Category Archives: Government

Kansas Health Issues Presented

KDHE Secretary Delivers State of Public Health Address

 

Topeka – Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Lee Norman, MD, delivered “2020: The State of the Health of Kansans” to the Kansas Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee this morning.  Dr. Norman will deliver the same presentation to the Kansas House Health and Human Services Committee Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. This is the first time KDHE has delivered such address to the Kansas Legislature.

 

“As the State Health Officer, it is my duty to look at the health of our state and provide education on what we as a state can do at an individual level, a community level and a government level,” said Dr. Lee Norman, Secretary of KDHE. “Health isn’t just medical care. It’s our behaviors, our environment, our policies and our outcomes.”

 

Since 1990, Kansas has seen the greatest decline in its health rankings according to America’s Health Rankings published December 6, 2019.

 

  • Behaviors – Kansas ranks #38 in the survey for obesity rates and #30 for smoking.
  • Environment – Kansas ranks #21 in the U.S. for the number of children living in poverty. Kansas’ chlamydia numbers are twice the healthiest state, at 465 per 100,000.
  • Policy – Kansas ranks #49 in U.S. for females receiving the HPV vaccine and #34 for males. Kansas ranks #32 for children 19-35 months receiving completed vaccines at 69 percent. Kansas ranks 40th for the amount of dollars in public health funding at $60/person. This is 4.5 times less than the top state at $281/per person.
  • Medical Care – There is low access to dentists, particularly in rural Kansas. Kansas ranks #38 with 50 dentists per 100,000. Kansas also ranks #35 for mental health providers.
  • Outcomes – Kansas ranks in the bottom half on cancer, cardiovascular and diabetes deaths; frequent mental distress; infant mortality; and premature deaths in years lost before age 75.

 

“What this data suggests is that Kansas needs to improve access to care – addressing the shortage of medical professionals, financial impediments and geographic maldistribution among others,” said Dr. Norman. “It suggests that we have unhealthy behaviors that need to be remedied and that there’s a need for active illness prevention and intervention.”

 

Dr. Norman continued, “Every Kansan can take steps to improve our state’s health – increase your physical activity, be mindful of proper nutrition and make sure your family is up-to-date on immunizations. It’s also critical that we as a state look beyond ourselves and our families, to our neighbors and community members. It’s time for us to intervene and invest in the health of Kansans.”

 

New export assistance grant available to companies across Kansas

 

 

Topeka, Kan. – Companies based in the state of Kansas have a new tool to help them succeed in selling their goods or services to customers around the world. The Kansas Market Access Program (K-MAP) lowers the end-user cost of international market research, export documentation and foreign business partner meetings, so Kansas companies can reach more customers and close more deals.

 

Emerging out of the public-private partnership between the Kansas Department of Commerce and the Wichita-based Kansas Global Trade Services, K-MAP is made available as a one-time opportunity. Interested companies are encouraged to apply before June 30, 2020, in order to ensure access to grant funding.

 

“The needs of Kansas exporters vary greatly,” Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “While Commerce already has a successful program designed to help companies participate in international trade shows (KITSAP), this new program provides assistance for a range of other activities vital to their success.”

 

Karyn Page, President & CEO of Kansas Global, adds, “We learned what works best when we implemented the state’s first export plan in Wichita. That’s why we asked the Kansas Legislature for this grant to be added to our contact. We found that having a flexible grant for companies to use is the sweetener they need to fast-track international sales.”

 

For more information about the Kansas Market Access Program and to apply online, visit kansascommerce.gov/k-map-application or kansasglobal.org.

