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Emotions Boil Over At City Meeting

Todd Pittenger - July 29, 2013 9:15 pm

Salina City Commissioners met in an emotional special session Monday evening to discuss the Salina-Saline County Health Department.

A structure problem with the roof caused the health department to close back in  May of 2012. Since that time, city and county commissioners have been trying to come up with a plan for a permanent facility and the best course of action for the future of the agency.

During negotiations the city indicated that they intitially wanted to build a new facility at the current location. They ultimatley comprised and expressed interest in finding another larger, existing building. The county steadfastly has wanted to fix the current building. 

Multiple people spoke Monday evening, several of them tearfully. All of them urged commisioners to not severe ties with the county in regard to the health department and instead negotiate a new inter-local agreement.

Health Department Executive Director Yvonne Gibbons said that the agency wants to remain a joint city / county health department. She asked that the issue of a new building be taken off the table, saying that staff is already preparing plans to better utilize space in the current building.  

Commissioners also heard that employee insurance for the agency staff will greatly increase under the county plan. The agency currently is under the city plan.  The cost of health insurance for the county plan would cost over $139,000 more a year for the employer. It would also cost employees more than double what they currently pay, or a little over $3,400 more a year.  

Fears about program cuts were also expressed. In other counties in the state, where joint city-county health departments have split, over time programs have been lost.  

Commissioner Aaron Householter was outspoken, appearing exasperated and angry at times. He expressed frustration in what he said was the county’s unwillingness to work with the city on the issue. At one point Householter and Mayor Barb Shirley had words. Householter asked the other commissioners to over-rule the mayor when she told him his time was up and the meeting must continue.

After hearing the comments, city commissioners went into executive session. Following the session, Salina City Attorney Greg Bengston said that an agreement between the city and the county concerning use of health department reserve funds to repair the building is at issue now because of a misunderstanding.

Commissioner Jon Blanchard made a motion to authorize the city attorney to forward a proposal to the county. Highlights of the proposal include:

1.  $500,000 city funding for the building

2. $500,000 in health department reserve funds to be used for renovation only

3. The concept of an interlocal agreement be agreed upon and details then worked out

The proposal is contingent upon the health department staying intact.

The Saline County Commission is scheduled to disuss the issue Tuesday morning.

Iggy p Daily

July 29, 2013 at 10:00 pm

So old Aaron was running his mouth off again. I feel he needs to resign from the commission.

Simon Jianas

July 29, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Way to go again Aaron Householter! Can’t even get along with your own crew. Thanks KSAL for reporting the whole story

Anita Mann

July 30, 2013 at 7:49 am

Householter your true colors are very bright. Please step down. You are not a good person to represent any of us. Well the hot head know it all’s maybe.

Fuchs Mi

July 30, 2013 at 8:23 am

How did this Aaron guy get to be elected to this position? I for one see a problem with both commissioners working together to be him and his views. Ever since the ordinance for gays got voted down he has been super impossible to work with and has gone against alot of what the commission has been trying to do. Evidently he has little respect for the mayor. Sorry but the city commissioners backed themselves in a corner with their threats in dealing with the county now they are looking for a way out. They also have been ignoring some of the real needs of the community like fixing the bridge on Greeley and getting some traffic signals but it at high volume streets definately needing them. Maybe as suggested by another poster its time for Aaron to resign,

Aaron Householter

July 30, 2013 at 9:39 am

I appreciate the amount of time that you have spent registering so many accounts on KSAL here to try and make it seems at though you are multiple people. You obviously have not followed any of the issues that you are discussing.
Things like the Greeley street bridge have been addressed and the bridge will be replaced, but hey why worry about the facts. I dont expect that would hold any interest for you. Its more fun to spout off with no actual knowledge of anything you are discussing….with yourself.
Why dont you post what ive gone against the commission on. Where does that statement even come from?

Anita Mann

July 30, 2013 at 10:29 am

I dont know about the others but this is my only log in. Your attitude and the way you carry yourself at the meetings are what they are. And we wont forget the way you act as an elected official.


July 30, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Who is this clown??? Seriously people. You voted for this guy. No wonder Salina is the way it is.

do gooder

July 30, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Aaron is trying Duncan is the problem not Aaron… Aaron your doing a good job


July 30, 2013 at 9:05 pm



July 30, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Can we trade him for Anthony Weiner????

Aaron A. Aurora

July 31, 2013 at 9:12 am

First Aaron you bring up the bridge. I personally never saw it in the paper and its been about a year an nothing has been done. Just maybe if the inspectors of the city had done their jobs this would have been constructed right to begin with. Just what have you gone against the commission on? It sure was not the gay ordinance, the Magnolia road project, the art project out on S. Nineth and the Bi Center. You, the mayor and Kaye have been three peas in a pod that is until your last outburst with the mayor the other day. You continue to talk out both sides of your mouth and you were instrumental in trying to bully the county commissioners to begin with on this matter. Why did you not honor your agreement with the county and fix the darn building like you were obligated to do and all of this controvercy would not be happening.

Aaron A. Aurora

July 31, 2013 at 9:16 am

By the way Aaron H. if you really believe one person has done all the posting on here then when they vote you out if you do not do the right thing and resign you will indeed find there are more than one person on here and a WHOLE bunch of people ready to say goodbye to you in the city.

Iggy p Daily

July 31, 2013 at 9:52 am

Hey Aaron H. You are the person that does questionable things. I am but one person who will do every legal thing to have you removed from the city commission. If you run again will do everything I can for whoever runs against you even if its the devil himself. You were instrumental in all of this an it blew up in your face so live with it. Don’t even get on here making unfounded accusations.

Iggy p Daily

July 31, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Aaron H. why did you not say that the commission wants to make a foot bridge out of what’s there. The taxpayers want the fixed or replace so traffic can once again use it. I have never seen any information on this in the paper or on the radio. How about clarifying this.

do gooder

July 31, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I think Aaron H has been trying to work with the county, I think Randy Duncan is being unfair and unreasonable. R Duncan needs to put the county and city needs before his own ego….

Iggy p Daily

July 31, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Do good are you high or what? Aaron H. is the problem an has been from day one on this issue. Matters not the county is taking control of the health department.


July 31, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Yeah, this guy is a Grade A Genuine Clown… Way to go Salina, you picked another fine one.

Comments are closed.

City of Salina