County revamps employee evaluations

At today’s County Commissioners’ meeting, Commission Chairman Allen Warren, Commissioner Barbara Albright and Commissioner Harold Coleman discussed with Terri Johnson, County Attorney, the format and content of the new evaluation forms being generated by each county department. Johnson suggested that the county have one, general form for assessing employee performance. Albright remarked that the job duties of a road grader differ greatly from those of a legalist in the county attorney’s office, for example. Johnson pointed out that having criteria on the evaluation that is job-specific would not solve the problem of a supervisor being unable to assess employee work properly.

In addition, commissioners and Johnson signed final resolutions for the sale of bonds to purchase the Courthouse Annex building.

“We had one bid come in, “ said County Attorney Terri Johnson. Comissioners passed Resolution 18-13 to approve the sale of bonds, which Johnson explained “authorizes the issuance sale and delivery of the general obligation bonds, series 2013 involving the $190,000.” Commissioner Albright moved to accept the bid from Citizens Bank at an annual interest rate of 2.95%, and Commissioner Coleman seconded.

Johnson explained that one of the things that is required when the county issues general obligation bonds is to appoint a bond compliance officer. Kendell Mason had been recommended for this position. Comissioners also passed resolution 19-13, which authorized compliance procedures and approved Mason for the position of bond compliance officer. According to Johnson, her duties will involve making sure the building is still being used under the tax-exempt purpose for which it was purchased. Johnson said of the time it would take to repay the bonds, “This is a ten-year payoff.”

In other business:

  • Bourbon County has hired Wallace Maples as the new caretaker for Elm Creek Lake. Albright mentioned that Maples is interested not only in being caretaker, but also in preserving the buildings at the lake.
  • Kerry Hafner or Allied Business Solutions, LLC attended the meeting to offer his company’s services to the county. The company audits communications-related expenses and works with carriers to lower costs for organizations. Hafner said there is no up-front cost, but that the company takes 50% of the savings generated by their work as payment for a period of 24-48 months. Commission Chairman Warren told Hafner that the county would follow up with the company in 2-3 weeks.
  • John Green with the SEK Area Agency on Aging attended the meeting in order to present recent statistics concerning the number of elderly in Southeast Kansas, and to request the county’s financial support for the upcoming year. Green said that the precedent was set for the county to give $2,000 to support the agency. Green highlighted issues pertaining to population shift away from Southeast Kansas and toward Sedgwick County and other surrounding areas. Green said that this population shift causes reduced funding for the elderly in the area, but that the number of elderly residents in need remains constant. Green also mentioned that costs for assisting the elderly are higher in rural areas when transportation costs for services are considered.

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