Bourbon County Commission Minutes of Nov. 23

November 23, 2021                              Tuesday at 9 am

 

The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with Lynne, Jim, Clifton, the County Counselor, and the County Clerk.

Clifton made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting, Jim seconded, all approved.

 

Eric reported no permits.  Overburden at Thomas quarry should have an area cleared off by the end of the week, get the blast scheduled and get to moving forward with that.

 

The bridge on Eagle Mr. Fry reported.  It’s eroded about a five-gallon bucket hole completely underneath it.  Then on the outlet side as well so we’ll get some formal fill since it’s self leveling in underneath there and try and get it packed back up.

 

I got new hires going through M Shaw training and we’ll finish up today and then we’ll do site specific tomorrow and have those guys up to date on their paperwork.

Windmills, they worked one day last week on reclaiming then off for the holidays so not much to report there.

 

Eric stated that Jody Hoener is here with Prairie Pathways in regard to signs they would like to put up in the county.

 

Jody stated we have Thrive Allen County here, John Leahy and John Castella.  We are part of the Prairie Pathways committee.  It’s comprised of the Healthy Bourbon County action team, Live Well Crawford County and Thrive Allen County.  This is a project we’ve been working on for a couple years now that was originally funded by the Sunflower Foundation to put together the plan and then we received some Blue

Cross Blue Shield Pathways dollars to purchase and have some signs.  The Thrive Allen County received a CDRR grant that was awarded to them to purchase the

signs and so, as Jim knows, we were able to purchase the post to hold up the signs.  We’ve gone around to all of the incorporated cities that this bike path would be going through and it has been widely accepted and we’re pretty excited about moving forward with this proposed trail.  John Castella presented a small brief packet of

exactly what we’ve been presenting to some of the other towns within Bourbon County.  I work with Thrive Allen County as an Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator.

We’ve been working with Healthy Bourbon County action team as well as Live Well Crawford County on the first rule active transportation plan in the state known as the Prairie Pathways.  This was formerly known as the ABC Trails plan.  The Prairie Pathways plan was approved by all three counties in January of 2019.  As I mentioned before, this is the first rural active transportation plan in Kansas.  The funding for the signs comes from Blue Cross Blue Shield Pathways Housing HP Cat and the Sunflower Foundation.  The three routes include Fort Scott to Iola, Iola to Pittsburg and Pittsburg back to Fort Scott.  Today we want to give you a quick update, like Jody mentioned, we’ve currently attended Fort Scott, Uniontown and Bronson city council meetings and received approval of sign placements within city limits.  On the Allen County side, we are finalizing approvement of sign placement and then the third all signs that will be placed in Bourbon County have been dropped off at the Bourbon County Public Works.  The route from Fort Scott to Iola.  On county property there

are 16 signs that we’re asking for not including in city limits of Uniontown, Bronson or Fort Scott.  There is an example on page five of what we presented to Bronson.  We showed them the three locations what would be within what we saw as the city limits

or where sign plans of sign placements would need to be and then page six, we show the route within the city limits and then page seven through eight is essentially kind of giving them more of an idea of where we imagine the best place for the signs to be put up.  John Leahy is here to answer any questions that you have about the Prairie Pathways.  Lynne stated we went through this process for a few times when it first started and it was the initial plans to do the Spark Bike Route two or three years ago.

Crawford County was involved in it at that time also.  We talked about the old Jefferson Highway and coming down Maple Road through Bronson so we’re very familiar with it.  I think it’s a good deal.

 

Jody stated the trail would be just across the street from our office and it will go straight through on old 54 to Uniontown.  Uniontown will kind of be like the center area of the of the whole Prairie Pathways because then from Uniontown it will go to Crawford County.  Then from Uniontown it will go all the way up to Bronson.  It will go straight through Bronson’s downtown up through the side street from new 54.  It’ll go up it’s like almost a gravel road that goes up to Allen County and connects at Iola’s square.  Eric asked if you are asking us to put all the signs up even in Bronson and in Fort Scott or just those in Bourbon County?  It was verified that it would be just those in Bourbon County.   Clifton made a motion to allow Public Works to put Prairie Pathways bike route signs in the 16 locations specified.  Jim seconded.  All approved.

