Archive for Monday, July 25, 2011

Statehouse Live: SRS salaries come under question as agency plans to close offices; Lawrence workers can’t go to Topeka

July 25, 2011, 11:13 a.m. Updated July 25, 2011, 6:05 p.m.

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— House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, on Monday questioned high-dollar salaries and newly created executive positions at the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, which is closing nine offices, including the one in Lawrence.

Gov. Sam Brownback and SRS Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. have said the offices must be shut down to cut $1 million in administrative expenses that was required by the Legislature.

They have said people receiving services at the Lawrence office can access them online or travel to other SRS offices in nearby cities. Lawrence officials have said this isn’t reasonable and will result in more people losing assistance, a heavier financial burden on local non-profits, and an increase in crime.

Davis also questioned whether the Legislature mandated office closures, and he criticized new executive hiring at a time when thousands of vulnerable Kansans will be affected by the SRS moves.

“I'm concerned that the new administration seems to be spending a couple hundred thousand dollars more on upper management staff at the same time that they are closing local offices in order to meet a mandate for a $1 million in administrative cuts,” Davis said.

“It seems they ought to be cutting upper management positions to make sure that the Legislature's directive is followed rather than closing local offices,” he said.

Davis' office asked for salary information of top level positions at SRS, comparing the spring of 2010, under former Gov. Mark Parkinson, and now.

Under Siedlecki, who was appointed secretary by Brownback, several new positions have been created, including a chief of staff, who is Jeff Kahrs, former chief of staff to former U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan. Kahrs is making $100,000 a year.

Another new position is filled by Anna Pilato, who is a deputy secretary heading a new faith-based initiative and making $97,500.

Siedlecki is earning $115,000 per year, while his predecessor, Don Jordan, was paid $112,742 annually. There is also a communications director and public information officer, earning a combined total of $100,000 per year. Last year, one person was the communications director at $70,000 and the public information officer position was vacant.

When he announced his new leadership team in May, Siedlecki stated: “We have assembled a team of experienced leaders who will focus on transforming SRS into an agency committed to improving the well-being of children and families, while remaining accountable to the taxpayers of Kansas through transparency and reform.”

In total, Siedlecki is spending $386,595 more on high-level staff than the amount spent at the end of 2010, Davis said.

SRS has repeatedly said the Lawrence closure alone will save approximately $400,000, with most of that coming in rent.

But on Monday SRS said that half of the projected savings would be in lost federal reimbursement funds that are currently paid to the state for administrative costs.

“It's all taxpayer money, so we are saving money,” said SRS spokeswoman Angela De Rocha.

And in another development, Davis questioned whether the Legislature, in its budget deliberations, intended for SRS to close offices.

The approved appropriations bill calls on SRS to make a cut of $1 million in the “Administrative Program,” but this line-item doesn’t include expenditures for office leases. SRS has a total budget of approximately $1.6 billion. Davis said there are other areas in the budget that SRS could look at beside shutting offices.

Additionally on Monday, an SRS memo obtained by the Lawrence Journal-World shows that Lawrence SRS office employees will not be able to transfer to the Topeka office, which is contrary to what SRS officials had initially said. The Lawrence SRS office has approximately 87 employees.

“The Topeka office is no longer an option for Lawrence staff to transfer to,” according to the memo.

“Based on the complexities of managing a county across two regions the decision was made to keep all Lawrence staff and cases in the current KC Metro Region and its remaining 5 offices,” the memo says. “KCM region will retain all responsibility for DG cases (unless a customer requests that their case move to another region).”

Comments

irvan moore 4 years ago

and it keeps on getting worse and worse and ----------------------

Bob_Keeshan 4 years ago

So what are they going to do with all that empty office space in Topeka?

rhd99 4 years ago

With their empty-headed policies, what's left? NOTHING. Job creation, my foot!

sciencegeek 4 years ago

So much for the public comments, protests, forums, requests for justification, etc. Doesn't sound like there's any interest at all by this administration in what the constituents think.

Is anyone surprised?

Pat Long 4 years ago

Gov. Brownback's Golden Rule..."I have the gold, so I make the rules."

pace 4 years ago

Bloody Brownback will literally be leaving bodies in his wake. While I was sitting at an ophthalmologists office, the staff was told Medicaid patients would no longer be served at the Lawrence office. All medicaid patient are to be referred to an Overland Park office.

verity 4 years ago

Bloody Brownback. Bleeding Kansas. Deja Vu all over again.