Senator Richard Hilderbrand Legislative Report Jan. 17

January 17, 2020 ∙ Week One
HARD FACTS
o   Kansas talking points for the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA):Easily passed: vote of 89-10. Mexico and Canada ar Kansas talking points for the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA):e the #1 and #2 destinations for Kansas’ exported goods, respectively. In 2018, Kansas exported more than $2.1 billion in goods to Mexico and $1.9 billion to Canada. The new agreement makes much-needed improvements to NAFTA and brings trade between the three countries into the 21st century.
o·      Spirit AeroSystems announces layoffs of 2,800 employees in the Wichita area, due to issues with the Boeing 737 Max. This follows the announcement that Textron has laid off 875 employees in the Wichita area. Spirit AeroSystems is the largest employer in Wichita. Employees will begin leaving the company on January 22 but will be paid for a 60-day notice period.
o  Re-amortization of KPERS would add another $4.4 billion in new debt if the plan is approved.Tacks on an additional 10 years before KPERS is fully funded. If the state continues with the current payment plan, KPERS is expected to be fully funded within the next 15 years.
Many of us have “learn a new language” as a New Year’s Resolution. With Mango Languages, you can learn right from your own computer or smartphone. This online language learning service https://kslib.info/Mango provided by the State Library of Kansas is easy to use. Choose from 71 languages such as Spanish, French, Mandarin- even Swahili. Mango uses real life situations and conversations to more effectively teach a new language. Mango also includes 19 English as a second language options. Use as a Guest or register to track your progress (and for smartphone use).
If the page above asks for a Kansas Library eCard number, you may get one at any library in Kansas. Most people will be automatically recognized as being in Kansas and will not need this step. Questions: kslc@ks.gov or 785-296-3296. To see all the State Library’s online resources, visit https://kslib.info/databases.
CONSIDERATION OF APPOINTMENTS
Department of Administration Secretary, DeAngela Burns-Wallace
The Senate confirmed the nomination on a vote of 39-0.
Department of Corrections Secretary, Jeffrey Zmuda
The Senate confirmed the nomination on a vote of 37-2. (I voted Nay, for the following reason: https://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article231037338.html )
Kansas Board of Regents, Cheryl Harrison-Lee, Shellaine Kiblinger, and Jonathan Rolph
The Senate confirmed each nomination on a vote of 39-0.
Kansas Development Finance Authority, Alan Deines
The Senate confirmed the nomination on a vote of 39-0.
Kansas Highway Patrol Superintendent, Herman Jones
The Senate confirmed the nomination on a vote of 39-0.
Kansas Lottery Executive Director, Stephen Durrell
The Senate confirmed the nomination on a vote of 39-0.
Kansas Lottery Commission, Catherine Moyer (reappointment), Kenneth ‘Ed’ Trimmer, and Kala Spigarelli
The Senate confirmed each nomination on a vote of 39-0.
Kansas Public Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees, Emily Hill and Owen ‘Brad’ Stratton
The Senate confirmed each nomination on a vote of 39-0.
Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, Kelly Kultala
The Senate confirmed the nomination on a vote of 39-0.
Kansas State Gaming Agency Executive Director, Kala Loomis
The Senate confirmed the nomination on a vote of 39-0.
Chair of the Kansas Water Authority, Constance Owen
The Senate confirmed the nomination on a vote of 39-0.
Director of the Kansas Water Office, Earl Lewis
The Senate confirmed the nomination on a vote of 39-0.
Public Employee Relations Board, Joni Franklin, Jonathan Gilbert, Michael Ryan, Keely Schneider, and Donald ‘Rick’ Wiley
The Senate confirmed each nomination on a vote of 39-0.
State Banking Board, Ruth Stevenson and Patrick Walden
The Senate confirmed the nomination on a vote of 39-0.
State Bank Commissioner, David Herndon
The Senate confirmed the nomination on a vote of 39-0.
State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services, Erica Andrade, Michael Birzer, Patricia Hudgins, Laurel Michel, and Richard Ney
The Senate confirmed each nomination on a vote of 39-0.
State Civil Service Board, Sheryl Gilchrist
The Senate confirmed the nomination on a vote of 39-0.
State Fire Marshal, Doug Jorgensen (reappointment)
The Senate confirmed the nomination on a vote of 39-0.
University of Kansas Hospital Authority Board, Romano Delcore (reappointment)
The Senate confirmed the nomination on a vote of 39-0.
RETIREMENT OF SENATOR MARY PILCHER-COOK
State Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook officially resigned Thursday, January 16. Senate President Susan Wagle thanked Senator Pilcher-Cook for her dedicated and passionate service to Kansans.
In a statement announcing her decision, Pilcher-Cook said her record had been consistent with the values she ran on in campaigns for both the House and Senate:
“It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Kansas for 15 years; two terms in the House, and almost three terms in the Senate. But now it is time for me to step down and give that privilege to someone else. My voting record shows I have consistently been honest with the voters and upheld all my campaign promises, repeatedly voting for limited government, reduced spending and traditional family values. Conservatives understand that power comes from the people, and that new leadership is sometimes required to carry on the mantle of these time-honored principles. I expect nothing less from the next senator to represent the 10th Senate district.”
WELCOME MIKE THOMPSON
Former Kansas City meteorologist Mike Thompson will succeed her in District 10 and will be sworn in Tuesday, January 21 at 2:30.  Senator-Elect Thompson plans to run for a full term during the next election.
GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL
Governor Kelly’s proposed budget will cost around $7.8 billion for the upcoming fiscal year. The proposed plan includes various new social spending initiatives, Medicaid Expansion, delaying payments to our state retirement fund and a pay raise for state employees.
The governor will, once again, ask lawmakers to invest a lot less in KPERS, extending payments 10 years and adding an estimated $4.4 billion dollars to the total costs.  It’s a plan Republicans successfully defeated last year. Right now, if we continue to fully fund our KPERS obligation, the delayed payment debt is estimated to be eliminated in 15 years.
The Governor also wants to provide $53 million dollars in tax credits to low-income families for sales tax relief while a Republican plan would eliminate the cumbersome tax return credit element and simply lower the amount of tax paid at the store when Kansans buy groceries.
In an attempt to help Kansans with property tax costs, the Governor suggests funding a program called the Local Ad Valorem Tax Reduction Fund, which hasn’t been used since 2003.  It is a cumbersome fund designed to send money back to local government to decide whether or not to pass the money on to taxpayers. LAVTRF relief estimates calculated by independent researchers show, after going through all the red tape, taxpayers who own a $150,000 home would only save an average of about $12-25 per year depending on the county.
Other spending plans include $5 million in new aid for low-income students, a $14.8 million block grant for universities, and $8.5 million for tech students, a $7.2 million infusion into the state prison system for new beds and substance abuse programs, a $14.5 million allotment for two new highway patrol helicopters with infrared equipment and a 2.5% pay raise for state employees other than the judicial and legislative branches.
To help try to offset at least some of her spending plans, the Governor would like to begin taxing streaming services like Amazon Prime, Disney Plus and Netflix which, if approved, would take effect in July.  Her budget plan, according to the state’s bipartisan Legislative Research Department, overspends and cuts into our reserves by an estimated $571.8 million.
I strongly support allowing Kansans to take advantage of the Trump Tax Policy which allows taxpayers to itemize their deductions to get breaks on property taxes, mortgage interest rates, and healthcare costs.
SUMMARY:
Next week, together, both houses will conduct hearings on the proposed constitutional amendment to continue to allow the legislature to regulate the abortion industry as it does all health care industries.  The amendment is a top priority for Republicans who know unregulated health care is not in the best interest of Kansans who value protecting women and babies from harm.  Hearings will also begin on the Medicaid Expansion proposal where committee members are expected to hear arguments for adding a work requirement along with other suggested amendments.  Federal and State Affairs committee members will also hear reasons to establish “polka” as the official state dance.
DETAILS:
 MONDAY, January 20: NO SESSION; MLK Day
TUESDAY, January 21: 2:30 p.m. Session
·      Hearing on: SCR1613 — Amending the bill of rights of the constitution of the state of Kansas to reserve to the people the right to regulate abortion through their elected state representatives and senators. Meeting concurrently with House Federal and State Affairs Committee.(Joint Senate Judiciary and House Federal & State Affairs Committees, 9:00am, 346-S)
WEDNESDAY, January 22: 2:30 p.m. Session; Possible General Orders
·      Briefing on: 2019 Report on Rural Prosperity-Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers (Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, 8:30am, 159-S)
·      Informational briefing: Kansas Department of Transportation, Secretary Julia Lorenz and Joel Skelley, Director of Policy (Senate Transportation Committee, 8:30am, 546-S)
THURSDAY, January 23: 2:30 p.m. Session; Possible Final Action
·      Briefing on: Report on Senate Substitute for HB2167, Industrial Hemp (Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, 8:30am, 159-S)
·      Informational briefing: Kansas Highway Patrol, Colonel Herman Jones (Senate Transportation Committee, 8:30am, 546-S)
·      Kansas Department of Labor Overview (Senate Commerce Committee, 8:30am, 548-S)
·      Hearing on: (proponents) SB252 — Expanding medical assistance eligibility and implementing a health insurance plan reinsurance program. Please note: Opponents to be heard on SB252 on January 27 & 28. (Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, 9:30am, 118-N)
·       Hearing on: SB158 — Designating the state dance as the polka. (Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee, 10:30am, 144-S)
·      Department of Commerce (Senate Ways and Means Committee, 10:30am, 548-S)
·       Update on: Rural Opportunity Zones Kansas Department of Commerce (Senate Ways and Means Committee, 10:30am, 548-S)
·       Presentations by Legislative Post Audit: At-Risk School Funding (Senate Education Committee, 1:30pm, 144-S)
FRIDAY, January 24: 8:00 a.m. Session
·      Hearing continuation on (proponents) SB252 — Expanding medical assistance eligibility and implementing a health insurance plan reinsurance program. Please note: Opponents to be heard on SB252 on January 27 & 28. (Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, 9:30am, 118-N)
Thank You for Engaging
Thank you for all your calls, emails, and letters regarding your thoughts and concerns about happenings in Kansas. Constituent correspondence helps inform my decision-making process and is taken into great consideration when I cast my vote in the Kansas Senate. I hope you’ll continue to engage with me on the issues that matter most to you, your family, and our community. If you are on Twitter or Facebook, I encourage you to follow along with the #ksleg hashtag for real-time updates on legislative happenings in Topeka.
Please know that I am fully committed to addressing the current issues in our state, and I am proud to be your voice in the Kansas Senate.