 

Bill Martin asked that the agenda be amended to allow for the contractors who are the bidders regarding the HVAC system.  Bill asked them to be here at 10 o’clock.  If there were contractors that needed to be in person to do their presentation and do any explanation that they needed to do.  Jim made a motion to amend the agenda to

Move the sheriff and the HVAC bid till 10 o’clock.  Clifton seconded.  All approved.

 

 

Jim made a motion to amend the agenda for Kelly Sartorius, National Heritage Area to 10:30 to make sure that she’s here from Kansas City.  Clifton seconded.  All approved.  Jim stated I’m concerned that because I’m a new commissioner about a year or so ago I was a Public Works Director and I watched the commissioners hold meetings with most of you same folks that at that time was against wind farms, of course, and wind farms did affect your neighbors, but it was about private property rights.  So, I’m confused a little bit.  I guess today we’re talking about protecting people’s property rights.  A year ago, we weren’t, but Deb Martin answered that it did affect the neighbor, which was a good answer, but what we’re talking about today could affect the neighbors as well.  Deb stated we’re dealing with taxpayer money though and wind turbines are taxpayer subsidized.  They do not work without taxpayer subsidies.  Warren Buffett even said that.  We had a neighbor that pointed their fingers at us other neighbors and said you know that we didn’t have any problem with towers for cell phones and all and that’s apples to oranges whenever you’re talking about a wind turbine.  Look how big they are they are a power plant and that even a landowner has

signed a contract to have the turbine on their property that is their business, but that wind turbine also affects the neighbors.  Jim stated this is a hypothetical question but sitting here I have to ask these kinds of questions.  If I was to meet KDHE rules for 3,000 hogs, my property is my property it’s going to affect the neighbors but if I meet the requirement.  How do we keep addressing property rights and not address the neighbor’s property?  Deb Martin stated taxpayer money.  Jim asked so as long as it’s not taxpayer money it’s okay?  Deb responded if my taxes are not having to pay for that yes.   Jim asked so you would have been okay with the wind farms if no tax money involved.   Deb answered no because those wind turbines are a power plant, and it just doesn’t take one you can have a wind turbine you can have a windmill on your own property for your own production and stuff but those don’t just operate on one they operate on a whole bunch of like we got 70.

 

 

Clifton stated this the same as what you guys brought last time.  A resolution opposing the proposed Kansas Nebraska National Heritage Area.  First off, I’m not opposed to National Heritage Areas.  I asked one of the people in this room if they had read the bills the law the actual law and they said no.  I’m not sure how anybody can come to me griping if they haven’t read the law.  Senate bill 1942 that hasn’t passed yet but probably will pass.  You’re not opted into anything, and you don’t have to opt out of anything because you’re not in anything.  It is an arbitrary boundary set in 2004 or 2006.  It’s a grant pass-through that’s all it is.  Regardless there are laws in place

especially for ours.  1942, as my understanding, brings all National Heritage Areas under the same law in congress, which is a good thing.  Because there are some out there that probably potentially infringe on people’s rights ours does not in any way shape or form.  I’m going to read this property owners and regulatory protections this is 1942.  This is not ours.  Nothing in this act abridges any right of a public or private property owner including the right to refrain from participating in any plan project

program or activity conducted within a National Heritage Area.  Therefore, you don’t have to opt out of anything because you’re not in anything.  Donna Banwart stated when I wrote the letter to Jim Ogle, he opted me out.  So why did he help me out if I didn’t have to opt out. Clifton stated he didn’t know.  I’m just telling you what the law is.  Clifton continued reading requires any property owner to permit public access to a property modifies any provision of federal state tribal or local law with respect to

public access or use of private land alters any applicable land use regulation yet land lease plan regulatory federal state local agency tribal government or conveys to any

local coordinating entity any land use or other regular authority authorizes to implies observation or appropriation of water rights.  They can’t affect water rights.  Diminishes the authority of a state to manage fish and wildlife meaning the state still has their authority to do what they want with fish and wildlife.  Creates or affects any liability under any other provision or law or private owner with respect to any person injured or private property.  Therefore, if someone happens to get on your land because they were at the Fort, because it’s in the National Heritage Area, my understanding is, if you own the ground next to it and somebody accidently stumbles over there, you’re not liable because they were supposed to be in the National Heritage Area.  That’s 1942 and then it goes on, there’s plenty of other stuff in there

