Commissioner apologizes for earlier vote

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

A Leavenworth County commissioner says he regrets a vote he took last week.

Commissioner Doug Smith apologized Wednesday for voting to table an appointment to the position of Sherman Township clerk.

Appointing someone to the position had been on the agenda for the County Commission's Sept. 15 meeting. But commissioners voted to table the matter and allow additional people to apply for the position.

Sherman Township clerk is an elected position. But commissioners are seeking to fill the position because of a resignation.

One person had applied for the position, but Commissioner Mike Stieben asked last week that his fellow commissioners put off taking action so he could speak with people in the township about the issue. Sherman Township is part of the County Commission district represented Stieben.

The motion to table the matter last week was approved 4-1. Commissioner Vicky Kaaz voted against the motion.

"I think what we did was wrong," Smith said Wednesday.

He argued commissioners should have voted on the one person who had met the initial deadline for submitting applications.

If the vote on that appointment had failed, commissioners then could have reopened the application process, Smith said.

"This applicant applied on time," Smith said.

Smith did not reveal the name of the applicant.

Commission Chairman Mike Smith said he was uncomfortable with the way the issue was handled last week.

Stieben said he felt it was important to have a collaborative process with people in Sherman Township.

Stieben said he did not find out that applications had been accepted for the position until the day the agenda for last week's meeting was released.

"I knew about it," Doug Smith said. "I called the guy. I interviewed him."

Stieben said he is trying to do the best he can to stay in communication with the area he represents.

The application that was submitted during the initial process is being carried over for consideration by the County Commission. The deadline for submitting additional applications was Thursday.

County Administrator Mark Loughry said Wednesday that at least one other person had expressed interest in applying for the position. Loughry said all of the applications will be presented to the county commissioners.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR

In other business

The Leavenworth County Commission:

• Discussed projects that may be funded with money the county receives as a result of the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

County staff members discussed various projects with commissioners including the renovation of the former Saint Luke's Cushing Hospital building, which is now owned by the county, replacement of culverts and information technology upgrades.

County Administrator Mark Loughry said the projects will come back to commissioners for formal approval.

Commissioners agreed to set aside $1 million that may be spent to partner with local cities on projects.

• Approved an agreement with Finney & Turnipseed, Transportation & Civil Engineering. The company will perform construction inspection services for the replacement of a bridge over Stranger Creek on McIntyre Road. Commissioners agreed to pay up to $134,900 for the work.

• Approved a resolution to place a stop sign at the intersection of 214th Street and Loring Road.

• Met behind closed doors in executive session for about 30 minutes to consult with attorney about pending litigation.