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Governing Board Meeting Minutes
Kansas Association of Counties
February 11, 2008
Lower Level Conference Room
300 SW 8th
President Shannon Francis called the meeting to order at 6:31
p.m. Board members present were as
Marion County Emergency Management Director; Terry David,
Rice County EMS Director; Joe Connor,
Unified Government Health Department Administrator; Gary Doane, Osborne County
Commissioner; Steve Garten, Barber
County Commissioner; Shannon Francis, Seward County Commissioner; Tom Winters,
Sedgwick County Commissioner; Dick Works, Allen County Commissioner; George
Pogge, Jefferson County Road Superintendent; Mark Low, Finney
County Appraiser; Dennis Peterson, Riley
County Noxious Weed Director; Larry McAulay, Johnson County Director of Legal
Services; Tom Wagner, Atchison County Commissioner; and Sheila Biggs, Dickinson
Board members absent
were: Dale Phillips, Barton County Noxious
Staff and others
present: Randall Allen, KAC
Executive Director; Judy Moler, KAC General
Counsel; Kathleen Harnish-Doucet and Joel Wright, The Kansas Collaborative;
Cliff Mayo, Finney County Commissioner and KCCA President; Jonathan Morris, KU
Public Management Center; Mary Messamore,
E-911 Director, City of Hutchinson.
The agenda was presented. Randall Allen recommended that the
agenda be revised, by striking Agenda Item No. 6 (Presentation of E-911 Audit
Report) and by adding “Award of 2011 and 2012 KAC Annual Conferences” as a
sub-topic to Agenda Item No. 11 (Executive Director’s Report). Terry David moved, seconded by Steve Garten, to accept
the agenda as revised. Motion carried.
Minutes for January
25, 2008. Dennis Peterson moved, seconded by Michele Abbott-Becker, to approve the minutes of the January 25,
2008 meeting as presented. Motion carried.
Approval of Bills and
Payroll for January 25, 2008. Tom Winters, Finance Committee Chairman,
indicated that the Finance Committee met prior to the meeting to review the invoices
and there were no items of special concern.
Tom Winters moved, seconded
by Mark Low, to approve the bills and payroll dated February 11, 2008. Motion
(Commissioner Winters was excused from the meeting at this
point to attend a legislative dinner with legislators from south central Kansas).
Introductions. Randall introduced several guests at the
meeting, including Kathleen Harnish-Doucet and Joel Wright of The Kansas Collaborative; Cliff Mayo,
Finney County Commissioners and KCCA President; Jonathan Morris, KU Public
Management Center (and often an instructor for our Kansas County Government
Institute workshops); and former board member Mary Messamore,
who is now the Emergency Communications Director for the City of Hutchinson.
Kansas Collaborative Report. Kathleen Harnish-Doucet and Joel Wright,
project managers for The Kansas Collaborative, presented the history as well as
a status update for The Kansas Collaborative.
The beginning of the Kansas Collaborative dates back to 2003,
from the convergence of the KAC’s interest in developing the same level of
county intensity around health and human services as we have with
transportation, and the work of the Governor’s B.E.S.T. (Budget Efficiency
Savings Team) on health and human services. We found we had common interests
(state and county). From these discussions, we planned the first-ever Health
and Human Services Summit in the fall, 2003, at which some persons around the
board table participated. After the Summit,
there was a desire to not just talk about collaboration but do something as
well. At that time, there was a budget-busting issue occurring in many counties
involving commissioners and sheriffs, and it had to do with rising inmate
medical costs. The issue was that counties were paying significantly different
prices for the same pharmaceutical prescribed for jail inmates, and we wondered
why. A Breakthrough Team on jail medical costs was launched, and the work of
the Breakthrough Team brought forward several ways of saving significant monies
in this area. The findings of the Prescription Drugs Breakthrough Team were
disseminated at several “Sharing Approaches that Work” forums in April,
2005. At the same time, the team asked
county officials: “if we were to tackle another problem, what would it be? What
would this mean for counties?”
The success of the Prescription Drugs Team effort catalyzed
the formalization of the relationship between the KAC/counties and the State,
as well as the League of Kansas Municipalities/cities. In November, 2005,
Governor Sebelius along with KAC and League leadership formally cemented the
relationship as The Kansas Collaborative, as part of the KAC’s annual
conference in Topeka.
A year later, in November, 2006, first-year accomplishments
of the Collaborative were celebrated at the President’s Unity Breakfast at the
KAC annual conference. By that time, the Collaborative had received recognition
as an “Innovations Award” winner from the Council of State Governments. At that
time, an interactive website was launched, and to the astonishment of the team,
that website now generates about 25,000 hits each month, with hundreds of
Collaborative documents downloaded monthly.
