The votes were not unanimous Tuesday, but the Leavenworth County Commission picked two people to serve on the Board of Directors of the Leavenworth County Port Authority.

The votes were not unanimous Tuesday, but the Leavenworth County Commission picked two people to serve on the Board of Directors of the Leavenworth County Port Authority.

The County Commission's nominees now need approval from the Leavenworth City Commission.

The Port Authority board has a total of five positions. Two of the seats currently are unfilled.

County commissioners nominated Bob Patzwald and Vernon Fields to fill the open positions.

Patzwald has been serving on the Port Authority, but his old term recently expired. Fields would fill a vacancy that was created by the recent resignation of Bill New from the Port Authority board.

Patzwald previously worked as the deputy public works director for the city of Leavenworth.

Fields currently serves on the Basehor City Council. The Basehor City Council submitted Fields' name to the county for consideration for appointment to the Port Authority board.

The Leavenworth County Commission traditionally provides funding for the Port Authority each year. How the Port Authority is funded in the future was a topic of conversation during a County Commission meeting last week. Some commissioners suggested cities in the county also should provide funding to the economic development organization. County commissioners voted last week to table the issue to allow the Port Authority to return with a proposed solution.

During Tuesday's meeting, County Commissioner Doug Smith said he would like to see the Port Authority board expanded so all cities in the county are represented.

County Commission Chairman Louis Klemp said he has served a total of nine years on the County Commission. Klemp said he has never thought of himself as working for just one County Commission district instead of the whole county.

Four candidates were submitted to the County Commission for consideration for appointment to the Port Authority.

County Commissioner Bob Holland made a motion to reappoint Patzwald and appoint Fields to the Port Authority.

Klemp said he agreed with the reappointment of Patzwald. But Klemp said he wanted to appoint Chris Donnelly instead of Fields.

Donnelly was submitted for consideration by the Tonganoxie City Council.

Smith said he wanted to appoint Fields and Rod Sturgeon, who expressed interest in serving on the Port Authority board.

Holland noted that Fields and Sturgeon are both from the southern half of Leavenworth County.

“That's where the growth is,” Smith said. “That's where things are going on.”

County Administrator Mark Loughry suggested commissioners choose one person at a time.

Holland made a motion to appoint Patzwald.

The motion passed 2-1 with Smith voting against it.

Holland then made a motion to appoint Fields. But this motion died for a lack of a second.

Klemp then suggested the appointment of Donnelly, and Smith put forth Sturgeon's name. But neither candidate received a second.

Holland then made another motion to appoint Fields. This time, Klemp seconded the motion.

The motion passed 2-1 with Smith voting against it.

Loughry said he will forward the nominations so they can be considered by the Leavenworth City Commission.

Smith said he would like to see more representation on the Port Authority.

“Each city has needs,” he said.

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