Good Luck
Bee Jays!

September 27th, 2023
L&T Opinions Page



The Liberal City Commission has taken a greta step forward by securing Wichita State University to work on a comprehensive plan for the community.

Liberal has been functioning with an outdated plan for quite some time, and bringing in an expert without the intent of pulling a cookie-cutter plan off the shelf and providing a custom plan should make everyone feel better about where we will go as a community and how we plan to get there.

City Manager Rusty Varnado makes a good point about long-range and short-range plans. Setting a 20-year goal is useless if we do not have two- to -three-year benchmarks along the way, and with his concern about setting projections without a plan on achieving them incrementally, it would be doomed to fail.

Just like a ladder is used to get from the ground to the roof, it would be impossible without rungs, and a combination of a final goal coupled with steps along the way will be the path to success.

Seward County has also been functioning with a dated plan, and with the city making an $80,000 commitment to design a new plan, perhaps this is an opportunity for both organizations to work on a combined comprehensive plan.

Before we explain why this is a good idea, let’s look at some current trends in the community that have been positive.

In the past year, there have been more town halls and public input meetings by the city, county and Seward County Community College than there has been in the previous 20 years combined.

With the creation of the Seward County Development Corporation, and the city’s inclusion in the past two years, there are more reasons working together is better than working apart.

Between the city and county commissions, six of the 10 seats are occupied by first-time commissioners, which allows any pre-existing hostilities to be a part of the past, not the future.

Yes, there are differences of departments between the city and county, but when the community as a whole is deciding how its governing bodies should move forward, and what kind of community we want to be, it only makes sense for the plan to include both commissions.

This may require the proposal with Wichita State to be modified slightly, and may even add a little to the price, but if the two can work together on a combined plan, it would demonstrate a level of cooperation we have not seen in a generation.

Each plays a key role. Our community has one hospital, one community college and one recreational center. While these fall under different governing bodies, all are vital in planning our future, and that plan should include all views.

The conditions have never been better for a joint plan.

L&T Publisher Earl Watt


Larry began his career at the paper as a “cub reporter” as he [ ... ]


GUEST COLUMN, Glen Brunkow, Kansas Farm Bureau


This has been a tough year, there is no way around [ ... ]