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Minutes

Kansas Association of Counties

Governing Board Meeting

December 18, 2003

KAC Meeting Room

6206 SW 9th Terrace

Topeka, Ks

 

President Wade Dixon called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. and extended a welcome to all new board members.  

 

Board members present were as follows:

 

Lonie Addis, Labette County Commissioner

Mike Billinger, Ellis County Treasurer

Rod Broberg, Saline County Appraiser

Joe Brunk, Sedgwick County Noxious Weed Director

John Calhoon, Atchison County Sheriff

Wade Dixon, Greeley County Counselor

Ted Ensley, Shawnee County Commissioner

Eileen Filbert, Jefferson County Health Department Administrator

Frances Garcia, Reno County Commissioner

Dean Kruse, Norton County Commissioner

Gene Merry, Coffey County Commissioner

Paula Phillips, Douglas County Emergency Management Director

Kathy Peckman, Miami County Clerk

Ron Sitts, Edwards County Public Works Director

Florence Whitebread, Geary County Commissioner

 

Board members absent were as follows:

 

Jerry Davis, Finney County Commissioner

Linda Fincham, Marshall County Register of Deeds

Others present:

 

Randall Allen, KAC Executive Director

Marla Flentje, KAC Education Director

Judy Moler, KAC Legislative Services Director/General Counsel

Carolyn McGinn, Sedgwick County Commissioner (incoming board member)

Gary Post, Lyon County Appraiser (incoming board member)

 

Mary Messamore, Sherman County Communications Director (incoming board member)

Nick Saldan, Johnson County Deputy County Counselor (incoming board member)

John Miller, Norton County Commissioner (incoming board member)       

Dennis Peterson, Riley County Noxious Weed Director (incoming board member)

 

Approval of the Consent Agenda

 

Kathy Peckman requested a date correction to last month’s minutes.  Paula Phillips moved to approve the agenda with the correction and the addition of a discussion led by Ron Sitts and the NACo report.  Francis Garcia seconded; motion carried.

·         Approval of Minutes – November 23, 2003

·         Approval of bills and payrolls as reviewed by the Finance Committee

·         Approval of six requests for annual conference refunds, and rejection of two requests

 

Monthly Financial Report:  Mike Billinger moved to approve the Monthly Financial Report (including Cash Receipts and Disbursements and the Budget Status Report) for September, 2003. Ron Sitts seconded; motion carried.

 

Ron Sitts asked for the Board’s consideration of 7,000 acres of county land owned by the City of Hays that is being sold to the State of Kansas for water.  The Board asked for a written request and more information from the Board of Edwards County Commissioners.

 

The 2004 KAC budget was discussed.  Many items have been reduced. The Kansas County Government Institute (KCGI), umbrella for education programs will be restructured in 2004.  Two staff positions will be phased out with the Education Director position ending in February 29, 2004 and the Administrative Assistant position in Wichita ending May 31, 2004.  KAC will enter into a contract with Marla Flentje to continue most, yet not all, of her current responsibilities from March 2, 2004 forward.  Duties of the Administrative Assistant position in the Wichita office will be transferred to the Topeka office after May 31, 2004 and assigned to existing part-time staff.  This will ensure continuity, but at a reduced cost.  The Wichita office will then be closed on May 31, 2004 and all equipment moved to Topeka and either used or stored for future use.  Marla advised that this is a very amiable agreement and she stated that she would continue the programs already in progress.  There are no KAC membership fee increases in this budget.  Gene Merry moved to approve the 2004 KAC budget.  Paula Phillips seconded; motion carried.

 

28th Annual Conference 2003: Many items were discussed including lower turnout (which was expected), the very limited number of evaluation surveys turned in, the keynote speakers and the awards banquet.  The Treasurers Association was very upset that they were not allowed to give their annual award at the banquet while the Kansas Consulting Engineers Association presented its awards (Kansas Public Improvement Award).  After much discussion, the Board decided to revisit this discussion prior to the next annual conference.

 

President Wade Dixon gave his thanks to the Board for allowing him the Presidency this last year.  He recognized the friendships and fellowships of fellow officers, including outgoing officers.  His parting comments were that all of us should continue to anticipate and manage change; all government is local and should not be based on decisions as much as follow-through; and that service has value and that the opportunity to serve is our responsibility.

