Category Archives: Bourbon County

Bo Co Commission Work Session Agenda for July 8



Bourbon County Courthouse

210 S. National Ave Fort Scott, KS 66701 Phone: 620-223-3800

Fax: 620-223-5832


Bourbon County, Kansas

Brandon Whisenhunt

1st District Commissioner

Jim Harris, Chairman

2nd District Commissioner

Clifton Beth

3rd District Commissioner



Bourbon County Commission Agenda 210 S. National Ave.

Fort Scott, KS 66701



There will be a budget work session on Monday, July 8, 2024 beginning at 4:00 p.m. in the County Commission Room. There is a possibility that all three Commissioners might be in attendance, however; no action will be taken.

Uniontown City Agenda for July 9

The Uniontown City Council will meet at 7 p.m. on July 9 at city hall.


___ Jess Ervin ___ Danea Esslinger ___ Amber Kelly ___ Mary Pemberton ___ Bradley Stewart

2024 Financials –

June 07-24 informational items








Charlene Bolinger – Financial reports

Schedule budget worksession – need to notify County Clerk by July 20 if intend to exceed RNR



  1. Minutes of June 11, 2024 Regular Council Meeting
  2. Treasurers Report, Monthly Transaction Report & Accounts Payables



Codes Enforcement:  Doug Coyan



Superintendent:  Bobby Rich

On vacation – still waiting on quotes for gas valve replacements



Clerk Report:  Sally Johnson  

Thank you to Union State Bank for Independence Day Bash

CCMFOA Institute Year 1

Repurposed Materials



Councilman Ervin –

Councilwoman Esslinger –

Councilman Kelly –

Councilwoman Pemberton –

Councilman Stewart–

Mayor Jurgensen –



Pickleball court project –


Warehouse refurbishing –


Streets –





ADJOURN Time ____________ Moved by ______________, 2nd ___________________, Approved ___________

Uniontown City Minutes of June 11

The Regular Council Meeting on June 11, 2024 at Uniontown City Hall, was called to order at 7:02PM by Mayor Jurgensen.  Council members present were Jess Ervin, Danea Esslinger, Amber Kelly, and Mary Pemberton.  Also in attendance for all or part of the meeting were City Treasurer Charlene Bolinger, City Superintendent Bobby Rich and City Clerk Sally Johnson.



Appoint City Clerk/Municipal Court Clerk, City Treasurer, Municipal Judge, Municipal prosecutor –


Motion by Ervin, Second by Kelly, Approved 4-0 to appoint Sally Johnson as City Clerk/Municipal Court Clerk, Charlene Bolinger as City Treasurer, Patricia Miklos as Municipal Judge, and Chase Vaughn as Municipal Prosecutor.


Oath of office was administered by Mayor Jurgensen for Sally Johnson and Charlene Bolinger.  Clerk Johnson will administer oath for Municipal Judge and Prosecutor by the next court date.


Designate official bank and newspaper –


Motion by Ervin, Second by Kelly, Approved 4-0 to designate the Union State Bank, Uniontown, as official bank and The Fort Scott Tribune as official newspaper







Treasurer Bolinger asked if they wanted an oral report on April and May; they opted for oral for May 2024 Treasurer’s Report.  April 2024 Treasurer’s written reports were presented.  Beginning Checking Account Balance for all funds was $248,941.39, Receipts $51,651.27, Transfers Out $12,776.00, Expenditures $25,058.15, Checking Account Closing Balance $262,758.51. Bank Statement Balance $264,895.81, including Checking Account Interest of $55.65, Outstanding Deposits $0, Outstanding Checks $2,137.30, Reconciled Balance $262,758.51.  Water Utilities Certificates of Deposit $37,385.86, Sewer Utilities Certificate of Deposit $21,376.69, Gas Utilities Certificates of Deposit $39,177.46, Total All Funds, including Certificates of Deposit $360,698.52. Year-to-Date Interest in Checking Acct is $283.42, and Utility CDs $841.17 for a Total Year-to-Date Interest of $1,124.59.  Also included the status of the Projects Checking Account for the month of May 2024, Beginning Balance $0, Receipts $4,311.86, Expenditures $4,311.86, Ending Balance $0.  May Transfers from Sewer Utility Fund to Sewer Revolving Loan $1,402.00, to Capital Improvement-Streets $250.00; from Water Utility Fund to GO Water Bond & Interest $1,624.00, to Capital Improvement-Streets $750.00; from Gas Utility Fund to Capital Improvement-Streets $6,250.00; from General Fund to Capital Improvement-Streets $2,500.00 for Total Transfers of $12,776.00.  Net Income for the month of May $13,817.12, Year-to-Date Net Income $27,279.31.  Budget vs Actual Water Fund YTD Revenue $46,034.81 (37.3%), Expenditures $56,155.73 (34.6%); Sewer Fund YTD Revenue $14,593.33 (39.5%), Expenditures $14,392.05 (34.2%); Gas Fund YTD Revenue $78,818.29 (53.8%), Expenditures $51,114.51 (28.8%); General Fund YTD Revenue $93,682.10 (57.1%), Expenditures $95,345.38 (47.1%); and Special Highway YTD Revenue $3,966.38 (54.6%), Expenditures $0 (0%).  The June 2024 payables to date in the amount of $13,031.25 were presented.  The invoices from KMGA, Homestead Tech, Phillips 66, and Ag Engineering have not been received by noon meeting day.