about how it works with tribes.  House Bill 1049 that was passed by overwhelming majority in the 116th congress in 2019.  Basically, says the same thing only it adds above it that the National Heritage Area this is the one that ours is under can’t own any private property and then it goes on the rights of any property owners.  They’re

going to take this and put it in 1942.  So, there is no private property rights being infringed upon with National Heritage Areas.  Clifton also stated that we’re dealing with private property rights and you want me to infringe, in my opinion, on somebody in North Central Kansas and Nebraska.  I have no right to say I oppose; it’s not my land.  I’m a little offended that anybody would question my thought process on private property rights anyway.  I’ve stated more than once my feelings on private property.   It is your property and you can do with it as you please.  There is nothing in National Heritage Areas that says otherwise.  30 by 30 it’s a different deal.

 

 

Justin Meeks stated I was contacted by Noble Health about two weeks ago with

regards to the snow removal contract and the mowing contract at the hospital.

Noble wanted to have us go ahead and bid those out so that we could get them an assignment within that contract so that we can have those done for them if and when they take over the hospital.  So that’s why those bids went out.  They do want us to take care of that if we can.  There could be a month, two months, three months lag

time.  We want to make sure that those are in place for them if and when that happens.  Let’s talk about what we could internally do.  The reason that they want that done is that if and when that happens it’s seamless.  They don’t have to go out and put their own bids out.  Jim stated he would rather do it internal.  We have a lot of snow moving equipment.  Justin stated that you could refuse the bids.  We have

the option to look at them and see what you want to do on that day.  You don’t have to sign a contract with them on that day.  Clifton stated we have two trucks out there

that’s ours that has snowplows on them.  Clifton made a motion for ten minutes need an executive session under KSA 75 4319 b3 to discuss matters relating to employer employee negotiations whether or not consultation with the representatives of the body or agency to deal with employee negotiations with the Appraiser’s office including three commissioners, county counselor Meeks and Matt Quick.  We will return here at 9:40 and there could possibly be action.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  Clifton made a motion to resume normal session 9:41 with action.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  Clifton stated the action will be as soon as we get a

resolution number.  Clifton made a motion for resolution 32-21 Bourbon County Kansas now on this 30th day of November 2021 on the board of county commissioners of Bourbon County Kansas where the board of county commissioners present KSA 1944-30.  This is a contract for our Bourbon County Appraiser Matt Quick, it will start January 1st, 2022.  Jim seconded.  All approved.

 

Clifton made a motion for executive session KSA 75 4319 b3 to discuss matters related to employer employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the

representatives of the body or agency include the three commissioners and Susan Bancroft.  To discuss employee employer negotiations related to the Director of our Finance for seven minutes.  We will return here at 9:52. Jim seconded.  All approved.

Clifton made a motion to return to normal session at 9:52. Jim seconded.  All approved.

 

Bill stated the letter that was sent out in regard to the HVAC bidding system was the time was set on or before on or around 10 o’clock a.m. todays date so I think we have fulfilled that reasonably to meet that time frame.  I don’t know if you guys want to make a motion to go into discussing the bid process of the HVAC system.  That’s going

to be a question for your county counselor to address that.  Once the discussion’s done then it’s closed and we move on so if you want to go down that road that’s fine if not we can look forward.  Justin stated I think the KSA the only one that can let out a bid is the commissioners on a building of that kind.  I don’t know if we need to republish

to have the bids done for the HVAC system.  Do the commission make a motion to let the bids out.  Bill stated I’m the one who did the bid process to make sure that it was done.  I sent out both certified letters to let everybody know what’s going.  I also set

the date and the time for everybody.  Lynne stated, you think we should go through

legislative policy?  Justin stated I think there’s a statute that’s like right on point.  Clifton stated Susan handed me the statute 19-215 same notice of letting contracts bids the board of county commissioners show before awarding any contract for any

such improvement publish notice of the letting in some newspaper printed in the

county if there be no such newspaper in the county said board shell cause written

or printed notice to be posted at least five conspicuous places in the county for the same length of time which notice shall specify with reasonable minuteness the character of the improvement contemplated, the time and place at which contract

