Well, I got me a fine wife, I got me an old fiddle.
When the sun’s comin’ up, I got cakes on the griddle.
Life ain’t nothing but a funny, funny riddle.
Thank God I’m a country boy.
With John Denver singing in the background, it dawned on me that most of us “city folk” are a little bit country.
While I wouldn’t say I grew up on a farm, there were still pigs to be fed, ice to be chopped, and cows to be milked. That was before school.
Even growing up in the city, many visited grandparents or other relatives that lived on farms. Horseback riding and plucking chickens are memories many will never forget.
Our chickens came by way of the United States Postal Service.
Yep, they were mail order chicks back then.
So why is it that rural Dickinson County has this “we versus them” mentality? And why do Herington residents feel like Abilene’s stop-sister?
The strangest question is why rural residents opposed Dickinson County’s redistricting plan that would have guaranteed that all three Dickinson County Commissioners would have rural roots. They were concerned it would be the other way around but the odds were stacked that it would not happen.
Looking at the redistricting map that failed last November due to a lack of a second, 61.5 percent of the population would reside outside Abilene in District 1. In District 2, the percentage residing outside of Abilene would be 77.5 and 57 percent would reside outside of Abilene in District 3.
Yet no one living in Abilene spoke up and said “that’s not fair”!
One thing the county commissioners might consider is taking the 991 residents living in Grant Township (hey, that’s me) and moving them to District 1.
District 1, 6,902; District 2, 6830, District 3 6,022.
The population in District 1 is expected to decrease in years to come.
The commissioners shouldn’t be concerned with the “compact as possible” clause in the law.
When the Kansas constitution was written and adopted in 1859, it is doubtful our founding fathers thought about e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or cell phones for immediate conversations.
William Lamb, James Long and Wm. Mullhagen, our first county commissioners in 1858, traveled throughout their districts on vehicles that had just one horse power, as in a horse.
Today, all three commissioners have quick, and in some cases instant, access to their residents in their districts through e-mail, cell phone or text messaging.
It is believed by some that “as compact” was written into the law to avoid Gerrymandering but counties like Riley and Geary that have a large population in one city have unique redistricting issues.