December 13, 2007

Governing Board Meeting Minutes

Kansas Association of Counties

December 13, 2007

Lower Level Conference Room

300 SW 8th

Topeka, Kansas


President Dennis Peterson called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. 2006-2007 Board members present were as follows:


Joe Connor, Unified Government Health Department Administrator; Larry McAulay, Johnson County Director of Legal Services; Ted Ensley, Shawnee County Commis-

sioner; Steve Garten, Barber County Commissioner; John Miller, Norton County Commissioner; Shannon Francis, Seward County Commissioner Tom Winters, Sedgwick County Commissioner; Dick Works, Allen County Commissioner; George Pogge, Jefferson County Road Superintendent; Gary Post, Lyon County Appraiser; Dennis Peterson, Riley County Noxious Weed Director; Tom Wagner, Atchison County Commissioner; and Sheila Biggs, Dickinson County Commissioner.


2006-2007 Board members absent were: Michele Abbott-Becker, Marion County Emergency Management Director and Terry David, Rice County EMS Director.


2007-2008 Board members present were: Mark Low, Finney County Appraiser; Gary Doane, Osborne County Commissioner.


2007-2008 Board members absent were: Dale Phillips, Barton County Noxious Weed Director.


KAC Staff and others present: Randall Allen, KAC Executive Director; Judy Moler, KAC General Counsel; Sarah Meyer, KAC Conference/Meeting Planner.


President Dennis Peterson welcomed the new board members who would be seated later in the meeting. He gave the Board an update on his mother’s health, and thanked Shannon Francis for filling in for him at the Tuesday morning, November 20 sessions of the KAC Annual Conference. Larry McAulay presented a gift card from various KAC Board members and Randall to President Peterson to help relieve some of his travel expenses while traveling from Manhattan back and forth to Topeka during his mother’s hospitalization.  


The agenda was presented. No changes were needed. Shannon Francis moved, seconded by Steve Garten, to accept the agenda as presented. Motion carried.


Minutes for November 18, 2007. Shannon Francis moved, seconded by Dick Works, to approve the minutes of the November 18, 2007 meeting. Motion carried.


Approval of Bills and Payroll for December 13, 2007. John Miller, 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.   John Miller moved, seconded by Ted Ensley, to approve the bills and payroll dated December 13, 2007. Motion carried.


Monthly Financial Report for October, 2007. Randall presented the report and answered questions. John Miller moved, seconded by Joe Connor, to receive and place on file the October, 2007 Monthly Financial Report. Motion carried.


Review of Current Methodology for Dues: Randall reviewed the current methodology for allocating member dues among the 105 counties. He distributed a spreadsheet showing the 2008 dues for each county, based on their 2007 populations and assessed valuations. Shannon Francis moved, seconded by Sheila Biggs, that the dues allocation methodology remain the same for the 2008 dues, but that the Finance Committee study this issue early in 2008 so that any possible changes for 2009 can be evaluated at any early date. Motion carried.  


Legislative Items: Marilyn Nichols, Shawnee County Register of Deeds representing the Kansas Registers of Deeds (RODs) Association spoke about an initiative of a housing coalition to fund housing by adding to recording fees as well as mortgage registration fees.  This would go into a housing trust fund. This would be used for housing needs such as those brought about by the floods and tornados of 2007. Ms. Nichols wanted to be clear that the RODs do not oppose helping those in need after natural disasters; however, there are many questions about this approach to creating a housing trust fund. The KAC Board compared this to a once-proposed method of funding state parks through auto tag fees. It was the feeling of the KAC Board that if the State believes in a housing fund, then the state should fund it in an equitable manner.


Doug Wareham, Kansas Bankers Association (KBA), spoke to the Board about a “centralized pledging system” modeled on a system used in Colorado. Such a system would free up money in local communities currently used for pledging for each local government’s investment. There are many issues to be worked out so that everyone is comfortable with this. The KBA will ask for an informational hearing in order to “vet” the idea and then will ask for an interim study on this issue.


National Association of Counties Report.   Steve Garten reported that he attended a NACo Board meeting December 6-8, 2007 in St. Petersburg, Florida. A great deal of the discussion there focused on how the Executive Committee (and particularly the 2nd Vice President) of NACo is elected. Steve also presented a copy of the key 2008 legislative priorities of NACo. The overriding theme at NACo this year is to “Restore the Partnership” between the counties and the federal government that has eroded over the past several years. Steve said that membership in NACo is at an all-time high (approximately 2,300 counties) which has been fueled in considerable degree by the NACo Prescription Drug Card program. He urged counties to consider attending the NACo Annual Conference this summer. It will be in Kansas City, MO and will allow for more ease of travel and less expense.


