December 17, 2019
Reno County Courthouse Hutchinson, Kansas
The Board of Reno County Commissioners met in agenda session with, Chairman Bob Bush, Commissioner Ron Hirst and Commissioner Ron Sellers, County Administrator Gary Meagher, County Counselor Joe O’Sullivan and Minutes Clerk Cindy Martin, present.
The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegianceand a short sectarian prayer led by Pastor Ron Kyker, Countryside Baptist Church.
There was a public comment:
Ralph Janzen, 8905 E. 69th Avenue, Buhler, KS had concerns about his land flooding with the new proposed fix for Buhler- Haven Road being raised five inches and doing nothing with the bridge. He gave the Board his proposal to build a new road on high ground, using a bluff two miles west of Buhler on 82nd
Avenue building a two-mile stretch (overpass like) connecting to K-61 Highway.
Commissioner Bush told Mr. Janzen he had several concerned citizens notify him about raising the road. He said Mayor
Friesen recommended raising the road and will have several discussions before doing anything. Mr. Bush would give Don Brittain with Public Works a copy of the proposal and advised Mr. Janzen to contact his local city council member. He also invited Mr. Janzen to attend a meeting in January that would include Mr. Don Brittain and himself at a public forum for information regarding the proposed new road.
Commissioner Hirst attended the Quad County (Sedgwick, Harvey, Butler and Reno Counties) meeting. He said a person from Newton, who serves on the Governor’s Council, gave a report on tax reform. They were informed by the Senate Majority Leader that there would be one constitutional amendment this year, concerning abortion and would not be home rule with counties.
Local Ad valorem tax reduction fund, food sales tax
rebate/credit were also discussed, however for each one percent it is lowered it decreases $60 million in state revenue. He also noted that internet sales are taxable except for out of state
market facilitators and had a Department of Revenue publication showing mill levies and statewide levies.
Commissioner Sellers would like to double efforts with local legislators to keep home rule in the forefront.
Commissioner Bush agreed with pushing efforts for home rule. He expressed his appreciation and thanked Public Works and the Sheriff’s Department for taking care of business keeping the public safe and he thanked all Reno County employees that are working behind the scenes to make it safe for all of us.
County Administrator Gary Meagher reminded the public next week’s agenda meeting will be on Monday, December 23rd at 9:00 a.m. since the county offices will be closed for the Christmas holiday on Tuesday and Wednesday.
There were additions to the agenda: item 9a) negotiation of county administrator employment contract for approval, item 9b) appointment of Public Works Director. Mr. Sellers moved,
seconded by Mr. Hirst, to add items to the agenda as submitted for action. The motion was approved by a roll call vote of 3-0.
Adding an executive session for a privileged legal matter at the end of the agenda.
Mr. Hirst moved, seconded by Mr. Bush, to approve the Consent Agenda consisting of the Accounts Payable Ledger for claims payable on December 20, 2019 of $443,246.28 and consisting of pending Added, Abated and Escaped Taxation Change Orders numbered 2019-1149 as submitted. The motion was approved by a roll call vote of 3-0.
Commissioner Bush presented the plaque to Barbara Ward for her thirteen-years of service as a dispatcher with the Public Transportation Department. They were joined by Aging/Transportation Director Barbara Lilyhorn. Mr. Hirst commented that 13-years equals to 3,250 evenings spent as a dispatcher.
Health Department Director Nick Baldetti met with the Board to recommend approval to purchase a used vehicle for the Health Department at a cost not to exceed $22,000. He was asking for approval of a Capital Outlay expenditure not to exceed $22,000 that would include a trade-in value of a 2004 white Chevy Malibu with just under 135,000 miles. He spoke with Automotive Director Kyle Berg who estimated the trade-in should be $1,000 to $1,500. He would look for a low mileage, used vehicle to
transport vaccines to offsite clinics and gets good gas mileage.
Mr. Baldetti would like to check into a hybrid vehicle model from local inventory. Mr. Sellers moved, seconded by Mr. Hirst, to approve the purchase of a vehicle not to exceed $22,000 as outlined by Mr. Baldetti. The motion was approved by a roll call vote of 3-0.
Information Services Director Mike Mathews met with the Board to recommend approval for an amendment to the Tyler Technologies Public Safety agreement to include the purchase of Brazos electronic ticketing software for the Hutchinson Police department (HPD) and the Municipal Court at a cost of $40,896 and to be paid by them. He explained that the county holds the license agreement and for HPD to receive the negotiated discounts from the master agreement, the amendment must be approved by us. Reno County has currently no financial obligation. If in the future the Sheriff’s Department joined using this ticketing software, more licensing and equipment could be purchased.
