Leavenworth County now has a new commission. And commissioners already have made a couple of changes to the way the commission operates.

Leavenworth County now has a new commission. And commissioners already have made a couple of changes to the way the commission operates.

Commissioners have moved their weekly meetings from Tuesdays to Wednesdays. And commissioners also have ended the practice of having one evening meeting each month.

The new commission met for the first time Tuesday morning. The meeting began with the old commission still in place.

After approving consent agenda items, the old commission adjourned. Outgoing Commissioner Bob Holland stepped down from the dais and was replaced by new Commissioner Jeff Culbertson.

Culbertson was elected in November to succeed Holland, who did not seek re-election.

Commissioner Vicky Kaaz also was elected to the commission in November. But she began serving on the commission in late December following the resignation of former Commissioner Louis Klemp.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Commissioner Doug Smith was selected to serve as the commission’s chairman.

Smith, who has been a member of the commission since 2017, had been serving as the chairman after the resignation of Klemp. Smith also served as the commission’s chairman in 2017.

Culbertson nominated Smith to serve as the chairman for 2019.

Culbertson said members who are new to the commission have been appointed to serve as chairman in the past.

“But I think we’re going to take a little new direction with the new board,” he said.

Culbertson said he believes Smith’s experience will help things run smoothly.

The new commission also set their meeting dates for 2019.

The old commission had been meeting at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays except for the fourth Tuesday of each month, when they met at 5:30 p.m.

Culbertson said he previously had been supportive of the idea of having evening meetings to make the commission more accessible to the public.

But not many people show up for the evening meetings, he said.

“I suggest we do away with the night meetings,” he said.

Culbertson said moving commission meetings from Tuesday to Wednesday would create less of a conflict with meetings of the Mid-America Regional Council.

Smith said as long as members of the public can watch video recordings of commission meetings on YouTube, he does not have a problem with eliminating evening meetings.

Commissioners decided to meet at 9 a.m. each Wednesday.

Glen Berry, who regularly attends commission meetings, suggested that commissioners live stream their meetings.

Currently, recordings of commission meetings are posted to YouTube, but people cannot watch the meetings live on YouTube.

Berry regularly uses a smartphone to live stream commission meetings on his personal Facebook page.

County Administrator Mark Loughry said county officials have the ability to live stream the meetings on YouTube.

A former county counselor had recommended against live streaming meetings out of concern that it could open the county to liability for slanderous comments.

But Senior County Counselor David Van Parys recommended Tuesday that video of the meetings be made available without delay.

“Commissioners what is said is said,” Van Parys said. “”You can’t unring the bell.”

Commissioners voted to live stream their meetings.

Tuesday’s meeting was followed by a reception for Holland, Culbertson and Kaaz.

The new commission is scheduled to meet again this morning for a work session.

Voters in November approved an expansion of the commission from three members to five. Two additional members will be added to the board following a special election in March.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR