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Kansas Association of Counties

Governing Board Meeting Minutes

August 13, 2004

KAC Conference Room

6206 SW 9th Terrace

Topeka, Kansas 66615

 

President Ted Ensley called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.  Board members present were as follows:

 

Lonie Addis, Labette County Commissioner

Mike Billinger, Ellis County Treasurer

John Calhoon, Atchison County Sheriff

Jerry Davis, Finney County Commissioner

Carolyn McGinn, Sedgwick 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

John Miller, Norton County Commissioner

Kathy Peckman, Miami County Clerk

Dennis Peterson, Riley County Noxious Weed Director

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 Member Not Present:

 

Mary Messamore, Sherman County Emergency Management Director

 

KAC staff present:

 

Randall Allen, KAC Executive Director

Judy Moler, KAC Legislative Services Director/General Counsel

 

APPROVAL OF CONSENT AGENDA

 

Kathy Peckman, seconded by Florence Whitebread, to approve the August 13, 2004 Consent Agenda, including the June 25, 2004 meeting minutes and the Report of Bills and Payrolls dated August 13, 2004. Motion carried.

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPROVAL OF MONTHLY FINANCIAL REPORT            

 

Treasurer Mike Billinger moved, seconded by Kathy Peckman, to approve the Monthly Financial Report for the periods ending May 31 and June 30, 2004. Motion carried.

 

PROPOSED BYLAWS AMENDMENT

 

Since Commissioner Jerry Carson, Labette County, was already present, presentation of a proposed amendment to the KAC Bylaws, as recommended by the Kansas County Commissioners Association, was advanced on the agenda.  Commissioner Carson informed the board of the proposed bylaw amendment (attached to minutes). The board discussed the proposed amendment and asked questions of Commissioner Carson. In order for the bylaws amendment to be discussed and voted on at the KAC Business Meeting, November 22, 2004 at the Annual Conference, 21 counties must pass a resolution asking for it to be voted upon. There were many questions and concerns, but the KAC Board took no position at this time.

 

KDOT CONTRACTS WITH COUNTIES

 

Larry Emig, KDOT Director of Local Projects, brought to the Board updated contracts that will be circulated to the counties between KDOT and the Bureau of Local Projects, dealing with the five-year plans.  These contracts have not been updated since the 1970’s.  A task force that included county commissioners (Gene Merry, Lonie Addis and Ken Meier) as well as county highway officials reviewed and had input into the new contract. 

 

An article will be written and published in the County Comment in September.  After that time, the contracts will be sent to counties. 

 

2005 LEGISLATIVE POLICY PROCESS UPDATE

 

Judy Moler reported that the recent August Primary Election produced many changes in legislators and with county commissioners. This will change the landscape for the next legislative year.

 

E9-1-1 checks for the period July 1 – July 31, 2004 have begun to come in to the KAC office from the wireless companies and are due by Monday, August 16.  The CBIZ contract for software development is on schedule and should allow us to know where to remit the checks to PSAPs by September 15.

 

The KAC Legislative Policy Committee will have its final meeting on August 20, 2004.  After that time, the platform will be prepared in draft form and sent to all counties.

 

Legal intern Scott Kenefake has taken a job as Advocacy Director for the American Heart Association.  His last day with the KAC will be August 30, 2004.    

 

 

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES REPORT

 

Lonie Addis briefed the board on the recent NACo Annual Conference in Phoenix.  He provided the board with a schedule of events that he attended at the meeting. 

Commissioner Addis asked for authorization for him to attend the next NACo Board meeting in Lake County, Illinois.

 

Mickey Billinger moved, seconded by Jerry Davis, to authorize travel expenses for Lonie Addis to attend the NACo Board meeting in Lake County, Illinois in December, 2004. Motion carried.

 

DISCUSSION OF GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE

 

Randall indicated that he had been working with an insurance broker, The Bukaty Agency, to secure quotations for group employee health insurance coverage for KAC employees. The KAC’s current group health insurance coverage is through the Principal Financial Group.  Randall said that he was still awaiting receipt of the premium quotations and asked that this matter be deferred until the September meeting, at which time he would present quotations and ask for the board to consider changing insurers as of October 15, 2004.     

