By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
County departments face changes, challenges in 2016
Officials build on successes in 2015
new deh county goals-accomplishments pt 2 pic
In November, Barton County election officials and volunteers got a chance to see a new method of voting combining paper ballots and digital technology. With its current fleet of aging voting machines becoming obsolete, the county is starting to ponder replacing them, but no decisions have been made. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

 Editor’s note: This is the second of two stories highlighting the accomplishments and goals of the various Barton County departments. 


It has been a busy year for the myriad Barton County departments, the County Commission learned Monday morning. It took a peek at 2015 and peered ahead to this year. 

An overview of the annual report was presented County Administrator Richard Boeckman during the commission meeting. It encapsulated the accomplishments and aspirations of each appointed county department heads.

Below are some of the report highlights:

Deputy 911 Director Dena Popp

2015 Accomplishments

• Made the conversion to Enterpol CAD system.

2016 Goals

• Hire a director.

• Make the conversion to the NG 911 Phone System.

• Continue to work with the conversion to Enterpol CAD.

County Appraiser Barb Esfeld

2015 Accomplishments

• Pursuant state statute, re-inspected 17 percent of the properties in the county.

• Received a letter of recognition for being in compliance with the State.

• Barb Esfeld, County Appraiser, was elected as Vice President of the Kansas County Appraiser’s Association (KCAA).

2016 Goals

• Inspect 17 percent of the properties in the county.

• Perform a more in-depth study on commercial income producing properties.

Information Technology Director John Debes

2015 Accomplishments

• Courthouse — Setup and installed new high speed wireless access points. Replaced an older server and installed the latest version of Windows operating systems. • Law Enforcement — Converted County-wide use of software from Global to Huber and Associates Enterpol software. The Law Enforcement agencies are using the software but there are issues to be resolved.

• Health – Setup and installed a new high speed wireless access points. During the whooping cough outbreak, personnel setup equipment in the Health Department conference room for case management. 

2016 Goals

• Courthouse – Expand the high speed wireless access points to other agencies physically connected to the domain.

• District Court – replace first appearance equipment between the Courthouse and the Detention Facility 

• Sheriff – Complete conversion from Global to Enterpol.

• Complete conversion from a three-person to a two-person department. 

Health Director Shelly Schneider

2015 Accomplishments

• Faced a pertussis (whooping cough) outbreak. 

27 cases 

444 contacts 

805 Pertussis containing vaccines given 

185 treatments provided 

Barton County received recognition from the Kansas Department of Transportation for the way the outbreak was handled.

• Successfully implemented the transition from KIPHS computer system to direct entry with WEB IZ.

• Increased overall Immunization Rates from 2014 to 2015 and received recognition at the State Immunization Conference.

• Received additional Grant Funding for the Family Planning Grant so that the department could initiate IUD Clinics for family planning.

• Participated in an Ebola Response Table Top Exercise which allowed the department to apply for and receive Ebola grant money.

• Participated in saving a citizen outside the Health Department

• Acquired and spearheaded the Sharps containers for all county buildings

2016 Goals

• More county wide out-reach clinics to include all immunizations and lab outreaches.

• EMR (Electronic Medical Records) ready in 2016.

• Increase presence in the Schools with more outreach topics.

• Make the services of QUEST LAB available to clients.

• Continue to push for “Early Detection Works” program.

• Increase the numbers with immunization Programs.

• Initiate a senior visiting program.

• County-Wide Tdap Program.

• Develop a food council and establish a food policy in Barton County.

• To be awarded the Targeted Teen Pregnancy Case Management Grant.

• To participate/host an event to use of preparedness tent.


CKCC Director Amy Boxberger 

2015 Accomplishments

• Central Kansas Community Corrections is staffed with six intensive supervision officers, one office assistant and one director. Staff is supervising an average daily population of 274 felony offenders. 

• CKCC operates on a budget of $475,902 from the Kansas Department of Corrections as well as resources from payment of services from offenders or contracting agencies which accumulated to $101,358.50. CKCC also received a $5,000 grant from the Kansas Department of Corrections for Behavioral Health Services. 

