To the editor:
I read the comments about the courthouse and felt that a response was necessary.
In my last occupation, I had the privilege of visiting 103 of the 105 courthouses in Kansas. It appears that in some cases the courthouse is viewed as a necessary evil and in others it is cared for with great pride.
US-81 has long been used as a dividing line between eastern and western Kansas and it may also be used in judging appearances of courthouses.
In most cases, western Kansas shows pride in caring for its facilities while eastern Kansas cares far less. Money is not the cause of this attitude, as Linn County, one of the wealthiest in eastern Kansas, seemingly cares only about keeping the lowest tax levy.
Age of courthouses is not the problem, as some have been beautifully restored while others remain nearly original. Numerous eastern Kansas counties have destroyed their old courthouses and replaced them with cement block buildings that appear like something built by the local co-op.
Also in eastern Kansas there are six counties that have an eternal flame on the courthouse grounds where the flame has gone out. Obviously, the cost of natural gas has become more important than remembering the ones who gave their lives.
The difference is the attitude of the county commissioners.