Legislative Update By State Senator Caryn Tyson

Caryn Tyson

And they’re off…  legislators trying to get as much as possible accomplished in 90 days.  Our Kansas Constitution limits the legislature to 90 days in even number years.

Property Taxes.  You have been telling me that increasing appraisals are automatically increasing your property taxes and I have been listening.  This last summer I, with the help of other legislators, have been working on solutions.   To increase taxes should require a vote by the commissioners and not automatically increase by the action of the appraiser.  Being Chairmen of the Senate Tax Committee, I will be working on this as well as improving the process to appeal property taxes.  Bills are being introduced to increase transparency and improve the process.  I will keep you updated.

Kansas government has out-of-control spending.  Last January, 2019, Governor Kelly submitted her large budget to the legislature and the legislature sent it back to her with $182 million dollars more spending then she requested.  She could have line-item vetoed this increase but she didn’t.   I did not support last year’s out of control budget and I will not support any reckless budget that spends more than we are taking in.

The Governor promised she wouldn’t raise taxes. A few days ago in this year’s State-of-the-State speech she said she would submit a budget that would honor her promise to cut taxes.  However, in her budget presented the next day she asked for sales tax to be put on all digital video, audiobooks, pictures, greeting cards, games, and streaming services.  That would increase state revenues by $26.7 million.  Sounds like a tax increase to me.

The Governor also proposed $54 million in property tax relief.  Kansans pay around $5 billion in property taxes.  The $54 million Local Ad Valorem Tax Reduction (LAVTR) the Governor proposed could provide a small temporary cut if local authorities pass the money on to the taxpayer.  For example, a property tax bill of $1,000 could be reduced by $10 if all of the LAVTR was passed on to the taxpayer.    That would not be a solution for the ever-increasing property appraisals that are automatically increasing your taxes.  We need a solution that addresses the heart of the problem and that is what I am bringing forward in the Senate.

What about our President…  He brought back prayer in our public schools last week.

It’s an honor and  privilege serving as your Senator.

Caryn

Fort Scott City Commission Agenda Jan. 21 Updated

AGENDA

FORT SCOTT CITY COMMISSION

FORT SCOTT CITY HALL

COMMISSION ROOM

123 SOUTH MAIN

JANUARY 21, 2020

6:00 P.M.

I. ROLL CALL:

K. ALLEN P. ALLEN NICHOLS WATTS MITCHELL

II. FLAG SALUTE:

III. INVOCATION: Pastor Paul Rooks, Grace Baptist Tabernacle

IV. PROCLAMATIONS/RECOGNITIONS:

V. CONSENT AGENDA:

  1. Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of January 7th, 2020.

  1. Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1254-A totaling $805,509.03.

  1. Request to Pay #2 – Strukel Electric, Inc. – $125,107.65 (Electric Vault Building – Airport)

  1. Consideration of Pay Request #5 – Crossland Construction – River Intake Project – $242,379.46

VII. APPEARANCE/COMMENTS/PUBLIC HEARING:

  1. APPEARANCE: Don George, Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks

B. CITIZEN COMMENTS (Concerning Items Not on Agenda – 3 minute limit per citizen)

C. PUBLIC HEARINGS/COMMENTS: None

VIII. CONSIDERATION:

  1. Consideration of approval of final plat for the property more commonly known as 401 Woodland Hill Boulevard – Approval of Ordinance No. 3557

  1. Consideration of Contract with Suez Treatment Solutions for SCADA upgrades to the ozone system at the Water Treatment Plant

  1. Consideration of purchase of Composite Wastewater Sampler to obtain samples for K.D.H.E. and waive the bidding process

  1. Consideration of approval of Joplin Toolbox Contract for 2020 sanitary sewer work.

  1. Consideration to solicit bids for cleaning and repainting of aquatic center pool

  1. Consideration of Audit contract for 2019 with Diehl, Banwart & Bolton

IV. COMMENTS:

  1. Director Updates:
  1. Commission:
  1. City Manager:

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

I MOVE THAT THE CITY COMMISSION RECESS INTO EXECUTIVE

SESSION FOR ________________________________ IN ORDER TO

(see below justification)

DISCUSS ______________________________________. THE

EXECUTIVE SESSION WILL BE ___________ MINUTES AND THE OPEN

MEETING TO RESUME AT ________________.

Justifications for Executive Sessions:

  • Personnel matters of non-elected personnel

  • Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship

  • Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative or representatives of the body or agency

  • Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships

  • Preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property

IV. MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT: ROLL CALL

Senate votes to approve Governor’s appointments

 

The Kansas Senate voted Wednesday to confirm all 33 of Governor Laura Kelly’s appointments heard and advanced by the Senate Confirmation Oversight Committee during the 2019 legislative interim.

 

Of the 33 confirmed appointments advanced by the Senate Confirmation Oversight Committee, three were Cabinet members, five were agency heads and the remaining 25 were board or commission members.

 

The three Cabinet-level appointments were DeAngela Burns-Wallace, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Administration; Herman Jones, Superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol; and Jeff Zmuda, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections.

 

“I commend the Senate for acting to approve all of my interim appointments,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “My administration has methodically and intentionally searched for the best candidates to hold these positions, and I’m confident they will all perform their duties with courage, poise and expertise.”

 

The full list of confirmed interim appointments is listed below.

 

Cabinet-level appointments:

  1. DeAngela Burns-Wallace, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Administration
  2. Herman Jones, Superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol
  3. Jeff Zmuda – Secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections

 

Executive branch agency directors:

  1. Steve Durrell, Director of the Kansas Lottery
  2. David Herndon – Kansas State Bank Commissioner
  3. Doug Jorgensen, Director of the Office of the Kansas State Fire Marshal
  4. Earl Lewis, Director of the Kansas Water Office
  5. Kala Loomis, Director of the Kansas State Gaming Agency

 

Board or commission members:

  1. Connie Owen, Chair, Kansas Water Authority
  2. Catherine Moyer, Kansas Lottery Commission
  3. Ed Trimmer, Kansas Lottery Commission
  4. Kala Spigarelli, Kansas Lottery Commission
  5. Mike Ryan, Public Employee Relations Board
  6. Jon Gilbert, Public Employee Relations Board
  7. Joni Franklin, Public Employee Relations Board
  8. Rick Wiley, Public Employee Relations Board
  9. Keely Schneider, Public Employee Relations Board
  10. Emily Hill, KPERS Board of Trustees
  11. Brad Stratton, KPERS Board of Trustees
  12. Shelly Kiblinger, Kansas Board of Regents
  13. Cheryl Harrison-Lee, Kansas Board of Regents
  14. Jon Rolph, Kansas Board of Regents
  15. Kelly Kultala, Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission
  16. Erica Andrade, Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services
  17. Dr. Michael Birzer, Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services
  18. Patricia Hudgins, Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services
  19. Laurel Michel, Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services
  20. Richard Ney, Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services
  21. Ruth Stevenson, Kansas Banking Board
  22. Patrick Walden, Kansas Banking Board
  23. Alan Deines, Kansas Development Finance Authority
  24. Sheryl Gilchrist, Kansas Civil Service Board
  25. Dr. Romano Delcore, Kansas University Hospital Authority

Fort Scott City Commission Meeting Minutes of Jan. 7

CITY OF FORT SCOTT

CITY COMMISSION MEETING

Minutes are unapproved until the Jan. 21 meeting.

