday when he said he may consider options to the closures was "lip service."

The meeting was held by the Douglas County Democratic Party. Former SRS Secretary Robert Harder had been scheduled to speak several weeks ago prior to the announced closures.

Harder, who has held the position of SRS secretary the longest in state history, said the prevailing political climate at the Statehouse represented a departure from decades of bi-partisan support for social services.

Of the past legislative session, which produced massive cuts to social services, he said, "I would have to say, without question, it was absolutely the meanest, toughest session that I have observed in my 50 years," of being around Kansas politics.

He said the assertion that people could receive SRS services online was not plausible. Applications for medical assistance are not available online, and the application for cash assistance is 16 pages long, he said.

Harder added that social service advocates are not opposed to change but they want change in a careful, thought out way.

Steve Ruttinger of Lawrence said he was dismayed by the Brownback administration's layoffs of experienced staff at SRS and replacing them with those lacking experienced. "They profess this connection to God but there is nothing Christian about it," he said.

The Democratic members of the Douglas County legislative delegation urged the crowd to continue to contact Brownback's office to voice their disapproval and attend Monday's meeting at 7 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church to discuss ways to try to reverse the closure decision.

"People in government make mistakes from time to time and they need to be called on it, and this is a classic example," said House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence.

Comments

ResQd 3 years, 5 months ago

It just goes to show you how out of touch the governor really is with the "real" world.

workmama 3 years, 5 months ago

The governor isn't out of touch with the real world. He knows what is going on and he is going to change it no matter what. It was the dumbest thing the people of Kansas did when they elected him to office. I didn't vote for him so I can say this. The governor has an agenda and if you are not part of his lackey group then you will not benefit from it. So 99.9% of Kansans are at risk.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Which should be completely illegal (and is at the level of the federal employee. I have a friend at the VA who bad mouths the government and her agency all of the time).

Peanutcat 3 years, 5 months ago

Unfortunately this is accurate. They have been told not to say or discuss anything.

LeBo 3 years, 5 months ago

On the tenants of efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness, and social equity this is a miscarriage of governance. This is almost an impeachable offense. Government exists to provide public health, public welfare, and public safety.

NOT TO PROVIDE A SYSTEM OF TAX ABATEMENT AND CARPET BAGGING BUSINESSES!

jhawkinsf 3 years, 5 months ago

Whenever I hear terms like social justice or social equity, I think of the poor trying to get something from the rich, but because the rich are very adept at keeping what they have, the poor wind up competing for what the middle class has. The rich need to give a little more and the poor need to earn a little more. The middle class is already doing both.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Wow. You sound like a Clinton Democrat (something I rather like).

jhawkinsf 3 years, 5 months ago

The most popular definition of rich is anyone who has more money than "me". And of course poor is defined as anyone who has less money than "me".

sourpuss 3 years, 5 months ago

If you fly to Paris for dinner because you like a particular restaurant there... if you buy a little man-made island off Dubai... if spending $100,000 on a car is an option for you... if your engagement ring cost seven figures... if YOU don't consider someone rich who has less than nine figures.

The hoi polloi of Lawrence never sees actual rich people, they just see upper middle class who think a million dollar home is expensive. Real rich people don't go out among common people.

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 5 months ago

I attended today's meeting and was glad to see all the people that came to stand up against this travesty of so called "leadership" for our state. It was informative, and at times heart wrenching. I can only hope and PRAY (I am a Christian) that many more will attend Monday night's meeting, and that, and the very least, many more will also send letters and e-mails to the Governor's (it's so hard not to say "tyrant's office) to express concerns, and disdain about the way this whole mess has been handled by Brownback and his cronies, as well as to offer up suggestions for a feasible resolution. In addition, I urge people to DEMAND that there be transparency about records and data, as this has been impossible to obtain willingly from the Brownback administration. POWER TO THE PEOPLE OF KANSAS! and GOD BLESS those who are suffering and in need!!

myopinion 3 years, 5 months ago

I just hope everyone who possibly can will come to the forum on Monday night.

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 5 months ago

I just went to Brownback's web site.. brownback.com .. and found that the site is down for "updates". Well, Mr. Governor, isn't that so very convenient of you to close down your web site in the wake of all that is happening against your policies currently!!! You are a COWARD.. and this is just another shining example of that, in addition to the chicken @@@@ way you have handled all your decision making thus far. This man really should be impeached!!!

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Brownback's website has been down for days.

Reta Cosby 3 years, 5 months ago

So will SRS ONLINE be down for days. Make an appointment in Topeka, Ottowa, or where? The phones are automated, so ask no questions, just listen to the voicemail lies.

notanota 3 years, 5 months ago

Maybe he's decided not to wait until 2016 to let his naked presidential ambitions be seen. Probably a wise choice, because by 2016 it's going to be very apparent that his decisions have hurt the state terribly.

Kris_H 3 years, 5 months ago

Please, don't ever say "Brownback" and "naked" in the same sentence again.

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

The SRS site has a section for people to provide feedback

http://www.srs.ks.gov/SRSFeedbackCust.aspx?source=/Pages/ConfirmFeedback.aspx

I suggest it be used, liberally!

One of Governor Brownback's biggest supporters has been the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. Here is a list of their members:

http://www.kansaschamber.org/mx/hm.asp?id=Cornerstone

You may wish to let them know what you think of the Governor they funded.

Speaking in dollars has a greater impact than words, of course.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Thank you for the SRS link, Scott. I just used it and this is what I wrote. "I wish to add my voice in protest of the closure of the SRS offices in Lawrence. I am permanently disabled, although my dealings with the office are few and I have never needed to use their services. This doesn't mean that in the future I may not have that need. I can drive short distances and have access to a car but due to chronic pain issues cannot drive long distances. Even in town, my ability to drive is limited. Also, I am an RN and worked for over thirty years in long term care. Many of my own clients; disabled and elderly, relied on SRS services for their care. The vast bulk of those people could no longer drive and certainly could not use a computer. There are at least four nursing homes in the Lawrence/Douglas County area and the ability of their Social Service Directors to have close contact with SRS will be adversely affected. Transferring Douglas County services to Ottawa simply does not make sense. No one will convince me that case loads there are greater or that they serve a larger population than Lawrence. This forces me to believe that this closure is politically motivated. If so, grave harm is being done to this county's most vulnerable citizens for a very spurious reason."

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

Good letter, thanks for sharing. Hopefully your efforts will inspire others.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

I want to thank you, too, for the Chamber link, I already boycott Koch Industries, to the best of my ability. (I actually look at the manufacturer of the paper products I buy and refuse to buy Johnsonville products.) Having this list, even if it's partial, gives me an idea of what companies I can at least make an effort to avoid,

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

Well that's two of us!! Any more and we're a movement!! Hit them where it hurt - their filthy lucre!!

