Short Agenda For Commissioners Monday

The Mitchell County Commissioners started out with a short agenda at their Monday morning meeting and it just got shorter as the meeting progressed. All three people that had requested to be placed on the agenda called in and canceled before the meeting actually started.

In their regular order of business, Commissioner Tom Claussen shared with Chairman Mike Cooper and Commissioner Ben Marshall the phone call he had from Kansas Senator, Elaine Bowers, in regard to Senate Bill 109 that would outlaw public monies being used for lobbying. It would disallow the use of public funds being used directly or indirectly for lobbying by a city, county or state entity.

Senate Bill #109 has stiff opposition in the form of public lobbying groups like the League of Kansas Municipalities (LKM), the Kansas Association of Counties (KACC) and the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB). The Commissioners are particularly interested in the bill because lobbyists do a lot of work for the Kansas Association of Counties in getting their interests brought before the members of the State Legislature.

Senator Bowers said, in her conversation with Commissioner Claussen, she doesn't think the bill has much of a chance of being passed. She felt those who proposed the bill had good intentions but there has been a lot of controversy and opposition to it. After the contents of the Bill were discussed in committee the Senator doesn't think it will ever reach the floor to be put to a vote. She will keep the commissioners informed of what is happening on the bill.

Chairman Cooper mentioned that one new window has been installed in the courthouse. It is in the southwest corner on the lower level of the building where the County Extension Office is located. Bryan Streit, Maintenance Supervisor, said Glass Services Co. out of Salina, who won the bid for the windows, were in hopes of getting more work done this week; but it will depend on what happens with the weather being predicted as to whether that can be accomplished.

Commissioner Claussen advised that if people have heard the rumors that the Memorial Day Weekend activities are being canceled they should ignore them. Nothing is being canceled and everything will go on as usual, according to Heather Hartman, Community Development Director, and Gina Broeckelman, Director of the Beloit Area Chamber of Commerce, he said.

Commissioner Claussen reminded the other commissioners the Mitchell County Hospital Board of Trustee meeting would be held tomorrow, Wednesday, February 20, in the Board Room by the hospital lobby at 5:15 p.m. He plans to attend.

The commissioners approved a Fireman Authorized Vehicle permit for Paul Schaar so he can have a bubble light on top of his vehicle when needed.

County Clerk, Chris Treaster, announced Beloit would host the Multi-County Meeting at Plum Creek Restaurant at noon next Wednesday, February 25 following the regular Commission meeting. This meeting includes commissioners and county clerks from Mitchell, Jewell, Smith and Osborne Counties.

Chairman Cooper called a 15-minute executive meeting to discuss non-elected personnel. No decision were made or announced after the meeting.

The commissioners discussed whether to close the courthouse if the weather gets as bad as is being predicted. Their concerns included the public falling on county property and the safety of the employees who work in the building on their trips to and from work. It was decided they would have to wait and make that decision if the time comes that it is needed.

Commissioner Claussen reminded the other commissioners, Sheriff Doug Daugherty, would be bringing in bids on the four new vehicles his department is trading for. The bids are to be opened at 10 a.m. during the Commission meeting. Sheriff Daugherty sent bid and specification sheets to all local automobile dealerships. They will be receiving bids on three 4-wheel drive patrol cars and one full size SUV vehicle to be used as an investigation vehicle. They haven't purchased new vehicles the last year or two and the present vehicles they will be trading in have a lot of age on them, he said. Since Commissioner Marshall will be gone next week the Commissioners will not be voting on which vehicles to purchase until their March 4 meeting.

Chairman Cooper called a work session and kept the meeting open until 9:30 in case someone came in to talk to the Commission and closed it when no one arrived.

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