Motion by Ervin, Second by Esslinger, Approved 3-0, to approve amended Consent Agenda:

  • Minutes of May 14, 2024 Special Council Meeting, May 14, 2024 Regular Council Meeting and May 23, 2024 Special Council Meeting
  • April and May Treasurer’s Reports, Monthly Transaction Report & Accounts Payables



Codes Enforcement Officer Doug Coyan was absent.  Council received emailed reports.


City Superintendent Rich had nothing to report.


Clerk Johnson informed the Council the copier maintenance agreement renewal was received and is $25 higher.


Motion by Esslinger, Second by Kelly, Approved 4-0 to renew copier maintenance agreement with Modern Copy Systems


She also went over 2024 KMGA Regional Meetings, KMU Health Insurance Pooling Survey, and KDHE public meeting on implementation of the 2022 Kansas Water Plan.

The request for quotes for the weather siren preventive maintenance was discussed.



Councilman Ervin – nothing

Councilwoman Esslinger – nothing

Councilwoman Kelly – nothing

Councilwoman Pemberton – nothing

Councilman Stewart – absent

Mayor Jurgensen – FEMA/KDEM representatives were here on June 5th to do a preliminary assessment of flooding damages from the April 25-30 flooding event.  Bourbon County has met the threshold for disaster declaration.



Pickleball Court Placemaking Project – Mayor Jurgensen and Councilwoman Pemberton will run some chalk lines to determine the best location for the court, then Superintendent Rich can paint.  They will try to get project completed by July 3.


Warehouse project – Mayor Jurgensen is working on the specs for the project.  Statute 12-1739 Sale of Building was reviewed.  Clerk Johnson will follow-up with attorney on next steps of selling 402 Sherman to help fund refurbishing and have the county appraised value for next month.


Streets – Mayor Jurgensen is not having much luck communicating with Bettis regarding warranty work and possible future projects.  Funding avenues were discussed and consensus is to hold off on more resurfacing while building up funds for future projects.




Moved by Ervin, Second by Kelly, Approved 4-0, to adjourn at 7:27PM

Candidates for Bourbon County Sheriff on the August Primary Ballot

This is part of a series featuring the candidates who will appear on the August Primary Ballot in Bourbon County.

There are two candidates for sheriff.

Nelson Blythe

Nelson Blythe, 29, has approximately seven years of “very proactive law enforcement,” he said.

“The primary role of the Sheriff is to protect life, property rights and Amendment rights of the residents of Bourbon County,” he said.  “This includes protecting rights that are threatened by State or Federal authorities.”

“The most pressing issues should be to reign in the budget that has steadily been rising, work to bring in revenue by utilizing the jail, improve cooperation with the rest of the County officials and actively communicate with the public on progress in these areas all throughout the elected term, not just during election season.”

He is involved in the community work in law enforcement and commissioner work, he said. “I attend Gracelife Church for morning services and Bethel Community Church for evening services and  I’m also a member of The Fort Jiujitsu Club.”


Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin. Submitted photo.

Bill Martin,  58, is the current elected  Bourbon County Sheriff.

Martin sees the most pressing issue facing his office as:

“Maintaining staff and working with a limited budget to provide a professional service to the community,” he said.

The sheriff’s primary role is enforcing Federal and State laws; that do not interfere with both Kansas and U.S. Constitutions, he said.

