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County ponders job in secret

Staff writer

County commissioners spent an hour interviewing a job candidate Tuesday, but wouldn’t say what opening he was being considered for.

No department head positions are open, and the possibility of hiring someone never was discussed in open sessions.

When asked, county clerk Tina Spencer said the position was “unspecified.”

But that raised questions about whether the county may have violated Kansas Open Meetings Act.

“When going into executive session, the state requires a reasonable amount of specificity about the subject matter to be discussed,” said Max Kautsch, president of the Kansas Coalition for Open Government. “Merely saying it is an employment interview without specifying the position does not rise to that level.”

Told the lack of specifics likely violated state law, Spencer later said the commissioners were contemplating hiring someone to handle in-house security.

Commissioners are allowed to discuss matters of security, but the idea of hiring someone for in-house security had not been discussed openly in the past.

In 2021, commissioners hired security guards for the courtroom floor. S.D. Security guards work a minimum of 90 hours a month, primarily at district court but also in other portions of the courthouse, at $40 an hour. The expense is paid from the county general fund.

Discussions about hiring S.D. Security were held in open session.

Lake improvements

Campgrounds at the county lake will get electrical improvements after commissioners accepted a $48,448.

Existing 30-amp RV pedestals will be removed. Four new 200-amp outdoor panelboards, nine new double-sided 50/30/20 RV pedestals, 13 new single 50/30/20 RV pedestals, and new conduit and wire will be installed underground to the pedestals

Last modified Jan. 4, 2024

 

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