Mike1949 3 years, 5 months ago

You have to understand, the Chamber of Commerce are a bunch of business people trying to take over the state. They are as bad if not worse than Brownbeck because they have been messing with the people for years all over the State of Kansas.

Reta Cosby 3 years, 5 months ago

Kansas GAS Chamber of Commerce, Brown-OUT and Seid-SWIPE are most likely sleeping cells that are now activated. WAKE UP PEOPLE! Terrorist got into aeornautic schools, they can get into politics.

overthemoon 3 years, 5 months ago

Seems like someone could use some mind stabilizing medication.

Reta Cosby 3 years, 5 months ago

Another sleeping cell. WAKE UP AMERICAN PEOPLE!!,

xyz 3 years, 5 months ago

Yes, send an email to Flim Flam Sam at governor@ks.gov. I got an instant, canned, smarmy reply to my email, but I think it is important to flood his email box with protests.

Since Sam and the legislature won't close tax loopholes that benefit their rich buddies, I suggested to him that the Koch brothers step up and donate operating costs so that no SRS offices have to be closed.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Good idea. What's 300k to a multibillionaire?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 5 months ago

"Just don't call it the free market."

Of course it's not "free market." That's nothing but an imaginary construct. But what we have is most certainly a result of the worship of so-called "free markets," along with all of the distortions, manipulations and corruption that are inherent in capitalism in the real world.

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 5 months ago

No...it's not a matter of the "free market" being no good. It's that the "free market" doesn't actually exist and never has.

What we have seen, however, is that there's nothing "self-correcting" about a market in which businesses are allowed to create a take-it-or-leave-it system...and history has already demonstrated that that's exactly what they'll do.

Monopolies and oligopolies. Price-fixing. Shoddy or unsafe products. Artificial shortages. Lack of concern with externalities.

The fact is that we're talking Corporate America. Even with regulations we see overwhelming evidence of a lack of interest on the part of Big Business in a mutually beneficial system between the market and the buyers.

It would be great if the "free market" ideal actually worked. Unfortunately, it never will because of a simple factor...human nature.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 5 months ago

XYZ - You want the Koch brothers to pay the operating costs to keep the SRS offices open. I'd like for them to fill my car with gas, pay my electric bill and pay for my groceries. Or, maybe, just maybe, I could pay for those things with money I earn. Yes, that seems like an alternative. I spend my money in a way that I want, you can spend your money in a way you want and the Koch brothers can spend their money in a way they choose. There's something in my alternative that sound very American to me.

workinghard 3 years, 5 months ago

The reason they have money is they don't pay taxes, we do.

guesswho 3 years, 5 months ago

Well, when you have billions like the Koch brothers, they can influence politicians in a way regular voters cannot. They can lobby to keep million dollar subsidies to keep the Wichita airport open for affordable flights, they can lobby to have tax loopholes, they pressure to get rid of unions (which fought for 40-hour work weeks, minimum wages, etc)

We all do what we can, but a mark of a 'civilized' society is how we treat our most vulnerable people, providing for those who cannot take care of themselves.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 5 months ago

I absolutely believe we should be taking care of those amongst us who cannot take care of themselves. I do not want nor do I think we have a moral obligation to take care of those who simply will not take care of themselves. It's determining who fits into which category that causes so many problems.

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 5 months ago

And a huge problem with determining who fits is that far too many people want to determine it by stereotypes, personal prejudices, and a distinct lack of information.

For example, they see a homeless person with a cell phone and they think "This loser! I'm paying my tax dollars to support this lazy bum! If they can afford a cell phone, they can afford to find a place to live!" (And, yes, I've personally heard people say this.)

What they don't realize is that: 1) we're not talking about the cell phones/plans that you and I have but, rather $10 prepaid phones with prepaid minutes; and 2) this cheap phone with no additional features is often the only way for case managers, therapists, potential employers, POs, the housing authority or potential landlord, etc. to get ahold of these folks.

Getting past the stereotypes, personal prejudices, and lack of information is the hard part.

notanota 3 years, 5 months ago

I'd like to stop paying the Kochs to fill your car with gas (ethanol subsidies among other things.)

notanota 3 years, 5 months ago

I'd like to stop paying the Kochs to fill your car with gas (ethanol subsidies among other things.)

deec 3 years, 5 months ago

"32 percent of our food assistance cases are composed of 1 adult with children. 11 percent are two parent households with children. 5 percent are other family situations with children. The elderly and disabled make up 32 percent of the caseload and other kinds of cases with no children make up 20 percent. The average household size of a food assistance case is 2 persons." http://www.he.k-state.edu/fnp/2009_Updates/Profile_of_Todays_Food_Assistance_Recipient.pdf

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 5 months ago

the response to my e-mail was immediate and most definitely "canned". Just more of the same B>S>! This is the letter I received within seconds of sending the letter voicing my concerns.

Dear Fellow Kansan:

Thank you for taking the time to contact my office and for sharing with me your thoughts, suggestions, and concerns. There is no better guide to tough decision-making than the views and concerns of my fellow Kansans.

Implementing the roadmap to growing the economy, excelling in education, reforming state government and protecting Kansas families will certainly require the valuable advice and support of the people of Kansas. I genuinely appreciate you reaching out to me, and we will be certain to carefully consider your thoughts on this important issue.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and recommendations with me. As we continue to move our State forward, please keep me informed on issues that are of concern to you. I encourage you to visit my website at www.governor.ks.gov or contact my office at 785-368-8500.

Sincerely,

Sam Brownback Governor of the State of Kansas

TOTAL CRAP!!!

Reta Cosby 3 years, 5 months ago

The bull's back's been broken by Brownback, so it's no longer bullsh_ , but Brownsh _.

Randy Leonard 3 years, 5 months ago

That's almost word for word the same canned response I received every time I emailed him when he was Senator. You get about the same bull from Lynn Jenkins too. He doesn't have to listen since he's on a mission from God.

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

Where were the poverty pimp professionals from Kaw Valley, The Farm, DCCCA, CASA, etc.?

Perhaps enjoying a nice filet steak and shrimp on the barbi......making certain they stay out of the ruckus to make certain that cash money from SRS continues to flow so they can afford their Lexus cars and their $250k house/homes? Curious. Inquiring minds want to know.....

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

WTF are you talking about? My daughter's MIL works for DCCA and she sure as heck doesn't make that kind of money! I'm sure she wishes she did!

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

Nobody cares what your daughter's MIL thinks. Alceste is referring to the "deciders" in each of the organizations named. People like Brue Beale or B. Wayne Sims and/or their own personal designated running dogs.....

