Tuesday night, board members of the Barton County Historical Society met in a special meeting at 7 p.m. at the BCHS Museum library. Board President Paul Maneth announced the executive board had accepted the resignation of museum director Tina Mingenback when they met with her on Friday, Sept. 27. The meeting was called to discuss the future of the society.
“Over the coming weeks, we need to back track and think in terms of what it is we want to do regarding the progress and the future of the historical society,” he said.
Mingenback assumed her role as museum director on Dec. 4, 2018, following the retirement of long-time director Beverly Komarek.
Now, the society will need to identify a person to fill that position again, he added. The remainder of the meeting would be conducted in executive session, Maneth said, so board members would feel free to talk openly about their thoughts.
Prior to entering into the closed meeting, Maneth welcomed questions and comments from the floor.
The Great Bend Tribune inquired if a director would be sought from the general public and or from within the organization. Arlen Schroeder headed the search committee when the board sought a replacement for Komarek. He went over the efforts the society undertook at that time.
Maneth consulted with board members at the Santa Fe Trail Museum in Larned concerning their ongoing efforts to find a director, he said. That discussion led the board to conclude that requirements specific to museum management and specialized degrees might make the playing field too narrow. Personality, and ability to interact positively with the public were two qualities they identified as important.
Following the explanation, current employees addressed the board, suggesting as an alternative to hiring a new director, the current staff could take on the duties of the position if a maintenance person and part-time office help were hired. Maneth and recording secretary Cindy Brooke thanked them for their comments.
Board member Lou Button took the floor. She agreed, calling the current staff highly knowledgeable and capable of keeping the day to day operations running. She also stressed the importance of keeping the board apprised of the progress the executive committee is making with their search. She asked for board members to be informed about applicants.
“We need to know who all you interviewed. This is what the board of directors are for,” she said. She volunteered to be on the search committee.
With no further comments from the floor, Maneth indicated the members of the board were ready to enter into their closed meeting. He stated that no action would be taken during or after that meeting, and if action is necessary before the board meets in November, another special meeting will be called.