His education:

  • National Sheriff’s Institute NSI: (Class 109th) Aurora, Colorado.
  • Executive Level Management Education and Training
  • Rural Executive Management Institute (R.E.M.I.) A management education/training program designed to prepare rural law enforcement executives for unique challenges. Session XLIV, St. Louis Missouri.
  • FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (FBI-LEEDA)
  • Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC)
  • Basic Non-Commissioned Leadership Course (BNOC)
  • 2020 Professional Development and Leadership Academy
  • Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLETC)
  • Kansas Sheriff’s Academy (KLETC)
  • Kansas City Missouri Police Department Regional Training Center, 122nd class

His experience (34 years)

  • Bourbon County Sheriff (current)
  • S. Army (Active Service)
  • Kansas National Guard (Military Police)
  • Kansas City Missouri Police Dept.
  • Pittsburg (Kansas) Police Dept.
  • Fort Scott Police Dept.

He has been involved in the community in the following ways:

  • Federal and State (public safety) Grant Program Reviewer/Elevator
  • Homeland Security Council Representative for Bourbon County, Kansas
  • Kansas Peace Officer Association, District 8 Board of Governor, seated member.
  • Quest Speaker for the International Chief of Police Association, body-cam presentation, San Deigo, Ca. Aug 2023
  • Fort Scott Community College Foundation Board
  • Fort Scott Community College Criminal Justice Advisory Board
  • Ali-Kemp Women’s Self-Defense T.A.K.E program training
  • Special Olympics Golf Tournament Sponsor
  • Fort Scott Men’s Kiwanis, Vice-President
  • Fort Scott Presbyterian Seated Session member, building and grounds committee member.
  • Substitute Teacher: Uniontown School District 235
  • Boys Scout Pack 0114 Charter Organization Representative (Fort Scott)
  • Good Neighbor Action Team, (GNAT) member













195th Street, South of Hackberry Road Will Be Closed Starting July 8

Bourbon County Public Works will be closing 195th Street approximately ½ mile south of Hackberry for culvert replacement’s starting Monday, July 8th.  The road will be closed daily to ALL traffic from 8 am to 5pm until the projects are completed.  If you have any questions, please contact Bourbon County Public Works at (620) 223-3800 ext. 193.  Thank You for your cooperation during this time of inconvenience!!!
Becky Robertson
Bourbon County Public Works

Events for Independence Day 2024 Celebrations Are Gearing Up

Horton Street will be lined with spectators for the fireworks display on July 6 which is scheduled for 9:45 p.m.

It’s that time of year again, the mid-point of summer, the time when local gardens are producing abundant food and Fourth of July activities begin.

Firework sales in Fort Scott started on June 27 and end on July 4, according to Fort Scott Police Chief Jason Pickert.

“Fireworks can be discharged within the city limits from June 27th to July 2nd from 7 am to 10 pm. On July 3rd and 4th, they can be discharged from 7 am to midnight. Shooting fireworks outside of these dates could result in being ticketed and fined,” he said.

Pickert provided a list of where fireworks cannot be discharged.

  • Within one thousand feet of a hospital.
  • Within fifty feet of a location where fireworks are sold.
  • Within one hundred feet from any gas pump, filling station or bulk fuel storage facility.
  • Any community college campus or surrounding grounds.
  • Bourbon County Fairgrounds.
  • Any city-owned parks
  • And on from 18th Street to 23rd Street during the city’s fireworks display.

“The city fireworks display will still be held at the college campus,” Pickert said.   “As in years past, parking will be allowed on Horton. It can get congested so if you are driving through the area go slow and look for pedestrians.”

Uniontown’s Independence Day Bash-July 3

Fireworks over the Union State Bank, Uniontown, 2019. Submitted by Amy Holt.

Union State Bank is sponsoring the 19th Annual Independence Day Bash on Wednesday, July 3rd in the Uniontown City Park.

“The bank employees plan the event and will hand out free hotdogs, chips and water beginning at 7 pm that evening,” said Amy Holt, Loan Administration Vice President.

“Live music will also begin at 7 pm with the band Neighborhood Radio from La Cygne, Kansas performing,” she said.  “As in years past we will have Inflatable jump houses and The Selfie Bar for people to enjoy.”

Food trucks will be available to serve carnival food and ice cream for purchase.

“We are open for any organizations or clubs looking for a fundraiser opportunity to set up in the park as well,” she saidl  Contact Amy Holt during business hours at 620-756-4305 or by email at [email protected] if  interested.

