January 25, 2008

Governing Board Meeting Minutes

Kansas Association of Counties

January 25, 2008

Lower Level Conference Room

300 SW 8th

Topeka, Kansas


President Shannon Francis called the meeting to order at 10:05 am. Board members present were as follows:


Michele Abbott-Becker, 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; Dale Phillips, Barton County Noxious Weed Director; Tom Wagner, Atchison County Commissioner; and Sheila Biggs, Dickinson County Commissioner.


Board members absent were: Larry McAulay, Johnson County Director of Legal Services.


KAC Staff and others present: Randall Allen, KAC Executive Director; Judy Moler, KAC General Counsel; Jamie Jones, KAC Legal Intern; Dennis Kriesel, KAC Senior Policy Analyst; Cliff Mayo, Finney County Commissioner and KCCA President; Sarah Meyer, KAC Conference/Meeting Planner.


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


Minutes for December 13, 2007. Steve Garten moved, seconded by Tom Wagner , to approve the minutes of the December 13, 2007 meeting with the striking of an incomplete sentence on page 5 of the minutes which read, “this issue may have been different….”. 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 Terry David, to approve the bills and payroll dated January 25, 2008. Motion carried.


Monthly Financial Report for December, 2007. Randall presented the report and answered questions. Terry David moved, seconded by Michele Abbott-Becker, to receive and place on file the December, 2007 Monthly Financial Report. Motion carried.






Briefing on the Status of Kansas Airports. Martin Miller, President of the Kansas Airport Association (KAA) and manager of the Great Bend Municipal Airport, spoke to

the Board about the need for continued investment in airports through the next Comprehensive Transportation Program (CTP). The 1999 CTP was the first time that airports had shared in the revenue of the multi-year transportation program. The financial commitment was a relatively small portion of the 1999 CTP, it paid huge dividends for the airports and the communities they support. These investments have paid off in aviation based emergency services and well as economic development. Half of the states in this country spend more per capita on aviation than does Kansas yet Kansas ranks number one in the economic benefit of aviation and number seven in the number of public use airports. The KAA will prepare an article for the County Comment in order than our counties can be kept aware of the importance of aviation in the next CTP.


Legislative Report. Judy Moler distributed a list of the nominees for the eighth (non-commissioner) position on the 2008 KAC Legislative Policy Committee. One of the nominees would be selected as the voting member. The nominees were: LeRoy Burk, Labette County Appraiser, KCAA; Lisa Eickholt, Geary County Human Resource Director, KCHRA; Delton Gilliland, Osage County Counselor, CCAK: John Kabus, Shawnee County Noxious Weed Director, CWDAK; Craig Weinaug, Douglas County Administrator, KCAA; and Kerry McCue, Ellis County Emergency Services Director, KEMSA. Sheila Biggs moved, seconded by Gary Doane, to appoint Kerry McCue, Ellis County, as the eighth voting member of the 2008 Legislative Policy Committee.

Motion carried.


Judy made the Board aware of the following legislative matters: 1) Hearings were held during the past week on the status of wind energy in Kansas. Jamie Jones, KAC Legal Intern, prepared a paper on the hearings which was distributed to the Board; 2) HB 2543 is a bill introduced last year by the Kansas City Area Home Builders. The original language of the bill was unconstitutional according to the AG. Language was changed to call the unoccupied home, “inventory” of a builder; 3) SB 444 introduced by Johnson County which would make personal property in the amount of $1,500 or less, exempt; 4) legislation was introduced by the KAC and League of Kansas Municipalities to specify that moneys that cannot be attributed to a specific PSAP may be distributed to PSAPs for the purposes allowed by statute. This will meet an audit issue brought up by last year’s

wireless E 9-1-1 audit; and 5) County Government Day is February 12. An agenda was distributed. The Governor will be the opening speaker, and all speakers are now confirmed.  


Geo-Comm Proposal. Judy distributed a proposal from GeoComm to provide technical assistance to counties that cannot yet provide phase II services for E 9-1-1. Judy also distributed a map showing the status of all Kansas counties in complying with the wireless E-911 legislation. The progress shown on the map is based on self-reporting. There was much discussion about the proposal. Michele Abbott-Becker said she would contact Embarq and AT&T to get an updated map. Michele Abbott-Becker moved, seconded by Terry David, that the KAC enter into the agreement with that we also expect training to occur on “next generation” technology, and for site visits to occur to specific counties, as needed. Motion carried.  




Kansas Water Congress Report. Dennis Kriesel, Senior Policy Analyst, provided a summary of the Kansas Water Congress’ winter meeting held in Topeka on January 14, 2008. The KAC is a member of the Kansas Water Congress, by previous action of the KAC Board. Dennis described the decisions reached regarding Intensive Groundwater Use Control Areas (IGUCAs) and the remaining controversies on the issue. Other summarized topics concerned the Water Right Transition Assistance Program (WTAP), the use of damage funds from Colorado’s overuse of Kansas water, the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), and Kansas’ water shortage in federal reservoirs.