HPD Administrative Captain Josh Radloff explained they were using the electronic ticketing through APS and having issues.
APS does not directly import into our system and the Records Clerk must manually enter the citation in our records system and Municipal Court must enter the citation into their system.
Captain Radloff noted that APS does not interface with the Tyler system currently used. He stated if they go with Brazos the interaction between the HPD and Municipal Courts would be easier and faster. The City of Hutchinson has approved funds to purchase the Brazos software.
Mr. Hirst moved, seconded by Mr. Sellers, to approve an amendment to the Tyler Technologies Public Safety agreement to include the purchase of Brazos electronic ticketing software for HPD at a cost of $40,896 to be paid by HPD and authorization for Mr. Mathews to be able to sign documents. The motion was approved by a roll call vote of 3-0.
Fire District #7 Chief Dennis Kalmar, Turon, Kansas met with the Board to recommend approval to purchase five (5) new self-contained breathing apparatus’ Scott Air-Pak X3 Pro (SCBA) this allows oxygen where it might be scarce like house, car, farm implement fires, five (5) face pieces and ten (10) bottles from Municipal Emergency Services for $38,448.90. He explained these SCBAs would meet the requirements of NFPA Standard 1981 and allow the older SCBAs to be retired since they are not in
compliance because some of them are 20 years old and can no longer be repaired.
The new model features many benefits:
1) a HUD display allows the firefighter to have a visual of his air level status making sure they have enough air,
2) it has an integrated PASS (personal alert safety system) device included so they know how much air is in their mask,
3) a drag rescue loop for a downed firefighter to be pulled out of danger which the older tanks do not have,
4) buddy lights to indicate normal operations, air pressure problems or PASS problems,
5) the new models weigh less and have better ergonomics which means less fatigue,
6) they have a 33 percent low level alarm utilizing a vibralert and HUD light.
The X3 Pro helps with the new standards from federal government for the cancer initiatives by allowing you to snap off the soft pieces and put them in the wash making the process so much easier and safer for firefighters. He told a story of another district who purchased used equipment, and more than half have failed, so it was a waste of money to purchase used.
This new equipment has a lifetime warranty and should last more than twenty years. He stated they would keep a couple of the older ones in reserve for backups. This purchase would be paid from the District’s Special Equipment Fund. Mr. Hirst moved, seconded by Mr. Sellers, to approve the purchase of equipment for $38,448.90 as outlined by Chief Kalmar. The motion was approved by a roll call vote of 3-0.
Fire District #8 Chief Lyndon Ropp, Yoder/Pleasantview recommended approval to purchase ten (10) new self-contained breathing apparatus’ Scott Air-Pak X3 Pro (SCBA) from Municipal Emergency Services for $54,622. He stated the story Mr. Kalmar told was for FD #8. We purchased five used SCBAs from Hutchinson Fire for $3,900 and they did work but now only two work with no parts available. He stated the purchase funds would be from their Special Equipment Fund. Mr. Hirst moved, seconded by Mr.
Sellers, to approve the purchase of ten new SCBAs for $54,622 as outlined by Chief Ropp. The motion was approved by a roll call vote of 3-0.
Fire District #9 Chief Elwin “Curly” Gingerich, Haven recommended approval to purchase five (5) new SCBAs and fifteen
(15) face masks from Municipal Emergency Services for
$30,991.70. He said they had already purchased the new thirty- year bottles with forty-five minutes of air where the older ones were 30 minutes. Their purchase of masks would allow each firefighter to have his own mask fitted to him. They will be using their Special Equipment Fund. Mr. Hirst moved, seconded by Mr. Sellers, to approve the purchase of five new SCBAs and fifteen masks for $30,991.70 as outlined by Chief Gingerich.
The motion was approved by a roll call vote of 3-0.
Sheriff Darrin Campbell met with the Board to recommend approval for utilization of year-end funding to purchase two (2) used vehicles at a cost not to exceed $18,500 per vehicle with end of the year funding. He stated they were moving people around so one of the vehicles would be used by the added offender registry deputy. He would need to replace the departments patrol truck since he will be driving it. Funds would be combined from various savings in other areas to make the purchases.
Commissioner Sellers wanted to know by adding another officer for a vehicle when it was his understanding, the additional deputy was to create a safety factor and asked if this could be addressed.