Fireworks will begin at dusk after 9:30 pm. Personal fireworks are discouraged near the event as a safety precaution.

Neighborhood 4th Of July Parade on Burke Street

The Burke Street Parade in 2020. Margaret and Merl Humphrey and granddaughter Meg Norman. Submitted photo.

An annual neighborhood parade on Fort Scott’s “Tower Hill,” better known as Burke Street on the Fourth of July will begin at 10 a.m. at 10th and Burke Street. The whole town is invited to wear patriotic clothing and enjoy the parade.

Fort Scott  Fireworks Event

Fireworks will be at FSCC once again but will be on July 6 this year, in conjunction with a rodeo at the Bourbon County Fairgrounds.

The community is invited to enjoy the rodeo then view the fireworks.

City Manager Brad Matkin and Bourbon County Fair Board Member Stewart Gulager had discussions in April to have the fireworks be in conjunction with the International Professional Rodeo Assn.  The event is also co-approved by the American Cowboy Assn.

“The rodeo is July 5 and 6, Friday and Saturday night, starting at 8 p.m. each evening,” Gulager said. “I asked if he could do the fireworks at the end of the last performance.”

Tickets are $17 at the gate for adults, $10 for kids 6-10 years old and free for kids five and under. A beer garden is available.

At the rodeo, there will be mutton busting and a calf scramble for the youth and nine events for cowboys and cowgirls involving roping, riding, racing, and wrestling rodeo animals.

Photo submitted by Josh Jones.

The fireworks will be shot off from the Fort Scott Community College softball field on the west side of the campus.

Premier Pyrotechnics, Richland, MO, will have a shooting crew, said Shaunn Pytlowany a licensed shooter and operator.

“There will be a 360-degree viewing angle,” he said, with the height over 150 feet in the air.

Submitted by Shaunn Pytlowany.





The Bourbon County Commission Minutes of June 24

June 24, 2024                                                              Monday, 5:30 p.m.




The Board of Bourbon County Commissioners met in open session with all three Commissioners and the County Clerk present.



Clint Walker, Nathan Fawson, Bonnie Smith, Kyle Parks, Sheena Parks, Jean Tucker, Rachel Walker, CJ Robison, Leroy Kruger, Bo Casper, Bill Fiscus, Deb Martin, Katie Casper, Mary Pemberton, Tiana McElroy, Anne Dare, Patty Ropp, Mike Wunderly, Jason Silvers, Marty Dewitt, Jan Seested, Deb McCoy, Josh Jones, Sparky Schroder, Pete Owenby, and Kathy Brennon were present for some or all of the meeting.



Jim opened the meeting with the flag salute.



Clifton made a motion to approve the consent agenda which includes approval of minutes from 6-17-2024. Brandon seconded the motion and all approved.



Kyle Parks introduced himself and stated he and his wife have lived in Bourbon County for the last 40 years and this is where he chose to raise his family and he would like to see them stay here. Mr. Parks said he taught agriculture education and FFA for 38 years and his moto was “what is best for kids” and thinks that the moto “what is best for Bourbon County” needs to be used. Mr. Parks said he has strong feelings on solar and can see both sides of it and  feels Bourbon County is a pretty county and that the US can’t keep losing ag ground. Mr. Parks said that money shouldn’t be the top priority and that being good neighbors and friends should be better. Mr. Parks also said he doesn’t see the ground going back into ag production after solar panels and urged people to think of the future generations and not just now. Mr. Parks thinks we should work together where it is not intruding on people’s view or property.



Sage Hall said there are multiple ways to create energy for electricity such as geothermal, methane from landfills, boilers, sound waves, and burning waste that do not include taking ag land. Mr. Hall read an article outlining a solar development where the landowner thought he would be able to graze sheep under the panels but the original company he signed with sold his contract to a developer who brought in rock and eliminated the ability to graze sheep. Mr. Hall said that the contract was sold to a foreign company who was merely fined for violating the contact but there are several instances of liens being placed against the property when the companies fail to pay contractors and that this owner had to hire an attorney. Mr. Hall said that liens being placed against the property is common and happened in Allen County with their windmill projects. Mr. Hall said he is worried for his kids’ safety at the current setback of 25 feet.



