When they met Wednesday, Leavenworth County commissioners raised concern about a survey and letters sent by one of their fellow members.

When they met Wednesday, Leavenworth County commissioners raised concern about a survey and letters sent by one of their fellow members.

Commissioner Vicky Kaaz initially raised concern about a survey that was prepared by Commissioner Mike Stieben.

The survey includes a logo that features Stieben’s name, the words “Leavenworth County Commission” and two images of an elephant that often is associated with the Republican Party.

Kaaz expressed concern that people may have the impression the survey was created with the blessing of the entire County Commission.

Kaaz said it should be clear when a commissioner is acting on his own and not on behalf of the entire commission.

Stieben noted that the top of the survey indicates that it is for the County Commission’s 5th District. This is the district he represents in southern Leavenworth County.

Stieben said the logo with his name is a smaller version of what appeared on yard signs used for his campaign. Stieben said he will remove the logo from the survey.

“I stand corrected on it,” he said.

Stieben is one of two commissioners elected in a special election in March. The election was held after voters in the county approved the expansion of the County Commission from three members to five.

Kaaz also expressed concern that Stieben should keep his fellow commissioners aware of postage expenses charged to the county.

Kaaz said $500 is budgeted for County Commission postage expenses.

“But that includes all of us,” she said.

According to County Clerk Janet Klasinski, only $300 is budgeted this year for postage expenses for the County Commission. A proposed 2020 budget would increase this amount to $500.

Stieben estimated he has mailed about 300 letters to constituents regarding information related to a May 28 tornado as well as a proposed sand mine.

Stieben said he was not advocating a position about the sand mine but was notifying people about a meeting regarding the issue.

“I was holding an informal meeting, and that was it,” he said.

Commission Chairman Doug Smith said town hall meetings can be considered political events.

County Commissioner Jeff Culbertson said the county will run out of envelopes if commissioners send out letters on every issue.

Culbertson also argued that people in Easton, which is located in northern Leavenworth County, do not want to pay postage for letters that concern issues in another part of the county.

Commissioner Chad Schimke said it is a matter of being reactive instead proactive.

When someone reaches out to a commissioner, it is appropriate for the commissioner to send a response, Schimke said.

Stieben said he did not think 300 letters was excessive.

Stieben said he was trying to stay in touch with people in rural areas of his district. And he believes the best way to do this is through the mail.

“I don’t feel I have violated any kind of ethics or rules,” Stieben said.

Kaaz said she was asking Stieben to keep his fellow commissioners apprised of what is happening.

Stieben said he believed some of Wednesday’s discussion was the result of the proposed sand mine.

“I know that everybody is catching a lot of heat on that issue,” he said.

Stieben said he plans to do a lot of proactive mailers in his district. But he will pay for them in the future.

Stieben said he also will do a better job at communicating with the other commissioners in the future.

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