Minutes of January 7, 2020 Regular Meeting #1

The regular meeting of the Fort Scott City Commission was held January 7th, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Commission Room, 123 S. Main, Fort Scott, Kansas.

ROLL CALL:

Commissioners Adamson, Bartelsmeyer, Mitchell and Nichols were present with Mayor Parker presiding.

INVOCATION: Rev. Gene Payne, Minister, said a prayer asking God for guidance for the City, our Government and City officials.

AUDIENCE IN ATTENDANCE: Bob Duncan, Greg Gauss, Josh Jones, Carey Spoon, Robert Uhler, Jeff Fischer, Jeff Deane, Gene Payne, Bobbi Kemna, Patrick Wood, Jason Gorman, Jason Pickert, Brian Allen, Janice Allen, Michael Hoyt, Jenna Campbell, Margie Brown, Deb McCoy, Dave Bruner, Elaine Buerge, Carol Lydic, Michael Mix, Jerald Mitchell, Susan Bancroft, Devin Tally, Lindsay Madison, Beth Nuss, Larry Nuss, Lee Lorimer, Linda I. Fox, George Fox, Aaron Judy, Nancy K. Van Etten, Kerry Van Etten, Chris Maycumber, Ryan Coon, John Coon, Max Fanning, Deb Needleman, Rachel Pruitt, Chad Brown, Kevin Allen, Lindsey Watts, Pete Allen, Clayton Miller, and representing the press, Tammy Helm, Fort Scott Tribune.

PROCLAMATIONS/RECOGNITIONS:

APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND APPROPRIATIONS/CONSENT AGENDA:

  1. Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of December 17th, 2019 and special meeting of December 30th, 2019.

  1. Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1253-A totaling $617,401.89.

  1. Resolution 1-2020 designating the official City newspaper.

  1. Resolution 2-2020 designating the official City depositories for public funds

Bartelsmeyer moved the Consent Agenda. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.

APPROVED CONSENT AGENDA.

City Manager thanked Cheryl Adamson, Cindy Bartelsmeyer, and Jeanie Parker for their many years of service. He presented them with a plaque of appreciation, their picture which hung in the Commission Room, and their name plate.

REORGANIZATION OF CITY COMMISSION AND ELECTION OF MAYOR, COMMISSION PRESIDENT, B.C.E.D.C.I. REPRESENTATIVE, AND FORT SCOTT HOUSING AUTHORITY DELEGATE.

    1. Swearing in of new City Commissioners – City Clerk, Diane Clay, administered the oath of office to Kevin Allen, Pete Allen, and Lindsey Watts.

    1. Election of Mayor

Randy Nichols moved to appoint JoLynne Mitchell as Mayor of the City of Fort Scott. Lindsey Watts seconded.

Kevin Allen moved to appoint Pete Allen as Mayor of the City of Fort Scott. Pete Allen seconded.

Nichols, Mitchell and Watts voted aye in favor of JoLynne Mitchell being appointed as Mayor. K. Allen and P. Allen voted no. Motion carried 3-2.

APPOINTED JOLYNNE MITCHELL AS MAYOR OF THE CITY OF FORT SCOTT.

    1. Election of Commission President

JoLynne Mitchell moved to appoint Randy Nichols as President of the Fort Scott City Commission. Lindsey Watts seconded. Nichols,

Pete Allen moved to appoint Kevin Allen as President of the City Commission. Kevin Allen seconded.

Mitchell, Watts, and Nichols voted aye in favor of Randy Nichols as President of the Fort Scott City Commission. K. Allen and P. Allen voted no. Motion carried 3-2.

APPOINTED DR. RANDY NICHOLS AS PRESIDENT OF THE FORT SCOTT CITY COMMISSION.

    1. Election of Bourbon County Economic Development Council Inc. Representative

Mitchell moved to appoint Dr. Randy Nichols as the City’s representative on the Bourbon County Economic Development Council, Inc. Pete Allen seconded. P. Allen, Nichols, Watts, and Mitchell voted aye. K. Allen voted no. Motion carried 4-1.

APPOINTED DR. RANDY NICHOLS AS THE CITY’S REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE BOURBON COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL, INC.

    1. Election of Fort Scott Housing Authority Delegate

Kevin Allen moved to appoint Lindsey Watts as the City’s representative on the Fort Scott Housing Authority Board. JoLynne Mitchell seconded. All voted aye.

APPOINTED LINDSEY WATTS AS THE CITY’S REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE FORT SCOTT HOUSING AUTHORITY BOARD.

APPEARANCE/COMMENTS/PUBLIC HEARING:

  1. APPEARANCE: None

B. CITIZEN COMMENTS (Concerning Items Not on Agenda – 3 minute

limit per citizen) –

Bob Duncan – Mr. Duncan said that he thought you guys all thought he would just go away but he didn’t. Mr. Martin and Dave Bruner have a huge bully pulpit in this room and in the Tribune and local radio at no cost to themselves. Still, three incumbent Commissioners were ousted and the other two would have also been turned out had they been on the ballot. Even though they have overwhelming support of most local government and school board employees who comprise a big portion of the voting electors. The reason is enough citizens have taken time to actually know the truth of how the City’s leadership has been performing in the past. He said he doesn’t know Pete’s position on a lot of the issues, but he has superior intellect. The rest of you would do well to take heed and help facilitate his efforts. In the coming months, I hope to shed some light for the rest of the citizens so they can see why our infrastructure is crumbling and why so many have come and gone. Good entrepreneurs and innovative who would be taxpaying citizens. Much of the problem is incompetence, but some of it is outright dishonesty.

Commissioner Kevin Allen said he would like to respond and say thanks for coming in and he appreciates it. He said that he listens to you when maybe you feel like no one is listening to you. He’s here to listen to you and for people to call him.

Michael Hoyt – Mr. Hoyt said he had two things he would like to bring to your attention as a newly seated board. The minutes that were entered into the record for the special meeting of December 30th are either an admission of fraud by the previously seated Commissioners or a change of position of how they were acting individually at City expense or some other mystery took place at that meeting that we don’t know about. That they met in secret and devised some plan or response to the Attorney General that we don’t know about. Pick one. You’re fraudulent, guilty, or you acted in violation of K.O.M.A. and you should be fined, and you should be suspended from your office.

Mayor Mitchell said that it’s not that we don’t want to spend taxpayer’s money on bad things, but we want to spend $500.00 per Commissioner so we can be found in violation?

Mr. Hoyt said that money comes from your pocket, not from the City. Read K.O.M.A. and that will let you know.

Jeff Deane, City Attorney, said he would say we have no comment at this time. The response from the Attorney General’s office speaks for itself.