Travel Authorization. Randall requested authorization for the Executive Director, Board President, NACo Representative and Legislative Director to travel to the NACo Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, March 1-5, 2008. Tom Wagner moved, seconded by Sheila Biggs, to approve the travel as recommended. Motion carried.


32nd Annual Conference Review. Sarah Meyer presented a comprehensive summary review of the most recent 32nd Annual Conference in Wichita, including the evaluation responses of participants to all conference events. She briefed the board on some of the lessons learned from the conference. The evaluations of the conference were very good for the most part. There was some discontent with the dance being Sunday evening and the insufficiency of places (tables, chairs) for people to sit and eat. However, all in all, it was an outstanding conference Ten counties had no persons in attendance at the 2007 annual conference (four of these were non-member counties). There were 114 pre-conference workshop attendees as compare to 78 in 2006. There were 85 booth spaces reserved, including 47 new vendors. Of the 85 booth spaces, 79 were paid vendors. The KAC already has 4 signed contracts for the 2008 exhibition.


Farewell to Departing Board Members. President Peterson thanked the departing board members for their service and presented them with a gift for their time spent on the board.   Those leaving the KAC Board were: Ted Ensley, Shawnee County Commissioner; Gary Post, Lyon County Appraiser and John Miller, Norton County Commissioner.

Seating of new members to the KAC Board. Gary Post, Lyon County Appraiser, introduced his successor, Mark Low, Finney County Appraiser. John Miller, Norton County Commissioner introduced Gary Doane, Osborne County Commissioner, his successor from northwest Kansas. Dennis Peterson, Riley County Noxious Weed Director, announced that Dale Phillips, Barton County Noxious Weed Director will succeed him on the Board, but Dale was unable to be at the meeting as he is also Public Works Director in Barton County and was taking care of the roads after the snow and ice storms.


Report of the Nominating Committee. Ted Ensley, Chair of the Nominating Committee, announced the following slate of officers: Shannon Francis, President; Joe Connor, Vice President; Sheila Biggs, Secretary; Tom Winters, Treasurer. Ted Ensley moved, seconded by Steve Garten, to accept the nominating committee report and elect the officers, as recommended. Motion passed unanimously.


Board Comments. Tom Winters congratulated outgoing President Dennis Peterson on his year as President, saying that the board meetings ran smoother and more efficiently. Incoming board President Shannon Francis thanked the board for its confidence in electing him to lead in 2008. He said that there are continuing challenges for the KAC Board, including the need to secure a more adequate revenue base; the transition in staffing expected later in 2008 due to Judy Moler’s retirement in October; the desire to continue to grow the annual conference, as has been demonstrated with Sarah Meyer’s leadership; making better utilization of our affiliates and associates; and a need to provide more management assistance to Randall.

Discussion of 2008 Board Meeting Dates. Randall again presented possible dates for 2008 Board meetings. The board noted that there was one fewer meeting listed than last year. Randall said there was an additional meeting in 2006 and it was continued in 2007. If an additional meeting (in one of the months in which no meeting is scheduled) is needed, it can be added during the year. Larry McAulay suggested that this might be a good time to again discuss whether some of these meetings could be conducted by telephone conference call. There was board discussion about holding meetings by conference call, but no consensus to hold regular monthly meetings in this manner.


Date                                                     Location


Friday, January 25, 2008                      Topeka

Monday, Feb. 11, 2008 (evening)         Topeka

(evening before County Gov’t Day)

Thursday, March 13, 2008                   Topeka

(Dinner that evening with Board of the League of Kansas Municipalities)

Friday, May 23, 2008                          TBD, outside Topeka

Friday, July 25, 2008                            Topeka

Friday, September 26, 2008                 TBD, outside Topeka

Friday, October 24, 2008                     Topeka

Sunday, November 16, 2008                Wichita (Annual Conference)

Thursday, December 11, 2008 Topeka (Reorganizational meeting)


Larry McAulay moved, seconded by Dennis Peterson, to approve the 2008 KAC Board meetings schedule as presented. Motion carried.