CJ Robison said she and her husband Charles are elected precinct delegates for Marmaton Township who attended a Republican party meeting last Thursday where those present conducted a vote of no confidence against Commissioners Beth and Harris. CJ stated this vote was due to the complete violation of the Code of Conduct for elected and appointed officials of Bourbon County per Resolution 22-20, Code of Conduct, Bourbon County, Kansas dated June 30, 2020. CJ said the vote passed 29-0 with 8 individuals abstaining. CJ said if there are any questions, please attend the next meeting which will be held on July 18 at the fairgrounds.



Nathan Fawson, CEO of SEK Mental Health Center and Ashley Clinic, presented the 2025 budget request along with Joe Springer and board members Jeff Fischer and Marty Dewitt. Mr. Fawson said the SEK Mental Health Center was founded in the early 1960s and receives funding from the county to give care to those who cannot afford to pay. Services provided by SEKMHC include 24/7 crisis intervention, outpatient psychiatry, therapy, chemical abuse counseling and education, case management, parent support, psychosocial skill development groups, and supported employment and housing. Service enhancements include Telehealth treatment options e.g., Zoom and/or telephonic across all services to improve treatment access. Mr. Fawson said in the last few years their clinic achieved CCBHC certification and was one of the first six out of 26 clinics in the state to achieve this. Mr. Fawson said they have partnered with the Ashley Clinic out of Neosho County and now offer an integrated health focus for the whole body not just mental health. Recently the SEKMHC in Bourbon County relocated to the hospital building where the CHC clinic was located and their therapy services are now offered there. Mr. Fawson stated he was encouraged by Freeman’s news and working with KRI with their services. THE SEKMHC is requesting $95,963 in support for 2025 and those dollars will serve those who do not have the ability to pay.



Bill Fiscus, CEO of Tri-Valley Developmental Services, requested the same amount of $55,000 for their 2025 budget. Mr. Fiscus staid that Tri-Valley is committed to the ideal that people have a right to be active within their community and their mission is to offer a wide range of service choices and provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to achieve the quality of community life they seek. Mr. Fiscus said Tri-Valley provides day habilitation and residential habilitation as well as case management services. In Bourbon County there are 35 individuals served in day habilitation, 25 in residential habilitation, 45 in case management, 10 on a waiting list, and they have 43 employees. Mr. Fiscus said the longest wait list in Bourbon County is nine years and that state legislature passed funding to help 500 individuals in the state on waiting

lists but that the total number of people on the waiting list is 5300.



Kathy Brennon, Executive Director, and Stacy Dickerhoof, Associate Director, of the Southeast Kansas Area Agency on Aging outlined some of the services their agency offers to residents in Bourbon County. Kathy stated they receive state and federal funding in addition to the funds from the county and that last year $125,000 was spent in Bourbon County which helped provide 65 people receive 60+ Nutrition Services, 33 people received Older American Act or Senior Care Act Services, 105 people receive assistance with Medicare under SHICK (Seniors Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas), and 80 people received Farmer Market vouchers. Kathy said she appreciates the money for meal preparation being sent directly to them now and that 16,634 meals were provided in Bourbon County last year. Kathy stated they are limited in what they can do but they try to help keep residents in their homes longer. Kathy said they are requesting the same amount of $24,150 as last year.



Jarred Pollock, Chairman of the Bourbon County Conservation District, presented their budget request of $40,000 for 2025. Mr. Pollock said they receive funds from the state based upon how much they receive from the county and they provide a hub for FSA, NRCS, and Parks and Wildlife who go through Mandy Shoemaker who is their District Manager. Mr. Pollock stated that all 105 counties in Kansas have a conservation district. Mr. Pollock said there are 74 contracts for EQIP with NRCS and 3000 acres enrolled with FSA. Mr. Pollock said they work hard to bring tax money back to Bourbon County with a total payment to landowners of $436,470.29 in 2023 which based upon their $40,000 budget every dollar of the budget has a return investment going back into Bourbon County of 11 to 1. Mr. Pollock said they provide education and outreach and that Mandy holds a Conservation Day in Gunn Park where 200 fourth grade students attend to learn about conservation.