Detective Captain Steve Lutz came to the podium to answer Mr. Sellers questions. Captain Lutz oversees that division and stated they have investigation cases in the offender registry office. They do a lot of surveillance where one deputy watches the house, and another goes to watch the back door or when you follow, a couple of vehicles are needed. There are so many offenders that you send officers to check on them at various places. We want them to go together for safety but sometimes it is not possible since they have other duties that sometimes don’t get done because of spreading them too thin.
Sheriff Henderson stated these individual offenders are all high-level felons that were convicted felons that have proven not to follow the rules. Mr. Bush asked with these two vehicles would it provide a level of safety. Sheriff Henderson replied that it would give officers more flexibility and safety out in the community with these high-level offenders. How the officers and vehicles are used is on a case by case basis determining the level of threat. Mr. Sellers appreciated the comments by staff.
Mr. Hirst stated that we have been very fortunate for years. We may need to hold the line on mill levies in the future and may not be as fortunate in the coming years and need to look at the
long-term approach. Mr. Bush expressed his appreciation in using three different funding sources to make the purchases, encouraging the Sheriff to continue looking for creative funding in the future. Mr. Sellers moved, seconded by Mr. Hirst, to approve the Sheriff Department’s utilization of year-end funding to purchase two vehicles at a cost not to exceed $18,500 per vehicle as discussed. The motion was approved by a roll call vote of 3-0.
County Counselor Joe O’Sullivan addressed the Board stating he emailed a copy of the original County Administrator’s contract to each Commissioner for their review and wanted to know how to proceed with a discussion of the contract or make an announcement before going over the contract.
Commissioner Bush announced that after a very comprehensive search process involving staff and members of the public, that we have determined through consensus to offer the position to Randall Partington who has accepted to be the new County Administrator.
Commissioner Hirst noted the excellent choices and because of that it was very difficult to decide and stated that there were a lot of discussions. We appreciated the community who came out for the meet and greet and asked questions giving their input.
Commissioner Sellers appreciated the public who came out to speak with the applicants. He expressed appreciation to Human Resources Director Renee Harris, County Counselor Joe O’Sullivan, and County Administrator Gary Meagher. He stated all these professionals added greatly to the input that was valuable to the decision and discussion through this process of hiring the new Administrator and was very well done. He supports who they will be appointing as County Administrator.
Commissioner Bush had a press release and spoke about Randy Partington and went over his background and community involvement in Finney County. He looked forward to his leadership.
Mr. O’Sullivan stated that following interviews, the Board met in executive session after discussions for a candidate with no results taken. The consensus was to hire Randy Partington, the current County Administrator of Finney County, Garden City, Kansas. He was directed to commence employment agreement
discussions with Mr. Partington and bring back a contract for approval which resulted in the employment agreement he is presenting today. It has been approved by Mr. Partington. The basis contract is similar in form and content to Gary Meagher’s.
If approved, the contract will take effect February 16, 2020.
Mr. Partington is required to give a 60- day notice to Finney County of his departure so his first day with Reno County will be Monday, February 17, 2020. He went over various details of the contract and the salary of $140,000. He explained about equal monthly installments for deferred compensation of $19,500 annually, a monthly vehicle allowance of $600 and standard health benefits along with a moving expense of $7,500. Mr.
Partington will be given three weeks of paid leave upon his arrival and earn sick/personal leave time per policy. He spoke about organizations and associations cost reimbursement in the contract. Mr. O’Sullivan recommend a motion to approve the County Administrator employment agreement with Randy Partington to be effective February 16, 2020. Mr. Sellers asked about the
$140,000 annual salary being pro-rated for the first year. Mr.
O’Sullivan replied that was correct. It would be pro-rated getting a partial month in February then monthly as other non- hourly paid salaried employees.
Commissioner Bush commented they would review his employment after nine months for the annual contract in 2021.
He noted because of the increased deferred compensation that Mr.
Meagher receives from years of service versus Mr. Partington’s total salary package, Reno County is paying less than $2,000 difference for Mr. Partington. He stated $140,000 was a good deal for Reno County and he explained how the County Administrator was like a CEO of a large corporation and how it is an opportunity to bring such experience to our community for the money.
Commissioner Hirst failed to mention earlier that they had very good input from Department heads in the selection process.
Mr. Sellers moved, seconded by Mr. Hirst, to approve the contract for Randall Partington as presented by County Counselor Joe O’Sullivan adding authorizing the Chairman to sign. The motion was approved by a roll call vote of 3-0. Mr. Bush gave thanks again to all the staff involved giving great advice for the hiring process, thank you.