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

You refer to yourself in the second person? Strange.

BrianR 3 years, 5 months ago

The insufferable know-it-all Pogo knows everything Cait, don't you know that?

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 5 months ago

Jeez Louise. Where are those fantasies coming from??? Talk about a vivid imagination.

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 5 months ago

They were at the meeting tonight, along with the rest of us. Where were you? Sitting in front of your plasma 60 " T V watching Limbaugh and scarfing your Bar B Qued Ribs from Famous Daves, while playing games on your Smart phone and sucking down some 48 ouncers.

skinny 3 years, 5 months ago

Sounds like Alceste is jealous of those who go to school, get an education, and have a good job! hmmm, guess where ever you go there will be people who want something for nothing!

tomatogrower 3 years, 5 months ago

Actually there were more than 150. They were violating the room capacity of 97, there were many people in the hall, and they opened the gallery to the north where people were sardined into 2 little closets. There were also several people in the gallery. There were also several people who left and decided to come back on Monday at the church where there will be room to listen. I'll bet you couldn't get this kind of a crowd in KC or Topeka. People care here.

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 5 months ago

The fomenting was done by the Evangelical leadership of Brownback, who is attacking a legitimate service that has been there for decades dealing with people that Brownback has never even noticed or cared about. He only cares about the wealthy who pay for his campaigns and lifestyle.

LHS56 3 years, 5 months ago

Please go to the SRS site and send a comment to the SRS Office. Perhaps 1,000 plus e-mails when they open the site Monday morning might....just might...get their attention. We need to let SRS officials know they are in a battle. And...if father Brownpeck will ever get his site open, please e-mail him. "I'm mad and I've had enough." (Perhaps a few of you might remember this.)

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

"This" is a battle? !!! hahaahhahahhahahahahahahahahaha.......Brownback JUST took "office". "This" is only the beginning of what is yet to come......

As Col. Kurtz noted...."THE horror.....the HORROR.....". Put on your seatbelts and get ready for the 2nd tsunami wave....it's a comin'.......

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 5 months ago

I'm sure you are, quite unfortunately, correct, Alceste! :(

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

It was also short notice with many people having prior, weekend commitments. Let's see what happens on Monday.

Jean Robart 3 years, 5 months ago

It was obviously a politically biased organized activity. Why should i go to an event where only one viewpoint is presented?

By the way, I am an SRS client and am just as upset about the closure as many other people

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 5 months ago

There may have actually been more. There was no more room to fit them in!!

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 5 months ago

Letter to Brownback check Letter to Seidlecki/SRS check As useless as it feels to do this, at least I know I've done my part for now. I hope the rest of you will take the time to do the same. I look forward to the meeting on Monday..see you there!!??

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

To avoid buying Koch's Georgia Pacific paper products, try to concentrate on Kimberly-Clark, which includes their Scott line (including Cottonelle), Kleenex, Kotex and Huggies brands. Kimberly-Clark, unlike Koch, is a publicly traded company. Procter and Gamble is a member of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and should be avoided. However, they, too, are a publicly traded company and if faced with the choice of either them or Koch, if Kimberly-Clark is unavailable, P&G is the lesser of two evils. Johnsonville is not a Koch subsidiary but, like Koch, is a privately owned company possessed by the Stayer family who are the Koch's brothers-in-arms. They made large contributions to many conservative candidates, including our own. Therefore, I refuse to buy any Johnsonville products. I vote with my dollar, which may not be much but gives me some peace of mind if nothing else.

scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

Integrity and peace of mind is quite a lot!! And your comment and info may inspire and educate others. Thanks for your good citizenship.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Hey, they vote with their dollars, I can too. I may not be as rich as they are but get enough of us together and we will be.

Pamela Shanks 3 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if Brownback and Siedlecki would be willing to input their most private medical and financial information in a public setting on public computers? Are all such computers secure enough to entrust with such sensitive information some of which is protected by federal law? Can the understaffed Lawrence Police Department adequately deal with the increased work load this decision is sure to create? The domino effect has only just begun.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 5 months ago

The Sam Brownback Guide to Economic Ruin

TABOR is Coming by Grover Norquist and Koch Bros.

http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0705rebne.html

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Laugh at me, autie. That's ok. WTH, if it helps me sleep at night it's better than drugs and alcohol. And, really, how is choosing how I spend my money based on politics "pinko"? I thought you were one of those who believed in the "free market"?

Carol Bowen 3 years, 5 months ago

Surely, we can wait on highway projects. People are more important.

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 5 months ago

I agree, hear_me!.. I believe that is why the whole "4-lane highway" statement was made..because that's where all the $ is going that Brownie is trying to save on the backs of the most vulnerable!

christine45 3 years, 5 months ago

What about a satellite office, you might still have to cut back on help but it would help others still. It would cut down on costs in the long run. I thought about how you could maybe put some workers in the actual schools themselves if they had the room?? You could also find a spot say in one of our many schools that have been abandoned for a satellite, even in say Eudora we have a couple here you might be able to utilize. People need help right now more than ever. I know, I see it myself personally, folks cannot afford gas to go to Topeka or overland park kansas, and most do not have proper transportation. So in the long run you would save, otherwise certain places might have to provide rides for some to get the help they need? Put your collective heads together and you will come up with a solution. I dont think we need these bright shiny fancy buildings to get the job done ( I know the srs bldg is not shiny or fancy), but downsizing might just save. I dont think the answer is doing away with the service. Hopefully "the powers that be" will truly listen and come up with a solution. Sometimes listening to those who know how to budget could possibly pull a rabbit out of the hat and come up with something you never thought about.

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 5 months ago

Keep in mind that, if they set up a "satellite office" in an empty school, they'll end up having to pay for the same facilities costs they're allegedly trying to save by closing the buildings here. And, of course, by moving staff to Overland Park/Topeka, SRS transportation costs will go up because SRS workers will have to make many trips to Lawrence.

Frankly, I want to see the figures they used to come up with their alleged savings. It's going to be impossible to come up with anything useful without their data to work with/from.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 5 months ago

How about SRS only gets one office in Topeka?

Chris Golledge 3 years, 5 months ago

Just wondering, but why close the Lawrence office ahead of some others?

