Letter to the editor:
I have read with interest your view of Johnna Lingle's run of nearly 20 years as a Johnson County Commissioner and her defeat in the primary election. I was surprised but not stunned by the upset. Prior to the election I did not notice much in the way of campaigning on Lingle's part as I am sure she felt she had a lock on her commission chair and took the people she claimed to represent for granted. A big mistake for any incumbent to make.
When I first moved to Johnson County some 41-plus years ago, Overland Park was still a third-class city as were most other cities in the county. Since that time those cities whose leaders had the foresight to see that the county and the respective cities could not survive as simply a series of bedroom communities made plans and took steps toward development. By the time Ms. Lingle took a position on the Board of County Commissioners most of these cities were well on their way to development without much of the restrictive tendencies the county commissioners now present.
There also appears to be a most favored city system that operates in the county. Case in point, Lenexa's latest annexation. Why was not a Joint Planning and Zoning Overlay District with the county required as a condition to that annexation? The same conditions were present.
I would have been very interested if you had presented some action that Lingle has taken to help our city to grow as every city wants to do. What great interest did she protect? County government that refuses to shrink as conditions warrant I believe only protects county government interest.
Ms. Lingle may have done her job well but perhaps without the vision to promote orderly growth for all parts of the county. Lingle's vision appears to look at situations and projects simply to find reasons as to why they should not be done and does not ask questions such as: (1.) is it a project that will provide a benefit or commercial revenue (taxes) or (2.) if there is a problem(s) what can be done to solve the problem and make the project fly. There are no benefits for anyone in simply killing a project.
I believe it is too early to make the sweeping declaration that Lingle did what was best for DeSoto but I will concede that she served with dedication. I have heard her say that "Mother Lingle is watching you," but what DeSoto needs is a leader on the Commission not a mother. I will thank Lingle for her years of service but I will wait awhile to see if DeSoto benefits before thanking her for her reported protective ways.
For a paper that carries the banner The DeSoto Explorer your view appears to have little regard for the local leaders, perhaps even disdain. You give the impression that all the gray matter lives at the County Courthouse and none is possessed at our city level. Perhaps that is your mission, I admit I am not sure what your editorial mission is, but at least it gives an old man an excuse to vent.