Appointment to Finance Committee. President Francis appointed Michele Abbott-Becker, Dick Works and Steve Garten to the Finance Committee. Tom Winters, Treasurer, will chair the committee, pursuant to KAC Bylaws.


(George Pogge arrived at the meeting at this point, having battled ice-related problems in Jefferson County earlier in the day.)

Conversion in Computer Aided Mass Appraisal (CAMA Systems). At the 2007 KAC Annual Conference, Commissioner Joe Nold, Dickinson County urged the KAC Board to appoint a committee to meet with the Secretary of Revenue and Property Valuation Director to discuss issues concerning the counties’ conversion from the 1989 CAMA system to the new Orion system. Several persons have volunteered to serve on this committee. These persons are Joe Nold, Dickinson County Commissioner; Vic Miller, Shawnee County Commissioner; Janet Duever, Marshall County Appraiser; Mark Hixon, Shawnee County Appraiser; Gary Post, Lyon County Appraiser; Cindy Magill, Marion County Appraiser; Daniel Holub, Marion County Commissioner; J.C. Tellefson, Leavenworth County Appraiser; Marvin L. Clements, Reno County Appraiser; Lonie Addis, Labette County Commissioner.


The KAC Board endorsed this committee with Mark Low and Dick Works from the KAC Board agreeing to serve on the committee. The first meeting of the committee will be Thursday, December 27, 2007 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. in the KAC Conference Room, 3rd Floor. Discussion of the committee will be the order of the day in preparation for the meeting with Revenue personnel.

Staff Reports. Judy circulated a draft of an idea submitted by Michele Abbott-Becker to fund a scholarship program for dispatchers who have chosen 9-1-1 as a career. Michele Abbott-Becker will discuss this at our next meeting in January. This would also require approval by the League of Kansas Municipalities as well as the Statewide E 9-1-1 Advisory Board. Randall advised the board that he has been working with Deb Miller and Julie Lorenz at KDOT about formation of a bridge inspection task force. The task force would include county, city, state (KDOT), and federal (FHWA) representatives – both elected and appointed. The goal is to find ways to bring Kansas into full compliance with federal bridge inspection rules. Randall has submitted the names of several road and bridge supervisors and commissioners to KDOT for possible membership on the task force. Randall also advised the board concerning planning for the July, 2008 NACo conference in Kansas City, indicating that the host committee would need many volunteers to staff the various conference events.


Affiliate/Associate Reports. Below is a summary of the various topics discussed during the affiliate/associate reports:


Proposal to Consolidate Community Corrections and Youth Services Programs. Tom Winters inquired about the nature and background of Riley County’s request of their legislators to make changes in the community corrections programs. There was discussion about the need to have these discussions as part of the summer KAC policy process. Different counties may feel very different This issue may have different


NACo Annual Conference. Steve Garten reminded the board that if a new county joins NACo, they automatically receive a free registration to a NACo conference (annual or legislative).


Health Department Assessment. Sheila Biggs said that she had recently participated in a briefing in which Janan Wunsch-Smith presented her assessment of Dickinson County’s public health services. Sheila said the assessment process was a very positive one and she commended Ms. Wunsch-Smith as a possible presenter at an upcoming KAC or KCCA meeting.


CCAK. Larry McAulay indicated that he had been selected to again represent the County Counselors Association of Kansas (CCAK) on the KAC Board for the next two years.


Weather-Related Problems. Tom Wagner said that the weather-related damage in Atchison and other northeast Kansas counties was very significant, and that thousands of people were still without electrical service.


Appraisal Issues. Mark Low commented that the Appraiser’s Association is still very interested in the valuation of underground gas storage, as well as legislation which will probably be requested by Johnson County Appraiser Paul Welcome to exempt very low value property.


Highway Association. George Pogge said that their spring conference will be in Manhattan and that they will have a time on the agenda for KAC staff to present an update.


Osborne County News. Gary Doane said that they had received a $130,000 e-waste collection grant from KDHE on behalf of multiple (15) counties. He said their next step is to develop a business plan and put the interlocal agreements in place. Gary also talked about the multi-county meetings that Osborne has regularly with Mitchell, Smith, and Jewell counties. He said that they have been good meetings in opening up discussions among the four counties.

The meeting adjourned at 4:37 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,




Judy Moler

General Counsel/Legislative Services Director







Sheila Biggs, KAC Board Secretary

January 25, 2008