County Administrator Gary Meagher met with the Board addressing the retirement on December 27, 2019 and replacement of Public Works Director David McComb. He would like to
recommend a qualified candidate from within the Public Works Department, Don Brittain to replace Mr. McComb. Mr. Meagher explained Mr. Brittain’s employment background and stated that he has been the Road and Bridge Superintendent since coming to Reno County in July of 2010. He does a great job and knows the Public Works Department very well and has been responsible for a lot of the changes and projects throughout Public Works. Mr.
Meagher recommended Mr. Brittain as Director of Public Works when Mr. McComb retires on December 27, 2019. He had an employment agreement, as with all Department heads, which would begin December 29, 2019 and outlines the duties and responsibilities from the job description for the Public Works Director. Mr. Meagher went over all the benefits of the position and explained the job was indefinite but could be terminated at any time with or without cause and he would have to give 14 days-notice to terminate the contract for whatever reason.
He is subject to a performance evaluation by the County Administrator. Mr. Brittain has a wealth of experience and will be a good asset to Mr. Partington with projects, plans and studies that are currently underway. The salary is on a scale noting the mid-point is called the market rate which starts at
$98,889.08 and per agreement he will start there for FY2020.
Mr. Hirst commented he worked very well together with Mr.
Brittain. Mr. Sellers supported the selection of Mr. Brittain for the position. Mr. Bush commented on his support and have lots of patience interfacing with the community more. Mr.
Sellers moved, seconded by Mr. Hirst, to appoint Mr. Don Brittain as Public Works Director effective December 29, 2019 with a salary of $98,889.08 as presented by Mr. Meagher. The motion was approved with a roll call vote of 3-0.
Sheriff Darrin Campbell met with the Board for his regularly scheduled monthly meeting. He gave a brief overview of various issues not requiring action by the Board. He spoke about sending two officers to Salina for training on the use of drones purchased by a grant from OneOk. He said they purchased software to help with mapping. They hope to use the drones for search and rescue as well as accidents and fires.
Sheriff Campbell introduced Audrey Goldsmith from Horizons Mental Health Center stationed at RCCF and noted that she works with Outpatient Therapy there. She replaced Paula Hopkins at the Corrections Facility mental health program. Several governmental agencies are working together to develop a database system to identify high utilizers within the community and are working on continuity of care with all the different entities
within the community. It would allow us to track informationand to better help with their care and treatment. This was founded in Johnson County’s government and their IT department developed this program, “My Resource Connection”. We are very interested in implementing this program in our county to help.
Commissioner Bush asked what the biggest challenge is. Ms.
Goldsmith replied the cost to implement the program in Reno County and they are looking at grants that could fund the startups. We would like to use it for the Stepping Up Program in Reno County as well as our Drug Task Force and the Mental Health Coalition.
Health Department Director Nick Baldetti spoke about grants coming through on substance abuse for Reno County. He said certain funding opportunities are in the pipeline and some non- profit organizations in the community are talking about possible cost sharing. Mr. Bush said this was a great example of two departments working together, Sheriff’s and Health Departments, on the grants.
Sheriff Campbell also wanted to recognize the promotion of Sgt. Detective Levi Blumanhourst who was selected to be the Patrol Captain at the end of December replacing the position Darrin Campbell held before becoming Sheriff.
Judge McCarville mentioned that Audrey helps with Drug Court Sessions and stated that we have a great working relationship with the RCCF. All programs cost peoples’ time and now we are down to hard work to keep people out of the jail.
Aging/Transportation Director Barbara Lilyhorn met with the Board for her regularly scheduled meeting. She discussed various issues not requiring action by the Board. Mr. Sellers inquired about a shelter at the Senior Center that was delayed.
Mrs. Lilyhorn gave explanation as to the delay, stating she was ready for the installation and was waiting on the City of Hutchinson.
At 10:35 the meeting recessed for five minutes.
The meeting reconvened with all Commissioners, County Administrator Gary Meagher, County Counselor Joe O’Sullivan, and Minutes Clerk Cindy Martin, present.
At 10:40 Mr. O’Sullivan requested an executive session regarding a privileged legal matter for one hour requesting Mr.
Meagher and Mr. O’Sullivan be present. Mr. Hirst moved, seconded by Mr. Sellers, to go into recess for an executive session for consultation with the County’s legal counsel regarding ongoing contract negotiations with the City of Hutchinson on its lease of portions of the Law Enforcement Center Building for one hour with no formal decision expected following the Executive Session.
At 11:20 the meeting came back into regular session and adjourned until 9:00 a.m. Monday, December 23, 2019.
Chair, Board of Reno County Commissioners (ATTEST)
Reno County Clerk Date