Vance Eden, Superintendent of US 235, stated he applied for a grant earlier this year and approached the Commissioners to see about the County contributing money for a match. Mr. Eden said they have the opportunity to receive money from that agency and do not want to turn away the grant, however; they will not be able to make it work with just district funds so he is asking for a decision so he can move forward with their project. Jim said he has been told the money received is a contribution not PILOT funds. Jim said he would commit to using $50,000 for four years and Brandon asked if that would get USD 235 their ag building with the grant funds. Vance said it would be up to their board but would be a stretch. Jim made a motion to provide USD 235 $50,000 of energy money in 2025 for four years for a total of $200,000 if the money comes in like we think its supposed to. Clifton asked if it is from Hinton Creek? It was clarified that yes; it would be the Hinton Creek NextEra project funds. Brandon seconded the motion and all approved.



Eric Bailey, Public Works Director, and Dustin Hall, Assistant Public Works Director, met with the Commissioners regarding a truck that was totaled. Eric said they heard from insurance last week and will receive $129,658.33 as a settlement. Brandon made a motion to get rid of the totaled truck and take the money insurance is offering. Clifton seconded the motion and all approved. Eric said they were contacted today about a 2017 Mack with 162,576 miles and the company is asking $125,995. A two-year extended warranty was offered for $11,000 that would cover the engine, transmission, and DEF system. Dustin said they would like to be approved for $140,000 in case there are other little things added and would use the insurance money and some from the equipment fund. Brandon made a motion to purchase the truck with the insurance money and the extra from the equipment fund. Clifton seconded the motion and all approved. Eric said the bridge at 160th and Fern will have 60 yards of concrete poured tomorrow for the base, they stated on Eagle Road today, and they are still working on storm clean up as quickly as they can.



Susan Walker, CFO, said they talked last fall of the State Employee Health Plan which will have a rate increase in July of $87,000. Susan said the county can pick up the increase or pass it on to employees. Clifton said if it is budgeted the to pay it and that is his motion. Jim seconded the motion and all approved. Susan asked for a 5-minute executive session for nonelected personnel. Clifton made a motion to go into a 5-minute executive session under KSA 75-4319(b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy to include the three Commissioners and Susan Walker and will return at 6:22. Brandon seconded the motion and all approved. Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 6:22 with no action. Brandon seconded the motion and all approved. Susan asked for another 5-minute executive session for proprietary discussion. Clifton made a motion to go into a 5-minute executive session under KSA 75-4319(b)(4) to discuss data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trust and individual proprietorships to include the three Commissioners and Susan Walker and will return at 6:29. Brandon seconded the motion and all approved. Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 6:29 with no action. Brandon seconded the motion and all approved.



Jennifer Hawkins, County Clerk, presented a fireworks permit for Cathy Ramirez Fireworks at 840 N. Main Street in Mapleton. Jim asked why the county is approving permits and Jennifer said it is due to a resolution that was passed in 1991. It was questioned if the city of Mapleton should approve the permit and determined they would not be holding a meeting until after the fireworks stand would be opened. Brandon made a motion to sign the fireworks permit for Cathy Ramirez. Clifton seconded the motion and all approved.



Jim requested amending the agenda for an executive session to open the solar panel committee letters under non-elected personnel justification and it was discussed with the County Counselor to determine if that was the correct justification. Brandon made a motion to amend the agenda to hold an executive session. Clifton seconded the motion. Brandon made a motion to go into executive session under KSA 75-4319(b)(2) for consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship which will include the three Commissioners and County Counselor Meeks and return at 6:44. Clifton seconded the motion and all approved. Clifton made a motion to resume normal session with no action but rescinded that motion and made a motion to resume normal session with action at 6:44. Brandon seconded the motion and all approved.



Jim stated they reviewed the letters and he was going to have Brandon talk since the solar projects are in District 1. Brandon said out of the nine letters received they chose seven individuals who are: Samuel Tran, Sparky Schroeder, Jean Tucker, Else Moss, Bo Casper, Jon Eden, and Vance Eden. Brandon stated there is a combination of individuals who are for, against, and neutral regarding solar. Jim said going forward the committee should setup a meeting date, assign a chairman and co-chairman and have meetings. Kyle Parks asked what the purpose of the committee is. Jim said it is to review information and work on setbacks and report to the Commission. Mr. Parks then asked if there was no precedence for a vote and if solar here is a done deal? Jim said the signed contracts are a done deal and we have no zoning to say they can’t come here. It was questioned what the setbacks are in the other contracts that have been signed. Jim said they don’t have signed contracts except with Hinton Creek because the solar companies don’t have to meet with them. Bo Casper asked if they were going to have high fences around the solar projects. Brandon said some solar farms have high fences and some just have barbwire fences and he is unsure of what will be in Bourbon County. Jim asked how many millions of acres were the federal government paying people not to farm and said it was 23,000,000 acres of private land for CRP. Kyle Parks said the land in CRP is subpar land and Tim Emerson stated there is a difference between CRP and solar. Michael Hoyt asked if the solar panel committee will fall under KOMA and Justin stated yes. Mary Pemberton asked if the committee is only working on setbacks or zoning as well. Jim said to have setbacks you have to have some form of zoning and referred to a special use permit. Clifton said it would cost 2-3 mills to have zoning. Jean Tucker asked if all the solar panel committee members were present tonight and asked if the committee would meet tonight to decide when to meet. Brandon said not all committee members were present and he would call them all and be the middleman for the committee. Clifton suggested to Brandon to set a date then step back.



