During a meeting Wednesday, the chairman of the Leavenworth County Commission raised concerns about multiple commissioners appearing at the same function.

During a meeting Wednesday, the chairman of the Leavenworth County Commission raised concerns about multiple commissioners appearing at the same function.

Chairman Doug Smith said commissioners have been receiving a lot of invitations. He noted one specifically from the League of Women Voters of Leavenworth County in which commissioners have been invited to speak at an upcoming event.

"I think there should be only two of us going at a time," he said.

Having three or more members of the five-member County Commission attend a function could lead to concerns related to the Kansas Open Meetings Act.

"Am I being overly cautious here?" Smith said.

Senior County Counselor David Van Parys said commissioners can provide notice of a public meeting for events in which more than two commissioners plan to attend.

"I just don't feel comfortable with more than two commissioners at a function whether we're talking or not," Smith said.

Commissioner Mike Stieben noted an earlier 4-H dinner had been attended by more than one county commissioner. Stieben said he was not seated with other commissioners at the dinner.

"Is there a difference in your mind in the two events?" Stieben said.

Van Parys said open meetings concerns could arise if there are more than two commissioners at an event and there is an interactive discussion about county business.

If multiple commissioners plan to attend a dinner, Van Parys suggested placing the event on the County Commission's weekly agenda out of an abundance of caution even if there are no plans to have an interactive discussion of county business.

Van Parys said events placed on the County Commission's agenda would need to be open to the public.

Van Parys also cautioned commissioners about making comments at public events about cases that may be coming before the County Commission. He said commissioners should avoid the appearance they have prejudged an issue.

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