At the 2007 KAC Conference, the Collaborative was not the
centerpiece of the Unity Breakfast. Instead, the efforts of the Geographic
Information Systems (GIS) breakthrough team
and particularly the GIS accomplishments of Jefferson
County government were demonstrated.
Since the Collaborative’s inception, the state and counties
have saved over $16 million, which is documented at the website. An e-newsletter
describing Collaborative activities is now available and persons can sign-up at
Recognitions for the Collaborative have continued since that
time. Crawford County Sheriff Sandy Horton has made presentation at the National
Sheriffs Association conference about HB 2893, which limits payments to medical
providers for services to jail inmates to no more than the Medicaid rate.
Sheriff Horton has received a lot of feedback and inquiries from persons
outside Kansas about Kansas’
and has received a lot of feedback and interest in what Kansas
has done. Kathleen has been invited to
participate in the Second International Conference of the Global Network of Government
Innovators at Harvard in March and April, 2008.
Joel said that we need to continue to push the edge, by
seeking more recognition of the processes of the Collaborative, more than the
individual projects, as impressive as they are. He spoke about Coffey
County’s work to document the
$98,000 savings from utilizing KDOT’s 1-R project to minimize the mobilization
(in-out) costs of contractors in doing a county project while they were in the
county working on a state project. Joel said that Ellis
County will be doing the same kind
of documentation in the coming months.
Joel said that Norm Bowers has been
absolutely the right person to launch the Local Road Engineer Service, and that
the recent contract with the south central Kansas homeland security council
helps push GIS capacity further into
counties. He said that we should be proud of what the entire GIS
breakthrough team has accomplished in educating E-911 officials about aerial
photography and how GIS/E-911 interrelate.
Finally, he spoke to the work of Harvey
County officials, through their
Harvey County Council of Governments, in taking responsibility for healthy
Joel and Kathleen then summarized the funding for the
Collaborative from its inception to date. SRS
provided much of the seed money that enabled the Prescription Drug Breakthrough
Team to work on saving monies on inmate drug costs. Since then, state monies
have also been received from various other state agencies, including KDOT, the
Information Network of Kansas, and now homeland security (through the south
central Kansas homeland security
Randall interjected that he had met recently with Julie
Lorenz at KDOT, and it appeared that $100,000 in KDOT funds
would be available in 2008 for Kansas Collaborative projects, including $50,000
for the local road engineer program; $25,000 for transit; and $25,000 for the
transportation breakthrough team. He said that future year funding for the
Local Road Engineer Program from KDOT would likely be no more than $25,000,
which means that the Collaborative will need to raise funds from other sources.
Other possible sources include assessments to counties/cities benefiting from
the service; contributions from the KAC, League, and perhaps the Kansas County
Highway Association; and possibly other state agencies (such as the Water
Resources Division) that stand to benefit from the program.
Finally, Kathleen talked for a couple minutes about
governance of the Collaborative. She said that, to date, the governance
arrangements/relationships have not been formalized. She said that, to date, funding has come on a
project-by-project basis. If there is a desire to do more with the
Collaborative, other steadier sources of revenue will have to be identified.
Larry McAulay complimented the report and said that it
addressed some of the questions he had. The board requested that the report be
published on the KAC’s website, and staff responded that this will be done.
Approval of 2008
Secretariat and Support Services Agreement with the Kansas County Commissioners Association.
Randall presented the agreement, describing the duties of the KAC under
the agreement as well as the KCCA’s compensation to the KAC for these services
($14,000) as well as some changes as suggested by Larry McAulay. Randall said
that the compensation is $14,000, down from $15,750 last year, because the
Commissioner’s pictorial directory is prepared and printed only in odd-numbered
years after the election cycle. Larry
McAulay’s comments and questions in Sections 2 and 4 of the draft agreement
were as follows:
Subsection 1. The obligation
to prepare a draft budget should more properly reflect the budget year (e.g.
2008) rather than saying the “ensuing year.”
Subsection 3. The
roster of active members is updated by the KAC as we are notified of
Subsection 5. The
KCCA has no staff, so the proposed language is appropriate.
Subsection 9. The
spreadsheet-formatted directory of county commissioners is provided to the KCCA
Executive Committee upon request (it contains cellular phone numbers, and so we
are discreet in not widely disseminating this database).
Subsection 10. The Deskbook
is now prepared only in CD format and no longer in print version, to save costs.
The word “termination” in line four should read “terminate.”
This was a typographical error which can be noted and corrected prior to
signature. In the event the agreement is terminated, the KAC can keep copies of
the KCCA documents, since all are public documents.
Tom Wagner moved,
seconded by Dick Works to approve the 2008 Secretariat and Support Services
Agreement with the Kansas County Commissioners Association as amended to correct
the typographical error on line 4 of Section 4 (“terminate” rather than
“termination”) with the understanding that other changes or clarifications will
be made in the 2009 agreement. Motion carried.
