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Kansas Association of Counties

Governing Board Meeting Minutes

April 23, 2004

KAC Conference Room

6206 SW 9th Terrace

Topeka, Kansas 66615


President Ted Ensley called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m.  Board members present were as follows:


Lonie Addis, Labette County Commissioner

Mike Billinger, Ellis County Treasurer

Jerry Davis, Finney County Commissioner

Wade Dixon, Greeley County Counselor

Ted Ensley, Shawnee County Commissioner

Eileen Filbert, Jefferson County Health Department Administrator

Linda Fincham, Marshall County Register of Deeds

Gene Merry, Coffey County Commissioner

Carolyn McGinn, Sedgwick, Sedgwick County Commissioner

Mary Messamore, Sherman County Emergency Management Director

John Miller, Norton County Commissioner

Kathy Peckman, Miami County Clerk

Gary Post, Lyon County Appraiser

Nicholas Saldan, Johnson County Deputy Counselor

Ron Sitts, Edwards County Public Works Director

Florence Whitebread, Geary County Commissioner


KAC Board Members Not Present:


John Calhoon, Atchison County Sheriff

Dennis Peterson, Riley County Noxious Weed Director


KAC staff present:


Randall Allen, KAC Executive Director

Judy Moler, KAC Legislative Services Director/General Counsel


Others Present:


Marla Flentje, KAC Education Director




Wade Dixon moved, seconded by, Linda Fincham to approve the March 18, 2004 special meeting minutes as well as the March 19, 2004 regular meeting minutes.  Florence Motion noted that she was not present at the special meeting.  The motion to approve the minutes was approved unanimously.





Kathy Peckman, seconded by Florence Whitebread, to approve the bills and payrolls dated April 23, 2004 and the Monthly Financial Report for the months of January, February, and March, 2004. Florence Whitebread seconded.  Motion carried.





Randall Allen and Judy Moler updated the Board on the status of KAC sponsored legislation.  The E-9-1-1 bill passed and was signed by the Governor.  The KAC and the League of Kansas Municipalities will sponsor a technical assistance workshop on the new 9-1-1 bill here in Topeka on June 4. 


HB 2600, dealing with the disposal of county property, also passed the legislature.   A model policy will be developed and distributed after the County Counselors Association’s mid-year meeting in June.


The first meeting of the 2005 Legislative Platform Committee will be June 22 in Topeka.




Commissioner Carolyn McGinn led a discussion of annexation policies and the status of current annexations in Sedgwick County.  There has been much rumbling in the legislature about perceived annexation abuses in Sedgwick and Shawnee County.  A bill concerning that remains alive in the Kansas legislature.  Commissioner McGinn observed that the biggest abuse she sees in Sedgwick County is the annexation of property up to the road and then leaving the road as a county road.  There will be an interim study of annexation, and she would like to see this issue addressed, with input from the KAC. 




Lonie Addis, NACo Board representative, reported on activities on the NACo Board.  There was general discussion about upgrading the quality of presenters at the NACo meetings. 




Marla Flentje presented the 1st Quarter, 2004 Education Program report. Among workshops highlighted were 1) the Advanced Academy on a Reform Agenda for County Government, held  January 29, 2004 in Wichita; 2) a Regional Forum on Regional Partnerships held in Dodge City on January 27, attended by county officials from six southwestern counties (Clark, Edwards, Ford, Gray, Hodgeman, and Ness); and facilitation of a Sedgwick County Assembly: Prescription for Healthy Citizens, a two-day community forum on the future direction of public health on March 12 and 13 in Wichita.


Since March 1, 2004, Marla has officed from her home, as the KAC closes down its Wichita office.  There is a new telephone number for Marla and customers should no longer use the former Wichita office number.




Randall led the board in a discussion of possible subjects (topics) for various educational workshops, roundtables, and other sessions at the annual conference this coming November.  He indicated that we need to  appeal to a broad range of elected and appointed officials and that if any of the board members have ideas from their members, to please forward them to him over the next few weeks.  Randall presented three different hypothetical statements to generate ideas from board members. The statements were intended to draw out information which will help staff design educational programs that appeal best to our members. The statements, and the board members’ responses, were as follows:    


1.  “I have been a county official for 15 years.  I enjoy the people, but I get tired of the people, too.  I am headed to the KAC conference in Overland Park in November. While things are generally going well for me, I feel like I need an infusion of energy and information.”


a)  “I am looking for a session which will …….




·         help me understand the dynamics of all the “change”

·         remind/quantify us of why we serve and what reasons there are for proudly

serving in government locally

·         provide an open forum on various issues such as the annexation problems, etc.

·         attribute more to how I can enjoy my work more

·         excite me to continue working with the public, providing good customer


·         define law in a way that will enable me to explain to the voter the dynamics of


·         show how to make county and city government work together better

·         motivate.  Many times we know what we need to do, we just need

motivational speaker who organizes our thoughts and actions

·         provide effective leadership skills and decision-making

·         show us how to lead in uncertain times

·         show us how to lead in diverse communities

·         show me why I’m important and I’m making a difference

·         provide networking among other officials, give information on new topics

concerning county government   





b)  “I am looking for sessions which provide information to me about …




·         the relationship between the budget process and strategic planning

·         keeping professional motivation and enthusiasm

·         more in-depth information on recent bills passed by the State

·         more how-to on experience and certifications

·         motivating myself and my employees

·         tying all aspects of county government together

·         employee management

·         renewing and reviewing where demand transfers originated; why, and how they were set-up (especially with new members)

·         leadership styles and when and where to apply them

·         cooperation, not denigration



2.  “It has been a while since I was in a classroom setting for very long. Since that time, the world has changed. My life has changed.  County government has changed. Everything has changed.  If I had to do it all over again, I would have taken a class or two in _____(subject)_________  so I have more confidence in my job and my life. But, wait!  The KAC may offer a mini-class on this very topic at the annual conference in Overland Park  What is that topic?”




