June 26, 2006

Kansas Association of Counties                                                

Governing Board Meeting Minutes

Friday, June 26, 2006

Conference Room B, Holiday Inn Express

Kansas City, Kansas



President Gene Merry called the meeting to order at 9:05 p.m. Board members present were as follows:


Joe Connor, Unified Government Health Department Administrator

Ted Ensley, Shawnee County Commissioner

Larry McAulay, Johnson County Director of Legal Services

Gene Merry, Coffey County Commissioner

Dennis Peterson, Riley County Noxious Weed Director

Gary Post, Lyon County Appraiser

Florence Whitebread, Geary County Commissioner

Tom Winters, Sedgwick County Commissioner



Michele Abbott-Becker, Marion County Emergency Management/Homeland Security Director

Terry David, Rice County EMS Director

Shannon Francis, Seward County Commissioner

Steve Garten, Barber County Commissioner

John Miller, Norton County Commissioner

George Pogge, Jefferson County Road Superintendent



KAC staff and others present:


Randall Allen, KAC Executive Director

Judy Moler, KAC General Counsel/Legislative Services Director

Mike Hammond, Executive Director, Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas

Dave Johnson, CEO, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center (Lawrence) and President,

            Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas

Edie Snethen, Executive Director, Kansas Association of Local Health Departments

Kathleen Harnish-Doucet, TeamTech, Inc., on behalf of The Kansas Collaborative




Mayor Joe Reardon of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/KCK welcomed the KAC Board. He spoke of tourism and economic development that has occurred in Wyandotte County since the consolidation. He explained the use of tax increment financing (Star bonds) and also shared future plans for the area.





Florence Whitebread moved, seconded by Larry McAulay to approve the meeting agenda as presented. Motion carried.




Dennis Peterson moved, seconded by Tom Winters, to approve the April 26, 2006, meeting minutes. Motion carried.  




Tom Winters indicated that he, Ted Ensley, and Gene Merry had reviewed the report of bills and payrolls dated April 26, 2006 earlier that morning and found them to be in order. Tom Winters moved, seconded by Florence Whitebread, to approve the bills and payrolls for June 16, 2006 as submitted. Motion carried.




Executive Director Allen presented the Monthly Financial Report for May, 2006. Tom Winters moved, seconded by Larry McAulay, to accept and place on file the Monthly Financial Report for May, 2006. Motion carried.




Kathleen Harnish-Doucet, TeamTech, Inc., gave an update about the work of the Kansas Collaborative, including the four breakthrough teams: 1) GIS; 2) Transportation; 3) Community Capacity-Building Pilot (Harvey County), and 4) Medical Costs for Jail Inmates and Juvenile Offenders. Highlights of her presentation were as follows:


1) The KAC and TeamTech worked to get the Phase II grant proposal for GIS to Jim Hollingsworth and the Information Network of Kansas prior to the June 1, 2006 deadline. The second phase grant request is for $100,000. The INK Board is expected to consider all grant applications and award grants in late July or August. The final of six GIS Outreach workshops was held recently in Chanute, and the response of counties and cities to the GIS initiative has been very strong. The conversation about how to work together to get and share data is well underway.

2) The Community-Capacity Building (CCB) Team is reformulating its goals, intentions, and work plans. On June 20, 2006, Randall, Kathleen and Joel will be meeting with Harvey County Commission Chair Marge Roberson, Health Department Administrator Rita Flickinger, County Administrator Craig Simons, the Mayor and Vice Mayor of the City of Newton, and John Waltner, Special Projects Director of Harvey County, to hear their comments and receive their guidance about the best way to proceed in Harvey County. This will result in a revised charter proposal for the CCB Breakthrough Team.

3) The Transportation Breakthrough Team is waiting KDOT to provide information on the overlay projects KDOT is doing throughout the State in both 2006 and 2007. This is going to be posted to a website as soon as possible so local entities can better plan and coordinate projects (and hopefully save more money).

4) There have been several presentations and rounds of meetings across Kansas to educate sheriffs, commissioners, jail administrators, and others about the new legislation capping the charges for hospitalization of jail inmates and juvenile offenders to the Medicaid rate. The law is effective July 1, 2006. The key message is that there is a way for counties to have their medical bills reviewed under a contract that the Kansas Department of Corrections has with Correct Care Solutions (CCS) and that no county should decline participation in the newfound savings because they fear an administrative burden.


President Merry distributed copies of a report from a state-county team that has been working on county engineers and engineering services in Kansas. Gene has been participating on this committee. Gene asked that the board endorse the white paper on county engineers and ask that the Transportation Breakthrough Team review the proposal and make its recommendation. Gene Merry moved, seconded by Ted Ensley, to endorse the white paper findings on county engineers and county engineering services, and refer it to the Transportation Breakthrough Team for its consideration and comments. Motion carried.  




Edie Snethen, Executive Director, KALHD, briefed the Governing Board. KALHD is working with the Local Health Departments on health department accreditation. This is a push from the federal government and accreditation will ultimately be required for funding. Since Kansas has so many rural areas, different ideas for regional accreditation are being explored. Kansas is ahead of the game as the health departments establishing regions for bio-terrorism monies.