will be awarded and invite sealed proposals for the same such other notice may also be given as the board may deem necessary or proper.  Bill stated that has been done.  It’s also been listed in the Tribune; it’s also been listed on the Fort Scott Biz.  Justin stated this is an issue of protecting the bidder. Bill’s always on the up and up.  He’s always doing the right thing, but in this case, I think he’d want to flow through Ashley so there’s no question.  That’s why I think they have the commissioners do it so that it separates everybody from any potential conflicts or anything like that.  I think that’s why the legislators did that, in my opinion, so that an elected official or another director could let a bid in the commission or the public. Theoretically, wouldn’t know about it so I think that’s why that statute is the way it is.  Bill stated but it’s not addressed towards the commissioners it’s addressed to the Bourbon County Sheriff’s office.  Lynne stated I would entertain the motion then if that’s what were broken in by council.  Justin stated I’m just saying follow the statute.  I don’t think there’s a statute that lets an elected official let a bid out.  You can go out and get cars, but that this is a county-owned building and we talked about this years ago about changing our bidding process.  Jim was the director then it turned into slightly a problem because there are times when the Sheriff might want new cars or you need a new engine asap.  We know that other municipalities do their bidding completely different, but because of our elected officials and our directors and the amount of time on task and money things like that it causes a problem.  Jim stated I do have a question.  Bill told us a couple weeks ago he’s going to do this I wonder why we didn’t tell him then.  I should have known because when I bid equipment it always came to the commission.  Justin stated I think you have to follow statute.  Clifton stated according to the statute theoretically I mean according to statute we can’t accept these anyway.  I guess the fact of the matter is the building should still be under warranty.  I’m personally not going to vote to pay any money to anybody to fix something that the warranty should cover.  Lynne asked, have you had a chance to talk to Mr. Ross.  Clifton stated no.  Jim asked, have we had a chance to dig up any warranty papers. I have not seen any. Lynne stated I have Susan working on them.

 

Susan gave an update on the SRO.  We had applied for a grant over at the city for

an SRO position and on that paperwork that I had figured the calculations there’s 162 contact days with students for SRO officers and so we equated that to be about $35,000 a year that the school district would need to pay and with benefits and insurance and all of that it’s about $54,000 for an officer.  So that kind of gives you an idea.  Lynne asked if that included vehicle, too?  Susan stated that did not include a vehicle.  We didn’t do the vehicle when we figured it.  Jim stated so if the county wanted to participate it would be half of that number.  Susan stated is that something

that the city could contribute half of that as well?  Jim asked how’s it any different at Uniontown.  Lynne stated Uniontown is not contributing a cent to it.  Bill stated theirs is based on a grant.  Lynne stated the matter would be put on next week agenda.  Susan asked if they would like to see the contract that the city has from the previous

one that they have.  Lynne asked can we get both contracts?  Susan stated we don’t have one for this because we didn’t get the grant.  Susan stated we can get that for the one we have for Uniontown.  I can bring that and then also bring the contract the city has currently with the school district.

 

Kelly Sartorius from National Heritage Areas stated, I am not a Bourbon County

Resident, but I do want to start out with the fact that I am 10th generation Cedar

County Missouri.  I am very familiar with agriculture and rural us.  The first thing I want to say is that I recognize that the reason that people are concerned about 30 by 30, which we are not 30 by 30.  I understand why people are concerned because the issues with private property and agriculture and the federal government are not new and i really do understand it because our family farm is under Stockton Lake.  My father’s 80. He’s still mad about it.  He went into agricultural land use law

and agricultural economics because he was so frustrated with what happened to

them in Cedar County.  That’s the area he went into so I have been around

this world for a long time and I just want to speak from that perspective.  I do

understand the concern about it and if somebody came through with the information that I know you all have seen I would be doing my due diligence right along with everyone because private property is important and I think the reason you’ll find that

Freedom’s Frontier is different and not the same as the other heritage areas you may have heard about.  We were created 15 years ago which is why we’re not buying 30 by 30 because that’s brand new but 15 years ago and we were created with Farm Bureau involvement with Governor Hayden, Governor Graves we were created with Senator Roberts.  For whatever anybody thinks about Senator Roberts I think we all know he

puts farmers and ranchers’ interest at the top of his list.  Within every county that we

connect with in Kansas we did work directly with the county commissions and the other individuals, and I can’t speak a ton to your organizing here because I didn’t know

until Thanksgiving weekend that I was coming.  I didn’t have a chance to go up to the office and pull everything out but if you do have questions Connie Banwart was involved from the very beginning so she may have some information about that that I don’t have.  I joined because I was excited about having the opportunity to

be a historian and be in my own home territory.  My uncle would plow the field

and plow up civil war bullets regularly.  I can even remember when I was seven telling my father that my uncle was a terrible farmer because he left trees in the middle of the field.  The trees were the civil war graves and they just worked around them.  I was psyched to be a part of Freedom’s Frontier.  I’m actually now on the staff.

