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MINUTES

KANSAS ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES

GOVERNING BOARD MEETING

Emerald IV Room, Capitol Plaza Hotel

Topeka, Kansas

February 9, 1999

 

 

               

                                President Sara Ullmann called the meeting to order at 10:33 a.m. Board

                        members present were as follows:

 

                        Sara Ullmann, Johnson County Register of Deeds

                        Don Hanson,  Ellsworth County Commissioner

                        Linda Schreppel, Labette County Clerk

                        Linda Peterson, Marion County Commissioner

                        Dean Kruse, Norton County Commissioner

                        Alan Winkler,  Wabaunsee County Commissioner

                        Riley Winkler, Gray County Commissioner

                        Nancy Weeks, Haskell County Treasurer

                        Kenneth Meier, Harvey County Commissioner

                        Jean Barber, Allen County Commissioner

                        Michael Dailey, Wyandotte County Sheriff

                        David Heger, Miami County Counselor

                        Darryl Lutz, Butler County Engineer

                        Robert Abel, Jr., Jefferson County Weed Director

 

                        Members absent were:

 

                        Rodney Broberg, Saline County Appraiser

                        Randy Duncan, Sedgwick County Emergency Management Director

 

                        Others present were:

 

                        Randy Allen, KAC Executive Director

                        Judy Moler, KAC Legislative Services Director/General Counsel

                        Marla Flentje, KAC Education Director

 

                        President Ullmann indicated that several guests had been invited to address

                        the board during the meeting, and therefore agenda items would be taken out

                        of order at times to accommodate the schedules of presenters. She introduced

                        Becky Crowder and Beth Tatarko of the Austin Peters Group, who were present

                        to present the 1998 Salary/Benefits Survey report.

 

                        Approval of Minutes:

 

David Heger moved, seconded by Riley Winkler, to approve the minutes of the January 19, 1999 board meeting, as presented. Motion carried.

 

 

Finance Committee Report:

 

Linda Schreppel, Finance Committee Chairman, presented the bills and payrolls as of February 9, 1999, totaling $12,342.79. She indicated that the Association’s checking account balances at Columbian National Bank as of February 7, 1999 totaled $391,713.68.

 

Don Hanson moved, seconded by Nancy Weeks, to approve the bills and

payrolls as presented.  Motion carried.

 

Due to the press of the legislative session and some reconciliation of various

accounts receivable, Randy indicated that the December, 1998 monthly financial report was not completed and therefore not available for presentation or discussion at this meeting. It will be included on the March 12, 1999 meeting

agenda.

 

1998 Salary/Benefits Survey Report Presentation:

 

Randy introduced Becky Crowder and Beth Tatarko of the Austin Peters Group.

Becky Crowder summarized the methodology by which the firm surveyed counties for compensation and employee benefits information. Becky indicated that a group of county clerks and human resource (personnel) directors met with Marla Flentje and her before the survey was sent to the counties. The group reviewed the survey and made suggestions which were incorporated into the final survey instrument. Becky indicated that 91of 105 counties (87%) responded to the survey. Survey responses were then tabulated and then mailed back to counties so that the data could be verified. The survey provides salary data for 53 positions common to county government. County respondents were asked to indicate how close a match the position in their county is to the position described in the survey questionnaire. This is for the purpose of better comparing “apples to apples.” 

 

The tabulated survey results were recently printed and mailed to all 105 counties – either to the county clerk or to the personnel director. The document was provided on a complimentary basis to each county. Additional copies are available for purchase from the KAC office in Topeka.

 

Sara Ullmann asked the Executive Director to follow-up with the consultants and our members in a systematic way now that the project is complete and then commit to writing comments about what went well and what could be improved before the Association conducts another similar survey.

 

Directors/Officers Liability Insurance and other related insurance matters:

 

Randy Allen introduced Mr. Steve Wanamaker of Charlton Manley Insurance in

Topeka, who distributed a summary (attached) of the Association’s current insurance coverage. Mr. Wanamaker reviewed the Association’s current insurance coverage, giving special attention to the directors and officers liability coverage which comes up for renewal on March 8, 1999. This policy provides $1,000,000 coverage for each occurrence, with a $7,500 deductible per claim.

Board discussion ensued.

 

Linda Schreppel moved, seconded by Riley Winkler, to bind the directors and officers liability policy coverage as proposed by Charlton Manley and recommended by the Executive Director.  Motion carried.

