Lake ‘extremely ignored,’ new super says
A former campus and McPherson County public works employee who thinks the county lake has been “extremely ignored” will become its new superintendent Aug. 7 — provided he approves of the lake house that comes with the job.
County commissioners announced Monday that Bryan Metz had accepted their previously secret offer to take the job for $40,000 a year and live in the house, with county-paid utilities. The county estimates the value of the free housing as an additional $7,200 a year.
Commission chairman Randy Dallke said Metz wanted wider basement stairs, a gap on the basement door repaired, carpet in three rooms of the house, and a lean-to roof on the east side of the house.
In a telephone interview after the meeting, Metz admitted he had looked at the house with Dallke but said “I have not offered any of my own opinions on changes.”
Rather, he said, commissioner Dianne Novak has gone through it and seen what she thinks would make it comfortable.
“There’s wall damage, there’s floor damage, I need to know what the committee wants to do for comfort and remodeling,” Metz said.
Novak said she went to look at the house after hearing Metz wanted changes made.
“I went through the house, and let me tell you the house is neglected just like everything else,” Novak said in a phone interview later.
Commissioner Kent Becker asked if the proposed changes to the house would require structural work. Dallke said he did not know.
“We had a lot of good applicants,” Dallke said. “There was some tough decisions to make. He has come over and looked at the house. He’s interested in the house. There are some negotiating things we have to look at with him.”
Metz was already familiar with the park and lake from owning a trailer there from 2012 to 2014.
He said he took another look at the lake before his job interview.
“I drove around the park and it looked extremely ignored,” Metz said.
Branches over the camper areas and picnic tables need attention. During late fall through spring, he plans to work to get the lake area in better shape, Metz said.
Metz said he moved to Kansas after working in the drywall supply market in Wisconsin turned sour a few years ago.
“I recently moved from Wisconsin to Kansas and Wisconsin has umpteen lakes,” Metz said. “For virtually the middle of nowhere, it is a real pretty lake and a real pretty park, too.”
Although Metz said his record was “squeaky clean,” a background check by the newspaper indicated that a person of the same name, age, and city was charged Dec. 4, 2012 with domestic battery. He pleaded not guilty and entered a diversion agreement in McPherson Municipal Court April 26, 2013, paying $396 fine, court costs, and diversion and other fees.
Not yet revealed is who was offered the county appraiser position.
Dallke said last week that particular candidates for both open positions, as well as pay ranges to be offered, were decided during closed sessions.
Dallke said at that time he had already contacted the appraiser candidate with an offer and the candidate would meet with the commission next week.