Clifton said we don’t have a magic wand and can’t break the law and take rights away after the fact and stated that is inverse condemnation. Clifton said solar companies are here and contracts are signed. Clifton said there are natural gas wells on properties to heat homes and he thinks we should tax it but we can’t go back after the fact and tax them now.  Clifton said taking away rights is Communism. Clifton said he wasn’t at the Republican Party meeting and not one representative from the Party called him and he thinks that is disrespectful. Jim said he is disappointed that 29 people voted against him but there are 14,000 people in Bourbon County. Sage Hall said he wished the solar was discussed and feels the public should have been notified because now they will be right next to his house and that everything was done under secrecy. Katie Casper agreed and stated the Hinton Creek project contracts were signed and nobody knew about it until that night. Jim said everybody coming back week after week and beating us up has to discontinue because we’re trying to conduct county business. Sage Hall said he doesn’t know who else to talk to. Jim said if it is personal private matter to go to his personal lawyer.  Jim said he would like to see a poll of how many people want zoning and then it could be put on the ballot and let people vote. Katie Casper said when they submitted a petition to the County Counselor for approval, they were told that you cannot put a zoning question on the ballot it must be by resolution. Jim said if we’re convinced, we can put it on the ballot. Clifton said the zoning couldn’t just target solar. Sage Hall asked if agriculture would be zoned and Jim said no, they would list it out in a book approved by a committee then the zoning committee would approve permits. Pete Owenby asked if the solar panel committee comes back with a recommendation of 1200 meters as a setback would you follow it? Jim said he would take their information and consider it. Pete said it feels like you intentionally violated our rights by signing without talking to us as property owners. Jim said we can ask for PILOT money from the companies but they don’t have to come to us. Jim stated he hopes the committee gets together soon and said Brandon will be involved. Larry Martin asked if any Commissioners have benefitted by signing these contracts? All three Commissioners said no. Katie Casper asked if they would get a written rebuttal from the attorney as requested and Jim said Justin is working on it.



Brandon made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:20. Clifton seconded the motion and all approved.





___________________, Chairman


ATTEST:                                                                                                    ___________________, Commissioner


Jennifer Hawkins, Bourbon County Clerk

7-1-2024                                 Approved Date



Amended Agenda For the Bourbon County Commission on July 1



Bourbon County Courthouse

210 S. National Ave Fort Scott, KS 66701 Phone: 620-223-3800

Fax: 620-223-5832









Bourbon County, Kansas

Brandon Whisenhunt

1st District Commissioner

Jim Harris, Chairman

2nd District Commissioner

Clifton Beth

3rd District Commissioner



Bourbon County Commission Agenda 210 S. National Ave.

Fort Scott, KS 66701


July 1, 2024 5:30 p.m.


  1. Call Meeting to Order
  2. Flag Salute
  • Approval of Consent Agenda
    1. Approval of Minutes from 6/24/2024
    2. Approval of Payroll Totaling $291,826.40
    3. Approval of Accounts Payable Totaling $553,347.94
  1. Public Comments
  2. Department Updates
    1. Public Works
  3. Executive Session KSA 75-4319 (b)(1)
  • Commission Comments
  • Adjourn Meeting



Executive Session Justifications:


KSA 75-4319 (b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy.

KSA 75-4319 (b)(2) for consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the

attorney-client relationship.

KSA 75-4319 (b)(3) to discuss matters relating to employer/employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the

representative(s) of               the body or agency.

KSA 75-4319 (b)(4) to discuss data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trust and individual     proprietorships

KSA 75-4319 (b)(6) for the preliminary discussion of the acquisition of real property.