Wondering if it is because he won't get very many votes from Lawrence no matter what he does, but if he closes, say, a Topeka, office, he runs the risk of turning some votes against him.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

If this is politically motivated then it proves this man is a cruel monster. Cutting services to the detriment of potentially thousands of vulnerable people, including children and the elderly, for the sake of politics is criminal and the man should be impeached. How is anyone supposed to take his "Christian" BS seriously when he pulls this? He's no more of a "Christian" than Osama Bin Laden was and his brand of "Christianity" stinks of the Taliban.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 5 months ago

How Vermont Enacted Single-Payer Universal Health Care

A talk by Jonathan Kissam of Vermont

Thursday, July 14, 2011, 7 pm

Lawrence Public Library Auditorium, 707 Vermont

Question & Answer Session/ Refreshments Served

Health Care is a Human Right!

Jonathan Kissam will talk about Vermont’s recently-enacted universal healthcare law, which has made Vermont the first state to move toward a single payer healthcare system. Mr. Kissam will present how the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign, a grassroots movement of thousands of Vermonters, made this pioneering legislation possible.

Sponsored by Lawrence Coalition for Peace & Justice, Health Care for All, and others. Come Join Us.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 5 months ago

The Problem of Cost in a Private, For-Profit Health Insurance System

If health insurance were like other commodities, like shoes or bow ties, then reducing access might lower costs by reducing demands on suppliers for time and materials. But health care is different because so much of the cost of providing it is in the administration of the payment system rather than in the actual work of doctors, nurses, and other providers, and because coordination and cooperation among different providers is essential for effective and efficient health care.

It is not cost pressures on providers that are driving up health-care costs; instead, costs are rising because of what economists call transaction costs, the rising cost of administering and coordinating a system that is designed to reduce access.

The health-insurance and health-care markets are different from most other markets because private companies selling insurance do not want to sell to everyone, but only to those unlikely to need care (and, therefore, most likely to drop coverage if prices rise). As much as 70% of the “losses” suffered by health-insurance providers—that is, the money they pay out in claims—goes to as few as 10% of their subscribers.

This creates a powerful incentive for companies to screen subscribers, to identify those likely to submit claims, and to harass them so that they will drop their coverage and go elsewhere.

The collection of insurance-related information has become a major source of waste in the American economy because it is not organized to improve patient care but to harass and to drive away needy subscribers and their health-care providers.

Because driving away the sick is so profitable for health insurers, they are doing it more and more, creating the enormous bureaucratic waste that characterizes the process of billing and insurance handling.

Rising by over 10% a year for the past 25 years, health insurers’ administrative costs are among the fastest-growing in the U.S. health-care sector. Doctors in private practice now spend as much as 25% of their revenue on administration, nearly $70,000 per physician for billing and insurance costs.

For-profit health insurance also creates waste by discouraging people from receiving preventive care and by driving the sick into more expensive care settings. Almost a third of Americans with “adequate” health insurance go without care every year due to costs, and the proportion going without care rises to over half of those with “inadequate” insurance and over two-thirds for those without insurance.

more: http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2011/0711friedman.html

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

It's Sunday morning and "Pious Sam" is in church doing his Catholic calisthenics. Let's hope he reflects on what he's doing to the poor and needy when he takes communion. (If I speak like an ex-Catholic it's because I am.)

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Speaking of which, has anyone ever really taken a close look at this man's "Christian journey"? He started out as a Methodist then became an "evangelical" Christian at Topeka Bible Church. Don't know when but it had to be after he moved to Topeka in 1986. He didn't become a Catholic until 2002 when he joined the Church under the auspices of a leading Opus Dei priest in DC. (Father C. John McCloskey. Look him up. Sam swears he isn't a member of Opus Dei.) Reports are that he actually went back to Topeka Bible Church after he came back to Kansas. Which makes his Catholicism a bit suspect. This man wants to create a theocratic Talibanesque "Christian" empire and he can't even figure out if he's Sunni, Shi'ite or Sufi. If the consequences weren't so serious I'd be gut busting laughing.

bertwilkey 3 years, 5 months ago

It appears that the cult strategies of Opus Dei are happening in the Kansas Government....the bottom of the social ladder are to be used by the elite. The true, not cult, message of Christ was "if you have done this for the least, you have done it for me".
The history of Opus Dei is lies and deceit.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

It's founder was certainly not a stable man. He actually stated that he doubted the salvation of Pope Paul VI's soul. It still amazes me that JPII canonized him. I may not like Pope Palpatine but he's such a traditionalist I can't ever imagine him doing such a "lightning" canonization.

LadyJ 3 years, 5 months ago

Looking at the picture, I can't help but notice that a majority seemed to be elderly. Of course maybe they had more time on Saturday. Will be interesting to see Monday night's picture.

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 5 months ago

That's really not true. I was there. There was a large mix of people of all ages, and interests there. The picture is deceiving because most of the elderly were in the front, seated. Many were standing, and sitting on the floor. People in the room likely gave up their own seats to those they thought needed them more!

deskboy04 3 years, 5 months ago

More cuts coming next year. Education will take the biggest hit.

tomatogrower 3 years, 5 months ago

What would happen if the rich guys started giving their campaign contributions to the poor and needy, instead of to leachy polititians? People like to talk about the small percentage of people who take advantage of the welfare system, but they don't complain about politicians who take lots of money from corporations to get their cushy government jobs with their great benefits. It used to be people served in Congress as a service to their country, not as a way to get rich and famous.

LH3867 3 years, 5 months ago

I appreciate the comments from DA Branson. What we can't lose sight of is the children and how this change will impact them.What is it going to take to get these people to wake up - a child death? And quit justifying your actions by comparing them to prior administrations. There is a reason they stopped when they did. They reduced the numbers to a number that could still meet the needs of Kansas. To use that to close other offices is pure and simple BS - so quit peddling it Siedlecki. I can only assume you don't know what else to say but enough with that BS. Although, I will admit that last three secretaries of SRS had more sense in their little finger than you have in your entire body and you probably don't know what else to say. Oh yeah, there is the budget issue excuse. Take the SRS budget to the stakeholders like prior administrations did. I'm sure they can help you figure it out. There are plenty of areas to cut in SRS without closing Lawrnce.; Maybe start with the no talent Florida staff you hired. How much are you paying them? Lets see those figures. Besides I hear from SRS employees that Jeff Kahrs is running the agency and you're just his and Brownback's bobble head puppet. You still won't be successful because they don't care about Kansas either. All of this is just a stop for you and your cronies but you better wake up because your man Brownback ain't going to be president. The place for him is on the farm. Maybe you can all follow him there. Let's start seeing that transparency. Respond to the press and if you can't answer the questions, let Kahrs do it for you but for God's sake - RESPOND! You forget we are taxpayers. You work for us. Time to start looking for another secretary. Your ego and small mind have no place in Kansas. Florida is calling - oh wait, I heard they fired you also. Better try unemployment.. Try living off the unemployment the people who knew the programs of SRS are living on. Bringing in your cronies (loyalty does have a price) who don't know anything about kansas or SRS is going to be the end of you and it just can't happen soon enough. Go back to be with your wife and kids because marriage is so important to you. ANOTHER JOKE!! Still planning on riding in the Mexican Fiesta parade. I hope so because I want to see you continue to make an a** out of yourself. Maybe you can get driven to Lawrence. I know they would be glad to see you.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

"What is it going to take to get these people to wake up - a child death?"