Dave Johnson discussed the dilemma presented by the developments in Miami County with its mental health center. There, the mental health center may be taken over by Kaw Valley as the provider. Kaw Valley has no previous experience in the delivery of mental health services. It is a concern for the Association and could cause distance from the county itself. Also of concern is the lack of funding from the state. When the state hospitals were closed, money was to follow the clients to the community. This has not happened. The result is waiting lists, mentally ill in jail and a lack of services.


There was discussion of these issues by board members. It was suggested that the mental health directors need to work closer with county commissioners so that they are aware of the problems such as Miami County. This dialogue needs to be continuous and not just one that occurs in a crisis.




Judy Moler and Randall updated the Board on the conclusion of the 2006 legislative session, including the status of the Machinery and Equipment property tax exemption legislation which was recently signed by the Governor. They described the mitigation provisions that were included in the legislation to mitigate to the extent possible the shift of the property tax burden to residential and agricultural property owners. Other major developments of the 2006 Legislature affecting counties included 1) passage of HB 2893, capping jail hospitalization costs and pegging them to the Medicaid rates; 2) the passage of exotic animals regulation; 3) the holding back of any TABOR or TABOR-like legislation; 4) the final sunset of community college out-district tuition; and 5) the passage of banking legislation that had been sought for so long.


Judy then explained the process for preparing the draft 2007 legislative policy statement for consideration by the membership at the KAC Annual Conference in November. She explained that the KAC Legislative Policy Committee is set to meet on June 27. Presenters at the first session will include Joan Wagnon, Secretary of Revenue; Trevor Wolford and Rebecca Crotty, Board of Tax Appeals; and Bill Bider, Bureau of Waste Management, KDHE.  


Interim studies have not been set yet; however, there will be a study on the definition of “blight” as it relates to eminent domain.  




In the absence of Steve Garten, there was no formal NACo report. Randall indicated that Andrew Goldschmidt of NACo had informed him that several counties in Kansas (Ellis, Nemaha, Ness, Rice, Sumner, Wichita) had cancelled their NACo membership this year and that one (Thomas) had already indicated that it would not renew for next year. Randall said this is very troubling, especially in light of the work that has gone on to bring additional benefits (GIS software, prescription drug program) to counties. A strategy for retaining NACo members is needed.




Randall reported on the following issues and entertained board discussion and consideration on the following topics:  


1)  Randall distributed a tentative schedule of workshops for the Kansas County Government Institute for the remainder of 2006.

2)   Health Insurance Project: The Haake Group has received nearly enough returned data from counties to be able to develop an RFP to send to the market and ask for rates from various providers. There are still a few days for counties to respond to the survey and some targeted phone calls are being made to boost the response rate.

3) Randall presented a draft, recommended marketing agreement and royalty agreement with the National Association of Counties and NACo’s Financial Service Corporation (FSC) for continuation of the KAC’s exclusive endorsement of the deferred compensation program of NACo as administered by Nationwide Retirement Solutions. He recommended that the Association continue sponsorship at this time, at the partnership level of sponsorship. There is a 90-day out clause in the contract should the KAC desire to pursue a different deferred compensation provider. Florence Whitebread moved, seconded by Gary Post, to approve the royalty and marketing agreements for the deferred compensation program with the National Association of Counties at the partnership level of sponsorship and authorize the Executive Director to sign the agreements. Motion carried.  




Board members briefly reported on issues pertinent to their respective affiliate organizations.


Larry McAulay (CCAK): The CCAK is holding its CLE meeting in Salina on June 22. 40+ persons are registered to attend. He suggested that the KAC should offer a clearinghouse service on information concerning implementation of the new conceal-carry law in Kansas. He said that information about best practices, posting of notices, how applications can and should be processed, and other ideas could be shared via the KAC network.

Gary Post (Appraisers): Gary indicated that Wilson, Harper and Finney counties are still recruiting county appraisers. He made the board aware of the letter that the Board of Russell County Commissioners had recently sent to the Governor raising their concerns about the Board of Tax Appeals (BOTA). He informed the board of the recent meeting which he, Meade County Appraiser Mark Low, and Randall had with Troy Findley, Chief of Staff to Governor Kathleen Sebelius, to urge the Governor to correct the slow processing time that is being experienced in getting certain decisions handed down by the BOTA. The delays have huge impact on taxpayers and local governments, and used the example of the natural gas storage decisions which was held up for eleven months and how its impact extends to school districts and counties in many counties.

Joe Connor (KALHD): Joe thanked the Board for coming to Wyandotte County for its meeting.

Dennis Peterson (CWDAK): Dennis indicated that the County Weed Directors’ summer state meeting is in Salina in July, and that there would be recertification training as well as field trips for participants. He said that the CWDAK is the accredited sponsor for recertification of chemical application operators, and that this was a significant development that their association had been working on for quite some time.



The meeting was adjourned at 12:57 p.m.


                                                                        Respectfully submitted,





                                                                        Randall L. Allen

                                                                        Executive Director





Approved:         _______________________________

                        Florence Whitebread

                        Board Secretary

                        July 21, 2006