On April 2, the voters of Hays and USD 489 have the opportunity to participate in this year's election and select three of the five city commissioners and three of the seven school board members. I encourage all voters to study the candidates and cast an informed vote on election day.

Please consider casting one of your three school board votes for Josh Waddell. These past several months, I have gotten to know Josh Waddell as we have both served on the USD 489 Facilities Needs Committee. I have been impressed by Josh's careful and meticulous preparation, his attention to detail and his ability to remain focused on the overall goal. It is clear that Josh Waddell has the interests of all school children and taxpayers in mind as we discuss the various needs for USD 489.

Josh Waddell grew up in Natoma, where his mother served 12 years on the Natoma school board. Josh made the decision to attend Plainville High School due to the strength of its science and math curriculum. Josh then attended Benedictine College in Atchison and Fort Hays State University, graduating with a bachelor's in cellular biology in 1999.

Josh is the residential manager of UHL Construction. Josh has long been married to Tina Pfannenstiel of Munjor. Josh and Tina Waddell have lived in Hays for 17 years.

Together, they have three children, a sophomore at Hays High School, and a fifth-grader and a second-grader at Roosevelt Elementary School. Josh previously served on the Roosevelt Home and School Organization.

Again, I encourage all voters to get to know the candidates and to vote in the upcoming elections. Please consider giving one of your votes to Josh Waddell for USD 489 school board.

He is a bright, young, energetic person who is very capable of representing the patrons of USD 489.

Thomas J. Drees