Coronavirus Policy Dominates Second $ 253 Candidate Forum
Three candidates for the $ 253 Emporia School Board touched on many topics at the last KVOE Candidates Forum of this election cycle, but coronavirus politics and mitigation strategies dominated the discussion.
Christina Faulkner, Jami Reever and Jennifer Thomas – all new to politics – spent the vast majority of the forum answering questions from KVOE News and KVOE listeners about the COVID policy. Reever, former director of United Way of the Flint Hills and now director of Kansas Appleseed, says COVID-19 has put Emporia students behind others across the state, so it’s vitally important to the board to do what it can to keep the kids in school to learn.
Thomas, professor of health promotion at Emporia State, believes personal choice should guide policy. She says political agendas at the national and international levels unfairly dictate local policies.
Faulkner, an obstetrician at Newman Regional Health, agrees with Thomas on personal choice supporting district policy. She says using masks is not the solid mitigation strategy as many people believe, including many in the medical field.
Another topic that came up was wages and benefits. All three are happy with the allocation approved through the Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund and the decision to increase district insurance benefits, but they also say the district can do more to help. pay teachers as they deserve.
Thursday’s interview followed a Tuesday involving incumbent Mike Crouch and challengers Lillian Lingenfelter and Paul Meinke. Besides Crouch Square, there are two other seats to be filled this cycle, with Doug Epp and Melissa Ogleby declining to stand for election.
KVOE News also organized candidate forums involving five of the six candidates for the City of Emporia Commission. Incumbents Susan Brinkman and Danny Giefer appeared, along with challengers William Garner, Travis Hitt and Jamie Sauder. Jermy Hinkle was not available.
KVOE Candidate Forums can be found in the KVOE.com Audio Vault after completion.
The electoral process is also underway at the Lyon County Clerk’s office. Ballots are currently mailed to residents requesting this option, and this process will continue until October 26. Lyon County’s only off-site election event takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fairgrounds Anderson Building. Advance voting at the courthouse begins Monday and continues weekdays until noon on November 1. The election is November 2.
As the election draws near, be sure to browse the National Bank and KVOE-Community Trust Voter Information page online at KVOE.com. The page includes information on upcoming deadlines, candidate forums, advance polling procedures and voting locations.