StirrrThePot 4 years ago

Someone commented yesterday on the story of the most recent forum that this would be the next announcement that came. They all have to go to OP or else it is the unemployment line - and they can't get unemployment unless they can prove that this causes them hardship.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 4 years ago

Is there a difference between the SRS closing or moving and/or a private sector closing/moving?

Wonder if people would whine as loud if some private sector employer decided to close its doors?

Life deals you a hand of cards. Smart people position themselves and play the hand they have.

jafs 4 years ago

Yes.

The difference is that a private business making decisions is just that, private.

The government, on the other hand, is the public sector, and decisions are being made about our tax dollars, and how they're spent.

And, people who are concerned about the high unemployment levels right now are frequently concerned about businesses that lay people off in order to maintain their profits.

Your last sentence is of course true.

question4u 4 years ago

"Life deals you a hand of cards. Smart people position themselves and play the hand they have."

Thanks for the recipe for injustice. It's hard to imagine any "smart" people believing that political actions are just life dealing a hand of cards though. Aren't smart people smart because they think?

MyName 4 years ago

Yeah that analogy only works if you have the usual number of hands, or legs. That sounds like the kind of BS answer someone who was born on third and thought they hit a triple might give.

And of course it's different because 1) it's our money that's being used or misused and 2) it appears as though its going from our pocketbook directly to the governor's cronies in Topeka, rather than to people in our community who need it.

MyName 4 years ago

Yeah that analogy only works if you have the usual number of hands, or legs. That sounds like the kind of BS answer someone who was born on third and thought they hit a triple might give.

And of course it's different because 1) it's our money that's being used or misused and 2) it appears as though its going from our pocketbook directly to the governor's cronies in Topeka, rather than to people in our community who need it.

verity 4 years ago

Obviously the closing of the Lawrence SRS office was not thought though before it was decided.

Please tell me something Brownback has done since becoming governor that is actually forward thinking and positive---that doesn't cause more harm than good in the long run. Please. Really.

ljwhirled 4 years ago

He is going to lower my taxes. As a job creator, I appreciate that.

I am going to create jobs by putting in a new swimming pool.

Kansas is awesome!

verity 4 years ago

I said "has done," not going to do.

I do appreciate your witty sarcasm. Really, I'm not being sarcastic.

sweetiepie 4 years ago

I'll bet that after he lowers your taxes, you'll actually be paying more in property and sales taxes.

jafs 4 years ago

Since states are required to have balanced budgets, any governor would do that.

The issue is perhaps the way in which he's choosing to go about it, which seems like a poor way to do it to many.

Kim Murphree 4 years ago

So you seriously don't consider this 97-thousand dollar faith initiatives administrative job as a handout???? You are kidding, right? Republican Brownback is the king of handing out jobs and creating positions for his cronies while cutting services to individuals--so, I guess its just a choice of whether we help people buy food or handout $$$ to the wealthy.

gudpoynt 4 years ago

"The most obvious example of something "forward thinking and positive" is the Governor's attempt to close a $500 million budget gap required by state law"..... without even considering once, not once, not even on the table, the possibility of maybe, just maybe, raising revenues just a teensy, weensy bit.

Nope, Out of the question. Never. Not in a bajillion years.

Oh.... but I'll let tax breaks continue to expire for businesses like they have for the past several years. Also, I'll actively push for eliminating corporate income tax in the future. In fact, I'll do as much as I possibly can to shift the tax burden to be less progressive, and more regressive, which as anyone with 7th grade math skills can tell you, will only work to further concentrate wealth in the hands of those already in top income brackets.

And.... I'll stoke my constituent base, rallying them behind the mantra that "We must live within our means" all the while working to shrink, and shrink, and shrink just what those "means" will be for future generations to come.

Damn it feels good to be a gangster.

Lana Christie-Hayes 4 years ago

More proof that Browncrack is trying to make Lawrence part of the greater JOCO Metro. GAG ME!

rhd99 4 years ago

I like the name you gave Brownback. Very appropriate.

d_prowess 4 years ago

Am I correct that this just means that these 87 employees have the option of still trying to get hired on in one of the KC Metro offices, and just no longer the Topeka office? It always sucks to have your options limited, but at least all the options haven't been shut off, right?

jafs 4 years ago

Yes.

Except that they were initially told they'd have more options.

And, of course, it takes a bit longer to get to KC than to Topeka, which makes the commute a bit more of a hardship.