 

KANSAS  HEALTH FOUNDATION GRANT APPLICATION

 

Randall briefed the board on contact he had with the Kansas Health Foundation in Wichita concerning a follow-on grant to the initial $150,000 grant from the Foundation to finance the KAC’s Public Health Policy Fellowship. The initial grant has largely financed the program, including Public Health Policy Fellow Dennis Kriesel’s salary and benefits the past couple years. The Foundation has responded by inviting the Association to apply for a $60,000 grant.

 

Lonie Addis moved, seconded by Kathy Peckman, to authorize the Executive Director to submit a grant application to the Kansas Health Foundation in the amount of $60,000 to partially finance the Public Health Policy Fellowship for the period January 1, 2005 and thereafter.  Motion carried.

   

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT

 

Executive Director briefed the board on several items, as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) There is no change in the status of the Kansas Human Rights Commission case,

Pamela J. Hatfield  v. the Kansas Association of Counties.  A response was filed some time ago, and the Commission has not notified the Association of any finding or other action since that time.

 

2)  Randall indicated that he had met recently with KDHE Secretary Bremby to discuss the disagreement that the Association and KDHE had over the open records status of documents relating to the feedlot composting program; to discuss possible 2005 legislative issues of common interest, including strategies for improving immunization rates in Kansas and legislation to modernize archaic statutes dealing with quarantine; and to discuss plans for improving communications between KDHE and county officials.

 

3)  Randall indicated that he made recently met with consultants for the Kansas Board of Regents concerning community college out-district tuition and Extension service programs at KSU. He explained that the KAC’s Legislative Policy Committee had recently had a lively discussion about pressing harder to eliminate community college out-district tuition. The Higher Education Reform Act had contemplated a dial-down of the out-district tuition program (25% each year, from $24 to $18 to $12 to $6, and then zero) but that state budget constraints had stopped implementation in the middle – with the rate holding at $12.  It is the feeling of the KAC’s 2005 legislative policy committee that it is time for the state to step-up and fund the Higher Education Reform package adopted by the Legislature a few years ago, and thereby eliminate out-district tuition paid by counties.  Counties with community colleges within their borders are most concerned, however, that the out-district tuition program not go away if the State fails to pick up its share. Otherwise, property taxpayers in counties with community colleges will have an even higher tax burden. These concerns were conveyed to the consultants.

 

The second issue had to do with the Extension Service, and the growing feeling that its mission is creeping, and that counties are being asked to finance a greater share of the program cost, especially in light of budget reductions through KSU. The concern is that counties are being asked to assume a greater share of the cost, when many county commissioners do not understand the rationale for funding Extension programs in the first place.  Commisssioner McGinn related her experience in Sedgwick County, saying that in their situation, they were tired of being asked for more money from the Extension Service and would rather that the Extension Service re-prioritize the monies that the County provides. In other words, counties should not have to assume the budget cuts made by the State through KSU.  These thoughts were conveyed to the consultants to the Regents.

 

4)  Randall asked the Board to consider endorsing the creation of a new organization – the Kansas Jail Association – which is in its inception.  The Kansas Jail Association’s purpose is to facilitate networking and education among detention facility professionals in county jails across Kansas, by offering educational programs and sharing information to persons responsible for jail operations.  Randall explained that the Kansas Sheriffs Association has encouraged development of the Kansas Jail Association.  Randall requested permission for the KAC to help the Jail Association get started by promoting it and recommending it to member counties.  The board agreed, and Randall said that an article would appear in an upcoming issue of the County Comment.

 

Randall said that field work on the 2003 audit was completed, and that auditors would be presenting the audit report at the September 10, 2004 meeting of the Board in Topeka.

 

Randall indicated that the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) had inquired as to the Association’s position if KDOT were to collapse the management of the modal programs (aviation, mass transit/bus, and rail) into one unit in KDOT, rather than continue to maintain three separate units within KDOT’s organizational structure. Allen indicated that he saw no reason to oppose such a reorganization, as it made sense. Board members agreed that Allen should communicate support for such reorganization to Secretary Miller at KDOT.

           

 

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:14 p.m.

 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    _____________________.

Judy A. Moler, Legislative Services Director/General Counsel

 

 

 

 

Approved:  ___________________________.

                   Carolyn McGinn, Board Secretary

                   September 10, 2004