CKCC operates using Evidence Based Principles of Community Supervision to effectuate change of our adult felony population. So far in FY16, there have been 99 offenders who were assigned to intensive probation and 50 offenders who were closed out of the program:

This equates to a revocation rate of 22 percent (offenders closing their case by going to prison) and 78 percent closing without going to prison. 

(The State outcome is set at 75 percent.)

2016 Goals

• One of the goals is that by June 30, Central Kansas Community Corrections will achieve and maintain a supervision success rate of at least 75 percent. In FY 2014, 78 percent cases were closed without entering the Kansas Prison System and 22 percent entered the correctional facilities.

– Objective 1: Maintain revocation rates of no more than 25 percent.

– Objective 3: 70 percent of the participants in the CKCC SAP group will successfully complete the curriculum.

– Objective 4: 75 percent of all offender / officer interactions will reflect EPICS in case management to effectuate positive change.

Juvenile Services Director Laurie White 

2015 Accomplishments

• JCF population Dec. 31, 2014 – 276 and JCF population Dec. 31, 2015 – 234

The YRCII study was released to legislature January 2015. This study sparked further discussion on Kansas’ over-reliance on this (and other out-of-home placement) models and reinforced the continued Kansas Department of Corrections movement to invest in community-based models which typically are more cost-effective and produce better outcomes. 

In late 2014, Kansas was chosen as one of five pilot states to receive technical assistance from the Council of State Governments Justice Center on Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes in Juvenile Justice System. The CSG findings/report was presented in March 2015. The report outlined 32 recommendations for the Kansas system that the leadership team has been tackling.

The 2015 legislature modified Kansas statutes to permit youthful offenders (between ages of 16-18) convicted as adults and sentenced to an adult prison to be housed in juvenile correctional facilities in Kansas. Previously our state statue was more stringent than the federal statue and it required that we move youthful offenders out of state where we had less control and oversight into the security and programming practices and youth were housed farther from families and support systems.

In other words, the future look of juvenile services is uncertain and hinges on legislative action this session

County Clerk Donna Zimmerman

2015 accomplishments

• Conducted a county-wide April general election for all nine cities for council/mayor positions and school board members for seven school districts.

• Conducted a June 16, 2015 mail ballot election for Unified School District 431 in Hoisington authorizing the issuance of general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $11,500,000 to construct a new Lincoln Elementary School.

• Processed the National Change of Address list and mailed confirmation mailings for voter registration list maintenance/clean-up. Processed Kansas Department of Health and Environment lists from the Secretary of State’s Office for proof-of-citizenship for new registrants. Filed candidates for public office and generated candidate lists as requested. 

• Processed 67 Homestead refunds, 222 Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism licenses/permits, 11 Cereal Malt Beverage/Drinking Establishment licenses and answered numerous Freedom of Information Requests for public information. There were 29 accounts payable cycles and 251 daily statements balanced. As Secretary to the Board of County Commissioners, 50 sets of agenda meeting minutes were taken along with one set of minutes created for the Claflin Fire District No. 1.

• Twenty-two township, two cemetery and one library district annual reports were audited.

• Created multiple July Tax Abstracts, certified July estimated valuation and prepared miscellaneous budget projections to forty-five taxing entities. Set the 2015 tax levies for 56 taxing units. The department processed six motor vehicle tax distributions, six recreational vehicle tax distributions, two vehicle rental excise tax distributions and six Kansas commercial vehicle resigration and commercial tax distributions. Created the January motor vehicle/RV/excise/commercial tax abstract.

2016 GOALS

• Hire floater/shared clerk and review duties and scheduling.

• Evaluate the need to consolidate voting locations for the anticipated replacement of electronic voting equipment.

• Evaluate vendors and options for the replacement of electronic voting equipment in 2017.

• Evaluate the benefits/costs of electronic poll books for potential purchase in 2016.