President’s Report. Shannon reported on the recent meeting of all state association executive directors and presidents sponsored by the National Council of County Association Executives (NCCAE) in Washington, D.C. Shannon and Randall attended the meeting on January 9-11, 2008. The purpose of the meeting is to familiarize state presidents and executive directors with NACo and NACo’s program and services, including its legislative activity. Shannon commented on the dinner speaker at the National Press Club. His name was Rich Karlgaard, Publisher of Forbes Magazine. Mr. Karlgaard spoke about the accelerating rate of change in the U.S. economy, and how much more quickly a company can now drive its fortunes “off a cliff” than in the past. He also spoke about the importance of stable, consistent, predictable state and local government, and also how important it is for all levels of government to be transparent in their policymaking and business affairs. Shannon also mentioned that the group heard HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, USDA Undersecretary Thomas Dorr, and others at the White House (Executive Office Building). He said it was a good, informative meeting. Shannon said that based on the meeting, he intended to spend more time searching the NACo website to find possible grant programs available to counties.  

Executive Director’s Report. Randall told the board that the staff wants to accelerate planning for the 33rd Annual Conference (2008) in Wichita even more this year, so as to more aggressively market the conference. As such, he asked Sarah Meyer, Conference/Meeting Planner, to review a document with suggested changes to the 33rd Annual Conference, with the board so that the board could give feedback about such changes. The suggested changes to the upcoming, 2008 annual conference are as follows:


Sunday, November 16, 2008:


  1. Pre-Conference Workshop participants will be provided a lunch (boxed?)
  2. The Exhibition will be open from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon and evening. Refreshments will be provided in the afternoon and dinner will be a part of the Exhibition, with plenty of seating. There will be door prizes and “games” throughout the exhibition, in contrast to distributing door prizes at the awards luncheon.
  3. Staff will work with the hotel to serve complimentary wine at the Exhibition reception instead of the Awards luncheon.
  4. The exhibition will end on Sunday evening, with no hours on Monday. Sarah checked this with 3-4 vendors who “applauded” this approach.
  5. The exhibition will be in the Bob Brown Arena, on the same level as the Hyatt Regency. This eliminates the “up and down” of the promenade level.
  6. The KAC will no longer purchase door prizes
  7. The opening plenary session will begin at 8:00 with David Rabiner, keynote speaker
  8. The dance is discontinued.


Monday, November 17, 2008:


  1. First thing in the morning – a second plenary session with David Rabiner, with a hearty breakfast
  2. The County Counselors Association’s CLE session will be held at the Hyatt.
  3. There will be a “big-thinkers” session for people who do not have an affiliate or associate meeting to go to, or who don’t want to go to the one they have scheduled.
  4. We will have a different room setup for the Legislative Policy Committee review with the committee seated on a raised platform facing the audience.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008:


  1. Prior to scheduling the “Getaway Weekend to Tim-Buck-Two,” the KAC staff will secure a legal opinion or feedback from the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s office about its legality. If the District Attorney’s office says that it is legal, the KAC staff will work to acquire a sponsorship for the drawing.


There was considerable board discussion concerning the changes to the annual conference. There was consensus for the staff to proceed to plan the 2008 annual conference to include the changes outlined above.


Sarah Meyer briefed the board about the staff recommendation to engage the services of David Rabiner of Portland, Oregon to deliver the keynote address at the opening general session as well as to speak at the Monday morning plenary session. Sarah said that she had spoken with several of her peers at the recent Midwest state association staff retreat in Chicago, and that they reported very positive results from having David at their state association annual conferences.


Sheila Biggs moved, seconded by Mark Low to accept the staff recommendation to engage David Rabiner for our 2008 KAC Annual Conference, at a cost of $5,000 plus travel expenses. Motion carried.


Randall introduced Jamie Jones, new Legal Intern, who had joined the meeting. A copy of Jamie’s resume was provided to the board. Jamie is a third-year law student at Washburn University.  


Randall reported on a recent meeting with Rob Mahoney of Haake Benefits, broker for the KAC’s Employee Benefits Trust (KAC-EBT), in which both agreed on a strategy for growing the EBT during 2008 and 2009. The three strategies are 1) to offer several “unbundled” services to counties (such as preparation of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a county to bid health and dental insurance coverage, or analysis of such proposals, so that there is value to a county (and revenues to the trust) even if the county does not insure its employees under the trust; 2) to continue to encourage United Healthcare to expand its provider network; and 3) to explore the opportunity for the KAC-EBT to partner with an additional insurer that has contracts with some of the provider networks (e.g. Stormont-Vail/Cotton O’Neil Clinics in northeast Kansas) that UHC does not currently contract with (nor is it likely that they will contract with in the near future).