I really believe in the importance of local history.  If we don’t tell our own history from our local places the history that gets told does not necessarily represent the areas that we are from.  In referring to a packet Kelly provided some sections of our authorizing legislation so that is part of the current statute and behind that for your County Attorney.  There is the full entire statute so that if you want to look at how all that comes together and I think that part of the misunderstanding that’s happened is that people made some assumptions that our heritage area was structured in a

way that did not attend to agricultural land use.  No one in Freedom’s Frontier is actually a partner unless you have already written us a letter or filled out a form.

We do have a boundary of 41 counties.  It’s not a formal boundary it is an economic development area that has historical importance to the country overall and it’s because of the civil war and pioneering.  This idea that you’ve already been opted in is not accurate and you’ll find that in our authorizing legislation it specifically says

that you have to have agreed in writing to be a partner and that you can retract your agreement if you change your mind.  If you have a piece of property that has an old school on it, and you would like to have that be recognized by Freedom’s Frontier.  We do a lot of promotion that’s most of our activity is either professional development for museum directors grants or a lot of it is promotion because people aren’t going to know about your small schoolhouse or the graves or these different pieces unless we tell them because people from outside of Kansas and Missouri just aren’t that familiar with us.  If you join with us and 10 minutes later and say I hate this, you can send us a letter back that says I want out and we automatically would pull you out.  The property owner actually has all of the agency in Freedom’s Frontier Heritage Area and it was created that way because 15 years ago we worked closely with the farming community to make sure that we got it right.  We are the template for national bipartisan support because ours was done so well.  We protect water rights.  We protect all private property rights.  We are not allowed to interfere with any local

law, local zoning, any state law, or any federal law.  We are specifically prohibited from that.  Our heritage areas started in 1984 and they were started by Ronald Reagan and the reason that President Reagan started them was because he loved the

economic development that came with a national park and he loved the recognition of the history, but he hated the private property issues.  He did not think anyone should have to take private property to recognize history and to build the economic development.  Ronald Reagan starts it is specifically the republican alternative

to national parks.  Freedom’s Frontier was signed into law under President George W Bush and I think it’s really important to recognize that there are 55 heritage areas in the country.  The last six that were approved nationally were approved by President Donald Trump.  I think we can see the difference between heritage areas and 30 by 30.  When you really start to look closely at the law and what’s required you see that the kinds of protections that I think some people have suggested might not be there are actually there.  I did a little bit of research on my own when I started working with Freedom’s Frontier because I wouldn’t be a part of this if I thought it was taking anyone’s private property rights.  You are in an economic development region so instead of thinking of like all this land in this border think of us as a set of spots

on a map so all national parks are part of us as well, but we are not a national park so

in Bourbon County we have the Gordon Parks Museum, we have the Fort and the cemetery.  If you go across the state line into Vernon County, it’s the Bushwacker

Museum.  If you go up to Osceola it’s the burning of Osceola the county historical

Area.  It is not the whole county you have.  You have the opportunity to join if you want to by writing the letter or filling out the form, but you are not a part of it unless you have done that otherwise you just live in the economic development region.  That’s the kind of economic development and recognition of our history that we do and we actually have a new app.  You can click on a tour and if you’re interested in civil war, it’ll show you all the civil war places.  We’re getting ready to start a new tour that’s going to be all about outlaws because we have Jesse James farm, we have Wyatt Earp that was in Barton County on the Missouri side.  We all know Bonnie and Clyde and we had the Dalton Gang down in Southeast Kansas.   I know there’s been some questions about zoning.  I did look into what happened in Lyon County.  Lyon County actually requested to become a member of Freedom’s Frontier.  Their county commission has actually requested that.  The question about barbed wire that the county contracted with a firm out of Oregon to do a comprehensive plan and they got it back and it had this barbed wire thing in it.  It never made it past the zoning/planning committee nor did it make it to the commission because everybody looked at it and went that didn’t work for us.  It never actually got passed.  It didn’t get repealed it didn’t even get really considered it just went out the window.  I think that the commissioners there, who I’d encourage you to call if you have questions about it.  I think they would say that maybe they would have chosen a different firm had they known they were going to put that in there.  I’m glad to answer any questions.  There was discussion and clarification between the public and Kelly.  Concerns from the public regarding property rights.  Each commissioner stated that they will vehemently support private property owners rights and will not support the government coming in arbitrarily taking private property away from landowners.

