By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Board of Reno County Commissioners welcomed new Commissioner Daniel Friesen Tuesday.
"I wish this transition represented a simpler time, a less divisive time," Friesen said. "I'm very aware that these are challenging times for us and for this commission and for our country. I hope to do my part here with my fellow commissioners."
Friesen also acknowledged the legacy of the late commissioner Bob Bush.
"Bob served our community with great strength and dignity up to the end," Friesen said. "He left very big shoes to fill. I'm hopeful I will continue his legacy and example of dedication to our community."
Finally, Friesen noted that COVID-19 has made serving on the commission that also acts as the county board of health an additional challenge.
"The actions this commission takes regarding COVID-19 are some of the most highly sensitive decisions of this commission in some time," Friesen said. "Certainly there are many good people in our community on all sides of this issue. You do have my commitment that I will apply a well informed, objective, reasonable and fair approach to these decisions and the actions we make together. Of great importance to me are those most vulnerable to life-threatening impacts of COVID-19 and those conditions in our community which risk the viability and continuity of our health systems, which are critical to the safety and welfare of Reno County. This commission and the people of Reno County have my commitment to be respectful of all the opinions that are brought forth here on all matters, including this one. I will support especially for those who work tirelessly for the health and safety of our community."
At the reorganization of the board, Friesen was named vice-chair of the commission. Ron Hirst will serve as commission chair in 2021.