When they met Tuesday, Leavenworth city commissioners approved an appointment to fill the remaining vacancy on the Leavenworth County Port Authority.

When they met Tuesday, Leavenworth city commissioners approved an appointment to fill the remaining vacancy on the Leavenworth County Port Authority.

Commissioners unanimously approved the appointment of Vernon Fields to the Port Authority.

Board members of the economic development organization are approved by both the Leavenworth County Commission and Leavenworth City Commission.

County commissioners voted Feb. 6 to nominate Bob Patzwald and Fields to fill two vacancies on the Port Authority's Board of Directors. City commissioners voted Feb. 27 to approve Patzwald's nomination. But the commissioners took no action regarding the nomination of Fields.

At the time, Leavenworth Mayor Mark Preisinger suggested that commissioners interview Fields.

Fields, who serves on the Basehor City Council, met with Leavenworth city commissioners Tuesday.

Preisinger raised the issue of possible conflicts of interest . He said the Port Authority and Leavenworth County Development Corporation work hand-in-hand. But the city of Basehor has withdrawn from LCDC.

Preisinger said he believes Fields would be the first elected official to serve on the Port Authority board.

Preisinger suggested there may be issues before the Port Authority that are good for Leavenworth, Lansing and Tonganoxie but not popular in Basehor. The mayor asked Fields how he can take off his Basehor City Council hat when dealing with such issues.

Fields said he sees the business of the Port Authority and Basehor City Council as being separate. And Fields said he is committed to whatever positions he is appointed or elected to.

City Commissioner Nancy Bauder said she considers LCDC to be a part of the Port Authority, and she asked if Basehor plans on being a part of LCDC.

The city of Basehor previously was a member of LCDC. But the city did not renew its participation for 2018.

"I have been a supporter of LCDC," Fields said.

But Fields said he is only one member of the Basehor City Council. Fields said he cannot direct or control the entire council.

Fields also is running for Congress. But he said his candidacy has not interfered with his other commitments.

"I've always been able to meet my obligations," he said.

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