Don't you get it? They don't care!!!!! Children died in Florida because of their policies and actions. Do you think they cared then? Brownback brought Florida, Bush style politics and policies to this state. Now we live with it.

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

Pardon me, but how on earth do you think a social worker prevents a death?

Kansas is one jacked up state when it comes to child welfare and it was and has been jacked up long before Brownback & Company.

The POLICE remove children and do so without a social worker around. It is one way Kansas has circumvented Federal accounting and, in reality, has had the HIGHEST REMOVAL RATE in the Nation. See:

http://www.nccpr.org/reports/kansas.pdf

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

The children that died in Florida actually died in state custody. I'm not even talking about parental abuse or the prevention thereof. And yes, the police do remove children in Kansas; sometimes at the request of SRS and sometimes not. SRS becomes involved in it after the removal. The fact that this state has both open and concealed carry gun laws makes me think it's probably pretty wise that social workers aren't present when a child is removed. Having an untrained non LE civilian at a forced child removal could get pretty hairy. Kansas isn't "circumventing" federal accounting. The USDHHS needs to change how they do that accounting. Kansas isn't the only state that does it this way.

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

Emotive. And that's exactly why nothing is going to happen. Did you trouble yourself, cait48, to read http://www.nccpr.org/reports/kansas.pdf ??

or are you simply an apologist for the abhorrent ways in which SRS managers are "creative" so as to avoid facts; destroy families; and place children in foster care drift?

Or, perhaps you work for CASA and refuse to accept your own report which can be read here:

http://www.nccpr.org/reports/casa.pdf :

●The study found that CASA’s only real accomplishments were to prolong the time children languished in foster care and reduce the chance that the child will be placed with relatives.

●The study found no evidence that having a CASA on the case does anything to improve child safety – so all that extra foster care is for nothing. (The study specifically controlled for CASA’s all purpose excuse for this – the claim that CASAs handle the most difficult cases.)

●The study also found that when a CASA is assigned to a child who is Black, the CASA spends, on average, significantly less time on the case. (The study also found that CASAs don’t spend as much time on cases in general as the organization’s p.r. might lead one to believe. CASA volunteers reported spending an average of only 4.3 hours per month on cases involving white children, and only 2.67 hours per month on cases involving Black children).[2]

As well, the refusal by SRS to properly pay relatives the foster care board rate approaches criminality. The 10th Circuit found, and it is HHS policy/mandate to pay relatives who take in children who are in the state's custody the same amount of money they pay a foster family. Not in Kansas....unless you know what you're doing and PUSH. Ole B. Wayne Sims and Kaw Valley want to keep that money that SRS gives them so they can pay themselves as well as they do.....Truth hurts, eh?

The fact is that the nuts and bolts side of SRS is the side that deals with cash assistance, child care, food stamps, etc. It ain't in the "social worker" arena.

Trekkie 3 years, 5 months ago

Proves once again the once the kid is born, republicans give no care for the welfare of the child

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

Well, I'm all for a 22 year post birth abortion law myself.....

David Reynolds 3 years, 5 months ago

It is interesting to read these posts. There is not one constructive alternative offered to the present problem. Somehow we think the needy in our community are more worthy than the needy in other communities. All I hear is lets gore somebody else. The tone is amazingly lacking in any form of constructive process. What is the content of your goal...just don't close the Lawrence office?

I find it funny that Gayle Sigurdson of Lawrence said the way Siedlecki announced the closures without any public meetings to gain input was a "suspension of the Democratic process."

Where was Gayle & the rest of the Democrats/Progressives when the county commission would not allow comments on the onerous "clarification" to our environmental code, that strips property owners of their property rights, requires 50 unfunded studies and numerous specific rules yet to be written that will go into place without public comment? Where were you when the city rammed the same thing thru in spite of objections and requests for changes? Where were you, and this paper, when MIke Dever did not recuse himself on that same vote at the city commission meeting. Mike has a conflict of interest as he runs an Environmental company, GuideWire Consulting LLC, that could gain from this ordinance. This is all very duplicitous.

When Democrats/Progressives are getting what they want they ignore issues of grave concern, yet if the area the Democrats/Progressives care about gets touched, well all Hades breaks loose.

In all of this chatter I do not hear any concern for those needing services in other communities. Is it only the citizens of Lawrence that need an office close by? Where is the problem solving?

The unspoken elephant in the room is the fact Lawrence & Douglas Counties elected officials did not represent us very well. They have not earned a record of "moderation" at the statehouse. There is all the chatter on these boards about wishing the moderates were in the statehouse. Where are the moderates? Certainly not our elected officials with their name calling and use of extremist terms when referencing the "other side of the isle". Clearly this behavior and language wins friends and influences people, against us. I have always believe that when the name calling starts the person calling the names has nothing constructive to add to the conversation. The only option left for them must be to try to denigrate the opposition.

There is an old adage, "if you want someone to listen to you, they first have to believe they can work with you".

How about offering some solutions that work for all of Kansas, not just Lawrence.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 5 months ago

Close one of the Topeka offices, not the only Lawrence office.

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 5 months ago

First, you don't understand the problem. What Brownback is doing is promoting evangelical religion. The money he doesn't spend by providing the normal types of services, done by professionally trained people, who already have a relationship with all of the other systems of service, will just willy nilly be transferred to his favorite religious group. I believe that is clearly a conflict and unconstitutional. While everyone has the freedom to worship in their own way, they don't have the freedom to use government money to promote their own kind of religion. Secondly, you don't know all the ways in which people have fought against the wealthy getting into government and then riding rough shod over working people. You just cherry pick things to discuss here, as if you even know about what has been done to try to fight the dictator approach to governing. Thirdly, some of the things you chose to focus on have to do with protecting people from environmental degradation. That is like trying to fight the police for fighting crime.

