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Douglas County Commissioner


--- Notes to Constituents ---

Issues and Info


    What's A Commissioner To Do?  Helping the Schools

    The New Douglas County Commission Districts





    Knots on the Web



NACEPT Emerging Issues Report


On September 11th, I happened to be in a downtown Chicago hotel working -- as a member of EPA's NACEPT committee  -- on an emerging environmental issues report.  The National Advisory Committee on Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT) brings environmental stakeholders together to review Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions and efforts.   


As you might imagine, the news of that day was a considerable distraction, but since all of us were from out of town and hopelessly stranded in Chicago.jpg (183567 bytes) Chicago we kept working as best we could.   Fear of additional attacks on notable landmarks -- such as the looming Sears tower -- sent everyone scurrying from the downtown area.  I went out and walked at noon.  The streets were eerily quiet.  Like so many people feeling helpless but wanting to help, I found my way to a blood bank and went in to make a donation.  It was  just a few hours after the initial attack, and the the place was already teeming with potential donors.  People of every age, race and economic class were milling about, patiently waiting even though the wait promised to be at least three hours.  Sometimes when you go to give, you get much more in return....maybe that's true all the time.  In any event, that outpouring of humanity, the caring way in which strangers regarded and comforted each other, the steely resolve that no matter how bad things got we would pull through together was very reassuring to me, a stunned Kansan walking alone on all but abandoned city streets.  So, thanks Chicago.




The world goes on, even after September 11th.  Between phone calls home, news breaks in our hotel rooms, and food-gathering expeditions into abandoned banquet rooms we made good progress on the report.   The final report was presented to EPA Administrator Whitman in late January, and is organized along six themes:


  • world population and demographics

  • natural resources

  • science and technology

  • information management and access

  • economics and commerce

  • politics and social evolution

Check out the full report:  

The Environmental Future: Emerging Challenges and Opportunities for EPA


Do you agree with its findings?


Historic Sites in Douglas County


I'm very pleased to be a member of the Douglas County Heritage Alliance Committee, which is most ably chaired by 10th Federal Circuit Chief Judge Deanell Tacha. Other members include

  • Judy Billings

  • Qraid.jpg (174598 bytes)Dee Ann Deroin

  • Bill Dulin

  • David Dunfield

  • Nancy Hiebert

  • Mike Hoeflich

  • Charles Jones

  • Fred Six

  • Bill Tuttle 

  • Ranita Wilks

The question that gives us the most trouble is one of scoping.  An argument can be made that we ought to commemorate events from the age of Native American sovereignty, through the Louisiana purchase and westward migration, past the Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War, up to Brown vs. Board of Education in the mid-1950's.  Many things have happened since then, but arguably it's too early for more recent events to be viewed in their proper historical perspective.  The problem is that when scope become too large, the theme loses all meaning.  For example, "The Kansas Heritage Area" is not very compelling in terms of defining our own community characteristics, framing preservation goals, or attracting the attention of heritage tourists. 

What are the themes we should make central to our Heritage Alliance efforts?


The Architecture and Sites Subcommittee, chaired jointly by Del Shankel and David Dunfield recently asked its members to list their Top Ten Douglas County Historic Sites.   The little illustrations on the side indicate multiple listing among the various subcommittee members.  Take a look at the subcommittee's initial list, then answer the following questions in light of your answers to the central theme question above.

  • Do you agree with the selections? 

  • What have we missed?

  • How many of these sites could you describe in terms of their historical significance?

  • How many have you personally visited?

As always, let me know what you think.



The 1st District



The three Douglas County Commissioners serve 4-year staggered terms.  My first term runs from January '98 to January '02.   Some key assignments and activities include:


  • Member, Douglas County Heritage Alliance Committee

  • Co-Chair, Lawrence/Douglas County Economic Development Board

  • Member, Lawrence/Douglas County Zoning Advisory Committee

  • Member, ECO2 Task Force

  • Overseeing Commissioner, Renovation of the Justice/Law Enforcement Center and Courthouse

  • Member, National Advisory Committee on Environmental Policy an Technology 




Check the map to determine which Douglas County Commission District you live in.   


Orange = 1st District

Green = 2nd District

Yellow = 3rd District






County Commission Agenda


Nbrhood PC.jpg (69735 bytes)



The Douglas County Commission usually meets at 9 on Monday mornings and 6:35 on Wednesday evenings at the Douglas County Courthouse.  These meetings are open and the public is welcome to attend.



Find out what's on the upcoming agenda by accessing Douglas County.   At the end of each meeting, time is reserved for public comments.  This is your time to speak up and be heard!




See It Live! 


Kansas University's Memorial Stadium Camera overlooks the football field!  Kansas University's Hoglund-Maupin Stadium Camera let's you see what's happening out on the baseball diamond. These are fabulous!  You actually get to drive the thing.  Pan left and right, zoom in and out.  Closed on game days and during some practices.