 

At this point the outgoing KAC Board members introduced their new KAC Board representatives (successors):

 

·         Dean Kruse, Norton County Commissioner, introduced John Miller, Norton County Commissioner (NW Region)

·         Joe Brunk, Sedgwick County Weed Director, introduced Dennis Peterson, Riley County Weed Director

·         Paula Phillips, Douglas County Emergency Management Director, introduced Mary Messamore, Sherman County Emergency Management Director

·         Frances Garcia, Reno County Commissioner, introduced Carolyn McGinn, Sedgwick County Commissioner, (SC Region)

 

 

·         Wade Dixon, Greeley County Counselor, introduced Nicholas Saldan, Deputy Johnson County Counselor (Wade remains on the board as Past President)

·         Rodney Broberg, Saline County Appraiser, introduced Gary Post, Lyon County Appraiser

 

Gene Merry, Nominating Committee Chairman, recommended the following Board members as officers for KAC on behalf of the Nominating Committee: Ted Ensley, Shawnee County Commissioner, President; Kathy Peckman, Miami County Clerk, Vice President; Carolyn McGinn, Sedgwick County Commissioner, Secretary; Mike Billinger, Ellis County Treasurer, Treasurer.  Ron Sitts moved that nominations cease and that the Nominating Committee recommendation be accepted.  Mary Messamore seconded; motion carried.

 

President Ted Ensley gave his thanks to Wade Dixon for serving as President this past year and welcomed all new KAC Board members.  President Ensley stated that his platform is ‘we, not I”.

 

Wade Dixon moved, seconded by Florence Whitebread, to accept the following dates for KAC Board meetings in 2004:

 

·         Friday, January 23               Topeka

·         Tuesday, February 10          Topeka (County Government Day)

·         Friday, March 19                 Topeka

·         Friday, April 23                   Topeka

·         Friday, June 25                    Geary County (Junction City)

·         Friday, August 13                Topeka

·         Friday, October 8                Lyon County (Emporia)

·         Sunday, November 21          Overland Park (Annual Conference)

·         Thursday and Friday,

December 9-10                   Topeka (Joint meeting with the LKM Board)

 

President Ensley then appointed Linda Fincham, Gene Merry, John Miller, and Wade Dixon to the Finance Committee with Mike Billinger (as Treasurer) ex officio as stated by in the Bylaws.

 

Gene Merry briefed the Board on the status of updating the KAC’s Strategic Plan. He urged board members to review the Strategic Plan as presented in the board packets and then to email Mary Bloomer at Coffey County with comments and suggestions so the Board can review and adopt the Plan at the January 23, 2004 meeting.

 

Lonie Addis moved to authorize the KAC Legal Counsel (Judy Moler) to file an amicus curie brief in the case of the City of Topeka, Kansas vs. Board of Shawnee County Commissioners et. al. since this is a direct infringement on home rule authority. As per the protocol established by the Board of the Kansas Association of Counties, the request first went to the County Counselors Association of Kansas for its recommendation.  The CCAK’s Board of Governors recommended that the KAC file such a brief addressing the question of the uniformity of K.S.A. 12-741 et. seq. and the ability of the county to charter out of the statute. Ron Sitts seconded; motion carried.

 

Lonie Addis reported that the KAC web site now has a direct link to NACo.

 

Staff Reports.  Marla distributed copies of evaluation summaries from recent KCGI workshops sponsored by the KAC.  She also distributed a copy of findings from a recent survey of education program participants, in which we invited feedback about how we can make our programs better and our customer service better. Suggestions will be incorporated in 2004 workshop offerings and administration. 

 

Judy Moler briefed the board on recent discussions with the Kansas Press Association, Association of Broadcasters, and various public interest groups like the KAC concerning the sunset of some 400+ exemptions in the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA). She apprised the board of a recent meeting of interested groups at the Press Association’s office, from which the idea of mediation or process facilitation emerged. This would be in lieu of an immediate legislative remedy. 

 

Randall distributed copies of a draft professional services agreement between the KAC and Marla J. Flentje for Flentje to function as a contractor in overseeing the Kansas County Government Institute, umbrella entity for the KAC’s education program. This would be in lieu of Flentje serving as an employee of the Association. Allen indicated that consideration and action on the proposed agreement would be requested at the January 23, 2004 board meeting. 

 

Randall distributed a summary of discussions at the annual conference on the subject of County – Health and Human Services agencies relationships and collaboration. He indicated that he had recently attended a HHS subcabinet meeting.  Allen indicated that state HHS agency personnel are ready and willing to attend some of the county spring regional or district meetings in March and April, 2004 and county officials need only invite state officials to attend. He also indicated that 30-45 minutes would be reserved at County Government Day on February 10 for a HHS secretary to report on his/her agency and to engage in some dialogue with the audience.

 

Allen briefed the board on a change to the State’s mileage rate (from $.33 to $.36/mile, effective July 1, 2003), which prompts a change in the KAC’s mileage reimbursement which is indexed to the state rate.  Adjustment checks will be processed soon and mailed to persons/agencies who traveled between July 1 and December 31, 2003.