And, who knows if there are enough openings in that office to accommodate all of these employees.

gudpoynt 4 years ago

Actually, Siedlecki is on record saying that this move will NOT result in any direct job losses, but does acknowledge that some employees may opt to seek employment elsewhere.

What.... a.... crock.... of..... B.... S......

What would be interesting if the SRS employees called the bluff, and insisted that they be transferred. Then Siedlecki would have to go back on his word and admit that there actually are not, nor were there ever, enough position to accommodate all 87 displaced Lawrence employees.

chootspa 4 years ago

They're trying to passive aggressively get rid of the employees without firing them and without having to admit that they never intended to keep them all. First they close the office and say they all have slots in nearby offices, including Topeka. They also say that Lawrence will be part of the transition team.

Each Friday they drip, drip, drip the worse news. So, first it was the closing. Next, it's that no, they won't get to transfer to Topeka. Then, they say nobody from Lawrence will be on the team making any decisions about the move. Apparently you also have to sign something agreeing to the transfer, or you're fired. If you agree, no unemployment for you. If you don't agree, there's a small chance you might get unemployment, but it's doubtful.

My predictions: Oops, we can't fit everyone in the OP and KC offices, so some of you will have to move to Hays.
Oops, you're all demoted because we're downsizing our management team (except for the new cronies up top). Oops, we're going to make you work night shifts or triple shifts or in some other way screw with your work schedule beyond what we did already. Oops, we're changing how we reimburse for mileage to make sure you get less than the price of gas.

In the end, it amounts to intentional harassment to get Lawrence social workers to quit so they can claim victory for not having fired anyone.

Brock Masters 4 years ago

There was a time a state employee looked forward to Friday. I guess those days are gone too.

sciencegeek 4 years ago

Predicted when the announcement was first made.

The slimy way this administration does things is sickening. Had they any integrity, they'd be honest up front and take their lumps. Instead, they tell half-truths and release as little detail as possible. "What Would Jesus Do?"--not this!

The rest of Kansas voters need to learn about this, and tell their senators and representatives to stop supporting this deceit or lose their own seats. That's the only thing that has a chance against this dishonorable behaviour.

meggers 4 years ago

It was reported on NPR this morning that the closure of the Lawrence SRS office will result in a substantial loss of federal funds. Here is a link to the brief report NPR gave:

http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/kcur/news.newsmain/article/0/0/1831849/KCUR.Health/Closing.Lawrence.SRS.Office.Means.Losing.Federal.Funding

LJW, it would be great if you could provide a more detailed report about this.

Lana Christie-Hayes 4 years ago

Sounds very familiar to what happened to the Arts Commission. Browncrack is a WHACK CRACKPOT!

frankfussman 4 years ago

There was a T-shirt worn on stage last night at the Victor Continental Show: "Buck Frownback."

tolawdjk 4 years ago

When has maturity existed in politics?

tolawdjk 4 years ago

See , here I thought I just disagreed with you occaisionally, but now I see you suffer from some kind of medical memory loss.

You might have to go back to Washington to find maturity in politics.

verity 4 years ago

". . . . but at least all the options haven't been shut off, right?"

Wait for it---I'm sure this isn't the end. There will be more obstacles.

And, yes, for many this will mean their options are cut off. Traveling to KC many not be possible for a number of reasons---cost of transportation, daycare expenses and limitations---just to mention two. But, of course, with those cushy salaries we're paying the employees, I'm sure they can fit all this into their budgets.

More and more this sounds like retribution. Good little Lawrencians will vote Republican next election.

Scott Drummond 4 years ago

Hit their sources of funding, folks.

Brownback and crew can only do this because of the $$$ they get from their campaign contributors.

Find out how that money flows, choke it off and then Brownback and all the other right wing thieves and traitors no longer have the ability to ruin our country.

Kyle Chandler 4 years ago

this is where 'we the people' revolt

Cant_have_it_both_ways 4 years ago

Maybe you that voted for the library and its 150 new computers provided the State with an easy reason to close the local SRS office. You all voted for the empT so they could get to the library. The parking garage so they would have a central hub for the empT and a place to park. Now those who need SRS services have no reason to go to KC or Topeka. I would bet none of the other cities affected had such forward thinking citizens to provide all these attributes for the needy.

Congrats! You voted for it... now enjoy your harvest!

tomatogrower 4 years ago

And you obviously know nothing about your own government, canthaveitbothways. Why don't you get educated. The library and the T are funded through the city. SRS is funded through federal and state funds. And try riding a bus. Whenever I ride it there are plenty of people on it. Just because you have a love affair with your car, doesn't mean everyone else does. It also doesn't mean that some people can afford a car.

