Archive for Monday, September 19, 2011

Secretary Siedlecki proud of agreements with Lawrence, other cities on SRS offices; lawmakers say he’s taking undue credit

September 19, 2011


— Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. said Monday that decisions by communities, such as Lawrence, to pay to keep open the local SRS office represent “the essence of local control.”

Talking to the House-Senate Health Policy Oversight Committee, Siedlecki also said he wouldn’t recommend any more office closures.

He said of nine SRS offices that he targeted on July 1 for closure, SRS reached agreements with five communities to keep the offices open for at least two years.

“I believe that allowing local communities to decide they want to preserve at their own expense an office that the state can no longer afford to maintain represents the essence of local control, and I am proud of the agreements,” he said.

The five that avoided closure were in Lawrence, Fort Scott, Marysville, McPherson and Pratt. The SRS offices closed were in Coffeyville, Garnett, Lyndon and Wellington.

Lawrence was by far the largest office targeted for closure. City and county officials agreed to pay $450,000 over two years to keep the office open.

State Rep. Peggy Mast, R-Emporia, thanked Siedlecki for taking steps to control state spending.

Siedlecki said he “reached out to communities” to see if they wanted to keep their office open.

But state Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, said, “Lawrence approached you. It wasn’t that you did an outreach.”

Siedlecki said the closures were needed to comply with budget cuts by the Legislature. But state Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, said SRS didn’t fight the reductions during budget negotiations last legislative session. And, she said, SRS never provided the Legislature with a list of which offices might be closed if the cuts were enacted.

Siedlecki said there would be no more proposed office closures over the next two years. He also repeated what SRS officials had said earlier: that Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration would not propose closing the Kansas Neurological Institute, which it tried to do last session but was rebuffed by the Legislature.


LHS56 6 years, 2 months ago

What a bunch of BS. (Think that says it all.)

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

har·bin·ger   /ˈhɑrbɪndʒər/ noun 1. a person who goes ahead and makes known the approach of another; herald. 2. anything that foreshadows a future event; omen; sign: Frost is a harbinger of winter. 3. a person sent in advance of troops, a royal train, etc., to provide or secure lodgings and other accommodations. ============

Any one of these three definitions may apply. Get ready for more of this: "You want something 'extra' in schools? Art, sports, music, industrial arts, Spanish, German, etc? You pay for it. We are going to fund reading, math, social studies and a bit of science. Tax the local citizens for whatever you want beyond the 'basics' as we define them."

If this works in school finance, where they are most likely to give it a shot, Muscular Sam's administration will try to apply the concept to other areas of what are now quaintly called government services.

ljwhirled 6 years, 2 months ago

Not a bad idea, provided they take the cap off of property taxes and allow local communities to tax at whatever level they choose to.

This would be a big win for Lawrence (and a huge loss for most of the rest of the state), but it wasn't Lawrence who elected these folks, so why should our kids and educators suffer?

I say bring it on, lets move all funding to the local level (State and Federal Income Taxes too).

Then localities can fund education, services, highways, etc. Heck, even higher education! - the State's portion of the bill would instead be paid by the cities on a pro-rata basis based on the number of students attending the University from that City.

This would be a huge win for Lawrence and other blue communities with a high standard of living. The part of the state that actually voted for Mr. Brownback would suffer the fate they voted for.

I am tired of subsidizing red communities with our tax dollars. Let them fend for themselves.

chootspa 6 years, 2 months ago

It would be easier to just declare Douglas County to be the 51st state. Otherwise, we can't draw down federal funds for the matching grants programs. I don't object to the idea of us simply funding locally the things Brownie refuses to fund (well, I do object but I'm conceding the inevitability of this scenario), but logistically we can't do it with the same efficiency as it can be done on a state wide level. Catch 22.

jackpot 6 years, 2 months ago

Hey Bob don't break your arm patting yourself on the back.

Bob Forer 6 years, 2 months ago

lol, although I prefer slang, I like that.

cowboy 6 years, 2 months ago

This clown is the biggest clown in the clown colony residing Kansas government. Were talkin magnoriffic clown , stupendopus clown , the frigging clown king.

allamerican4ever 6 years, 2 months ago

true a clown but lawrence and douglas county fell right into brownbacks trap. swallowed the bait hook line and sinker

Steve Jacob 6 years, 2 months ago

Agreed, he got the cities to pay, Brownback is proud. Next is schools.

sr80 6 years, 2 months ago

I can't believe the the amount of anger i felt over this article, gawd how a hate political wonks !!

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago


Since the state is spending the money on new administrative positions, it hasn't saved a dime.

And, any claims by him or Brownback taking credit for local actions is patently and obviously absurd.

