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Ken Smith remembered as lifelong public servant

I was touched and pleased by The Union’s story on former Planning Commission member Ken Smith, and his making stained-glass American flags to raise money for veterans groups Sept. 23. I may be very unhappy with the current Bush administration’s plans to attack Iraq, but I honor the sacrifice of all our veterans.

Ken was fortunate to fight in World War II where the “right” and the “wrong” of it were so clearly defined and believable. When Ken was on the Planning Commission, I sparred with him through many a long meeting over the proposed Siskon Mine project on San Juan Ridge. He thought that there would be no bad effects. I respectfully disagreed.



When the mine was approved, and when it did drain the surrounding aquifer and six wells went dry, Ken publicly apologized to me in a Planning Commission hearing, and said the words that so few public officials ever utter. “I was wrong.”

I have always remembered and respected Ken for his honest admission. It’s OK, Ken. We all make mistakes. Here’s to a lifelong public servant.




Kurt Lorenz

5th District Planning Commissioner


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