May 12, 2020 Joint Commission Meeting Minutes

May 12, 2020 Joint Commission Meeting Minutes

May 12, 2020 Joint Commission Meeting Minutes

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Joint Commission Meeting

May 12, 2020                                                                                                                         8:00 A.M.

Mayor John Garcia called the meeting to order with Vice-Mayor Aaron Thompson, Commissioner Jay Dee Brumbaugh, Commissioner J. J. Howard and Commissioner Gary Farris responding to roll call. 

Sherman County Commission Chairman John Topliff called meeting to order with County Commissioner Rod Blake and County Commissioner Larry Enfield responding to roll call. 

Also present from the City were Rich Simon – Director of Public Works, Jake Kling – City Attorney, Mary Volk – City Clerk, and Andrew Finzen – City Manager.  Also present from the County were Brett Mangan – County Attorney, Burton Pianalto – Sherriff, Crissy Livengood – Communication Director and Ashley Mannis – County Clerk. 

Mayor Garcia led Pledge of Allegiance


  1. Economic Development-CVB-Chamber of Commerce Mayor Garcia stated, we anticipate changes with economic development in the near future.  Andrew stated, the City has three new Commissioner’s so this is the first joint discussion with them.  Economic Development Director Suzanne McClure has announced her retirement with the City of Goodland effective May 15th.  She has been dealing with health issues and with COVID-19 there is not a good time for her to return to work.  She has decided this is the best time for her to step away.  This raises the question at the City level what the next step is for Economic Development.  The City cannot proceed funding it alone with budgets getting tighter and tighter.  We need to look at the overall structure of CVB, Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development.  Mayor Garcia stated, we are all facing unprecedented times but even if we were not, all budgets are affected and strained.  We need to determine where we can come together to stretch budget dollars as much as possible.  I understand and believe that we can formulate a structure to work together without intermingling funds of the three entities.  Budgets will be affected, and we are looking at some cuts at the City level.  County Chairman Topliff stated, as we have discussed, we do not know the effect on budgets at this time.  We need to start working on things now to prevent an emergency.  County Commissioner Blake stated, I have been thinking about ideas outside the box.  I have done a lot of research, a good economic development program has to start with commission.  Probably 90% of new business will start in City so we have to brand our community.  With business being hit in the City’s, I see small businesses looking for opportunities to get out of the City and relocate to small communities.  I feel the Economic Development Director should answer to the County if we are in it together.  Salary should be minimal with bonuses based on performances, but it is all about the budget and how to fund.  County Commissioner Enfield stated, it is more than funding, we have to be able to work together.  When economic development first started it was funded by the County but the County gave it up because we could not get along.  The County would sign a $50,000 check for the City each year.  When a new Director was hired we had a County Commissioner on the hiring board but City had a contract with the individual before announced who was hired.  We need to set out guidelines for hiring and follow them.  Commissioner Howard stated, we need to work together with minimal salary and bonuses based on performances.  The Director needs to be willing to go and find businesses and not be afraid to be told no.  Commissioner Brumbaugh stated, I am always for working with County on this and other places we can stretch budget dollars in most efficient manner.  This is an opportunity to bring entities together.  Other counties have joined forces and it has worked.  Vice-Mayor Thompson stated, it appears everyone is in agreement how it should go.  I like the idea of a lower base salary with performance bonuses.  I feel we will get someone willing to be aggressive.  Where does Chamber of Commerce and CVB fall under this plan?  Mayor Garcia stated, for several years they worked together with separate boards.  How do we break relation boundaries County Commissioner Enfield has eluded to?  I want to move forward effectively and be a role model.  Donna Price, CVB Director stated, we are doing well, our budget is steady and business is starting to pick up.  We have been marketing outside community to bring dollars in.  We have numbers on the Byway showing traffic has picked up.  We are applying to be a Federal Byway which brings the ability for additional funding from the State.  KDOT has grants for communities that we have not touched.  They tell us we have a good possibility for trail money but it takes everyone working together.  The City and County each qualify for CDBG funding with COVID-19 in the amount of $300,000 each, even without a study.  There is another $100,000 in funding we do not qualify for without a study.  The funding goes into a micro-grant fund for businesses to apply for the monies.  County Commissioner Blake stated, in working together, the City has stuff to worry about that we do not and vice versa.  We proceed and something crosses which is when we need to get back together.  I believe in two separate governing bodies but there are opportunities to find middle ground.  We are doing that, right now we have to get through budget and determine how to fund this.  We can find people to run it, just have to determine how to fund.  County Commissioner Enfield asked, is the City advertising for a Director?  Do we need to work together to get job description?  Mayor Garcia stated, communication is the key.  When you have three entities, they all share information without crossing boundaries.  The more the City and County can talk the better it will be.  We all have to be involved when we work together.  We have had discussions on performance based pay, I feel County should have some say.  Is the Welcome Center big enough to house all three entities?  Andrew stated, yes, does the County intend to put funding in 2021 budget for Economic Development?  I do not intend to advertise for position as we need to fix the system before we hire someone.  County Chairman Topliff asked, how did previous hiring committee work?  County Commissioner Enfield stated, there was nothing in writing, all verbal.  I feel we are going to have to work together to get it done.  County Chairman Topliff asked, what about a hiring committee with one each from the City and County?  Mayor Garcia stated, I feel all Commissioners should be involved with hiring.  It is better to have everyone together where we all hear and understand what is done to avoid confusion.  County Chairman Topliff stated, that is proposing joint meetings to get a solution.  County Commissioner Enfield stated, I disagree, I like how fire merger worked.  It takes a lot to get special meeting scheduled so I like committee idea for basic starting point, then have special meeting with everyone.  County Chairman Topliff asked, should we appoint someone from each Commission for committee?  Mayor Garcia stated, the consensus of City Commission is to open meetings up to County and give you time needed to discuss ideas together.  More communication between City and County brings more efficiency for tax payers.  It does not matter how we formulate it.  County Commissioner Enfield stated, we still do not have fire issue resolved, are we close?  Brett Mangan, County Attorney stated, yes.  County Commissioner Blake asked, what can we do to proceed?  County Chairman Topliff stated, I feel we can have County Commissioner Blake represent the County, then appoint a representative from the City to get started.  Mayor Garcia stated, I will work with County Commissioner Blake, then we can meet jointly at the next City Commission meeting.  ON A MOTION by County Chairman Topliff to meet with the City Commission Monday May 18th during their regular scheduled meeting seconded by CountyCommissioner Blake.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 3-0.  ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Thompson to meet with the City Commission Monday May 18th during our regular scheduled meeting seconded by Commissioner Brumbaugh.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 5-0.  