Mr. Hoyt said to read K.O.M.A. and that the money does not come from City funds. Secondly, Ms. Watts, he hopes that you are aware of 24-CFR-570-486, conflict of interest. You cannot receive as an elected official any monies, grants or other public funds, if you are holding an elected office. He would suggest that you study this and he said he would give her his copy.

Commissioner Watts asked if that is in response to anything that has happened previously or from here on.

Mr. Hoyt said that from the date of election.

Commissioner Allen asked the City Attorney how the decision will come out.

Jeff Deane, City Attorney, said that it has already come out. He released the Commission’s response, or his response on behalf of the City Commission. As soon as it was filed with the Attorney General’s office, it becomes a public record that is subject to a K.O.R.A. request. He provided it to the local news agencies that requested it. Fort Scott.Biz published some excerpts from it. It is already public record and available. We have not yet heard back from the Attorney General but that is not unusual. We responded on January 2nd or 3rd, and this will become public record when they respond.

  1. PUBLIC HEARINGS:

Mitchell moved to open the Public Hearing at 6:21 p.m. Watts seconded. All voted aye.

6:00 p.m. Consideration of CDBG Grant – Mayco Ace Public Hearing – Rachel Pruitt, Economic Development Director, informed the Commission that there are actually six different categories for the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) programs. This grant is for one of the categories which is Commercial rehab, and the City is able to apply for one per year. She has been working closely with Chris Maycumber of Mayce Ace Hardware for the past year. Mr. Maycumber is here this evening also. This business has been here since the early 1970’s. It was started by Chris’ uncle and then his father took it over. It is a great blessing to have a hardware store downtown.

Carey Spoon is here from the Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission. She will be facilitating the paperwork to apply for the grant.

Chris Maycumber said that a lot of the rehab is simple repairs to the building. There was damage from the hail storm and wind storms that their insurance company would not repair. There were leaks on the Dollar General side and the floors were damaged. They want to make the building more energy efficient and rentable for hopefully a new retail tenant.

Commissioner Pete Allen asked about the Statement of Assurances and Certifications form. This form states that the building is blight. He doesn’t consider this building blight.

Rachel said that in the State’s definition it qualifies for blight. There is contamination with asbestos in the building.

Carey Spoon read the description of the grant to the Commission: This application is for the rehabilitation of 205 Scott Avenue. This project proposes to replace the roof, upgrade the façade, replace the windows, replace the south entrance door, remove the north end door and replace with a double sliding door, construct an ADA accessible entrance on the north end consisting of an accessible ramp and sidewalk with column adjustments as necessary, construct two accessible restrooms in the north end of the building, install emergency lighting and smoke alarms throughout the main and lower level of the entire building, replace 6000 square feet of ceiling tile damaged by roof leakage in the north end, and install two emergency fire disconnects in the alley behind the building. The estimated project cost is $299,250 with the maximum grant request of $224,437. There are no City funds involved. The matching funds are from the property owner.

Commissioner Pete Allen asked how many of those grants are available each year?

Rachel Pruitt said that there are six total available.

Discussion was held regarding the different types of grants available.

Commissioner Kevin Allen asked if the grants were publicized and made known to other building owners.

Rachel Pruitt said that this information is all available on the City’s website.

Carey Spoon said that the two resolutions will need to be approved for the application to move forward as well as approval of the grant administration contract.

Approval of Resolution No. 5-2020 – to Apply for 2018 Kansas Small Cities CDBG Grant and authorizing the Mayor to sign and submit an application

Nichols moved to approve Resolution No. 5-2020 to apply for the grant and submit the application. Mitchell seconded. Pete Allen, Randy Nichols, Lindsey Watts, and JoLynne Mitchell voted aye. Kevin Allen abstained. Motion carried.

APPROVED RESOLUTION NO. 5-2020 CERTIFYING LEGAL AUTHORITY TO APPLY FOR THE 2018 KANSAS SMALL CITIES COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM FROM THE KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO SIGN AND SUBMIT SUCH AN APPLICATION.

Approval of Resolution 6-2020 – Declaring a building blighted with respect to the Kansas Small Cities CDBG Grant Program

Carey Spoon defined the definition of blight to the Commission.

Mitchell moved to approve Resolution No. 6-2020 to apply for the grant and submit the application. Watts seconded. Pete Allen, Randy Nichols, Lindsey Watts, and JoLynne Mitchell voted aye. Kevin Allen abstained. Motion carried.

APPROVED RESOLUTION NO. 6-2020 DECLARING A BUILDING BLIGHTED WITH RESPECT TO THE KANSAS SMALL CITIES COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) PROGRAM.

Approval of Agreement for Administrative Consulting Services for the 2020 Kansas Small Cities CDBG Grant Project

Carey Spoon informed the Commission that the City applies to the State on behalf of the building owner.

Watts moved to approve the Agreement for Administrative Consulting Services for the 2020 Small Cities CDBG Grant Project. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.

APPROVED THE AGREEMENT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE CONSULTING SERVICES FOR THE 2020 SMALL CITIES CDBG GRANT PROJECT WITH SOUTHEAST KANSAS REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION.

Mitchell moved to close the Public Hearing at 6:35 p.m. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.

CLOSED PUBLIC HEARING AT 6:35 P.M.

Mitchell moved to open the Public Hearing at 6:36 p.m. Watts seconded. All voted aye.

OPENED PUBLIC HEARING AT 6:35 P.M.

6:15 p.m. Resolution 3-2020 – Resolution Directing the Repair or Removal of an Unsafe and Dangerous Structure located at 510 S. Heylman Street – Robert Uhler, Community Development Director, informed the Commission that this structure needs to either be repaired by the property owner or demolished. This timeframe is for 60 days. He shared photos of the structure with the Commission showing the dilapidated condition of the structure.

City Clerk and City Attorney explained the demolition process to the Commission.

Kevin Allen moved to give the property owner 60 days to either repair or replace the structure. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.

APPROVED RESOLUTION NO. 3-2020 DIRECTING THE REPAIR OR REMOVAL OF AN UNSAFE AND DANGEROUS STRUCTURE LOCATED AT 510 S. HEYLMAN STREET. STRUCTURE MUST BE BROUGHT UP TO 2012 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE BY MARCH 13TH, 2020 OR DEMOLITION PROCEEDINGS WILL BEGIN.

6:15 p.m. Resolution 4-2020 – Resolution Directing the Repair or Removal of an Unsafe and Dangerous Structure located at 501 S. Osbun Street – Robert Uhler, Community Development Director, informed the Commission that this structure needs to either be repaired by the property owner or demolished. This timeframe is for 60 days. He shared photos of the structure with the Commission showing the dilapidated condition of the structure. This structure is owned by Terry Hartman and he has been notified by certified mail.

Kevin Allen moved to give the property owner 60 days to either repair or replace the structure. Watts seconded. All voted aye.

APPROVED RESOLUTION NO. 4-2020 DIRECTING THE REPAIR OR REMOVAL OF AN UNSAFE AND DANGEROUS STRUCTURE LOCATED AT 501 S. OSBUN STREET. STRUCTURE MUST BE BROUGHT UP TO 2012 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE BY MARCH 13TH, 2020 OR DEMOLITION PROCEEDINGS WILL BEGIN.