KSA 75-4319 (b)(12) to discuss matters relating to the security measures, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting

would jeopardize such security measures.


Candidates for Bourbon County Commission on the August Ballot

This is a series featuring those who are candidates for the upcoming August Primary Election.

This is part of the series featuring the seven candidates running for Bourbon County Commission.

Jim Harris, 2nd District Bourbon County Commissioner, and current chair.

Jim Harris, 69, Fort Scott, is the incumbent District 2 Commissioner.

He attended Fort Scott High School and Fort Scott Community College.

Harris has 34 years of experience in government. Duties with the city: planning and zoning administrator, codes director, and special public projects.  With the county: sanitary inspector, emergency preparedness director, and public works director.

He has been married 52 years. “I have two wonderful sons and a daughter-in-law, and two grandsons one at Fort Scott Community College and one grandson is a Fort Scott Tiger.”

“Having served both the City of Fort Scott and the County for most of my professional life, I’ve witnessed firsthand the profound impact of commissioners’ decisions on every aspect of our county’s functioning,” he said.  “From my tenure in various managerial capacities within the city to my time with the county’s Public Works department, I have cultivated a deep understanding of our community’s needs and challenges.”

The most pressing issue of the commission? In these challenging times, with significant projects and economic intricacies at play, it’s vital to prioritize sound fiscal stewardship and resolute leadership. I assure the constituents of District 2 that I’ll continue to serve them with the same dedication and determination that has marked my time in office thus far.”

Brandon Whisenhunt, Submitted photo.
Brandon Whisenhunt has lived in Mapleton with his wife Becky for over 24 years and they have four children.  He was recently selected to replace Nelson Blythe as District 1 Commissioner.
He graduated from Uniontown High School and then served the country and was deployed to Iraq twice as an equipment operator and mechanic.
As part of community service, he helps organize the Mapleton Homecoming Celebration every year.
  “I currently work for WM in Kansas City, Kansas as a trash truck technician,” he said.
“I believe the role of government is to protect the citizens and be a good steward of the tax dollars,” he said.   “As District 1 Commissioner we have many things going on,  first is the solar panel companies we have to find a good solution for those.”
“Second, is fighting Pikes Reservoir.  No one wants it, so we need to do what we can to move it somewhere else in the county,” he said.
Clifton Beth, incumbent District 3 Commissioner, did not respond to the questions sent via email.
Clinton Walker, running for District 1 Commissioner, could not be reached for an interview.


Starlite FCE Minutes June 2024



Starlite FCE held its June meeting at the Presbyterian Village Community Room.  Twelve members and five guests were in attendance.  President Glenda Miller opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and led the group in the Club Collect.  The members reported that they had volunteered thirty hours and had recycled one hundred and ninety pounds.


Donna Strickland shared with the club the replicas of the flags that have flown over the United States which she had made.  Glenda Miller presented the history of each flag while Taylor Bailey displayed them.


Glenda also recognized Birthdays for June and July, which were Joyce Allen, Doris Ericson, Betty Johnson Bernita Hill and Jackie Warren.  The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.   Doris Ericson presented the Treasurer’s report, Deb Lust moved we accept the Treasurer’s report, Claudia Wheeler seconded, motion carried.  Glenda reminded the Club that the State Meeting will be October 7-9 in Chanute this year.


Karen Peery passed out Operation Christmas Child boxes and Glenda handed out a list of items that can be placed in the boxes.  We will be collecting the boxes at our October meeting.


Glenda also announced that she had placed a Tri-fold display at Hedge Hog Inc. about Flags, which is on display in their History Room.  Plans for the Clubs entries in the Hay Bale and Scarecrow contest were discussed as well as sign-up sheets to help at the fair were passed around.


Joyce Allen moved the meeting be adjourned, Doris Ericson seconded the motion, meeting adjourned.


Glenda Miller presented the lesson on Citizenship after the meeting.  She reminded us that one set of rules apply to all and that we the people make the rules through our elected officials.  A good citizen takes action and votes.  We must be informed to make a discission.  She also informed us on proper flag etiquette then Myra Jowers and Deb Lust preformed the Flag folding ceremony


Refreshments of Red White and Blue Pie, Fruit Pizza, nuts, chocolates and water were provided by Letha Johnson and LeAnna Taylor and enjoyed by all.


Prepared by

Terri Williams