concerned_kansan 3 years, 5 months ago

This is a government employee state-of course they will be upset if an office is closed. The outcome for foster care is SOOOOO bad that I don't know why more offices aren't closed. SRS workers don't follow their policies, procedures or guidelines or even the laws. Thank you Gov Brownback and SRS Siedlecki for recognizing that offices need to be closed. Listing outcomes of foster care - cost to the kansas taxpayer for most of the life of the foster child -even as adults - after they get thru drugging them for the funding. There are more than half a million children and youth in the U.S. foster care system, a 90% increase since 1987. Three of 10 of the nation’s homeless are former foster children. A recent study has found that 12-18 months after leaving foster care: 27% of the males and 10% of the females had been incarcerated 33% were receiving public assistance 37% had not finished high school 50% were unemployed Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support Children in foster care are three to six times more likely than children not in care to have emotional, behavioral and developmental problems, including conduct disorders, depression, difficulties in school and impaired social relationships. Some experts estimate that about 30% of the children in care have marked or severe emotional problems. Various studies have indicated that children and young people in foster care tend to have limited education and job skills, perform poorly in school compared to children who are not in foster care, lag behind in their education by at least one year, and have lower educational attainment than the general population. Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support 80 percent of prison inmates have been through the foster care system. National Association of Social Workers Children are 11 times more likely to be abused in State care than they are in their own homes. National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN) Children died as a result of abuse in foster care 5.25 times more often than children in the general population. 2.1 percent of all child fatalities took place in foster care. While this may seem like a relatively low number, we must consider the contrast in population between children in the general population versus children in foster care. In 1997, there were nearly 71 million children in the general population (99.6%), but only 302 thousand in state care (.4%) in state care. As state care is supposed to be a 'safe haven', the number of fatalities should be less or at least equal to what it is in the general population of children. By this standard, there should have been less than .4% of child fatalities occurring in foster care, however, there was 5.25 times that amount. (31 states reporting) *CPS Watch Inc. Emotional Abuse in foster care: Their rate of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder was double the rate for Iraq War veterans. http://www.nccpr.org/newissues/4.html

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 5 months ago

And so the solution is to turn this all over to Evangelicals, the ones who are often responsible for the abuse? Once children are removed from an abusive home, if the proper amount of funds and energy are not put into the follow up, you cannot count on things automatically being better for them. Obviously, you have never really looked into this have you. You just pull a few facts out of the air and think that they will support your beliefs. They don't. The truth is that taking care of children whose parents failed is a very complex undertaking, extremely complex. There are so many factors involved. We have the legal system that tries to cope with the parents rights. We have a government which changes hands, just as it has with Brownback and the new kid on the block thinks he knows all the answers, which he doesn't, but he imposes his will on it anyway. We have people who only care about their taxes and do not want to invest in "someone else's children's education and care." Fostering children requires support and training from outside of the foster family and taxpayers don't want to pay for that. Often foster parents don't know they need help until they get into difficulties. Foster children often try to find ways to return to their homes even when they are harmed by those homes. So, sorry, without an informed context for your cherry picked facts, they are fairly meaningless. Clearly you have no plan for improvement and clearly neither does Brownback.

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

Woo-Hoo....you go concerned_kansan and let's not leave out the facts presented in this report which DAMN Kansas for it's "creative record keeping" .

and the name of that report is: RETURN OF “THE CRUELTY” Why Kansas Child Welfare is Broken – and (15^) Ten Ways to Fix It

Too, let us not leave out what a joke CASA is all about.....the old woman witch out of Hansel and Gretel is what CASA is. Read all about it here: http://nccpr.info/the-case-against-casa/ :

●The study found that CASA’s only real accomplishments were to prolong the time children languished in foster care and reduce the chance that the child will be placed with relatives.

●The study found no evidence that having a CASA on the case does anything to improve child safety – so all that extra foster care is for nothing. (The study specifically controlled for CASA’s all purpose excuse for this – the claim that CASAs handle the most difficult cases.)

●The study also found that when a CASA is assigned to a child who is Black, the CASA spends, on average, significantly less time on the case. (The study also found that CASAs don’t spend as much time on cases in general as the organization’s p.r. might lead one to believe. CASA volunteers reported spending an average of only 4.3 hours per month on cases involving white children, and only 2.67 hours per month on cases involving Black children).[2]

And don't forget to get your very own copy of the report which CASA did on itself and then BURIED because the findings were so damnable. It's NOWHERE to be found on the CASA web site, but it is available here: http://www.nccpr.org/reports/casa.pdf

However, do NOT expect Brownback & Siedlecki to do anything about anything....other than ram Religion down your throats and fund the Right Wing Christian Counseling outfits. Brownback's closing of the local Lawrence SRS office had and has nothing to do with improving Child Welfare and/or Child Protective Services. The two matters are wholly unrelated. Wholly.

David Reynolds 3 years, 5 months ago

Hey maybe we just found an effective use for the "T".

What if we use the "T" to make periodic (daily, bi-weekly, tri-weekly, etc.) runs to Topeka or Kansas City. This way we can more fully/effectively utilize the public transportation system and give the folks needing services the personal interaction with SRS officials they require.

We all win.

LH3867 3 years, 5 months ago

concerned_kansan Just because you now live in Kansas and slap a Proud Kansan bumper sticker on your car doesn't mean you are really a Kansan. Go back to Florida. We aren't stupid.

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

Actually, LH3867, at this point and, sadly, Florida has one of the most innovative foster care programs in the US of A. Now, don't get me wrong: Florida did not start out WANTING to be innovative....afterall it's an even more backwater, hillbilly filled state than Kansas and good ole Uncle Sam kinda sorta MADE Florida enter the brave new world of innovation.....something Kansas hasn't done yet (although Kansas SRS will hold itself as progressive due to the fact it was the first state in the US of A to PRIVITIZE foster care services....but that's just another "twist of fate" given, again, past SRS "Secretary's" have tried to couch privitization as a good thing....as if....). You may read about the waiver granted to the state of Florida here: http://www.nccprblog.org/2009/07/waiver-that-saved-florida-and-could.html

Now then, for the sake of this discussion it must be stressed Siedlecki had NOTHING to do with this programming change in Florida.....NOTHING.

Siedlecki is a bought and paid for, head bobbing political hack who was an ambulance chasing lawyer for Speedi-Shuttle prior to begging his way up the Republican ladder of success and into HHS in Washington, securing some purchased appointment by good ole "war hero", cocaine shoveling GW Bush in the "...faith based inititive section.....". He summarily blew that appointment and skulked back to Florida where he purchased/secured another Republican appointment as "Chief of Staff" with the Florida Dept. of Health. Now he's brought his pointy little self/mind to Kansas by way of appointment by another Republican hack, Sammy Brownback. "Mission Accomplished" indeed.....

David Reynolds 3 years, 5 months ago

Alceste your language speaks volumes why we can not solve problems. Name calling does not lead to solutions...it leads to division.

Neither side is absolutely correct in this situation. Please try to look for a solution instead of name calling. Try to bring people together to solve problems versus continue with such rancor.

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

I'm just a messenger. Up to you whether you choose to be a Kansas hillbilly and prefer presentation over fact; form over function.