 

Final Marketing Plan for Deferred Compensation Program:

 

Randy introduced Ms. Joyce Hall, Regional Marketing Director for Nationwide Retirement Solutions, Inc. (formerly known as PEBSCO), who was recently

appointed to serve Kansas as well as Missouri. Randy indicated that in the fall of 1998, Ms. Elizabeth Miller (then with PEBSCO – Kansas) had presented a

draft marketing plan for the board’s consideration to guide the marketing efforts

for the deferred compensation to Kansas counties. The draft plan has since been

revised, and Joyce Hall reviewed it with the board. She indicated that she wanted to get to know the board members and to work together to make the deferred compensation program even better for Kansas’ county employees. She indicated that in some states there was interest in the employer offering a Section 457 retirement plan to complement an existing defined benefits state retirement plan.  

Ms. Hall was asked to research whether it would be possible for a county in Kansas to implement a Section 457 plan (in which the employer would match

an employee’s contribution, perhaps to a certain limit) in addition to the KPERS

plan. She responded that she would contact KPERS and would provide a letter to

the board in time for the March 12 board meeting.

 

1999 Legislative Session Report:

 

Judy Moler reported on the status of the KAC’s 1999 legislative priorities

as well as the status of other bills of interest to counties.  Ken Meier commented on the transportation program proposals which have been offered to date, and indicated that he thought the Legislature would ultimately arrive at a program with a size between the Governor’s plan and the Economic Lifelines proposal.

Judy indicated that the 9-1-1 tax had been referred for a study by Legislative Post Audit, which could possibly push action on our bill to the 2000 session. She said that no significant action had occurred on the juvenile justice funding to date as the JJA is still compiling the budget requests submitted by the various Community Planning teams.

 

The meeting was recessed for lunch at 12:15. The meeting reconvened at

1:05 p.m. Commissioner Ken Meier was excused to attend a special board

meeting of Economic Lifelines, at which time there would be an update on the

status of transportation program legislation.

 

Education Program Report:

 

Education Director Marla Flentje briefed the board on the recently-held workshop titled “Introduction to the Commissioner’s Job,” held at the Wichita Airport Hilton Hotel on February 4-5, 1999. Approximately 105 commissioners

attended the meeting, which attracted both new and veteran commissioners.

The program included plenary session presentations on various topics, including

“An Overview of the Real Job Description: The Multiple Roles of County Commissioner” (Marla Flentje); “What Every County Commissioner Needs to Know about County Government in Kansas” (Dr. Joe Aistrup, Fort Hays State

University); and “Defining the Commissioner’s Leadership Role” (Dr. Joe Pisciotte, Wichita State University). On Thursday afternoon, participants rotated among four 45-minute workshops on the topics of financial management (Randy Allen and Mark Dick, Allen Gibbs and Houlik, CPAs, Wichita); Human Resource Management (Becky Crowder, Austin Peters Group); Intergovern-

mental Relations (Dr. Ed Flentje, WSU); and Effective Commission Meetings (Marla Flentje). The Friday morning program included presentations on commis-

sioners’ legislative duties and their legal obligations. The meeting concluded with a panel of five former county commissioners, who commented on the county commissioner’s job “as seen from the rear-view mirror.” The audience response to the final panel was excellent. Education Director Flentje distributed a

summary of participants’ written evaluations (attached).

 

This workshop was the first offered under the organizing entity of the Kansas Leadership Academy for County Commissioners, a new partnership of the KAC and Kansas County Commissioners Association (KCCA).

 

Fall, 1999 Public Policy Forum Topic Selection:

 

Discussion of the Fall, 1999 Public Policy Forum topic, first begun at the

January board meeting, resumed. Randy indicated that, to date, the following subjects had been raised as potential subjects of the forum:  1) Home Rule – current status, future options; 2) Consolidation of Local government units, including functional consolidation and organizational Consolidation; 3) Y2K, or the Year 2000 Millenium bug; 4) Technology and how counties could utilize

It to their advantage (raised by Bob Abel, Jr. in January); and 5) opportunities for public/private partnerships (raised by Randy Duncan in January).

 

Alan Winkler said that the issues and concerns associated with siting cellular towers (e.g. “nimby”; aesthetic concerns; conflict with zoning ) would be a good topic for the forum. Linda Peterson said that she thought this idea was a good one, but could perhaps be addressed at the Kansas County Commissioners Association annual meeting in Great Bend in May. Marla Flentje indicated that

she would be meeting later that day with the Executive Committee of the Kansas County Commissioners Association and would raise this idea with them.

 

Randy Allen presented an idea which borrows on several themes, i.e. issues

surrounding the growing area of electronic commerce (“e-commerce”) and the consequences that such changes will have for counties, both in terms of economic development and taxation. He indicated that it was an area in which we could likely get several very good speakers and presenters.  Discussion ensued.

 

The board indicated a desire for Randy Allen to pursue the topic of electronic

commerce and its impact on county government, and for the staff to work with

the Office of Local Government at Kansas State University to set a date in the

fall for another jointly-sponsored conference.