 

Justin stated Ashley and I talked yesterday about the longevity pay.  I know the last fiscal year it was given out when there was a motion and I believe a vote on that. We were thinking that it might have been for both years.  I know that Commissioner

Harris talked about it being for this fiscal year.  Ashley did check, she did her due

Diligence. I don’t think there was for fiscal year 2021. Just to cover it to be safe and for Ashley’s sake, I’d say make another motion and vote on it.  I don’t know how big that motion was.  I know there was some banter about someone that stopped and started and I think that precedence has already been set.  I think if someone has worked here three years, took two years off, came back and worked another three years I think that that’s five instead of three.  Jim made the motion for the commission to approve a longevity pay as we did in 2020 following the same guidelines.  Clifton seconded.  All approved.

 

Jim asked to talk with Bill Martin regarding trains.  Jim asked Bill, can you do anything about the trains blocking Jayhawk Road for an hour and a half.  Bill stated no.  Jim asked Bill in their state statute does it state they can block it so many minutes and they got to move?  Bill stated several years ago the same topic or discussion was brought up.  There were several individuals and this was the area of the Hammond crossing.  Burlington Northern came down had a meeting which can be looked up and discussed by federal statute that’s federal property and I can’t enforce federal law states does not supersede federal.  That’s where the issue came.  One of the issues or discussion was why is it taking so long is because people are now using trains more. There are more tracks, there’s more trains, there’s more products being pushed and so it’s difficult.  There’s no leeway.  That was discussed several years ago and I’ll have to look that up.  We can contact them and we even got phone numbers from Burlington Northern so we could say hey, you know you have a train here just in case.  Supposedly what they’re supposed to do is that they’re going to be there for a

certain amount of time they’re supposed to break the train.

 

Clifton made a motion that all three commissioners can meet at the Empress Event Center at 12 noon today for a meeting with the city commissioners that is open to the public.  It will not be viewed on YouTube because there is no way to do that there.  Of course, we will not be making any decisions while we were there.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  Lynne clarified this is a work session with the city commission.

 

Justin discussed 13 acres south of the landfill that they are considering buying from the city.  He provided a map for clarification of area.  The city owns and the deed

to the city was done in 1972.  They’ve owned it continuously since then.  The 512

licensing is through the county and has been continuously since the 80s.  1986 is as

far back as we can go so, we’re actually monitoring this.   If the city wanted to use this for C & D they’d have to get their own 512.  Eric and I figured around $4,500 an acre.  Jim stated that if they did a stand-alone, they have to be 50-foot from property lines.  They have to have six to one slope and now we’re cutting their property in half here right now.  If you figure that they can only go 10 feet high where we’re 20 feet high and they’re about 65,000-ton capacity total.  Now they come off our property they can maintain that 20 feet and do away with that north boundary.  That’s got the potential 134,000 ton.  Justin stated Jim you are the only person throughout here that was in that meeting with the prior city manager or city business manager and we had a long conversation about taxes and when I had this conversation in the past everyone in the county pays the county tax.  This is one of those things where we really want to help the city clean up their city.  It’s just a matter of equity making sure that because we’re going to meet probably the dirt the bulldozer depreciation on equipment.  I think there is a number that’s magical that can make it so everyone wins.  It’s just a matter of what that is and what everyone’s comfortable with because we want to help the city get this stuff in there but we can’t do 100 houses for free because it’s not free.  Jim stated there is a cost.  C & D is not free.  You’ve got the dirt, you got to load the dirt, you got to haul the dirt, you got to cover the dirt.  It’s a big expense.  Justin stated I want to do this in open session too based off of what happened with the finance director I don’t know I wasn’t in that executive session but I’ve been on this path with commissioner O’harah for a long time.  I’m always working more than what I bill.  It’s been consistent with that I’ve never sent in an additional bill since I’ve been here.  There is some tax sale stuff that has been on the books.  I’d like to maintain that for my one staff member that I couldn’t do the tax sale without but I’m asking for a reduction in my salary for next year and the reason I’m bringing that up now is it gives you guys some help with some additional staff.  Having Rob Harrington and Susan being part of the county’s team is something that we’ve been working on for a long time.  I’m really grateful for it.  I think Lynne knows this and I think Jim knows this too is that in my time I was kind of a de facto business administrator on some levels.  I was doing economic development.  Obviously, we had an economic development director but even prior to that and even during that time

