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County to Advertise For Assistant Administrator / Finance Director

Karen Shade - July 26, 2017 6:30 am

Saline County Commissioners gave their permission to “start the process” to hire an individual to serve as both an assistant administrator and finance director. The Commission accepted an Archer classification to place this new position at grade 24 of the county’s salary scale, with a salary ranging
from $56,908-$87,000/year. Commissioner Robert Vidricksen said he was “excited about the process” and County Administrator Rita Deister quickly added, “I am too!” Vidricksen called this a “positive step” and reminded commissioners that many had ran for election on a platform that they would “look down the road” at the County’s needs in upcoming years.

County to Appoint Representative to System Board of Central Kansas Library System
A change by the State Legislature means the Governor’s Office will no longer appoint individuals to serve on seven “regional systems of cooperating libraries” in Kansas. The County Commission will now appoint one individual to serve on the System Board of Central Kansas Library System. Located in Great Bend, CKLS serves Saline County along with 15 other counties. A qualified appointee “must be a resident of the regional library system taxing district; that is, within a county in which the regional library system levies taxies but outside the district of any local legally established public library”. By translation, an individual residing in the taxing district for the Salina Public Library is ineligible, but those living outside of Salina could be eligible.
Additional qualifications include being interested in modern library services and having the ability to attend two yearly meetings– in May and August. The appointee would also be encouraged to attend library meetings within the county, to attend system workshops, and advocate for improvement of
library services. In return, they will receive the federal mileage reimbursement rate to and from the System meetings and noon meals. Interested individuals should contact County Clerk Jamie Allen, at jamie.allen@saline.org.

Health Department Advisory Council Seeks Two New Members
Health Department Director Jason Tiller said the agency’s Advisory Council is seeking to re-appoint Ron Kramer to continue to serve on the Council; Kramer’s two year appointment is about to expire. Tiller is also seeking two new members to serve in two vacancies. Interested individuals can go to
www.saline.org to fill out an expression of interest form. Tiller gave a six month’s update on health department activities. He said that the Central Kansas region has hired a Public Health Emergency Preparedness coordinator, who will serve the six county region. Tiller had been responsible for these activities for Saline County.

New County Website to be Unveiled
Commissioners got to preview a newly designed webpage, featuring updated software that will allow individuals to fill out burn permits and other forms electronically. The committee will meet Thursday and plans to publicly introduce the website at an August commission meeting.

Plans to Locate Juvenile Court to First Floor
Court Administrator Todd Heitschmidt joined the Commission to review plans to possibly move the juvenile court into space to be vacated by K-State Extension. The Extension Service will be relocating to new offices at the K-State Polytechnic campus in the fall. Heitschmidt said that the first floor space could be remodeled to include a holding cell, courtroom and judge’s quarters, a clerk’s office, conference room, and four offices for the County Attorney’s staff. Deister added that there currently is some “remodel money for courts” in the county’s capital improvement plan. Heitschmidt discussed plans for a portable metal detector. He added that with three Sheriff’s Office deputies staffing the third floor security, he thought one could come to the first floor to provide security on the Wednesdays and Thursdays that the juvenile court meets. Heitschmidt plans to return to the
Commission in two or three weeks with a more formalized floor plan.

Representing the City-County Building Authority, Duane Grace and Heitschmidt responded to Commissioners questions about the possibility of storing files from the County Attorney’s Office in the building’s basement. Grace noted that while he and other building authority staff had succeeded in
clearing basement space, more work may need to be done. The Extension Service will vacate its own storage area in the basement and this area could be secured with a locked cage.

Community Corrections Update
Commissioners approved an increase and amended budget for the FY 18 Behavioral Health Funds for Community Corrections. They also approved end of the fiscal year “line items transfers” for the juvenile and adult correctional grant budgets. Tasked with updating the by-laws of the Committee for Reducing Jail Population, Community Corrections Director Annie Grevas said she wishes to remove language related to term limits. She
prefers to select individuals who can impact who is in jail, rather than relying on public expressions of interest forms. The committee itself won’t be asked to vote on proposed by-laws changes before the County Commission considers these by-laws changes. Vidricksen suggested asking a representative from the Salina Police Department to serve on the committee. The Commission is proposing to cap membership on the committee at 12, an increase from the 7 voting and 2 non-voting members in the current by-laws. Grevas said she has been calling individuals in peer counties that might also be facing issues with their jail population. She is asking how they facilitate re-entry of individuals once a jail sentence is completed.
She is looking at what causes some individuals to move quickly “in and out” of the system while others wait for months pending their trial. The Commission also discussed aspects of electronic monitoring.

Other Matters
Treasurer Jim Dubois provided Commissioners with a quarterly update on interest on idle funds. He said for the second quarter of 2017, the County earned $66,434 as interest, which is a $26,000 increase above the $40,000 earned during the second quarter of 2016. He reminded Commissioners that during the first quarter of 2017, the County earned $63,000 in interest, while it had earned $52,000 during the first quarter of 2016. The County has $8,300,000 in investments. Commissioners voted to accept a Kansas State Forest Service grant for $9,933 on behalf of Rural Fire District #3, who must meet a 50% match. Commissioners approved spending $2,948 for a Feld FireCom Wireless Headset for $2,948, a Feld Fire Akron Bumper Mounted Remote Control Nozzle for $5,893, and $1,042 for personal protective equipment.

Commissioner Jim Weese was absent.