They should be ashamed that local communities have to pick up the tab for a state office, and that they are pretending to save money while they aren't saving any.

billbodiggens 6 years, 2 months ago

You gotta pay to play in Kansas now and that goes for the halt and the lame as well. Don't complain about services from state government unless you are willing to slip them something extra other than your taxes. Just a little for rent. Just a little more for tar on the roads, Youn know. just a little extra so theycan go back and tell the public they saved some money and made those disable and old scum pay up front. Yep, what a deal. I don't think we can stand too many of those deals. They haven't cut the cost of services, they just change the obligation to pay from the state government to local government. It's a new game of three card monty and they call it progress. How sad.

Jeff Kilgore 6 years, 2 months ago

Doesn't it fall in line with their spiritual views? You know, Christ's parable about the poor man at the rich man's gates? Oh, wait. . . .

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

BTW Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. I do not recognize the RINO Christian Fundamentalists as a legitimate party however I do recognize the RINO Christian Fundamentalists as frauds and facists. $56 million in facist spending is not authorized.

I say in the name of State Control give me and other tax payers OUR tax dollars back so we may exercise local control with OUR tax dollars.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

Yea, he doesn't seem to know the difference between his own extortionist tactics and "local control."

Jean Robart 6 years, 2 months ago

What has he done with this situation to be proud of? The local community and county stepped up to the plate when he refused to. Several times.

hedshrinker 6 years, 2 months ago

What a pompous little jerk he is, taking credit for "reaching out" when him and the Gov were MIA for weeks, while local residents tried to figure out how to maintain State svcs in meetings large and small. Brownback and Siedlicki fought it all the way and then have the audacity to say it was THEIR idea???!!! Unbelievable. Yes, it is absolutely extortion, but I do think in spite of how these Gov. office bozos try to spin it, we should be proud of doing the right thing....they will get their come-uppance, I feel confident.

Scott Drummond 6 years, 2 months ago

Sad, too, that our local "news"paper could not be bothered to report the facts as they occurred and instead resorted to the standard fascist media tactic of structuring the story as follows:

Politician A asserted [insert right wing claim here.....]

Politician B asserted the opposite.......

We can't be bothered to sort this out, so we'll just call this "fair and balanced" and pack it in.

Pretty shameful. Is that the way they learned in J school?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

Repubs have been pulling this BS for at least 31 years = since the RINO Christian Fundamentalists began removing republicans from the repub party. Since 1980.

Christine Anderson 6 years, 2 months ago

You have nothing to boast about, Sidelicker.

chootspa 6 years, 2 months ago

What a rude-word-animal! I really hope the rest of the state doesn't stand for this, but sadly I think they will.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 2 months ago

I believe in my fellow kansans. I believe they are wise and righteous and they will punish these brownback republicans who take them for fools.

Let us send a message they will never forget.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 2 months ago

"...RINO Christian Fundamentalists.." sighting! Everyone has to chug whatever drink they are holding.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 2 months ago

Seems to me that it used to be legal to tar and feather crooked politicians and tie them to a wagon wheel.

Will Kansas Republican voters ever figure this out?

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 2 months ago

A news article in today's LJW mentions the problem now arising in Kansas prisons from overcrowding and poor conditions.

This is very poor management. Period.

Brownback cannot manage anything. Why do Kansas citizens give this guy a pass? This might be the dumbest Governor in America.

kansasredlegs 6 years, 2 months ago

While State government may be lame, our local leaders are even lamer. They want all the praise in the world for keeping the services flowing but should receive no praise to keep it located in an overpriced facility. Remember, "Oh, but we had to move quickly. They were tagging the furniture to move it out!!! Funny, seems the other communities took an extra 5 weeks to get their deal done. Apparently, those communities like to actually take some time and put some thought into their actions along with public discussion and input, not iillegally called executive sessions and back-door shenanigans.

Think about it taxpayer, the Landlord went from a canceled, no recourse, no litigation contract to a non-renegotiated contract to extend his pig trough for a couple more years. What smart, tough look-out-for-the-taxpayers leaders!!! Er, better yet, kneejerkers!!! No guts equals more wasted tax dollars, but hey, it's not your money is it, Commissioner Gaughan? Dang, Gaughan if your own personal donations match what you give away in public, taxpayer donations, you and Thelman will soon have to live in the soon-to-be-relocated-shelter adjacent to the never-to-be-built-public-works-complex out by the jail.

George_Braziller 6 years, 2 months ago

He was elected because on the ballot there was an (R) next to his name.

wastewatcher 6 years, 2 months ago

Interesting that the two LIBERAL DEMS are whining again, what did Kelly and Ward think the Governor was going to do, raise taxes.. We all know that the Governor is doing exactly what he campaigned on and he won the election in a runaway. The dems need to get used to it, The days of wild LIBERAL SPENDING that Kelly likes are over., so LIBERAL LAURA may as well get used to it. Her friends, LIBERALS Obama and Sebelius will be next to go.

blindrabbit 6 years, 2 months ago

Pictures sometimes don't do justice, but this guy looks South Florida slick to me. Wonder how he'll do when Winter sets in.

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