Next time you post, try researching what you are posting, so you don't come across as uneducated.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 4 years ago

Let me see, The library (funded by taxpayer dollars) the empT (funded by taxpayer dollars) and the SRS (Funded by taxpayer dollars).

Seems to me that the stars are lining up for those of you who choose not to work and live off of the taxpayer. You get 150 new computers at the library, you have public transportation in place to get there, and the electronic world is catching up with Lawrence. To bad you library lovers dont live in that world.

I was pointing out that maybe, just maybe you that wanted the public transportation and the new library made it easy for Topeka to pick Lawrence to sacrifice.

So, next time you post, you might put yourself into a tax paying status as it does not take much skill or time to grow tomatos.

KansasPerson 4 years ago

long whistle of disbelief

Still.... some mothers do 'ave 'em.

Elaine Elliott 4 years ago

So you think that because we have public transportation and 150 new computers, that should meet all the needs of the people who went to the SRS office? Or that the reason they closed the office is because the library and the bus provide similar enough services to substitute as the SRS office? Or do you think that when we voted on the library it effected the entire state? It raised taxes for everyone in the state of Kansas so they are mad at us and closed the SRS office? That's the one, that's gotta be it.

Kontum1972 4 years ago

i was in the parking garage yesterday and there were alot of vehicles in there...so that place is being used....mb your parents were scared by a parking garage.....sht happens...who knows....

plainspeaking 4 years ago

"It's all taxpayer money, so we are saving money," said SRS spokeswoman Angela De Rocha.

Yes, matching federal funds are taxpayer money. So, Governor Sam, quit telling Kansans you expect to receive - and are vigorously fighting for - matching funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mid America Arts Alliance. You personally cut state matching funds for the arts to "save taxpayer money," so stop lying.

jafs 4 years ago

And, of course, that federal money will go somewhere else, it won't be returned to taxpayers.

chootspa 4 years ago

It costs us just as much as taxpayers but loses us services and jobs. This is another fine example of fiscal irresponsibility by Brownback and co.

pace 4 years ago

So you think Bloody Brownback is targeting Lawrence SRS because he is angry we voted for a better public library? Or do you think God is punishing children, the lame and the elderly bacause we have a bus system? You might be right. Buses, libraries are sins against the family, the Koch family.

Jeff Kilgore 4 years ago

I'll bet she prayed to God for a job like this! How many meals could be purchased for the homeless with $97,500? Very faith based salary. Which book in the Bible teaches to reach for high executive salaries? I'll admit, I know much less about the Bible than most.

gudpoynt 4 years ago

jkilgore.... of course you know its the book of.... "JOB" :-)

tomatogrower 4 years ago

Actually, we probably need someone to keep an eye on those funds, so that they don't go to buying the preacher a fancy car. Some people think that, because the funds are going to a church there's nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, I think her husband has a church which might be getting some of these funds. I think Brownback has put the foxes in the hen house.

question4u 4 years ago

"...cut pay accross the board, say 4%. Don't like your pay cut, we have plenty of applicants ready to fill your position."

"Say 4%"? Why not say 6%? Why not 14%? Why not demand that all state work be done voluntarily? Why don't all private businesses follow the same path and arbitrarily cut the pay of their longtime employees? It's such a great idea! There won't be any repercussions, and if you keep doing it, eventually you won't have to worry about a payroll.

Why haven't CEOs thought of this? Three guesses.

chootspa 4 years ago

Yes, CEOs are implementing pay reductions. In fact, their record profits and upper management pay raises (true story) come mainly from pay reductions. Your pay reduction is not a necessity. It's a choice.

jafs 4 years ago

Pay reductions and layoffs.

What a great model to follow!

Sarcasm intended.

MyName 4 years ago

What a load of BS! What will you do when anyone who is moderately competent is gone and all that's left of people who know WTF they're doing are the old or enfeebled. And WTH do you think we need to cut salaries? Apparently, we're so hard up for top level administrators that we have to bump them up over their predecessors in order to get them to work for us.

I don't see where the need to plan all these drastic cuts for things that people don't want and will not vote for comes from. At least I agree on the MJ I idea. Less potheads in jail should save us some money.

notthe1youknow 4 years ago

Interesting that her stint as a member of the Fairfax County Republican Committee is listed as "Defense & Space Industry"...