Mitchell moved to close the Public Hearing at 6:42 p.m. Watts seconded. All voted aye.

CLOSED PUBLIC HEARING AT 6:42 P.M.

CONSIDERATION:

  1. Consideration of Contract with Suez Treatment Solutions for SCADA upgrades to the ozone system at the Water Treatment Plant – Michael Mix, Public Utilities Director, informed the Commission that as part of the River Intake Project, some other items are being addressed. One of those items is update of the SCADA hardware. The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition is what SCADA stands for. This is basically the sensors and computers that control the system. He shared a video of the ozone building with the Commission. He asked for approval for the contract with Suez Treatment Solutions, Inc. in the amount of $184,847.00. This is an additional scope to their project as it was not included in the original scope of the project. The funding is part of the USDA loan, which is approved already, and this is part of that.

Discussion was held regarding the amount of the loan, repercussion of what could happen if this system was not updated, and the fact that parts are not available for the older system any longer.

Kevin Allen made a motion to postpone this item until the January 21st, 2020 meeting so it can be further researched. Lindsey Watts seconded. All voted aye.

APPROVED TO POSTPONE THIS ITEM UNTIL THE JANUARY 21ST, 2020 MEETING SO MORE INFORMATION CAN BE RESEARCHED.

COMMISSION/STAFF:

  1. Director Updates: Robert Uhler gave an update on three items:

Smart Growth America Workshop – Robert said that this date has been moved due to scheduling conflicts with the D.C. team and some data transfer issues. The new dates for the workshop will be February 25th and 26th, 2020.

Lake Advisory Board – He said that he was delayed in getting the first meeting of the new board scheduled in 2019. The first meeting will be this Saturday, January 11th, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at City Hall. Since JoLynne Mitchell has been elected Mayor, she decided to not serve as the City’s representative on this board. Marci Myers has also resigned from this board. Letters of interest will go out to fill Marci Myers position.

Kevin Allen volunteered to serve on this board.

2020 Legislative Update – Robert said that the legislative session will start on January 13th, 2020. There are already 250 pre-filed bills on the Senate side and 432 pre-filed bills on the House side. It is looking like this will be a very active legislative season. At the next City Commission meeting, he said he would give an update on the legislative agenda for the City.

B. City Commission:

Randy Nichols Dr. Nichols welcomed the new City Commissioners. He said he hopes that we can all move forward together in a positive fashion.

Kevin Allen Kevin said that he had two items. He thinks it is important to see your local government work. He said that Josh Jones is recording facebook live tonight at this meeting. He asked if the City had something to record the meeting and if the City had any microphones. He made a motion to ask the City Manager to investigate recording the City Commission meetings live and check into microphones.

City Attorney said we need to make sure that we follow K.O.M.A. records and the proper retention schedule. We also need to make sure that Commissioner Pete Allen can hear the meeting.

City Manager will have a recommendation at the next meeting.

His next item was the three-minute citizen time limit. He doesn’t think that three minutes is sufficient. He made a motion to change this time from three minutes to five minutes and allow the Mayor the authority to override this time frame if needed. A Commissioner can also request the Mayor allow that person more time if needed. Lindsey Watts seconded. All voted aye.

APPROVED TO CHANGE THE CITIZEN COMMENT SECTION OF THE MEETING FROM THREE MINUTES TO FIVE MINUTES AND TO ALLOW THE MAYOR THE AUTHORITY TO OVERRIDE THIS TIME FRAME IF NEEDED. A COMMISSIONER CAN ALSO ASK FOR THAT PERSON TO HAVE MORE TIME FROM THE MAYOR.

Discussion was also held moving the citizen comments to the end of the meeting.

His last item is about residency. He said that he heard from people who own businesses in town and pays taxes, but live outside the City limits, but cannot vote in City elections. When he served before, he bought property 300’ outside the City limits. He had to turn his seat over, because you had to live in the City limits. He wants to see why he was able to stay in that position and is there a legal way to have people with property outside of the City limits be able to vote. He thinks this changed 15 years ago.

City Clerk told him his term was almost over and the Commission at that time allowed him to continue to serve his term.

City Attorney said that this topic should probably happen in Executive Session. He said he could research this issue if he can get some time. The County Commission solved your issue. Residency is what it is tied to. As a general matter, the State presumes that you have to have a residency in the City where you vote. He will look at our ordinances and get back with you.

Kevin said that we have City employees that can look up that information instead of paying the attorney.

City Manager said that he will check into this.

Lindsey Watts – Lindsey said that she did feel rushed after getting her packet but understands why it was late. She thinks we can all work together in a positive way and looks forward to the next two years.

Pete Allen Pete said that he would like to explain that in his running for Commissioner that he talked to a lot of people in Fort Scott. They are unhappy in the way our City is moving. He wants to explain how powerful these five people (Commissioners) are. They represent 7,500 people in Fort Scott. These people have made a statement by electing three new Commissioners. They want change and are unhappy with how things were done in the past. They want change for the better. He is looking at our run-down infrastructure. Susan Bancroft reported that we are in good financial shape, which is good, but at what cost. We have ignored our streets, our sewers, our water lines, and our storm sewers. These have all got to be improved upon before they collapse. We have sewer lines made out of clay tile that was put there in 1888 that are in danger of collapsing. We spent $300,000 this past year patching and fixing and trying to make our system work. We have to face the fact that we have 72 miles of run down, broken down lines. We must start fixing our sewer system. We cannot fix any streets until we fix our sewer and water lines. Our water lines are 140 years old and made from metal. We have health hazards with lines leaking. No one has stepped up and said these need to be fixed. We need to be part of history and say that we need to fix these water and sewer lines. We need to start this immediately. He has facts and figures on what it will cost. The President has worked out a plan for cities just like us. It is called the Water Infrastructure and Finance and Innovation Act. This is a plan where they provide funds for financing water and sewer lines and storm water systems. We need to be a part of this plan. We have necessary funds where we can start replacing lines. We are currently paying an out of town contractor a massive amount of money to come in here and replace sewer lines. We have at least three bondable contractors in town that could do this work. We need to replace these lines. We need to shop local and put our money in Fort Scott. Michael has two people to handle 72 miles of sewer lines. That just isn’t enough. We are throwing our money out of town. We can get a six-man crew and make this work. We should hire a superintendent that can oversee this crew. He thinks the people that voted should see change. 68% of the people that voted, voted for those candidates that ran for change. 15% of the people voted for doing the same old thing. Those candidates were good people, but the people wanted change. We need to fix what the citizens want.

He proposed that a work session be held next Tuesday at 6:00 and invite Michael Mix here and explain the sewer system as he knows it. He would like to get a sewer crew from Fort Scott going and keep the money local. This would probably take five to seven years. We don’t have time to waste.

City Manager mentioned that the whole Commission will need to be polled to see if they can make this date and time. City Clerk will poll the Commissioners.

Discussion was held regarding input from citizens at a work session.

City Attorney reminded the Commission that they cannot email each other due to K.O.M.A. violations.