 

The KAC Executive Director has been asked by the five urban counties to convene a meeting in early 2004 of the chairs of the five urban county boards (Sedgwick, Shawnee, Wyandotte, Johnson, and Douglas). This is in direct follow-up to a meeting of officials from the five urban counties at the recent KAC Annual Conference. 

 

Allen indicated that the KAC staff had requested copies of 2004 budgets and 2003 mill levy rate sheets from county clerks across the state.  The documents are needed for two purposes: 1) to allow computation of 2004 member dues (based on population and assessed valuation); and 2) to enable research of budgets and tax levies in the process of developing testimony for the 2004 legislative session.  Allen said that he hoped to receive 100% of the budgets by the end of 2003.

 

Finally, Allen announced the hiring of Ms. Peggy Hill as the new Communications Assistant at the Association’s Topeka office. Hill is a community journalism graduate of the University of Kansas and has considerable experience in association and not for profit organization communications.  She will begin January 5, 2004

 

Office Space:  Executive Director Allen briefed the board on the status of the current lease of space for the Topeka office and at least two options concerning Topeka office space for the future.  He explained that in 1999, the KAC Board entered into a five-year lease agreement with Mr. Jaime Henderson for approximately 3,000 square feet of office space at 6206 SW 9th Terrace. The lease period is from August 1, 1999 through July 31, 2004, with one (1) two-year option, from August 1, 2004 through July 31, 2006.  The lease agreement states that if the option is NOT to be exercised, a 90-day written notice by the KAC to Mr. Henderson is required. As such, if the Association does not want to exercise its two-year option on the building, notice from the KAC to Mr. Henderson must be given no later than April 30, 2004

 

The current lease payment is $2,756.25 per month, or $33,075 annually.  This is the equivalent of $11.03 per square foot.  The current lease stipulates that utility and cleaning costs are the responsibility of the tenant (KAC).  Current annual additional costs associated with utilities and cleaning are as follows:

 

 

 

 

                                    Cleaning           Utilities Total

 

Actual 2001                  $ 2,820              $ 3,918              $ 6,738

Actual 2002                  $ 3,000              $ 3,947              $ 6,947

Est. 2003                      $ 3,000              $ 4,564              $ 7,564

Budgeted 2004              $ 3,120              $ 5,166              $ 8,286

     

The current lease affords the Association parking around the building, at no extra charge.  Snow removal and lawn maintenance are included in the lease payments.  As such, the budgeted 2004 cost for the facility at 6206 SW 9th Terrace is $41,361, or $13.79 per square foot.  Some of the relative

advantages and disadvantages of the current location are as follows:

 

Advantages:

 

1.  There is ample, free parking around the facility for staff and guests, including persons who are at the office for a meeting in the conference room.

2.  The facility is accessible to out-of-town visitors, since it is 2-3 blocks off the Wanamaker Road corridor and a short distance from I-70/I-470.

 

Disadvantages:

           

1.   The facility is 5.5 miles from the Statehouse, which is inefficient for the Executive Director, Legislative Services Director/General Counsel, and others who travel to/from lobbying activities and meetings at the Statehouse, particularly during the annual legislative session.  During the session, we

lease one space in a downtown parking ramp for the Executive Director’s car ($38.50/month X 5 months, or $193), and the Legislative Services Director and General Counsel has typically parked without charge at the League of Kansas Municipalities building on SW 8th Street.  The additional mileage costs paid during 2002 just for trips back and forth to the Statehouse were $356.

 

2.   Many, although not all, of the associations lobbying at the Statehouse have offices in or around the

downtown area.  A relative disadvantage of our current location is our lack of visibility in the area/neighborhood where much of the legislative work is conducted.  While the lost value of the exposure is incalculable, it is nevertheless a consideration.

 

After a discussion Randall had with Jaime Henderson about the terms he would require in a new lease, or for an extension of the current lease, Mr. Henderson indicated his willingness to extend our lease term at the current location for three years beyond its current term (i.e. through July 31, 2007), at the rate of $2,500 per month ($30,000 annually) for thirty-six months, a reduction of $256.25/month from the current rate of $2,756.25 (a portion of which was used to pay for tenant improvements/remodeling before we moved to the west side in 1999).  After the first 36 months, he would require an annual increase based on the then current Consumer Price Index (CPI).  Any required tenant improvements could be financed over the period of the lease.

 

Combining the $2,500 per month rent with estimated cleaning/utility costs of $9,000 annually, the total annual cost would be approximately $39,000, or $13.00 per square foot. By staying at the current location, there would be no moving costs.  However, extending the lease would forestall any staff expansion (KAC or KAC-related or affiliated organizations during the period of the lease agreement).  With the Wichita office closing in 2004, any additional staff in Topeka would need to be placed somewhere.  Funds for the Public Health Policy Fellow position will be used on or about December 31, 2004 (unless supplemented by KAC funds), so there would be perhaps one existing workstation available for other purposes.        