there was always something going on with those functions.  I’d really like to be your county counselor.  I don’t want to have to be put in a position again where maybe I’m a witness.  Which has happened on a couple of occasions too.  I’m really grateful for

the commission and looking what it looks like five ten years from now.  I think that there’s a lot of really exciting things happening.  I think with Susan and Rob being part of the county team that great things are in the county’s future and the city’s future.  I know that reduction is only going to be 15 hours a week my same 75 dollars an hour.  Which is well below the market rate, but it works out to be about $58,500. I’m just

asking for the one-year contract like I always do and we can terminate it at any time.  I chose this job.  I don’t live in Bourbon County to get rich.  I can go someplace else to do that and I don’t want to do that.  This is my home.  If you guys are cool with that, I’ll get that ready for January 1.  I’m also going to include the $12,000 that I’ve gotten for the tax sale.  We’re going to have three sales next year.  Once again, our collections are way up.  Patty’s office has done a wonderful job too.  We’ve worked really well together as a team.   Lora Holdridge, Patty Love and myself I feel like we’ve done a good job of trying to collect.  We’re all part of Bourbon County, we don’t want to like make someone homeless we’re going to work really hard on trying to

help them.  Lynne stated one of the things they did talk about on the collections is making sure that the letters went out to these people that told them that they were

getting close to having their property sold.  Justin stated we’ll send out demand letters. I talked to Patty the week before Thanksgiving and we’re going to get the next batch soon so I can get those demand letters out.  Going back to my job function; 15 hours a week.  I’ll be coming to the commission meetings, working on the tax sale and then dealing with Susan with any issues that might be legal.  Hopefully cut the witness part out.  I won’t be dealing with HR issues; I won’t be dealing with budget issues.  So that’s my request and with your permission I’ll get that contract done for next week.  If something happens again where we get another big project that there’s a hundred dollar an hour in there I would absolutely come to the commission before I ever would take that election.  The issues with the hospital; those contracts we were very involved with the transfer from Entity One to us.  We’re not going to be as involved if it does happen.  I’m hoping to have all that prepared by their legal counsel.  Then we’ll review it.  That’s my request.  Jim stated I do have one other thing that maybe we should consider I don’t know your opinions since we requested

that we re-bid the roof or whatever at the sheriff’s department we’d probably need

a point person.  I would work with Bill and Clifton or Shane.  Clifton stated actually we’re not vending it.  We’re looking at the warranty.  Justin stated new administration, new rule of order in my opinion.   I would give your Finance Director that task and then if the Finance Director has an issue that deals with legalese the Finance Director would talk to me about that legalese and then we would come back to the commission and make a report because what we’ve done with our commissioners too is we’ve made them witnesses.  Jim stated our Finance Director might not understand that 34 feet of conduit has been installed incorrectly.  She might not know the facts that we need to change or go under warning and repair.  Justin stated that she could meet with the Sheriff, she could meet with Shane or Kevin Ross and hopefully resolve that issue. Lynne stated that he has already turned all the files over to Susan on the project which has all the contracts, all the specs and everything.

 

Anne Dare stated one more thing my heart is just to protect the residents of Bourbon County as much as possible.  She presented a resolution to the commissioners regarding landowner rights.  The commissioners stated this was a better option than the previous one presented.  Clifton pointed out that if they sign a resolution protecting landowner rights it would prevent zoning of any kind in Bourbon County.

 

Jim made a motion to adjourn.  Clifton seconded.

 

Meeting adjourned at 11:22 am.

 

THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS

(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman

(ss) Jim Harris, Commissioner

(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner

ATTEST:

Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Clerk

December 7, 2021, Approved Date

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