Commission and candidates exchange heated comments

Staff writer

County commissioner Randy Dallke’s words during last week’s meeting sparked controversy on Monday.

Commission candidates Tom Britain and Dianne Novak sat quietly through Monday’s meeting until just before adjournment, when Britain rose to speak about comments made during the prior meeting.

At that meeting, Dallke said there have been some issues regarding interaction between candidates for office and county department heads. Dallke asked that candidates running for an office “please treat county department heads with respect” and added that no county department head is obligated to attend a meeting arranged by a candidate for office.

Britain expressed displeasure with Dallke’s earlier words, saying neither he nor Novak had been disrespectful. He asked for an explanation.

Dallke contended he wasn’t talking about Britain or Novak.

Britain and Novak said Dallke’s words had come across that way, both in the minutes and in the newspaper.

Holub said the comments were about earlier incidents with candidates.

“Why cast a shadow on all candidates for what was done by someone else?” Britain said.

Holub pointed his finger and loudly said, “Just shut up and listen for a second and see what I’m saying.”

“Talk about being disrespectful,” Novak responded.

Holub said if the same things that had happened with earlier candidates would have happened with them, it would have been disrespectful.

Road and Bridge supervisor Jesse Hamm said he was notified the county is approved for a grant to replace a bridge on 370th Rd. west of Sunflower Rd. He asked for permission to pursue discussion with Dickinson County on sharing costs in replacing the bridge, which serves drivers from both counties.

Commissioners voted unanimously to rock a one-mile section of dirt road used by Centre school buses at an estimated cost of $6,000.

Hazardous waste and recycling director Bud Druse told commissioners Kansas Department of Health and Environment notified him of a program that will reimburse the recycling department for tires harvested from ditches and roadways.

The county pays differing charges according to the size of the tire, ranging from $2 for car and light truck tires to $140 for large tractor tires, Druse said. The state will give recycling centers 60 days advance notice if it discontinues the program.

Emergency Medical Services director Ed Debesis said the decision to have Omni Billing handle the department’s billing paid off last month with $65,000 collected at a cost of $5,000.

EMS continues to stretch to cover the county’s needs and one employee expects a month’s military deployment starting in January.

“We’re still having issues. I’m trying to fill in as I can,” Debesis said.

Last modified Sept. 21, 2016