Arkansas City Traveler -- June 30, 2007
By JAMES JORDAN
When Kasha Kelley and Scott Margolius returned to Kansas they were not planning on running for political office. They came back to Kansas from Washington D.C. where Margolius was working for Congressman Todd Tiahrt.
Kelley grew up in Arkansas City as her parents built their First Intermark business.
Today she is the CEO of the company and her husband, Scott, is the vice president of operations. They run the day-to-day operation of the company.
The two are also holding public office. Kelley has been a state legislator since 2004 and this year Margolius was voted onto the local City Commission.
The combination of having a legislator and a city commissioner in the same family makes for interesting conversations at times. They believe they can help each other do their jobs, and at times, they have had some good debates.
Kelley said she gave Scott a hard time when the city didn't sound the storm siren during a recent storm. Generally though, they agree and are able to give each other insight into various issues.
For Kelley to be involved in politics is no surprise, since she has been interested in politics since she was very young. That was not the case for Margolius who often prefers to work behind the scenes.
"I was really surprised when he told me he was going to run (for a seat on the City Commision)," Kelley said.
Kelley said some people think politics is glamourous, but "it really isn't. You have to take a lot of criticism," she said.
There is a relationship between their political offices, and that is where they try to help each other.
"There is a lot to keep up with at the state level. I am interested in what the city is doing, but there are things I don't know about," Kelley said. She depends on Margolius to keep her informed.
Margolius also has found Kelley to be helpful.
Recently the city was discussing whether to give parole officers the power to arrest parole violators.
This is something the state approved recently. The city was also discussing doing the same thing for municipal court, but Kelley pointed out that there must have been a reason the state did not include municipal courts in its law.
"I had not thought of that," Margolius said.
They both hope to improve the situation for people they represent in their respective roles. As business people, they are concerned about things like budgets and how money is spent. As conservative republicans, they are concerned about taxes and how government spends money.
They are also concerned about openness in government.
Kelley has tried to get legislation passed to make many state records available on a central Web site. She has also worked to require advertising done by state agencies to disclose that they are paying for the advertisement.
At the city level there are issues such as when budgets are to be filed with the state, which is a concern of Margolius.
Both said they got involved in politics to try to make a difference.
They want to make government more accessible so more people can be involved in the process.
"We can make the process better as we open the process. There is power in information, and people need that power," Margolius said.
He would like to see more people involved and do things like attend meetings and speak out on issues.
He said just voting is not being involved enough in government.
They said they do not have any plans for the future, except to continue working for their respective districts and government bodies.
"I have heard I am running for state Senate, but I have not said that. I have not stepped up for that at this point," she said.