Former Commissioner Louis Klemp will be returning to the Leavenworth County Commission.

Updated 8:19 a.m. Oct. 7, 2017


Former Commissioner Louis Klemp will be returning to the Leavenworth County Commission.

Members of the Republican Party selected Klemp to fill a vacancy that was created by the recent resignation of Commissioner Clyde Graeber.

Klemp, a Republican, said he wanted to serve on the commission again because "I felt there were some things that needed to be accomplished that aren't being accomplished."

Graeber represented the commission's 2nd District, which includes Lansing and a portion of the city of Leavenworth.

Graeber is a Republican. And under the law, Republican precinct committee men and women from the 2nd District selected his replacement.

The appointment of Klemp came during a special convention Thursday night, according to a news release from Rett Rogers, chairman of the Leavenworth County Republican Party.

Three people were nominated. Klemp was selected by a majority of the delegates on the third ballot, according to the release.

The other two people who received nominations were Vicky Kaaz and Terry Rogers, according to County Clerk Janet Klasinski, who attended the convention.

The results of the convention have been sent to Gov. Sam Brownback so his office can make the appointment official.

Because officials are awaiting documentation from the governor's office, it may be Thursday before Klemp can join the commission, Klasinski said.

Graeber had been re-elected to the commission for a four-year term last year. He resigned last week due to health reasons.

In 2018, voters in the 2nd District will select someone to serve the remaining two years of the four-year term.

Klemp said he does not intend to seek election to the 2nd District seat next year.

"We look forward to having Mr. Klemp on the commission and anticipate a lively campaign season in 2018," Rett Rogers said in a new release. "Commissioner Graeber’s experience and insights will be missed by the Board of County Commissioners. He has had a distinguished career and has served the people of Leavenworth County well. We wish him all the best going forward and thank him for his service."

Following his resignation, Graeber recommended Klemp as his replacement in letters to the precinct committee men and women, according to the news release.

Klemp, 79, previously served on the commission from 1978-1982 and 1992-1996.

He ran for the 2nd District seat last year but lost to Graeber in the Republican primary.

Klemp said he does not believe the commission is properly utilizing the services of County Administrator Mark Loughry.

"He's not being used," Klemp said.

Klemp said the commission is responsible for policy and the budget. He said the commission should not micromanage the county government.

One of the issues that recently has been brought before the commission is the suggestion of expanding from three commissioners to five.

"It needs to have a lot of study," Klemp said.

The expansion of the commission would have to be approved by voters.

Klemp said he would not support the commission placing the issue on a ballot. But he said residents can petition for a public vote on the issue.

"I wouldn't put it on the ballot," he said. "I think it needs to earn its way there."

In the past, Klemp has been at odds with Commissioner Bob Holland.

While serving as the commission chairman last year, Holland barred Klemp from speaking during public comment portions of commission meetings. At the time, Holland argued that Klemp owed an apology to then Commissioner Dennis Bixby.

When asked Friday about working with Holland, Klemp said Holland "makes some good points once in a while."

Klemp complimented Holland for being a commissioner who looks into issues.

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