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Jon Prescott throws hat into Barton County Commission ring
Jon Prescott files for a Barton County Commission seat with the help of County Clerk/Election Officer Bev Schmeidler.

Even though Jon Prescott is retiring as chief executive officer of Sunflower Diversified Services, he “still wants to serve my community in a new way.”

That new way might include serving on the Barton County Commission.

Prescott recently filed for the commission’s 4th District seat currently held by Jim Daily. If Prescott wins the election in November, he would resign his seat on the Ellinwood City Council.

“I really like what is happening throughout Barton County,” Prescott said. “It has a lot to offer businesses and individuals in terms of opportunities for growth in our central location. I would love to serve as a commissioner and help make our county even more attractive.”

Big things can happen, he said, if Hoisington, Ellinwood, Claflin and other communities continue to work together.

“Many kudos to Sara Hayden at Great Bend Economic Development for including the whole county in her efforts,” he commented. “I would like to support Sara and other visionaries attract new businesses, while retaining our local entrepreneurs.

“The economic development board and staff talk about how we can accomplish something, instead of dwelling on reasons we can’t,” he added.

Prescott’s career includes more than 30 years at the former CPI Qualified Plan Consultants and almost five years as CEO at Sunflower.

“Throughout my professional life, I have focused on having a vision for the future,” the Ellinwood Republican said. “I look for opportunities that could lead to growth in the years to come. I guess you could say I’m a big-picture kind of guy.”

In his previous positions, Prescott gained experience with budgets, personnel and strategic planning. “At CPI, our team took the company from serving just a few states to serving all the states,” he mentioned. “We eventually employed about 500 people.

“At Sunflower Diversified, I work with team leaders to find even more ways to support people with disabilities and delays as they reach new levels of productivity and independence. I am fortunate to have collaborated with strong leaders.”

County issues

Housing and public transportation are two issues that are especially important to Prescott.

“The county can have a positive impact on our housing shortage,” he said. “I know the current commissioners are interested in this too. We have a lot of job openings but I keep hearing people say they cannot find a house to buy.”

In the area of transportation, Prescott recognizes that helping people get to their destinations is crucial to their professional and personal lives.

Sunflower operates General Public Transportation in its service area, which is Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. GPT is available to everyone, not just clients at Sunflower.

“This great transportation service has continued to grow during my time at Sunflower but it does not have to stop at the county lines in the service area,” Prescott commented. “It could be expanded in collaboration with other counties such as Reno and Ellis.

“This is a crucial service that allows people to get to their jobs, medical appointments and many other destinations. I want to find ways to allow more people to take advantage of it. The county could be quite influential in this.”

The candidate gives a lot of credit to current commissioners for their focus on growing the county. Jim Daily, Barb Esfeld, Shawn Hutchinson, Kirby Krier and Jennifer Schartz “each bring their talents, energy and experiences to the table.

“Like me, they are passionate about helping our county prosper. We don’t live in big cities but our county has a nice-sized population with a lot to offer. It is a great place for those of us who live and work here, just as it is a great place for newcomers to start a business.”

The commission’s 4th District includes Ellinwood, the southern portion of Great Bend and Pawnee Rock.