To the editor:
Not always do we have a choice in whom to vote for in a small community such as Lansing, but we do this year for mayor.
I really like Harland Russell, and consider him and his family as very good friends and neighbors. I also have to count Mayor Kenneth Bernard as a very good friend. But I can only vote for one.
I have to look at what I'm expecting in the next few years, what the record is for the past few years, and what do I lose/gain if I vote for one or the other now.
Mayor Bernard has an almost impeccable record as mayor over the past 20 years, with growth in the community that is hardly paralleled anywhere in the state of Kansas. He has been recognized for this by being selected by his peers as the president of the Kansas Mayor's Association and Man of the Year by the Leavenworth/Lansing Chamber of Commerce. He is known statewide, even nationally, for his leadership and results as a mayor. Few people really know of his service to the nation as a recently retired top-level civilian at Fort Leavenworth. In that capacity, he led and made decisions affecting our nation's future and the military readiness on a daily basis at General Officer level. That experience is hard to duplicate in any mayor or aspirant.
Harland Russell is a fine young man, obviously well on his way as a successful businessman, and one with great convictions and desires for the future. No doubt he can make an excellent mayor.
There are times when change is a plus. I don't think that is so right now. We would lose the value of a tried-and-true leader while training a new one. Harland can continue to serve without loss to the council and continue to learn under the best of mentors. While Harland learns and becomes familiar with projects and takes the time for research such that he does not have to ask so many questions during council meetings, he will be considerably more ready to assume the role of mayor in the future.