Mixolydian 4 years ago

Ha! A Mel Brooks (PBUH) reference is always a correct response to anything.

irvan moore 4 years ago

do you think brownback might really be fred phelps in disquise?

justajoke 4 years ago

Maybe they should ask for a list of all the new employees that have been given jobs in the KC Metro Region since the firing of Lori Alvarado. Like the Masey lady who handles customer complaints. But wait we already had several people doing that job but the Supervisor in charge was fired ( or retired). How about the Regional Directors new secretary who was a friend from church that just got hired at 40 k a year. Really there was already a secretary but we have to make room for our friends. These positions were never posted so that current employees could apply. And should we bring up the fact that the secretary is making more money then the employees that have college degrees and have years of service with this agency. This all just makes me sick.

verity 4 years ago

I thought the State had to post any positions. Equal opportunity and all that.

Am I wrong or does Brownback think he is above the law?

tomatogrower 4 years ago

Come on LJW. Get with the other papers. These people need to be exposed, especially if what justajoke says is true. There has to be some ethics violations. If anything, we need to make sure that in 3 years Brownback and his supporters are voted out. We need some facts, and Brownback's campaign promise about transperancy was another lie.

chootspa 4 years ago

I don't care if the next governor has a D or an R by their name. I do care that they're not an idiot that squanders Kansas resources and kills jobs while engaging in pointless religious crusades.

verity 4 years ago

Ag, some positions are political and are traditionally appointed by an elected official. But many state positions are not. What I want to know is whether this was done with "equal opportunity" positions. If so, it's illegal.

LJW investigative reporters? Could be an interesting story here.

Ceee 4 years ago

Protests and forums in Lawrence won't move the current administration. They need to hear from voters statewide. Someone in the know, possessed of facts and figures, should gather data and write a one page paper that highlights the reasons why closing the Lawrence office is an inefficient, ineffective, expensive choice. No name calling. Just facts logically and appealingly written. Maybe it should be a two part message: data (e.g. increased cost to law enforcement) and real life examples (e.g.story of a person who can't use a computer or drive and still needs help he won't get easily).

Then network the letter with a personal request from the Lawrence resident that those who read it and support our cause agree to contact the Governor/SRS Director. Provide email addresses and/or addressed postcards. The network should start, but not be limited to, social service organizations, judicial groups, law enforcement personnel, churches, well known philanthropists and civic minded Kansans, including prominent sports figures. The letter should also be sent to newspapers/tv stations in the state. Ask a development person or one in public relations to fine tune the process. If one person in Lawrence contacts three people outside the city who in turn contact the Governor/SRS Director, our voice gets louder. Maybe they'll listen. Maybe.

Ceee 4 years ago

PS I'm old and unfamiliar with how computer networking operates. Maybe you can get young people who know contemporary technology to work with passing on the message (that our SRS office should be restored) electronically.

Liberty275 4 years ago

I just went a round with little rocks in my kidney, and after all was said and done, I used a computer, printer and a fax machine to submit the claims to my supplement insurance. Really, all you need are access to those common technologies to handle most of your SRS business electronically. We should keep SRS-employed "assistants" that can help the older people that don't understand the technology, the illiterate and the disabled with the new medium. Of course, there are some things you need to have a live human social worker for (minor victims of abuse for example) so we need to keep one or two top-notch social workers in town for the things electronic media just will not handle.

verity 4 years ago

So---submitting supplemental insurance claims is equal to "most of your SRS business"?

deec 4 years ago

Your private insurance is entirely different from applying for welfare. Did you have to provide your complete personal history, prove income and residence, etc to submit your private insurance claim? You also clearly have access to internet service and are computer literate. I assume your private insurance does not require a face to face interview in order to process your claim. Do you have to submit proof of income monthly to maintain your insurance?

verity 4 years ago

And using a printer and fax machine will generally cost you some money. The last fax I sent cost $1.00 a page and that added up pretty fast.

chootspa 4 years ago

"SRS has said the Lawrence closure will save approximately $400,000 but on Monday SRS said that half of the projected savings would be in lost federal reimbursement funds that are currently paid to the state for administrative costs."

In other words, it's not saving anything. It's losing $200,000 in reimbursement funds and the argument that we were saving the lease in Lawrence is already being shown to be untrue. That's an announcement I'm sure they'll save for another Friday.

chootspa 4 years ago

Does that mean our federal tax bills go down? Nope. Does it mean the Kansas government will have more money to spend on a different program? Nope again. In fact, we'll be spending some of our money on an empty building while those who need the services go without. When those in need go without, we end up paying in different ways.

