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Commission honors long-time employees
new deh county commission awardees pic
Several Barton County employees were honored for their many years of service during the County Commission meeting Monday morning. Pictured are Melissa Hagerman, Health Department public health nurse, Liz Nolan, 911 communications supervisor, Kevin Wondra, county treasurer, Bev Frizell, Health Department WIC supervisor/registered dietitian, Donna Zimmerman, county clerk/election officer, and Gary Demel, Road and Bridge shop foreman. Also pictured are county commissioners Don Davis, Homer Kruckenberg, Kenny Schremmer, Alicia Straub and Jennifer Schartz. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

The Barton County Commission Monday morning took time to thank several employees for their years of service.

Barton County employees honored were: Melissa Hagerman, public health nurse in the Health Department, eight; Tracy Miller, appraiser II in the Appraiser’s Office, eight; Michael Moos, grading and construction foreman for Road and Bridge, eight; Liz Nolan, communications supervisor, 911, eight; Kevin Wondra, treasurer, Treasurer’s Office, eight; Paula Haughton, records clerk, Sheriff’s Office, 16; Marissa Woodmansee, JIAS/ prevention coordinator, JIAS, 16; Bev Frizell, WIC supervisor/registered dietitian, Health Department, 24; Janel Rose, health educator/program coordinator, Health Department, 24; Donna Zimmerman, county clerk/election officer, Clerk’s Office, 32; and Gary Demel, shop foreman, Road and Bridge, 44.

Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips took time to personally recognize Demel. “He learned from the oldt-timers.”

Demel started as “patch boy,” and worked his way up to shop foreman, Phillips said. “He’s always willing to help the other staff,” including filling in for Phillips when he had to take an extended leave.

“I find it hard to believe that I’ve stuck around for 44 years,” Demel said. He started with the county when he was 19.

“There have been highs and there have been lows,” he said. He recalled the dreadful days following the Hoisington tornado and being a low point.

“I like to think I’ve been a pioneer in setting new standards for the county,” Demel said. He helped lead the push from the “old-school” methods to the new computer-based system.

He said he met a lot of people over the years and has learned from all of them.

According to Kansas Association of Counties rules, to be eligible for a service award, the applicant must be a county officer or employee of a Kansas Association of Counties member county. Awards will be given for the completion of eight, 16, 24, 32, 40, 44 and 48 years of service.  

The required period of service must be completed by Feb. 1, 2016, to receive credit for the 2015 county service award. Credit will be allowed for all paid service to any Kansas county, either as an elected officer or an employee, and need not be continuous.  

However, one must currently be a county officer/employee. Awards will be presented at the KAC Annual Conference set for Nov. 3.