Randall further reported on the status of counties’ 2008 membership in the KAC. As of January 23, 2008, 61 counties had paid their 2008 dues, totaling $189,833.26.


National Association of Counties Report. Steve Garten, NACo Representative,  

urged the board to register early for the NACo Annual Conference to be held in Kansas City in July. He said that the conference registration would be opening up in early February.


Secretariat Agreement with County Counselors Association. Randall presented an agreement for 2008 services to the County Counselors Association of Kansas, at an amount identical to last year’s agreement ($7,000). Dennis Peterson moved, seconded by George Pogge, to approve the agreement and authorize the Executive Director to sign. Motion carried.


Request to approve scholarship program for emergency communications personnel, funded by wireless E-911 funds (deferred from December 13, 2007 meeting). Michele Abbott-Becker presented her idea to provide scholarships for dispatchers in various PSAPs in Kansas to help them attend dispatching classes at locations providing such curriculum, including Hutchinson and Garden City Community Colleges. The board had a thorough discussion about the idea, asking 1) whether the intent is to provide scholarships to persons who are already dispatchers in county/city PSAPs or to persons who want to be dispatchers in PSAPs; 2) what the current student loads are in the colleges (Hutchinson, Garden City, possibly others) which teach this curriculum and whether they have excess capacity to accept more students; 3) what the maximum amount of scholarship would be, per student; and 4) how the funds would be administered, i.e. through the colleges, or by the KAC/League, joint administrators of the wireless E-911 funds. An additional question is whether the wireless E-911 funds are statutorily eligible to be used for this purpose (i.e. scholarships). Terry David moved, seconded by Michele Abbott-Becker, to express interest in the idea but not take action before bringing back more information (including answers to the listed questions) to the KAC Board at a later time. Motion carried.


Request for authorization for the KAC to administer a South Central Kansas Homeland Security Regional Council Grant (as fiscal agent for The Kansas Collaborative). Randall presented a draft contract between the Kansas Collaborative (KAC, fiscal agent) and the South Central Homeland Security Regional Council (Marion County, fiscal agent) for the Kansas Collaborative to administer a $48,900 grant. The source of funds is the U.S. Homeland Security Department, which passes monies to the Kansas Highway Patrol, fiscal agent for funds passed to the State of Kansas. The South Central Kansas Homeland Security Regional Council is/will be the recipient of the $48,900 grant, and the Kansas Collaborative (KAC, fiscal agent) would administer the grant. The grant is a short-term project, ending in May, 2008. The KAC would retain, as fiscal agent for The Kansas Collaborative, 5% of the total grant, or $2,445.


Terry David moved, seconded by Gary Doane, to approve the contract for the Kansas Collaborative to administer the $48,900 grant, with 5% of the grant funds retained by the KAC, fiscal agent. Motion carried.


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


Mark Low, representing county appraisers: Mark talked about 1) counties’ costs which are required to allow their new Orion CAMA system to interface with other county software; 2) the possibility of the Appraisers Association doing something with the oil and gas guide, which currently undervalues equipment; 3) the current threshold under which low-producing oil wells are exempt from taxation; and 4) a bill, expected the following week, to address underground natural gas storage, which affects 17 counties.


Gary Doane, representing northwest Kansas, talked about the E-waste coalition of potentially 15 counties in northwest/north central Kansas. The coalition is working on interlocal agreements and the necessary financial commitments to launch the project.

He asked for ideas and suggestions for planning the “little KAC” meeting in Colby in April, 2008.


Michele Abbott-Becker, representing emergency managers, talked about the possibility of a workshop to educate counties on what they should do to be able to recoup losses from FEMA after disasters.


George Pogge, representing highway officials, said that the KCHA Annual Conference is May 6-7, 2009 in Manhattan, and that Randall and Judy are scheduled for a presentation on the morning of May 7.

Dale Phillips, representing weed directors, talked about the CWDAK annual conference the first week of March in Hutchinson.


Joe Connor thanked the board for its commitment to the low birth weight initiative brought by KALHD and said that he had heard many positive comments about the legislative proposal. He talked about the concept of functional regionalization of public health and said that a summit conference e was being discussed for the future, perhaps in September.


Cliff Mayo, Finney County Commissioner, KCCA President, and guest at the meeting, spoke about the cooperative discussions that his county was having with Ford and Seward counties in southwest Kansas.


The January 25, 2008 KAC Legislative Bulletin was distributed prior to adjournment of the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 p.m.







Respectfully submitted,




Judy Moler

General Counsel/Legislative Services Director







Sheila Biggs, KAC Board Secretary

February 11, 2008