Approval of 2008
Partnership Agreement with the Kansas County Commissioners Association. Randall
presented the agreement. He said that this agreement was borne out of a vision
by former KCCA and KAC President Russ Frey for a curriculum to be designed
specific to the duties and responsibilities of county commissioners. Under the
agreement, the KCCA provides a subsidy for the Leadership
Academy so that workshop fees are
affordable for all commissioners.
Randall said that one of the four 2008 workshops in 2008 (“Effective
Citizen Communication”) is coming up on February 20 in Salina.
Larry McAulay questioned why the Partnership Agreement does
not include termination language similar to the secretariat services agreement.
Randall said that the probable reason is that the secretariat services and
partnership agreements were at one time a single document.
Dick Works moved,
seconded by Larry McAulay to approve the 2008 Partnership Agreement with the
addition of termination section similar to the termination language in the
Secretariat and Support Services Agreement previously approved. Motion carried.
Legislative Report. Judy Moler
distributed a revised agenda for County Government Day. Judy distributed a copy
of SB 539, a bill which would make grant awards from the Secretary of
Corrections not subject to judicial review. Judy said that Riley
County has asked the KAC to oppose
this bill. Two members of the KAC Legislative Policy Committee (Commissioner
Winters, and Kerry McCue, Ellis County)
were not present at the board meeting to enable a decision to be made by the
full Legislative Policy Committee. After
discussion, there was consensus that if the bill receives a hearing, Judy will
do some background research and then convene the KAC’s Legislative Policy
Committee by conference call so it can consider whether to take a position.
Judy also made members aware of a new bill, HB 2543,
concerning property taxation on on newly constructed properties not yet
occupied. As of yet, a hearing has not been held on this bill. She then
explained another bill, proposed substitute for HB 2018, which has been offered
by Johnson County Representative Tim Owens with the assistance of Johnson
County Appraiser Paul Welcome. The proposed substitute for HB 2018 would
establish a Court of Tax Appeals to replace the current Board of Tax Appeals.
There was board discussion about the terms of the appointments to the proposed
Court of Tax Appeals. Mark Low said that the Kansas County Appraisers
Association had not taken a position on this bill.
Executive Director’s Report. Randall presented a draft
policy on entertainment at the annual conference. He read the draft policy as
Sponsors and exhibitors
are welcome and encouraged to participate in the Association’s annual
conference. However, entertainment or hospitality by companies, organizations,
or individuals during the Association’s meetings, educational workshops, or
conference-wide social events is strictly prohibited. Entertainment or
hospitality by companies, organizations, or individuals is limited to only
those who are sponsors or exhibitors at the annual conference, at a time when no
conference meetings or conference-wide social events are planned. No commercial
exhibits are to be displayed in public areas or hotel lobbies outside the
Exhibition or meeting areas. Exhibitors are expected to maintain their exhibit
booths until the ending time of the Exhibition and not dismantle booths until
the Exhibition has closed. Violation of this policy will result in denial of
registration and participation in future conferences.”
Randall said that this was a follow-up to board discussion
about the upcoming 2008 conference at last month’s meeting. He said that it was
not imperative for the board to act on the draft policy at this meeting and
action could be delayed until the March 13 meeting. Board discussion about the proposed policy
ensued. Discussion focused on the last sentence of the draft policy and, in
particular, the word “will” result. Steve Garten asked if there was a need to
adopt such a policy, or whether the problem that occurred at the 2007 annual
conference was merely a communications problem due to the format changes,
making such a policy unnecessary. Michele Abbott-Becker said that she thought
the final sentence should indicate that violation of the policy should possible
read “may” or “could,” rather than “will” result in the denial of registration
and participation in future conferences.
Dennis Peterson asked if the policy would be entered into the contract
documents with exhibitors. Randall said he thought it would, as well as be
printed in the annual conference program.
The board discussed the new format used in both 2007 and 2008, in which
Monday night is open and free from conference events, allowing exhibit-
tors and sponsors to hold special events for their customers
Gary Doane asked if such a policy would be inconsistent with
our invitation to these companies to be our guests at the conference, i.e.
whether we are sending a mixed message to firms we want at our conference. Shannon
said that he thought by holding a full night open for firms to do their hospitality
should address the firms’ needs. Randall said that he thought we needed a
policy, but was flexible as to whether the last sentence should provide some
more flexibility, by using the word “may” instead of “will.” Joe Connor said
that our conference has gotten big, and to avoid a sense of unfairness, we need
to be as clear as possible.
The board agreed to put this on the agenda for the March 13, 2008 meeting.