 

The Kansas Association of Local Health Departments (KALHD) lease is on an annual basis. Allen said that it has worked very well for both parties and funds our lease payments in the amount of $4,080 annually.  He strongly encouraged the board to allow staff to continue developing relationships with our affiliate/associate organizations. He said that by housing staff in the same office space, synergies emerge, and certainly improved communications and partnerships result.  Consequently, Allen said that wherever the KAC secures office space, he would encourage the KAC to acquire some additional space for subleasing to affiliate/associate groups like KALHD.

 

Allen reminded the board that several months ago,  Don Moler, League of Municipalities Executive Director, had contacted him to determine the KAC’s interest in leasing an entire floor of the League building beginning January 1, 2005.  The League Building is located at 300 SW 8th Avenue, at the corner of SW Van Buren and 8th Street, immediately across the street from the Statehouse. The new visitors entrance to the Statehouse (and parking ramp entrance) will be on the north side of the Capitol, just across from the League building, when the north face project is completed in another couple years.

 

The League currently occupies the entire first floor of the building, as well as the lower level (basement) of the building, where they have offices and a meeting room.  The meeting room, comfortably seating 30-35, would be available for KAC board meetings on an as-available yet no cost basis, as scheduled through the League office. 

 

The office space in the League building which will become available contains 13 private offices, an enclosed conference room accommodating 10 persons with an adjoining kitchen; a partitioned work space for copier, postage machine, printers, and other office equipment in the middle of the floor (easy access from all offices), a reception area, and two fully-ADA compliant restrooms.  The floor contains 4,940.75 square feet of space, and would rent for $5,970.07 per month ($71,640.84 annually), or $14.50 per square foot, inclusive of utility and cleaning costs.                 

 

Ten reserved parking spaces would be made available for staff/visitors to the KAC offices, in the lot just west of the League building.  The cost would be $400.00 monthly ($4,800 annually) for the ten spaces, inclusive of cleaning and snow removal. 

 

 

 

 

Allen explained that if the KAC is seriously interested in pursuing a lease agreement for the space, the League needs to know as soon as possible.  The space will be available as of January 1, 2005. If the KAC is interested, we would need to immediately recruit tenants to sub-lease a portion of the space from the KAC.  At the immediate time, the KAC could not fully utilize the entire space for KAC purposes, nor could we afford to pay the rent on the entire space without subletting some of the space to 3rd party tenants. Due to the taxation issues of the lessor (i.e. League), any tenants we would engage would also have to be nonprofit organizations or governmental entities.  Ideas for possible subtenants would include:  1) counties, cities, or school districts who have lobbyists in Topeka who would like a private office (and perhaps some access to photocopy machine, fax machine, conference room, et. al.); 2) affiliate or associate organizations (KALHD, for example) who have staff and require office space and whose function is in harmony with the KAC’s mission; or 3) any not for profit organization, foundation, or public sector organization whose function/mission is reasonably compatible with the KAC’s mission.               

 

Allen explained that, if the KAC were to negotiate a lease with the League for office space as of January 1, 2005, we would need to extend our current lease with Mr. Henderson from July 31, 2004 to some time after January 1, 2005.   Mr. Henderson has indicated that he would accept an extension to the original term of eight months (August 1, 2004March 31, 2005) at the current amount of $2,756.25 per month.  As such, there could be a maximum three-month overlap in leased space.

 

Allen further explained that the downtown League location offers the possibility of some cost savings by sharing equipment with the League. For example, the League recently invested in some high speed, color printing machinery that we could perhaps use for the County Comment and other publications. Another idea would be to share the postage meter rental and maintenance costs.  Most associations (League, KAC included) do basically the same kinds of things and have many of the same needs.  Other potential savings could be realized over time.  

 

Allen indicated that if the Board is seriously interested in the League alternative, the President should  immediately appoint a three-member committee to assist the Executive Director to negotiate a lease agreement for the period January 1, 2005 and thereafter, and that such committee as necessary to bring a full recommendation to the board.

 

Board discussion ensued, with several board members expressing support for relocating the KAC in a downtown location accessible to the Statehouse.  It was also felt that co-locating with the League would send a powerful message that the KAC is interested in intergovernmental cooperation.  Inasmuch as no action was requested at the meeting, President Ensley appointed a committee to work with the Executive Director to research the League option and bring back a recommendation to the board. He appointed the following persons:  Florence Whitebread, Gene Merry, and Nick Saldan. As President, Ted Ensley will serve ex-officio on the committee.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

The meeting was adjourned at 4:05 p.m.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                    _________________________________

 

                                                                                    Kathy Peckman, KAC Secretary