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Beneke honored for dedication to BCSO, county
Commission presents Employee Recognition Award
bt co employee recognition award
Barton County Sheriff’s Office employee Natasha Beneke, third from right, receives an Employe Recognition Award from the County Commission Wednesday morning. Also pictured, from left to right, are Under Sheriff Steve Billinger, and county commissioners Jon Prescott. Barb Esfeld, Jennifer Schartz, Shawn Hutchinson and Kirby Krier. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Hamby named interim solid waste director

The Barton County Commission Wednesday morning named Jennifer Hamby as interim solid waste director, necessitated by the resignation last week of Phil Hathcock, solid waste director and facilities director.

“In order for the Solid Waste Department to operate efficiently, it is suggested Hamby be appointed as the director,” said Operations Director Matt Patzner.

Hamby has served as office manager at the Landfill since 2010. She received her Manager of Landfill Operations certification through the Solid Waste Association of North America in 2019. 

“As we all know, there’s some big shoes to fill with Phil leaving,” he said. “I think we’re very lucky here at the county that we have somebody like Jennifer that can step into those shoes and hit the ground running.” 

“I’m just going to say that I think that speaks well of Phil for having somebody trained and ready to step in,” District 5 Commissioner Jennifer Schartz said, adding this succession planning is so important. “I know it didn’t happen overnight.”

“I appreciate the opportunity to take this role,” Hamby said.

Noting her dedication to the county and to her difficult job at the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, the County Commission Wednesday morning recognized BCSO employee Natasha Beneke with the fourth quarter Employee Recognition Award.

Beneke was nominated, in part, for her “effectiveness, commitment and attitude relative to her duties,” said Bailey Rankin, Employee Relations Committee president. It is the ERC that recommends outstanding individuals for the award. 

“From what I’ve learned, she is versatile, trustworthy, optimistic, committed, thorough, and a pure joy to be around,” Rankin said. “Natasha goes above and beyond for the sheriff’s office at work and off the clock. She is an amazing asset to our community.”

“That is a hard job so I’m glad to see somebody from over the Sheriff’s Office do that because I’ve been over there.” District 2 Commissioner Barb Esfeld aid. “She doesn’t always work with the nicest, most pleasant people. I’m not talking about the people behind bars, I’m talking about some family members and sorts like that.”

But, “I’m glad it’s you,” Esfeld said. “It’s good that you continue to do that job. We know that it’s not easy.”

“I love working at the Sheriff’s Office,” Beneke said. “It is hard some days, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Thank you.”

The honor comes with a certificate, her name on a plaque in the courthouse rotunda and an extra day of paid time off.

Barton County Commission meeting at a glance:

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

• Approved an Employee Recognition Award for Natasha Beneke, Sheriff’s Office.

• Appointed Jennifer Hamby as interim solid waste director.

• Approved the transfer and carry over of 2021 unexpended funds to the Capital Improvement and Equipment Replacement Funds.