Oct 14, 2021 1:15 PM

Commissioners would ask to fill new seats in November 2022 if voters approve

Posted Oct 14, 2021 1:15 PM

By NICK GOSNELL

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Board of Reno County Commissioners wanted to clarify for the public what they would be voting for if they vote to expand the board from three to five members.

"The concern of some people is that the governor would appoint the two new commissioners," said commissioner Daniel Friesen. "That is incorrect."

What would happen is that the governor would consult with the county commission on when the election to fill the two newly created seats would take place.

"There's either a general election, which everybody's familiar with, it's what we're going through in November, or there is a special election," Friesen said.

County Counselor Joe O'Sullivan agreed with Friesen's interpretation of the statute. The Board has made clear they have no desire to fill the seats in a special election. O'Sullivan reminded the board that, at least in the most recent case in Leavenworth County, the governor has respected the sitting commission's wishes.

"I know that the governor followed their preference," O'Sullivan said. "I can't necessarily predict, but if past indicators are true and I think the county clerk has communicated with that office that it's expected that the governor consults with the county commission."

If the intent of the sitting commission is followed, then the new seats, if they are approved by the voters, would be filled at the November general election in 2022.