·         Critical thinking

·         Current sociology/fitted to local government – involving people

·         Monitoring local economics     

·         Public health and related topics

·         Government law – more as to what is legal in government

·         Grant writing

·         PR

·         Job satisfaction

·         Budget.  Macro-micro economics. Budgets of State and County

·         Common sense for state and local government

·         Local government – not just living for today

·         I think people come to a convention like NACo, Amway, Ford, etc. to hear a major speaker (Paul Harvey, O’Reilly, whoever) that is paid for by Kansas Raceway, Wyandotte-Johnson-Miami counties

·         Intergovernmental Cooperation

·         Taxation history

·         Involving the public in county government

·         Technology --- electronic signatures, etc.

·         I’d like to see our commissioners learn to think outside the box



3.  “OK. This is the deal. I am a well-read, thoughtful individual. I read 2 morning papers every day (one on-line) and listen to the McNeil News Hour on public television most every night.  I even participate in a book group with some friends. I stay fairly well informed about the world.  What annoys me are the people who just don’t get it. They don’t even know they aren’t getting it.  What are they missing? And, if I were to suggest a topic/speaker to the KAC for its annual conference to stimulate these “know-nothings,” what would it be?”





·         Why is it important for everyone to be “in the loop”

·         The value of community collaboration – staying involved in your profession’s

organizations – locally, within the state, and federally

·         A session on the lost art of “common sense” in government

·         Motivation – Dr. Michael Fowlin was excellent

·         Something on homeland security dealing with individuals, government

entities, and total communities

·         How Topeka works – bills, committees, lobbying

·         A program in simple (__?____) that will communicate the delicate balance of connections or interdependence we have on one another and systems on systems

·         Former Governor of Oklahoma – on change, it is coming

·         Intergovernmental collaboration and communication; knowing what each other does

·         How to get a bill passed in the Kansas Legislature, and why my support is important





President Ted Ensley announced his appointment of a Performance Evaluation Committee to coordinate the evaluation of the Executive Director. Ensley names the following persons: Eileen Filbert, Nick Saldan, Gene Merry and Commissioner Ensley.   


President Ensley indicated that the Executive Director’s employment agreement runs through June 30, 2004, and that absent action to the contrary by the board, it continues for  another year (12months,  from July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005). He asked permission from the board for the Performance Evaluation Committee to negotiate a new employment agreement with the Executive Director for presentation to the full board at the June 25, 2004 meeting in Junction City


Mary Messamore moved, seconded by Jerry Davis, to authorize the Performance Evaluation Committee to negotiate an agreement with the Executive Director for  the period July 1, 2004 and thereafter, subject to approval of the board in June.

Motion approved.




Randall briefed the board on the status of several work projects, programs, and actions, including the following:


1)  Peggy Hinck has been hired as the new Communications Assistant in the office. She assumes responsibility for preparing the County Comment, and performing other communications-related tasks for the KAC. 


2)  Randall has sent a letter co-signed by Don Moler, League of Municipalities Executive Director, to Matt Jordan, Community Development Division Director, Kansas Department of Commerce, protesting the termination of the Community Capacity Building Grant program, a program of KDOC which has assisted counties and cities throughout the state in preparing or updating their comprehensive plans, and in a few cases, in pursuing implementation of ideas within their plans.  He hopes for a meeting with Matt and the Lt. Governor after the wrap-up session is over.


3)   Commissioner Carolyn McGinn represented the KAC at a bill-signing ceremony for the re-financing of the 1999 Comprehensive Transportation Program, held in Wichita. The bill was crucial to restore financial stability to the CTP, and was strongly supported by the KAC.


4)  Commissioner Ensley and the Executive Director are headed to southwest Kansas (Grant and Morton Counties; later changed to Grant and Stanton Counties) on May 19-20, for the first of many on-site visits to member counties. The purpose of the visit is to listen and learn, and to determine ways that the KAC can be more helpful to members.


5) The prescription drug work group which is looking for ways to bring down drug costs for jail inmates and offenders incarcerated in the state’s correctional institutions is continuing to meet. The group has latched on to at least one very feasible alternative, i.e. attaching to the Minnesota Multi-State Drug Purchasing program, which should generate savings of 45% from current retail prices.  Across the state, this change alone should generate substantial savings to counties and the county budgets for county jails. The work group is making a presentation of its findings to date at the annual conference of the Kansas County Commissioners Association scheduled for early May in Salina.


6) The Executive Director is team-teaching a leadership academy workshop with Douglas County Administrator Craig Weinaug on the subject of “County Budgeting Basics” on the afternoon of May 5 in Salina.  Approximately 40 county commissioners and others have already registered.


With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:51 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,




Judy A. Moler

Legislative Services Director/General Counsel





Approved:  ___________________________.

Carolyn McGinn, KAC Board Secretary