The beginning of every journey usually starts with a step, but this one starts out in a handbasket.

funkdog1 4 years ago

Thank you Scott for doing the work on this story!

Alceste 4 years ago

Being the braggart Alceste is....Alceste is compelled to point out Alceste "scooped" LJWorld.com and "Chad" with this post on 24 July 2011 at 11:34am....almost 24 hours before the LJWorld. Stay tuned....those cards and letters just keep rolling in.....

Alceste (anonymous) says… Not going to work, jhawkinsf. Here's why:

The Lawrence SRS office is part of the KC Metro Region. Topeka SRS office is part of the NE Region.

Earlier, SRS Central Office had given the soon to be displaced Lawrence staff the option of transferring to the Topeka SRS office. SRS Central Office, as of Friday, 22 July has removed that option. SRS Central Office has determined that housing KC Metro Region staff in a NE Region Office is not going to work. It's been taken off the table and the Lawrence SRS workers got an email on Friday, 22 July informing them that if they had selected the Topeka Office as the place they preferred to transfer to, they needed to re-submit their paper work and select an office in the KC Metro Region: Overland Park; KCK; Ottawa; Leavenworth. Too, the Lawrence SRS staff will be keeping their current case loads. Clients will be following their assigned case workers.

The bottom line is that SRS Central Office has no idea what they're going to do or how they're going to adapt/adjust to the Lawrence SRS office closure.

Concluding: there is no plan. there was no plan. closed. That's it. Brain trust indeed.

July 24, 2011 at 11:34 a.m. ( permalink | reply | suggest removal | )

But let us first and foremost stress this reality: " there is no plan. there was no plan. closed. That's it. Brain trust indeed." NO PLAN. We're making it up as we go along. We here at SRS Central Office roll like that.....we've been doing it for years.....well before Sammy got here......leave us alone....we know what we're doing. Go on now.....run along.....

adawnb 4 years ago

I know someone who works at another office that is going to be closed. This person was given two options for transfer. He found out via conference call last Thursday that the only option now was Topeka, regardless of how far his commute would be. He lives in a town with an office that will remain open and that has open space. This office is actually closer than Topeka to the majority of customers that he serves. It will take him well over an hour to make it to Topeka. He considers this a layoff, regardless of the euphemisms being thrown out there. Of course, he will be denied his right to the layoff process due to these shenanigans.

tomatogrower 4 years ago

That's the point. This way the governor can say he didn't lay off anyone, and everyone will sing his praises for being so responsible. Of course, some of us aren't that stupid.

Chris Phillips 4 years ago

I also notice that Lawrence SRS employees who ARE able to keep their jobs, although they will now have to drive much further to wherever they end up, will be essentially getting a cut in pay as they will have to pay for the additional gas and wear and tear on their vehicles to get there. I'm sure they will be appropriately grateful for keeping their jobs.

BlackVelvet 4 years ago

Brownback....Obama.....no difference.

Lana Christie-Hayes 4 years ago

BIG difference!!...they are nothing alike. Not to say all politicians these days don't have their own agendas, but these two do not compare at all.. night and day!

BlackVelvet 4 years ago

They both lie out of both sides of their mouths, and are both self-serving and care not about the people they serve. Period.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years ago

A lot of focus on the employees, but the real message coming from SRS is that those being served by the Lawrence office do not have the option of going to Topeka.

Their only option is to go to Kansas City unless they can convince SRS to "allow" them to go to Topeka.

And here I thought the closeness of Lawrence to Topeka was a major factor in the decision.

So instead, SRS will just keep on paying for three or four big beautiful offices in Topeka. Don't need to have any of those folks in Lawrence stopping by and forcing them to work.

Alceste 4 years ago

Actually, Capt., you're incorrect. One may make application for services and benefits anywhere in the state. Too, one can insist that once the case is opened, it be "managed" by a specific office. Can't choose the worker.....but you can choose the office.