Bottom line: There is no room for equivocation in this struggle to correct a bankrupt, politcally corrupt process called "Public Welfare". It's been unctuous for a long, long, long time.....and Harder was part of it in becoming so. So too have the "leaders" of SRS been over the course of, easily, the past 25+ years. MYOPIA and arrogance and medicroity, when grouped together = catastrophe.......; The 3 words all describe Kansas SRS. shrug

The truth hurts, eh?

What, you didn't like the truth being written about a political HACK from Florida and another from Kansas? Why's that? The word is an apt descriptor for just EXACTLY what both dirtballs are........

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

pardon the spelling errors....no spell check here....that should read:

MYOPIA and arrogance and mediocrity, when grouped together = catastrophe.......; The 3 words all describe Kansas SRS. shrug

Want names? Just ask....we're here to HELP......

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 5 months ago

Information on the Lawrence lease is available online. The Lawrence office is 29500 sq ft. with an annual cost of $396,000 including utilities.

Meanwhile, in Topeka the comparable office is 85,500 sq. ft. with an annual cost of $1.1 million including utilities.

Plus SRS pays for an additional 37,437 sq. ft. two blocks away on Kansas Avenue. Plus, SRS pays for multiple floors in the Docking State Office Building.

But yeah, close the Lawrence office and keep all of those Topeka offices open.

LH3867 3 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for the information Alceste. Not surprsed it and it validates from impressions of him. I have family that work at SRS and they say he just walks around smiling. He has no substance whatsoever. He's probably still trying to figure out how he got this job and is just happy to be employed. No problems carrying out the destruction to SRS. He's still chasing but this time he thinks he will end up in Washington. He is only there, they say, is because Kahrs has no skill dealing with people. The funny thing is he thinks he is running the agency. God help the taxpayers.

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/politics/content/local_news/election/races/house85.html is for LH3867. I posted RIGHT after the announcement that this simple simon puppet was coming to Kansas. As is typical of Lawrence, nobody paid attention. They're paying attention now.....sort of.....shrug

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 5 months ago

If you had actually read earlier posts you would see that the 150 mentioned didn't explain the fact that there was no more room for people, even after opening adjacent doors to rooms and people spilling into the lobby area. Many people likely left because they could not hear anyway.. hopefully they will come to tonight's meeting at Plymouth Congregational..as I'm sure they likely will. I know I WILL!!

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 5 months ago

The Governor and the Legislature should be having conversations with the public about what services should be offered, at what level those services should be offered, and how much providing those services would cost. I'm disturbed by the lack of transparency in the decision-making process. The decision was just announced. Done deal. End of story. That is not the way democratic processes are supposed to work.

Instead what they are doing is deciding that taxes are too high and must be cut no matter what is affected as a result. Right now, they are saying the economy is fagile and the private sector can't create jobs with government taxing them. During the Graves Administration, they were cutting taxes even though the economy was booming. The rationale then was return the people's money to them. Apparently, the only time to raise taxes is NEVER. That just doesn't make sense.

Taxes are a patriotic obligation. Nobody likes paying them. We do it because of the social contract created when our nation was founded. Government provides critical services. The private sector could NOT function without roads, police, schools, etc.

I say if you want to live in a low tax society that you should move to Mexico, Afganistan or Iran. If you want to live in a thriving representative democracy that supports free enterprise, then PAY YOUR FAIR SHARE OF TAXES.

Keep in mind, none of us likes paying Dillons or WalMart for the shopping cart full of goods we buy either. We do it because we want those goods. We pay taxes because we want our kids to be educated so they can be productive members of society. We pay taxes because we want good roads and clean water to drink. We pay taxes because we want police officers and firefighters to respond to emergencies and not demand kickbacks before offering assistance.

Having said all this, why should the Lawrence community be expected to shoulder the operating expenses of state government when no other city in the state would bear a similar burden? State taxes should pay for that. Lawrence citizens pay them. We have 100,000 people living in this county. Many of those need SRS services. If the SRS office is closed in Lawrence than a viable transit service linking Lawrence to both Topeka and KCK needs to be established first.

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

Yeah? Well, Sebelius never held no meetings either. For that matter neither did that dimbulb Docking.

Be annoyed with your ELECTED local Legislators. Where have they been and where are they? DUCKING is the answer.....they want to protect their individual retirement accounts from KPERS which are figured in a most jacked up way:

Legislators have given themselves one heck of a sweetheart deal in how their own KPERS benefits are calculated. 372 days in a year! Leave it to a political hack like our locally elected legislators to figure that out!

For the legislator listing all income - the daily rate, subsistence and allowance - this is how annualization is calculated:

•$88.66 (daily rate) x 31 (days) x 12 (months) = $32,981.52

•$123 (subsistence) x 31 (days) x 12 (months) = $45,756

•$7,083 non-session allowance.

Altogether, that equals $85,820.52, and that's the pay figure that would be used for that legislator retiring now.

The Senate president and House speaker are at the top of the pay scale, and annualized pay for those posts could be as high as $99,859.74, depending on their enrollment choices.

Greed? 372 day year? Right....uh huh......good one..... One has to wonder if the gang of four figure their own personal finances on a similar calendar!

IndusRiver 3 years, 5 months ago

Gayle Sigurdson represents the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority, which is staying quiet on this, and I find that very suspect since they stand to lose the most. They may be saying goodbye to their new cars, west-side houses, and Charlotte Knoche's horse ranch could be impacted....

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

"Suspect">>>???? Sigurdson is given close to $125,000.00 per annum to shut up. Why is that "suspect">>>>??????

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 5 months ago

Perhaps they are staying quiet because they have so much to lose. One needs to consider that this came about without notice and there was no way to anticipate such a stupid move like this would be made. The I Q's of the repubs are dropping like a boulder in the water. Do you think that ignorant people like this can be reasoned with?

sciencegeek 3 years, 5 months ago

You can vent, or you can try to actually accomplish something. Here's the difference: --E-mails and letter to the governor are tallied by topic and which side you're on. About all he'll ever see is the count. --SRS--if it's a specific complaint about a case, it will be forwarded on. If it's a general complaint, it will be handled as above, at most. With this crowd, it may not even make it that far. --This administration is on a "mission from God", so what the people think is of no concern. These CINOs (Christians In Name Only) follow the "pick and choose" philosophy of -reading demonstrated by the Phelps clan. What the people think is of no concern to them. --The ONLY way to change anything is to scare the heck out of the legislators who enable all of this. THEY care about complaints because THEY are up for re-election before Brownback is. If you REALLY want to stop the juggernaut, start writing to senators and house members, and let them know that THEY will pay the price for the Brownback steamroller.

