Published on -11/1/2012, 12:49 PM
Pawnee County Commissioner John Haas and I would like to provide your readers with our opinion regarding the qualifications of 36th District Sen. Allen Schmidt to serve as your Kansas state senator. We have enjoyed the privilege of working with Sen. Schmidt during the past two legislative sessions as we dealt with the many state issues that were important to Pawnee County.
When Col. Allen Schmidt retired after 32 years of Army service, he was selected to replace the retiring veteran Sen. Janis Lee and was thrown into the responsibilities as our Kansas state senator with little fanfare.
Sen. Schmidt impressed us immediately with his ability to understand and communicate Pawnee County's issues and needs at the state level. On several occasions, he visited us at the Larned State Hospital complex and was able to recognize the serious issues we faced and translate that to action in Topeka with senior administration officials.
On two occasions, Sen. Schmidt set up meetings with senior officials at SRS, the incoming secretary of the Department of Aging and Disabilities, the lieutenant governor and other officials in Topeka so we could discuss issues and corrective strategies face to face.
His ability to tackle the issues and translate them into action was effective, remarkable and vital to making the improvements necessary for that important state-level institution. His advocacy led to critical additional funding for LSH and for the additional forensic capabilities needed at the state level.
It is our opinion that Sen. Allen Schmidt will continue to bring nonpartisan and decisive leadership to our state government as we have witnessed firsthand in Pawnee County and the 36th District during the last two years. As our senator, we watched him diligently work across both aisles in the legislature to promote smart, effective solutions for rural education, for the elderly and disabled, for small business, agriculture, oil, economic development and a host of other issues we face in rural Kansas.
We could not recommend him higher, and we hope we will have him for continued state government service for rural Kansas and rural Kansans.
John M. Settle, Pawnee County attorney
John Haas, Pawnee County commissioner