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Courthouse renovation

Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2007, at 3:36 PM

It's been suggested that communities outside Marshall have not been given an opportunity for input on courthouse renovations. Since the committee was formed two years ago, and Saline County Commissioners and current Preservation Committee members report there hasn't been any contact from interested parties elsewhere in the county in that two years, that doesn't seem like a fair accusation. Agree? Disagree?


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
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If it was up to some of the people in Slater,the entire Courthouse would be moved there.Along with Wal-Mart,McDonalds,Sonic,etc.

-- Posted by yomomma on Thu, Nov 29, 2007, at 1:47 PM
Kathy Fairchild's response:
Why do you think that's so? I'm a newcomer, so the rivalry wasn't as obvious to me as it is to long-time residents until recently. Now that I know that it exists, I'm a little puzzled by it. Marshall is a much larger town - that's why businesses like McDonald's and Sonic prefer to locate here.

The "suggestion" that was brought up concerned county government and the preservation committee had nothing to do with businesses, size of communities or moving anything from Marshall to Slater. It was noted that all the meetings of this committee have been in the Marshall paper. Does this mean that everyone in the county needs to subscribe to this newspaper to find out what is going on in the county? A quick search on this web site indicates a story related to this matter on 5/16/06 not the two plus years mentioned. It seems other media outlets should also be utilized to keep the public informed of such matters. Perhaps a county web site would be useful to help with this matter. A proposal was presented to the commission over two years ago for development of a site with no action being taken.

We are privileged to live in a country that offers representative government. Everyone that lives in Saline County pays taxes and has a stake in how our government operates. It is only fair that all taxpayers have equal opportunity to have a voice in formulating policies for such major projects and how their money is spent.

-- Posted by modemocrat on Thu, Nov 29, 2007, at 7:57 PM
Kathy Fairchild's response:
Information about the possibility of renovation of the courthouse appeared in the newspaper on May 26, 2005. There were several more stories in 2006 and at least three or four in 2007.

Media representatives are present at meetings of the Saline County Commission every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The Marshall Democrat-News normally has a representative at those meetings, as does one of the local radio stations. My observation of the past several months is that these are the only media representatives present, even though they are not the only media outlets in the county.

Obviously, it is impossible and impractical for every word of every meeting to be made public in every media outlet. For that reason, I think a county Web site is an excellent idea. That said, however, I must also point out that not everyone has (or wants to have) access to a computer, so the establishment of a Web site does not entirely address the issue, either.

While it is imperative, as you point out, that all taxpayers have "equal opportunity to have a voice in formulating policies," equally important is the responsibility of those taxpayers to make an effort of their own to stay informed, whether that includes subscribing to a newspaper, listening to the radio, looking at a Web site, reviewing the public records of the Saline County Commission or attending the meetings in person.

I'd like to second the suggestion that the county government host a web site. That has become a sort of basic requirement for most businesses and organizations these days and not to have one -- even just a simple one with basic information that is updated periodically -- gives the impression that we're hopelessly behind the times or practically destitute.

I know websites don't come free (I've been managing sites since 1997 so I know what's involved) but a modest site can be developed and maintained for a pretty reasonable cost nowadays.

I wouldn't expect the county to go wild and have some fancy thing with flashing lights or duplicate any other sites or services. I'd just like to see something that included a listing of county officials and their contact information, meeting notices and minutes, a calendar of events, election results, information about paying taxes, that sort of thing.

-- Posted by Eric Crump on Fri, Nov 30, 2007, at 6:05 PM

Don't mean to complain, but whats wrong with this site? Can opinions not be voiced in the manner we are using right now? I remember a few years back there was a web site for the county, Voice of Saline County, which everyone seemed to use, but has since gone by the wayside. As far as an equal voice I think that population wise the voice should be by the majority. This is the same as presidential voting, states such as Rhode Island and Vermont don't have the same voice as Texas and California due to them having a higher population density.

-- Posted by Superwiner on Sun, Dec 23, 2007, at 10:04 PM


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Kathy Fairchild received a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration in 1986 from Marycrest College, Davenport, Iowa. She is also a 2003 graduate of the paralegal program at New York University. She moved to Marshall in 2006, following a career of more than 30 years with the world's largest farm equipment manufacturer. She is an Air Force brat and grandmother of four.
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