LH3867 3 years, 5 months ago

I agree. The following link will take you to the list of legislators. This site includes the email addresses. Let's start letting them know how we feel. I honestly doubt they read the comments here.

http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/year1/members/

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 5 months ago

Brownback has few constituents, beginning with the Koch brothers, who purchased the governorship by sponsoring Brownback. He was also sponsored by Sunflower and he has desperately tried to pay them off by getting them their coal plant in Western Kansas. Brownback is a complete and utter fraud and hypocrite. He knows he has to rely on the religious right to get elected, so he has pushed the abortion issue to the limits as well. I would feel certain that he is attempting to remove professionals in order to get in people who feel strongly about abortion. This is his end around method for getting his way, no matter the cost. He gets his base fired up, continues to get funded by the wealthy and he can act as a dictator instead of a governor. Truly, the only solution is impeachment and that needs to happen as quickly as possible. The longer he is around, the more he will disrupt and destroy the extremely important services for Kansans

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

What a bunch of HOOEY! Brownback was ELECTED because the People of Kansas voted for him. Nothing more and nothing less.

Trust me, NOBODY.....and I mean NOBODY cares what you "FEEL". The voting people of Kansas done did spoke.

Now, given the above, what are YOU going to do about it? Post on an internet message board which is a MEANINGLESS task? Or, instead, will you telephone, fax, email, request a personal meeting, etc......or just sit by a monitor and "hope"?

Let me let YOU in on a fact: "HOPE is NOT a strategy.......".

jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

1/3 of the eligible voters in KS elected Brownback. About 1/2 of them didn't vote at all.

If nobody cares what we feel, what good will it do to contact legislators?

If Brownback doesn't even care what Republican legislators think (Arts Commission), why would he care what Democratic ones (Davis, etc.) think?

The only hope is that the folks who stayed home will vote next time, and not for Brownback, and/or that the moderate Republicans who aren't happy with what he's doing won't vote for him again (if they voted for him this time).

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

Because "feelings" amout to a hill of beans. THINK......them dolts must be confronted with THOUGHT and COGENT alternatives as the dolts shall hide behind "cost savings" as the singular reason that the Lawrence SRS operations have to be terminated.

Lawrence does require a locally based operation for the acceptance, processing, and case management of the financial aid programs as well as the SNAP (Foodstamp) program. It probably does NOT need to house "social workers" because in Kansas it's the POLICE who remove children who are in harms way....not social workers. Social workers don't case manage in Kansas for the most part: That stuff was farmed out to the private sector of which one B. Wayne Sims is the fat cats of fat cats, chorttling all the way to the bank as HIS staff do the case management. Be advised that newly hired boss lady for Children and Family Services worked where just before taking over this critical aspect of Kansas SRS? Correct: KVC Health Systems, Inc....the very operation that controls foster care in Kansas FOR A PROFIT (despite the fact they'll tell you they're a 501(c), which they are....but when you look at how much B. Wayne Sims pays himself, you'll understand what I mean when I say FOR A PROFIT). http://www.kvc.org/home/about-us/our-staff Trust me.....this outfit is a megabuck money machine and rather than serve children, they serve themselves each and every day all the way to the bank. Social work in SRS was killed a long time back....so don't trouble yourself about the social workers......nope.....trouble yourself about the real nuts and bolts of Kansas SRS and that's the people who process and deal with the financial assistance programs which are fraught with one contradictory regulation after another....and each of the people in those jobs are juggling well over 250 cases.....correct....EACH of those people....and they're paid peanuts to deal with some fairly weighty jive and know these regulations.

It is absurd to assume everyone can make application for assistance via the internet or drive to Topeka, Ottawa, Wy. County, or Overland Park as many do not have a car; the money to pay for the gasoline for a round-trip; the actual physical ability to drive or ride, blah, blah, blah. Too, most of the SRS on-line application requires a fairly new computer AND a high speed internet connection due to the the way the website and it's application are coded. The assumption that everyone has a newer computer AND high speed access is obscene. Truth be told, most have older computers and dial up internet connections IF they have a phone. (cont.):

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

Cont.:

Here's a suggeston: Go to the Manhattan SRS office and compel them to give you a tour: You will find one empty row of cubicles after another because the building is simply too large for the number of people who work there. Challenge SRS "leadership" with facts, not emotion. The facts will show that there are offices all over the state with empty rows of cubicles...all outfitted with pretty new computers and such, but just collecting dust. The SRS website is now discussing the addition of "go get the welfare cheats" staff. Salina is happy as a clam as is Concordia because these locations are an aspect of "I'd rather spend my workday chasing down a $200 "fraud" matter rather than focus on processing these 42 applications on my desk." Kansas is headed back towards a County Welfare system if people don't start thinking, quit the touchy-feely bullroar, and come up with, again, IDEAS instead of protestations of "It's not fair". Good grief. http://www.srs.ks.gov/News/Pages/6_23_2011.aspx

jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

Perhaps those offices are understaffed.

My wife has worked with the local SRS, and says they have been for some time.

Good luck with your quest - I predict that this administration will not listen to anybody that it doesn't want to listen to, regardless of how they present things.

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 5 months ago

You are so ignorant, you can't be helped. Just watch Fox News and stay deluded.

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 5 months ago

Oh Alceste, you are so wise. You are a legend in your own mind.

Centerville 3 years, 5 months ago

Instead of whining about Brownback, why doesn't someone, anyone, explain what 87 people could be doing all day that warrants taking that money directly from welfare payments? Or merits taking that much money away from taxpayers? Pouting isn't making much of a case.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 5 months ago

None of the 87 staff members are part of this cut. The "savings" comes from the $396,000 annual cost of the building. It is a question of access, in some cases critically important access in a timely manner.

Meanwhile, three buildings are "needed" for Topeka.

Perhaps you should stop your whining about others and get acquainted with reality.

jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

Why do you assume there isn't enough work for those employees?

My wife has worked with SRS for years, and tells me they are in fact understaffed and overworked.

If you want to find out what they did, I imagine that information is easily available on line.

asbury 3 years, 5 months ago

Closing the Lawrence SRS office is definitly a very bad idea in my humble opinion.........

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 5 months ago

Brownback is a graduate of Kansas State University. He was class president. His dislike for Lawrence is long lived. His attempt to "save money," is a complete farce. Not only will he cause more harm and suffering. In the end, it will cost much more in expenses that accumulate due to not taking care of business. The services that are in place are not just for the sake of being humane. They are also in place to save money. Frankly, they would not be in place if they did not save money and problems. To cut services is nothing but political. The amount of ignorance that goes into making decisions like this is beyond insane.

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