Jeanny Sharp, Herald editor and publisher, provided an excellent editorial in the June 21 Herald. In case you missed it, she openly supported and recommended several July training sessions by our Kansas Attorney General’s Office, concerning the Kansas “Open Meetings and Open Records Act” (KOMA). Sharp mentioned newly elected and voluntary officials at various levels of government who would benefit. The sessions are open to anyone interested.

I would point out that the KOMA law also applies to members of Boards of Trustees of any organization having public funding, such as a school board or other entity, having learned this when I was on the board of the Elizabeth Layton Center for Hope and Guidance.

Kudos to the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, Kansas Press Association and Kansas Newspaper Foundation for sponsoring this training.  

Putting this with the recently revealed receptions of elected officials at the governor’s mansion in Topeka makes me wonder if there could be a cause-and-effect relationship on the part of the Kansas Attorney General. Those receptions certainly are questionable in terms of a KOMA violation. As is said, “if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be a duck.”

This is about continuing education. Is the attorney general thinking those reception attendees and organizers need some fine tuning when it comes to certain laws? It’s way too easy to just sit back and let it happen after you achieve that diploma, or are promoted or elected. Too many of us (them) fail to read. Too many of us (them) limit our continuing education to whatever is shown on TV. But, I digress. Sorry.

You know, every professional I can think of is required to be certified and receive continuing education to renew their licenses to work in their professions. This includes contractors, plumbers, electricians, teachers, bus drivers, physicians, nurses, lab technicians and many more.

Some who are not required (as far as I know) are attorneys, commissioners, senators, representatives and governors.

I find it rather curious that these are the same professions involved in charting our society. They write the laws requiring continuing education credits for others. Hum? Some of these have their own special medical coverage too.

Anyway, I digress, again. Sorry, again.

I think all professionals should be certified and required to have continuing education, including elected officials. Things evolve; things change. We all need to keep abreast of happenings. We all need to be reminded about the rules. Create a law requiring certification and continuing education to get on the ballot.

Sorry, but the movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” was just a movie. A movie — remember tinsel town? — is not the real world. Could be what they are watching on TV in Topeka!

 

— Richard Warren, Ottawa