Archive for Wednesday, October 23, 2002

County explains ballot issue in $5,000 mailing

October 23, 2002

Leavenworth County has spent more than $5,000 to mail a fact sheet on an election question that will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.

In the election, voters will be asked if the office of county administrator should be created. To help voters understand the question, the county has mailed a one-page brochure, at a cost of about $5,325.

Extended hours The Leavenworth County clerk's office will be open late next Tuesday and Wednesday to accommodate voters who want to cast ballots early. According to Linda Scheer, county clerk, her office at the courthouse, 300 Walnut, will be open until 7 p.m. Advance ballots also are available through the mail, if voters request them. For additional information about advance voting or other election issues, call Scheer's office, (800) 250-2057 or visit Leavenworth County's Website and click on "county clerk."

That price tag includes printing and postage, according to David Van Parys, county counselor.

Van Parys said the brochure is being mailed to all households with one or more registered voters, and only one brochure will go to each household. About 18,675 mailings are being made.

In 1998, Leavenworth County voters were asked essentially the same question. It was defeated, 7,519 to 6,068 a difference of 1,451. In all but four precincts across the county, the issue was voted down, according to the Leavenworth County clerk's office. And in those four precincts, the issue passed by only a few votes.

Here are the 1998 results in Tonganoxie precincts:

Tonganoxie North: yes, 93; no, 112.
Tonganoxie South: yes, 157; no, 170.
Tonganoxie Rural: yes, 245; no, 307.

The brochure the county is mailing is for informational purposes only and isn't intended to influence voters, according to Van Parys.

In part, the brochure says a county administrator would:

Serve as the chief administrative officer of the county.
Attend commission meetings and propose policies, programs and plans aimed at addressing the needs of the county.
Present to the commission operating budgets, long-range strategic plans for county operations and capital improvement plans.
Identify and recommend individuals for appointment to county boards and commissions
Recommend to the board people to serve as appointed administrative officers. Evaluate and recommend the compensation, suspension or dismissal of those officers.
Coordinate and supervise the departments of all officials appointed by the boards of commissioners.
Prepare the meeting agenda of the board of commissioners.
Coordinate the administrative services of county departments and provide technical assistance as needed.
Coordinate county programs and activities with other governmental units.
Execute contracts and other documents approved by the board of commissioners.
Monitor county departments and provide regular reports to the board of commissioners.
Perform other duties as assigned by the board of commissioners.
Be appointed by the county commission, which would evaluate the administrator's performance and set the administrator's salary and benefits. A majority two commissioners could fire an administrator.

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