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New GB admin eyes city/county cooperation
Commissioners like what they hear
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DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune New Great Bend City Administrator Kendal Francis visits with the Barton County Commission Monday morning. Francis said he is excited about building ties between the city and the county.

Barton County Commission meeting at a glance

Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Monday morning:

• Presented the Employees Recognition Award to Bev Schmeidler, Susan Johnson and Paige Volkel for their efforts towards the courthouse centennial celebration. The Employee Relations Committee recommends outstanding individuals for the Employees Recognition Award each quarter.

• Were introduced to new Great Bend City Administrator Kendal Francis. Francis, who was hired by the City Council July 16, has served the cities of Beloit, Lakin and Coffeyville. 

• Heard a report from County Appraiser Barb Esfeld on the 2017 Real Estate Appraisal/Sales Ratio Study for the county which went well for the county.

• Held a 30-minute executive session to discuss matters related to attorney-client privilege. Included in the meeting with commissioners were County Counselor Carey Hipp, County Administrator Phil Hathcock and County Clerk Donna Zimmerman. 

The commission emerged and took no action.

• Approved an amendment to the Aug. 6 approved bid for the purchase of seven 800 mHz radios and a combiner system from Mobile Radio of Great Bend. When placing the order, it was determined that the seven radios and related equipment would actually be purchased from Motorola Solutions instead of Mobile Radio as was noted last week by 911 Director Dena Popp. In addition, the revised bid was $3,786 lower than the original.

• Prior to the meeting, the commission met as the county Board of Canvassers and certified the primary election results from last Tuesday.

The Barton County Commission Monday morning took time to welcome a new government officials to town. They were introduced to Kendal Francis, who was appointed recently by the City of Great Bend as the new city administrator, and it could be a cozy connection. 

“I am excited to be here,” Francis said. “I look forward to serving the City of Great Bend, but also building a relationship with Barton County.”

Francis, who was hired by the City Council July 16, has served the cities of Beloit, Lakin and Coffeyville. Historically, he said, he’s enjoyed a good rappot with county officials where he’s worked.

“It’s important to share ideas and collaborate,” he said. “We have a common interest and that is what is best for our citizens.”

Commissioners liked what they heard from Francis.

“You certainly are singing our song,” commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz said.

It is key for the county, Great Bend and other cities in the county to work together, she said. “We are all pulling from the same taxpayers’ pockets.”

Francis is a Beloit native who attended Cloud County Community College in Concordia and then Kansas State University in Manhattan. Back in Beloit, he worked 19 years for the water and waste water utilities. 

After rising through the ranks there, he ventured into city administration, first at Lakin then at Coffeyville. He recently resigned from the Coffeyville position.

Francis said he has been busy meeting people and attending meetings. “I want to get immersed in the community,” he said. “I like to be a part of the community, not just as an administrator, but has an active resident.”