Letter to the Editor: Pete Allen

By the Book!

I have been preaching to city staff for the past 4 years, to do things “by the book”. That means using our written policies, ordinances, and procedures for accomplishing their stated duties with public funds. It is hard to do when the attitude perpetuated by our leaders is to “do whatever we want”.

Our past leaders have “done whatever they wanted” by ignoring ordinances, standards and procedures that have been put into place to protect the well-being, health and welfare of the citizens who fund the city. An example of this are the ordinances and statutes that require funds for user fees for our sewers and water to be used only for the purpose of funding the maintenance, operation, and replacement of those utilities. These ordinances and statutes are law and not up for discussion. Millions of dollars in Fort Scott have been “transferred” from our utility funds to other funds and never replaced. Therefore our utilities are in critical need of additional funding.

Doing it “by the book” was recently impressed upon our current leaders by the Kansas Department of Transportation with their direction on the repair of the water line break at 20th and 69. Our leaders decided they were going to do it their way and KDOT engineers said “NO”, you will do it by the book according to KDOT specifications and using KDOT approved materials! City leaders wanted to patch and repair to open the road to traffic, which is not an option in the state rule book but is an option in the Fort Scott city ordinance. City ordinances do not govern on a state highway.

I applaud KDOT for impressing upon the city that when we are using public funds, we use the book to govern our decisions. The “book” is the only thing that the taxpayers have to insure timely and quality work is being done. The goal of the government is to provide quality at the least possible cost. The “book” was written by experts in their field! Let’s use it!

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