The Barton County Commission Monday meetings will remain as they are after commissioners Monday morning let drop the idea of moving them to Wednesdays, at least for now.
The issue was first brought up when the commission met July 19.
At that meeting, District 5 Commissioner Jennifer Schartz said four fifths of the commissioners are retired and can set their own schedule. The exception is District 3 Commissioner Shawn Hutchinson who operates his own business, and the change could benefit him.
But, a key drawback was the fact the weekly newspapers the Hoisington Dispatch and Ellinwood Leaders go to press on Tuesdays. The change would make them a week late getting commission information.
“That really is not a good idea,in my estimation,” said commission Chairman Jim Daily, District 4. “So, it seems to me that, in my opinion anyway, it’s kind of a no brainer to stay on Monday.”
“I did visit with a few department heads,” District 2 Commissioner Barb Esfeld said. “They’re used to Mondays, but Mondays are busy for a lot of departments. They come in and they’ve got emails and people want to see them, and so I think some of the department heads would like Wednesday as well.”
District 1 Commissioner Kirby Krier floated the idea of keeping the meetings on Mondays, but bumping the time to 10 a.m. instead of 9. That extra hour might be enough to give Hutchinson and department heads the time they need.
“Well, I think those are some of the things that we can go ahead and discuss,” Schartz said. “We really didn’t have time to talk about it. So I think we just need to let this die right now and discuss it further.”
In the meantime, they will discuss the matter with county officials and perhaps contact the impacted media outlets.
At last week’s meeting, Hutchinson indicated Monday is the day he gets his week started and said Wednesday would work better. He also said there may be others who might be able to run for Commission if the meeting were moved to Wednesday.
Hutchinson said he is “here for the people” and appreciated the idea, noting it may be better for the community. But, he didn’t want the change to be made solely on his account.