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Commission rejoins lobbying groups
new_deh_county commission pat hoffman pic.jpg
Patrick Hoffman takes his seat with the Barton County Commission Monday morning. This marked Hoffman’s first meeting as the new county counselor, replacing Carey Hipp who left after being elected as a judge in the 20th Judicial District last November. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

The Barton County Commission Monday morning approved re-upping with three organizations that provide advice and services for Kansas counties, while helping to lobby on their behalf.

• First was the Kansas Association of Counties 2019 membership. Based on a calculation that includes a base fee, population and valuation, the KAC dues are $6,165.41. They also approved an additional $100 charge for access to 10 webinars on various county government topics.

The association sponsors the annual KAC Conference and various educational meetings throughout the year. 

It lobbies at the state and federal levels on behalf of Kansas counties, County Clerk Donna Zimmerman said.

The fee was down from $6,209.97 last year.

• Second was the Kansas County Commissioners Association 2019 membership. 

Tied closely to the KAC, this organization is comprised of the commissioners serving the 105 counties in Kansas. Education, training, partnering and seeking strategic alliances that benefit the interests of county government and its citizens are its core goals, County Administrator Phil Hathcock said. 

The cost for this is $700.

Targeting commissioners more specifically than the KAC, commissioners said they have always found this to be beneficial.

• Last was the Kansas Legislative Policy Group 2019 membership. The cost was $5,114.65, up $104.68 from 2018.

The KLPG is a bipartisan coalition of about 36 western Kansas counties with the common interest in the preservation of the counties’ tax base and retention of local control, Zimmerman said. The KLPG serves as a policy and decision making body establishing legislative priorities at its annual meeting and providing speakers to address KLPG members about the important topics of the day. 

In addition, Commissioner Alicia Straub serves as the vice president of the KLPG board.

“We can’t belong to everything,” Commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz said. “But, this is an important one.”