  

 

National Association of Counties Report:

 

Linda Peterson spoke about recent action of the National Association of Counties to form a “Rural Action Caucus” to advocate for rural solutions to policy issues. She said that the Rural Caucus would be concentrating its immediate efforts on two legislative priorities:  1) improved health care for rural areas; and 2) improved air service for smaller communities. Linda distributed a fact sheet about the Rural Action Caucus (attached) and indicated that the caucus would be meeting at NACo’s upcoming Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

She indicated that four persons (Sara Ullmann, Randy Allen, Judy Moler, and Linda Peterson) would be attending NACo’s annual legislative conference in

Washington, D.C. from February 26 through March 2, 1999, and that the KAC

was again hosting a breakfast for our congressional delegation on Capitol Hill

as well as all Kansans attending the NACo Legislative Conference.  

 

Executive Director’s Report:

 

Randy indicated that he had secured a commitment from Allen, Gibbs, and Houlik, CPAs, Wichita, to finance up to $1,500 of the cost to print KAC’s first Research Bulletin. The Bulletin will summarize 1999 budgetary and tax information for counties. Randy reviewed the schedule and purpose of the

joint meeting with the League of Municipalities and KASB Boards later in the day on February 9. He said that the purposes of the joint meeting are to 1) get to know each other; 2) learn more about the other organizations; and 3) identify mutual legislative/work priorities. He outlined the specific schedule as follows:

 

            4:30  - 6:00  p.m.           First Work Session

            6:00  - 7:30  p.m.           Reception and Dinner

            7:30  - 9:00  p.m.           Wrap-up work session

 

President’s Report:

 

President Sara Ullmann led the board and staff in an interactive process in which 1) the total group identified the major stakeholders who will be impacted by the KAC’s physical office space; 2) smaller groups assumed the individual roles of each stakeholder group and listed the characteristics of office space which would be most important to that stakeholder group; 3) similarities and differences of responses were shared by the entire group; and 4) similar and like responses were grouped by major category. Stakeholders included employees; the board; visitors, including the media; vendors; county officials from among our membership; affiliate and associate groups; association partners and legislative partners; and legislators. Each group identified the most important characteristics of the KAC’s next office space which were then linked together by major category, as shown below:

 

            Adequacy:

                       

                        Adequate work space

                        Room for temporary office space – for county lobbyists, for

                                    board members passing through, for Marla Flentje

                                    when she is in Topeka

                        Spaciousness – the need for sufficient space to breathe

                        Classroom

                        Meeting room for board and others

                        Meeting room with modern presentation technology                    

                        Restrooms in office space

                        Kitchen facility with sink

                        Adequate room

                        Room for growth

                        Rental office space

                        Adequate storage area

                        Back exit

                        Kitchen

                        Technology compatible

                        Break Area

                        Parking

                        Parking Area

                        Suitably wired for telephones, telefax, internet, computers

 

            Affordability:

 

                        Affordable

                        No Frills

 

            Appearance/Environmental concerns:

 

                        Bright

                        Sky Light

                        Good Appearance

                        Security

                        Air

                        Comfort

                        Windows that open

                        Access to temperature controls

                        Walls

                        No pests

                        Exterior lighting

                        Fresh flowers

                        Professional Appearance

                       

Accessibility:

 

                        Handicapped accessible

                        “Findable” office location

                        Accessible rest rooms

                        Convenience

                        Location to Capitol

                        Location to Hotel

 

Riley Winkler commented that after his election as a board member and upon his first visit to the KAC’s current office, he was disappointed and taken back with the quality of the Association’s current office space. Bob Abel, Jr. indicated that he would not be able to go on the field trip to a possible office site later that afternoon, but indicated that he had seen the space with Sara Ullmann and Randy earlier.  

 

Sara Ullmann summarized the comments of the group by highlighting the

office space requirements which gained the largest number of proponents. The

most important characteristics of our next KAC office seemed to be: 1) adequate work space; 2) affordability; and 3) projection of a modern, professional image.

 

Sara invited the board to carpool to a potential office space in west Topeka.

 

Adjournment:

 

The meeting was adjourned at 2:40 p.m.

 

(Following adjournment, the Board and staff traveled to 6206 SW 9th Terrace in Topeka to tour an office building under consideration as a possible home for the KAC office after the current lease expires on July 31, 1999. No action was taken

with respect to an office lease).

 

 

 

 

                                                            Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

                                                            ________________________.

 

                                                            Randy Allen, Executive Director

 

 

 

                        Attachments:  1)  Summary of Current Insurance

                                              2)  “Introduction to the Commissioner’s Job” evaluation summary

                                              3)  NACo Rural Action Caucus Fact Sheet

 

 

                        MINUTES-020999.doc