Jennifer Cure, Director Sherman County Health Department entered meeting to provide City and County Commission an update on COVID-19 in the State of Kanas and Sherman County.  We remain at five cases. 

Andrew stated, with the Economic Development discussion, I feel we are up against the clock with budget.  The City starts to look at budget in June for approval in August.  We want to do it right and not rush through the process.  My concerns are the time line we are on and is a performance base salary legal?  If we are looking at that structure, we have to get those questions answered.  Like the fire merger, you think it will be simple but there are a lot of questions.  County Commissioner Blake stated, the County intention is to maintain budget because once you cut something it is very tough or you cannot get it back.  We do not want to do that.  Mayor Garcia stated, maybe you need to do some research as Economic Development had always been under County, there may be a module there that we can work with.  We need to evaluate the budget in May to review hits we are going to take.  We can make it work without rushing decisions.  County Commissioner Blake stated, realistically we are looking at 2021 before anything will be decided.  County Chairman Topliff asked, when are you opening City back up to meet Governor Guidelines?  Andrew stated, we have the majority of employees back to work.  We only have a few utility workers on shift work and evaluating when to take all of them off shift work.  We are planning to open pool June 1st and GAC is planning recreation programs to begin June 15th.  We continue evaluating when to open City Hall and Public Transportation to the public. 

ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Commissioner Brumbaugh seconded by Commissioner Howard.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 8:35 a.m.  Next meeting is scheduled for May 18th.


ATTEST:                                                                               John Garcia, Mayor


Mary P. Volk, City Clerk