Pete Allen made a motion to hold a work session next Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss water and sewer lines. Kevin Allen seconded. All voted aye.

APPROVED TO HOLD A WORK SESSION NEXT TUESDAY, JANUARY 14TH, 2020 AT 6:00 P.M. TO DISCUSS WATER AND SEWER LINES.

JoLynne Mitchell JoLynne welcomed the new Commissioners to the board. The voters did speak and they are looking forward to change. She and Randy and willing to work and listen to new ideas.

  1. City Manager:

  1. Dr. Burke – 109 S. Main Street – City Manager said that Dr. Burke will be opening an office at 109 S. Main Street and will be working for Via Christi. They have requested a handicapped parking spot and a parking spot with a ramp to get to the street. This would be a temporary ramp. The estimated cost is $250.00. Within a year, they will either be in a building or another location.

Chad Brown said that it will be a concrete ramp.

Lindsey Watts moved to approve for Public Works to construct a handicapped ramp and a parking spot with a ramp in front of 109 S. Main. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.

APPROVED TO HAVE PUBLIC WORKS CONSTRUCT A HANDICAPPED RAMP AND A PARKING SPOT WITH A RAMP IN FRONT OF 109 SOUTH MAIN FOR DR. BURKE’S OFFICE.

  1. Spring Break – City Manager said that the USD #234 spring break will be held March 16th through the 20th. He asked for approval to move the City Commission meeting to March 24th, 2020 for that meeting due to Spring Break.

Kevin Allen made a motion to move the March 17th meeting to March 24th, 2020 due to Spring Break. Lindsey Watts seconded. All voted aye.

APPROVED TO MOVE THE MARCH 17TH MEETING TO MARCH 24TH, 2020 DUE TO SPRING BREAK.

  1. Training Session – City Manager informed the Commission that a training session will be held in the near future on K.O.M.A. and K.O.R.A. laws. Diane will check dates with you after the City Attorney gives us some dates. This will probably be held on a Saturday morning.

  1. Additional information – City Manager confirmed that he will be researching microphones, facebook live, and what occurred 15 years ago with Kevin Allen’s residency. He will bring back options at the next meeting.

Lindsay Madison remarked that the City of Pittsburg has a You Tube channel. You might check with them.

ADJOURNMENT:

Kevin Allen moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:39 p.m. Lindsey Watts seconded. All voted aye.

ADJOURNED MEETING AT 7:39 P.M.

The next regularly scheduled meeting is to be held on January 21st, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

RECORDED BY:

DIANE K. CLAY

CITY CLERK

Fort Scott City Commission Agenda Jan. 21

AGENDA

FORT SCOTT CITY COMMISSION

FORT SCOTT CITY HALL

COMMISSION ROOM

123 SOUTH MAIN

JANUARY 21, 2020

6:00 P.M.

I. ROLL CALL:

K. ALLEN P. ALLEN NICHOLS WATTS MITCHELL

II. FLAG SALUTE:

III. INVOCATION: Pastor Paul Rooks, Grace Baptist Tabernacle

IV. PROCLAMATIONS/RECOGNITIONS:

V. CONSENT AGENDA:

  1. Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of January 7th, 2020.

  1. Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1254-A totaling $805,509.03.

  1. Request to Pay #2 – Strukel Electric, Inc. – $125,107.65 (Electric Vault Building – Airport)

  1. Consideration of Pay Request #5 – Crossland Construction – River Intake Project – $242,379.46

VII. APPEARANCE/COMMENTS/PUBLIC HEARING:

  1. APPEARANCE: Don George, Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks

B. CITIZEN COMMENTS (Concerning Items Not on Agenda – 3 minute limit per citizen)

C. PUBLIC HEARINGS/COMMENTS: None

VIII. CONSIDERATION:

  1. Consideration of approval of final plat for the property more commonly known as 401 Woodland Hill Boulevard – Approval of Ordinance No. 3557

  1. Consideration of Contract with Suez Treatment Solutions for SCADA upgrades to the ozone system at the Water Treatment Plant

  1. Consideration of purchase of Composite Wastewater Sampler to obtain samples for K.D.H.E. and waive the bidding process

  1. Consideration to solicit bids for cleaning and repainting of aquatic center pool

  1. Consideration of Audit contract for 2019 with Diehl, Banwart & Bolton

IV. COMMENTS:

  1. Director Updates:
  1. Commission:
  1. City Manager:

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

I MOVE THAT THE CITY COMMISSION RECESS INTO EXECUTIVE

SESSION FOR ________________________________ IN ORDER TO

(see below justification)

DISCUSS ______________________________________. THE

EXECUTIVE SESSION WILL BE ___________ MINUTES AND THE OPEN

MEETING TO RESUME AT ________________.

Justifications for Executive Sessions:

  • Personnel matters of non-elected personnel

  • Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship

  • Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative or representatives of the body or agency

  • Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships

  • Preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property

IV. MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT: ROLL CALL

Bourbon County Commission Agenda for Jan. 21

Agenda

Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: January 21, 2020

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason

9:00-9:45 – Jim Harris

9:45-10:00 – Jess Milburn, JC Restoration re: front steps, windows

10:00-10:30 – Jody Hoener, Business Incubator Guidelines

12:00-1:30 – Lunch

1:30-2:00 – Polsinelli Law Firm

2:00-2:15 – Robert Leisure, EMS Update

2:45-3:00 – Courthouse Security

3:00-3:15 – Barb Peine

3:15-3:30 – Kim Simons, Wind Turbines

3:30-3:45 – Mike Wunderly, Wind Turbines in Bourbon County

Infrastructure Revitalization Begins In Fort Scott

Fort Scott Set to Embark on Infrastructure Revitalization Project

Fort Scott is set to begin construction on a city-wide infrastructure revitalization project that will provide upgraded and improved environments for visitors, city staff, and the community-at-large. Through this project, the city is partnering with Schneider Electric, a global energy leader, who has helped identify energy savings and facilities upgrade opportunities at the following city facilities:

·       Airport

·       Aquatic Center

·       Buck Run Community Center

·       City Hall

·       Davis Lift Station

 

·       Animal Shelter

·       Fire Station #2

·       Golf Course

·       Gunn Park

·       LaRoche Stadium

·       Memorial Hall

 

·       Public Safety (Fire/Police)

·       Public Works

·       Water Distribution

·       Water Production Plant

·       Wastewater Treatment

 

Citizens will notice a variety of improvements spread across multiple city facilities, parks and infrastructure. The budget-neutral project is being paid for through guaranteed energy, operational and maintenance savings over 20 years. The ability to leverage savings provides an opportunity to reinvest operating expenses back into needed capital improvements.

 

The energy-saving measures will provide funding for several city projects that have been unfunded in recent years. With a goal of anticipating and mitigating future needs, this strategic initiative also plans to reduce annual operating and maintenance costs that will create new revenue streams through improved city services and infrastructure.

 

Construction is slated to begin the first week of February and will continue through the fall of 2020. The first scope items to be installed will include energy-efficient lighting across multiple facilities The City and Schneider Electric will provide updates throughout the course of construction to the local community through monthly information sessions with the City Commission.

