Nov 27, 2021 11:00 AM

Commissioners to get thoughts on County Administrator prior to Tuesday meeting

Posted Nov 27, 2021 11:00 AM

By NICK GOSNELL

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — There were some technical questions from the Board of Reno County Commissioners regarding open meetings law and the ability for other commissioners to see their thoughts regarding the evaluation of County Administrator Randy Partington.

It started with a request from County Commissioner Ron Sellers to try to find out what other members of the body thought prior to an executive session regarding Partington's evaluation that is due on Tuesday, November 30.

"Is there an opportunity to see your thoughts prior to that November 30 executive session?" Sellers asked.

"I don't think we can do that," chair Ron Hirst said, "I think we have to do it all together."

That prompted Daniel Friesen to ask about the feasibility of one way communication to let the other commissioners read each other's thoughts without replying before that session takes place.

"One way communications are okay," said County Counselor Joe O'Sullivan. "If someone responds to it or uses that information and that effects his response, which is shared with another, then you get involved in serial communications and that's a problem."

The preferred response is to put another employee in the middle, so there can't be any inadvertent replies. For virtually any other topic, that would be the county administrator, in this case though, that would be O'Sullivan.

"I would value to be able to understand your comments ahead of a formal discussion in executive session," Sellers said. "I think we would do a more inclusive job. That's why my request is that these be sent to the county counselor for distribution."

It seemed that there was a consensus to allow for that action so that all three commissioners can be better prepared for the November 30 meeting.