So, yes, new applicants are perfectly free to go to Topeka to apply. And existing cases are pefectly free to go to Topeka to "discuss" their "case". There generally isn't much to discuss in the final analysis. The staff who do the real work within SRS......the people who process and maintain the foodstamp cases; the cash assistance cases; and the medical assistance cases for the elderly and disabled can do little else other than to push the paper; make computer/system inputs; and trudge ahead. The notion that they are there to sit and listen to a person's problems is stupid and a waste of time. The staff person can't do anything about the fact Big John's started drinking ever since the river took Emmy Lou.....shrug

Bob_Keeshan 4 years ago

When asked if Lawrence cases could be transferred to Topeka, SRS spokeswoman Angela de Rocha said, “No decisions have been made. This is still undergoing review.”

The real issue here is the folks who need SRS don't have Topeka as an option.

average 4 years ago

Actually, by miles (and minutes, when 59 is done), the Ottawa office is going to be closer than Topeka, and certainly closer than OP or KCK. Any chance the staff/cases will end up there? It is in theory part of the "Kansas City Metro" region.

irvan moore 4 years ago

it would be interesting to know how many people who voted for brownback because of his conservative ideals are losing their jobs or have family members who are.

Alceste 4 years ago

Oh yes they do! There's a truck load of 'em in SRS Central Office, too. Since they're registered Republicans AND vote....all that data is PUBLIC....U think Brownback and Company aren't checking to see what Party you is a member of and if you've voted?

Anyway.....trust me on this....SRS is filled to the brim with some spiteful, nasty, negrophobic JERKS who have had to eat humble pie for MANY years due to the slightly in the center orientation of SRS......they bees coming out of the woodwork now proclaiming their joy for the "victory" and the fact they can chase down "welfare cheats" instead of processing applications. It's a fact, Jack.

Alceste 4 years ago

PS: I left the part about keeping The Good Book in their desk drawer and playing solitare on their state issued computer instead of dealing with errant subordinates. One such person who practiced just these acts (not to mention shoving that Bible in your face whenever God so ordained) has a lot to do with the TANF program up in that there Central Office.

adawnb 4 years ago

That's the real point. Not only are the employees being forced to go to other offices that are further away from where they live, the people who rely on SRS services too will be forced to do so as well. This whole thing will end up being a cluster and people will lose services due to this. The people behind this are incompetent and that's why the "plan" changes from week to week.

Alceste 4 years ago

Correction re: "The Plan".

There IS no plan. Never has been a plan. There will not be a plan. There will be a closure or two. If the Lawrence office is successful in it's resistance to being closed, most certainly the other offices shall not be so lucky. CLOSURE. That is the only goal. Plan? We don't need a plan!

Figure this out: A guy is elected in office by the People......turns an Agency upside down, lops off it's head and anybody in their right mind thinks it's going to work? It is not. The SRS Central Office is running about like a chicken with it's head cut off.....the remaining staff who have not been replaced are there because they are milktoasty types or buy into the "Vision" the elected official has......crosses in the lapel and all......and the entire production is being "re built" from the top down. There is no plan; that SRS will bump along like a plane making an effort for take off and one can only sit back and watch and see if there's sufficient runway space for a lift off.....or if runs out of runway. Now, the final option is that more runway just keeps being built and that's the option I'm betting is going to happen. Yup....the state can expect to see more runway built, courtesy of some of Quantrill's kin.....

Kate Rogge 4 years ago

Go Paul Davis! The more I see of him, the more I like him.

Alceste 4 years ago

Paul Davis finally got up from nappy time, granted. However, let's not forget Paul Davis is PAYING himself rather nicely with his sweetheart retirement payout from KPERS:

Even though they only really earn that for several months of the year, they get credit for earning it all year long if they so choose.

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.

I believe as Minority Leader or whatever it's called, Mr. Davis is paid even more. Could be wrong on that aspect of his pay.....but Mr. Davis is most certainly making certain he gets PAID from KPERS when his time comes. ME FIRST!!!

notanota 4 years ago

Good gravy, let it go already. Yes, we know you hate the KPERS perk the lawmakers get. Right now we've got bigger fish to fry, and you've got to develop a sense of priorities.

Alceste 4 years ago

Not hardly: Both issues are no different than hand in glove. One hand washes the other. Corruption; political patronage; payoffs; payouts; and arrogance are all one in the same. One problem does not get "fixed" unless the people doing the fixing can "lead by example". A guy taking a payoff is hardly in a position to a point a finger of disdain at another guy taking a different kind of payoff......shrug

Centerville 4 years ago

Too bad Rothschild didn't follow up with a couple questions to SRS about this. And reported rumors...as ordered.

