Commissioners Attend 12th District Judicial Meeting

The Mitchell County Commissioners announced at their Monday morning meeting that the Commissioners, including Chairman Mike Cooper, Tom Claussen and Ben Marshall, along with County Clerk Chris Treaster and Brian Streit, Maintenance Supervisor, would be attending a 12th Judicial District meeting at 1:30 p.m. at the Cloud County Courthouse in Concordia.

The purpose of the meeting, called by 12th District, Chief Judicial Judge, Kim Cudney, was to get officials from all six counties in the district including Cloud, Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Republic and Washington together to discuss Courthouse security issues imposed by Governor Sam Brownbacks signing House Bill 2052 into law. This is an unfunded mandate that will put considerable expense on individual counties and leaves the counties questioning how to approach complying with this law to best protect themselves.

The law requires government and public buildings that prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms for self-defense must screen all visitors for weapons. This would
ensure that all individuals who enter the buildings are disarmed, not just the law-abiding citizens who choose to follow the law. If the building lacks the adequate security measures necessary to screen all visitors, then residents with a concealed carry license would be allowed to carry a firearm to protect themselves while visiting this type of building. The Commissioners hoped to have their questions answered as to what the other counties in the district were planning to do at the meeting held Monday afternoon.

Ed Debesis, Emergency Medical Services, reported since he talked to the Commissioners last week, the Chevrolet Corporation has decided to send the new ambulance; Mitchell County just recently bought from them to their authorized service department of Milton Motors in Belleville. They plan to start on Friday. The odometer is on 7,000 miles at the present time but his department started fighting this problem since about 1,200 miles. Debesis said, Beloit Motors has done an awesome job of keeping him informed and dealing with the Chevy Company up to this time and he appreciates all their help. He will let commissioners know as soon as he hears anything about the situation.

Larry Emerson, Public Works, brought in an engineering contract from Schwab-Eaton Engineers on the bridge out by Micah Tice's farm that he has been discussing with commissioners in past weeks to be looked over and signed. This bridge is located on L Road one mile west off of Highway 14. Commissioner Claussen asked if he had to have the bridge plans checked out by an engineer every time they built one. Emerson said yes because the bridge has to meet certain specifications. The engineers come out to check on what they are doing from time to time to be sure they are doing it right. After reviewing the contract the commissioners signed the contract to pay Schwab Eaton the $4,200 for their work.

Emerson said this would be a 70-foot span bridge when it is finished. The present bridge is just 40-foot long. They will have to gravel one mile of township road so residents of the area will have a way to go around the bridge site while they are working on it. They got 32 ton of brome grass off of the landfill road which netted the county about $1,600. Tom Deneke, who got the contract to mow the ditches, had the work finished in about a week, he said. His department is doing some blade patching and will start overlay work next week. There are a lot of culverts to clean out after the big rain in the area. They are also doing some work east of Tipton were the property owner is putting in a new waterway.

Yvonne Melton, Mitchell County Treasurer, brought a question to the County Commissioners concerning the procedure she should follow when filling a county job offer. She asked if all offers have to be advertised. She said this information is not in the handbook. It just says the person should fill out a job application. Clerk Treaster said she checked and here is no statute saying the job has to be advertised. Questions discussed included how to handle this if people who are already county employees want to move up or change to another department job and also how can someone else in the county apply even if they are qualified if they don't know the job is available? She wanted to know these things for future reference if a job came open in her department.

Commissioners felt in house employees needed to be given the first opportunity for the job but said they do not have control over decisions made by elected officials.
Melton said she just wanted to be sure from the taxpayer's standpoint how she should handle this. Chairman Cooper felt if she knows of someone she thought
would do a good job and they have the requirements necessary to do the job she could ask them to apply. If not she should open it up by advertising the job. Melton said her feeling is everyone in the county should have the opportunity to try for the jobs that wanted to.

The commissioners have received six applications for the Noxious Weed Department Supervisor job, with no existing county employees applying. They will interview part of applicants this Wednesday at 5 p.m. and finish up next Tuesday the 23rd at the same time.

Chairman Cooper asked Heather Hartman, Community Development Director, when the SVED meeting would be held. She said it would be on July 25, at the North Central Planning Commission's meeting room.

Commissioner Tom Claussen reminded everyone the Commissioners would not be holding their regular weekly meeting this coming Monday, July 22, since there are five Mondays in the month of July and Clerk Treaster will be gone at that time.

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