A new 5-person Saline County Commission was sworn in Monday morning, and though no official meeting was scheduled, immediately met and overturned a recent controversial decision that eliminated four department head positions.
Monte Shadwick, Luci Larson, and David Smith were sworn in, joining Jim Gile and John Price in the new 5-person commission. Larsen and Smith are taking over new commission seats, while Shadwick is taking over for Randy Duncan, who he defeated in last year’s primary election.
After being sworn in, Jim Gile requested that the new commission meet. During the meeting, Gile made a motion to rescind a December 30th decision that did away with the positions of County Administrator, Road and Bridge Director, Planning and Zoning Director and Health Department Director. The motion was approved 4-1, with Price casting the lone dissenting vote. The standing room only crowd burst into applause when the decision was made.
The move means Rita Deister (Administrator), David Neal (Planning and Zoning) and Dave Nowak (Road and Bridge) are all reinstated with full benefits and salary.
The position of County Health Director, which has been vacant since Bronson Farmer resigned unexpectedly in early October, was not addressed. Commissioner Shadwick later told KSAL News that he anticipates the new commission to deal fairly quickly with the health department issue.
The new Saline County Commission’s first regularly scheduled meeting is Tuesday.