 

For more information on Schneider Electric, please visit www.enable.schneider-electric.com.

About Schneider Electric
At Schneider, we believe access to energy and digital is a basic human right. We empower all to do more with less, ensuring Life Is On everywhere, for everyone, at every moment. We provide energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability. We combine world-leading energy technologies, real-time automation, software and services into integrated solutions for Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries. We are committed to unleash the infinite possibilities of an open, global, innovative community that is passionate with our Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values. www.se.com

Sheriff Martin On Recent Raises in Bourbon County

Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin. Submitted photo.

Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin is unhappy with the raises of administrative county employees, he said. He would have preferred giving input into raises in his office, including the one given him by the Bourbon County Commissioners.

A raise for elected officials became effective Dec. 15, 2019, according, to Bourbon County Commission minutes. This raised the clerk and treasurer’s salary to $47,248 annually, the register of deeds to 44,821 and the sheriff’s salary to $60,000.

Martin said in his budget request he had asked for a three-percent raise for all his employees.

“I did not request that large amount” for the sheriff’s position, he said.

There were no across-the-board raises given by the commission.

Martin said he was not aware of any raises until he received an email from Bourbon County Clerk Kendall Mason on Dec. 18, 2019.

At no other time was any raise amount ever discussed with me by the commission, not for myself or any member of my staff,” Martin said. ” I attended several commission meetings where I questioned the commission on budget figures for 2020 and, as usual, I was not ever given any answers.  At no time after I submitted my 2020 budget did anyone on the commission engage myself or my jail administration in salary discussions.”

In 2015 Martin had paid for a wage comparison survey and presented it to that Bourbon County Commission because he wanted to bring the salaries of the county employees as a whole up to standard amounts.

He felt it fell on “deaf ears” at the time, he said. It was a different set of commissioners.

For the 2020 Sheriff’s Office budget he had requested a three percent raise for his employees.

Instead, Martin’s salary was raised from $45,000 to $60,000.

He contends that discussions with him and his staff would have been beneficial to the decision making process.

“I am never provided with verbal information or written information as to where the money is put, cut or moved to in the budgets,” Martin said. “My door is always open for any discussion.”

Martin has two salaried employees.

“One of the two fell below the new income guideline set by the Federal Wage Law and the US Department of Labor,” Martin said.  “A captain at the correctional center fell under this ‘salaried employee category’ and therefore is required by law to have a salary increase.  If this wage increase is not performed, this employee would be eligible for overtime.  I can assure you that increasing this wage is far less harmful than allowing this employee to request overtime hours for all the overtime he works.  I am still unaware if this salary increase has been added to the correctional center budget.  The commission was made aware of this federal law… several months ago.”

Martin said the responsibility of the sheriff’s office falls to him.

“I am the face and the buck stops with me, so to speak, but they are the men and women with their lives on the line every, single day and every single night.  Christmas, Easter, Monday through Sunday.   They sign up to make a difference in their community where they live. It’s nice to be thanked and appreciated and compensated to prove yourself worthy.”

 

“Top-Heavy”

The county has two many administrative positions, Martin said.

“Our county is now so top-heavy with administration that the people in the offices and on the road and doing the jobs are unable to receive any fair raises and are far from a competitive wage for the jobs they are doing,” Martin said. “Our county has a road and bridge supervisor that makes over $60,880 a year plus benefits.  This county has a part-time, county counselor who makes $64,000 a year for 25 hours a week and has a private practice on the side; this is in addition to the county attorney who makes $50,000 a year.  This county now pays (not attacking the person) an economic development director… $70,000 a year plus benefits. As of January 1, we have a sheriff making $60,000., a county clerk, making $47,248 a treasurer making that same amount and a register of deeds making $44,821…We have three county commissioners who make $21,416 (each) per year plus benefits, which is another $64,248 plus benefits in a year.”

” I have been requesting additional deputies every year since I have taken office and every year, I am told that there is no money to spend,  budgets are close, overspending and overtime are out of control,” Martin said. “Yet, we have almost $200,000 in salaries for administrative staff, who hold jobs that should be performed by our road and bridge director and crews, the elected county clerk, our elected county attorney, and our elected county commission.  $200,000 would pay for other staff raises, staff who are on the ground working.” 

“It would pay for a much-needed school resource officer for Uniontown Schools plus a courthouse security officer, which is mandated by the state,” he said.  “I cannot get anyone to understand that when you pay a deputy a $35,000 a year salary, you are better off to hire two more deputies on the force and reducing the $60,000 in overtime pay.  I am contending that if they would not have raised my pay $15,000, they could have very easily allowed me to hire one new deputy and they would have been ahead money.  Where did all this money come from and how do we put these jobs back in the hands of the people who were elected to do them and eliminate all the huge salaries that we are paying right now.”     

The sheriff’s office operates around the clock much like an ambulance service or hospital does, he said.   And some of his employees are struggling financially.

“People do a great job for great pay,” Martin said.  “People do a decent job for decent pay and proud people show up to work to draw a wage rather than go on welfare.  Some of my employees can claim state insurance benefits for their families and that is shameful to think that we cannot provide a wage above the poverty level… I also have other employees who work two and three jobs and I cannot control what my employees do outside their duty time… during my time as a deputy, I worked three jobs to provide for my family and pay my bills.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Governor applauds Congressional passage of USMCA

 

Citing its importance to Kansas exports and the state’s economy, Governor Laura Kelly and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam expressed praise today for Congressional passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

  

“This is an important and welcome development in Kansas, especially as our farmers and ranchers struggle to rebuild after an historic year of natural disasters,” Governor Kelly said. “With more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the United States, world markets offer tremendous growth opportunities for Kansas agriculture. USMCA will create enhanced export opportunities and help Kansans capitalize on the increased global demand for food and agriculture products.”

 

Secretary Beam also cited the positive impact for Kansas producers.

 

“This agreement is great news for Kansas, especially Kansas agriculture,” he said. “Mexico and Canada are consistently in the top three trade partners for Kansas so maintaining these strong relationships is critical for agricultural exports in the state.”

 

Canada and Mexico are Kansas’ first and third largest export markets for Kansas food and agricultural commodities, totaling nearly $1.58 billion in 2018 or 41.1% of our total trade.

 

USMCA is a significant development for Kansas farmers and ranchers. With a downturn in commodity prices, the agriculture sector is at a critical crossroads. The passage of USMCA provides Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses a degree of certainty during some uncertain times. It also instills confidence in the state’s top trade partners and neighbors that the U.S. can be counted on as reliable suppliers of food and agricultural commodities.

 

According to the office of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, under USMCA all food and agricultural products that have had zero tariffs under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will remain at zero tariffs. Since the original NAFTA did not eliminate all tariffs on agricultural trade between the United States and Canada, the USMCA will create new market access opportunities for United States exports to Canada of dairy, poultry, and eggs, and in exchange the United States will provide new access to Canada for some dairy, peanut, and a limited amount of sugar and sugar-containing products.

Fort Scott News