Cait McKnelly 4 years ago

What? Publishing two PDFs is "reporting rumors"? What questions would you have him ask SRS? And what guarantee is there that they will answer them? Do you have any idea how much of the info that's being reported is only because a FOIA request was filed? If not for that, they could have (and would have) stone walled him.

sciencegeek 4 years ago

Did anyone happen to notice--

The increase in salaries under this administration is just about the same amount they claim to save by closing the SRS office in Lawrence.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years ago

The emperor has no clothes. Shhhh!

notanota 4 years ago

All the better to create an artificial need to do more loyalty purges with, my dear.

Richard Heckler 4 years ago

This execise is one more item the neoconservative fundamentalist christian brought back from D.C. Getting rid of all the hard workers to install a few chiefs who likely have no idea what they are doing.... they merely obey orders. The fewer workers = less educated eyes on the jobs = less enforcement of the rules = more corruption aka fraud by corp america.

When the liberal spending neoconservative fundamentalist christians purged republicans from the repub party in D.C. with the help of Koch and Wal-Mart money the party became kinda nazi like.... every member says YES and worships the president. YUCK

That is what Brownback has on his agenda backed by the same money sources. A story heard often from old school fiscal conservative republicans was that they were not christian enough.

All that will expected from the new neoconservative fundamentalist christians is to do nothing but what you're told. But say whatever it takes to get elected and sound like old school republican thinkers.

Why shop Wal-Mart when their money endangers your democracy,rights and quality of life?

For the same reasons why buy Koch Products which include quite familiar names? http://inspirationgreen.com/koch-brothers-products.html

Flap Doodle 4 years ago

"...neoconservative fundamentalist christian..." sighting! Everybody has to chug whatever drink you are holding.

chiefdist2 4 years ago

News from the inside......Brownbacks lawyers conceed that to void the building rental contacts at Lawrence and Fort Scott would cost the SRS 4 years worth of rental on those buildings. No way out, so no closing of those offices. Now, how will Brownback spin this to look like he made the choice due to his caring nature and the needs of Lawrence and Fort Scott rather than because the Administration failed to fully research the issue before slaming the liberal college town?

Cait McKnelly 4 years ago

Or will he offer to buy out the lease and close it anyway?

Lana Christie-Hayes 4 years ago

If he does cait he would certainly be made to look like an even bigger fool idiot than he already does!!

Lana Christie-Hayes 4 years ago

For Real?? Will you look at that?!! lol

LH3867 4 years ago

It's going to be quite a spin job.... watch for it! That's ok, we know the truth. At this point, no one is going to believe him or Siedlecki because they haven't been honest about any of this. It is obvious there was NO PLAN. It was politics. No integrity between the two of them. Siedlecki is an embarassment to the state. Back to Florida for you. Back to C street for you Brownback and stay away from Kansas and politics. Possibly you could be a preacher somwehere. Give Phelps a break every other Sunday.

emariew 4 years ago

No one should be making almost $100K as the head of a "faith based initiative" for the STATE.

Richard Heckler 4 years ago

Sam Brownback is from the party that created 81% of the national debt under Reagan Bush and Bush. This means to me that he takes debt lightly no matter what so long as it furthers his political and religious ambitions.

His party is anything but fiscal conservative which is also reflected in the republican state legislature. These thinkers who adopt Koch/Walton/Norquist values are NOT the economic giants of our time in managing state revenue.

You will find Kansas number 19 thanks to the republican led state legislature.

25 States With the Highest Debt Per Person http://www.investinganswers.com/a/25-states-highest-debt-person-2395

In the end big debt and super duper bailouts were the results which does not seem to bother Republicans, as long as they are in power.

In fact, by the time the second Bush left office, the national debt had grown to $12.1 trillion:

  • Over half of that amount had been created by Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy.

  • Another 30% of the national debt had been created by the tax cuts for the wealthy under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

• Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

shadowlady 4 years ago

I say tar and feather and run Brownbeck, Sedilicki(however you spell it) out of the state of Kansas on a rail.

shadowlady 4 years ago

I said it wrong, "tar and feather brownbeck, sedilicki and other high officials out of the state of Kansas on a rail".

LH3867 4 years ago

It's going to be quite a spin job.... watch for it! That's ok, we know the truth. At this point, no one is going to believe him or Siedlecki because they haven't been honest about any of this. It is obvious there was no plan. It was politics. No integrity between the two of them. Siedlecki is an embarassment to the state. Back to Florida for you. Back to C street for you Brownback and stay away from Kansas and politics. Possibly you could be a preacher somwehere. Give Phelps a break every other Sunday.

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