Randall briefed the board on the status of 2008 membership
dues. As of that morning, we have received dues from 92 counties totaling
$305,797, which is 90.5% of the amount budgeted for dues ($337,881), and about
86.1% of the amount assessed in dues ($355,300). Randall explained the
difference in the amount of dues assessed, and the amount of dues
budgeted. Members from last year that
haven’t yet paid their 2008 dues include Comanche, Decatur,
Geary, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte
counties. Randall also briefed the board on the meeting he and Judy had with
the Board of Leavenworth County Commissioners, at the end of which the board
voted to join the KAC Board.
Tom Wagner said he had been in contact with Brown
County, urging them to join the KAC
and asking them to invite Randall to make a presentation at one of their board
meetings. He said he also intended to
make contact with Wabaunsee County.
Randall updated the board on planning for the February –
March Regional Suppers at seven locations. He encouraged board members to make
their own reservations and attend one of the suppers. He said our goal is to
have 50 persons at each supper. Secretary of Revenue Joan Wagnon and personnel
from the Property Valuation Division will be speaking at all seven suppers. Sheila Biggs said that she thought a lot of
appraisers and other elected officials in the Courthouse would be attending.
Randall said that the staff would be filing a grant
application, as requested by the Kansas Health Foundation, to hold a Summit
Conference on the functional regionalization of public health services in
September, 2008, and preceded by a focus sessions in late spring/early summer
with a group including at least one health director and one commissioner from
each of the 15 bioterrorism regions.
Randall distributed a news release from KDOT naming the
members of the Kansas Local Bridge Task Force. The task force will identify
options that local government and KDOT can take to improve the inspection and
condition of bridges under local jurisdiction. County representatives to the
task force include: Norm Bowers, Kansas Collaborative; Randy Braddock, Hamilton
County Commissioner; Shelly Buhler, Shawnee County Commissioner; Neil Cable,
Saline County Engineer; John Ellermann, Finney County Engineer; Pat Hageman,
Rooks County Commissioner; Brian Kinzie, Labette County Commissioner; Clark
Rusco, Barton County Engineer; and Donna Schmit, Anderson County Engineer. The
task force’s first meeting is Friday,
February 15, 2008 in Salina.
Randall said that Sarah Meyer, Conference Planner, requested
board approval of her recommendation to hold the annual conference in 2011 and
2012 at the Capitol Plaza
and Kansas Expocentre in Topeka. Conferences
for 2008 (Wichita), 2009, and 2010
(both Overland Park) have already
been awarded with contracts already signed. Michele Abbott-Becker asked about
the cancellation policy for the conference facilities in Topeka.
George Pogge moved,
seconded by Steve Garten, to award the 2011 and 2012 conferences to
Topeka/Shawnee County and authorize the Executive Director to sign the
documents. Dennis Peterson said that
he could not support the motion for 2012 because the Monday of that week (November 12, 2002) was Veterans Day,
and we should not hold our conference over the Veteran’s Day weekend. George Pogge amended his motion, agreed to
by Steve Garten, to award the 2011 contract only to Topeka and Shawnee County. Motion carried. Action on the 2012 conference would be deferred
to the March 13, 2008 board
Dennis Peterson said that if Thanksgiving week is the only
week we can hold the conference for one year because 1) the normal week would
include Veterans Day and 2) the week before Veteran’s Day (in 2012) would be
General Election Day, we could justify having the conference on Thanksgiving
week, for that year only.
Reports. Below is a summary of the
various topics discussed during the affiliate/associate reports:
Larry McAulay, representing county counselors, said that he
cannot attend the March board meeting as he will be at an American Bar
Association conference on law office technology.
Michele Abbott-Becker, representing emergency managers, said
that incident management teams would be holding training for an entire week in
Haysville at the end of February.
Mark Low, representing county appraisers, said that the
Property Valuation Division had set the oil price for purposes of tax
assessment at $74/barrel.
Steve Garten, NACo representative, said that he was
concerned about some news he had received from his county’s staff about
possible cuts in state matching funds for aging programs, or for senior
centers, and wondered if anyone else had heard anything.
Dennis Peterson, representing county weed directors, said
that March is a big training month for weed directors. He said that the CWDAK
conference is the first week of March in Hutchinson,
at which there is a program to recertify commercial applicators.
He said that landfill/recycling/household hazardous
waste/composting operators would be interested in the annual Recycling Works!
Conference in Overland Park, March 25-28, 2008.
Joe Connor, representing health departments, said that the
maternal/child health bill (KAC’s low birth weight babies legislative priority)
had been introduced in the Senate Ways
and Means Committee last week.
Gary Doane inquired about who was planning to attend the
NACo Legislative Conference in Washington in early March (Shannon Francis,
Steve Garten, Randall Allen, Judy Moler, and Gary Doane). He also asked when
the slider payments for the loss of property taxes due to the machinery and
equipment (M&E) exemption would be mailed. Randall replied that they were
required to be mailed by February 15,
The meeting was adjourned at 8:11
Sheila Biggs, KAC
March 13, 2008