In other business, the Barton County Commission:
• Heard and update on the Register of Deeds Office’s remote access program, which will allow those needing to research the office’s records from anywhere 24-7. Register of Deeds Marcia Johnson said the project has been in the works for several years and involved digitizing all the records, but is now ready to go after her staff was trained last week. The next step is for the county to set a fee schedule for the service. Johnson said the office no longer has hard copies of the records, but there are microfilm versions stored off-site.
• Approved the designations of Barton County financial institutions as official county depositories. The banks included are American State Bank, Community Bank of the Midwest, Farmers Bank and Trust, First Kansas Bank, Landmark Bank, Sunflower Bank, Wilson State Bank and Bank of the West. All have branches in at least one Barton County community.
• Heard an update on the activities of county departments from County Administrator Richard Boeckman.
• Was invited to a retirement reception for Judge Hannelore Kitts. The reception will be held from 2-4 p.m., Friday, Jan. 11, 2012, in Courtroom B, third floor, at the Barton County Courthouse, 1400 Main, Great Bend.
When John Edmonds walked into the Barton County Commission chambers Monday morning, he was greeted by fellow Commissioner Don Cates.
“Welcome to your last meeting,” Cates said. He was referring to the fact that Edmonds is leaving the commission to take his seat in the Kansas House of Representatives representing the 112th District.
During the meeting, the commission passed a resolution honoring its out-going member. “It has been helpful for me to serve beside you for these two years,” Cates said, adding he has learned a great deal during that time.
Commissioner Jennifer Schartz has worked with Edmonds since he was elected four years ago. “We didn’t always see eye to eye, but we’ve always worked well together,” she said.
She asked that he not forget what he learned at the county level. And, “be a strong voice for us here in Barton County” in Topeka.
“This four years has been interesting in ways I would never have guessed,” Edmonds said. It has also been educational for him and he vowed to take that knowledge to the Statehouse.
“We have not always viewed the world through the same lens,” Edmonds said of the fellow commissioners. “But, we’ve always tried to do the right thing.
“This will be four years that I will treasure,” he said. “I will remember this time fondly.”
Edmonds then took time to thank County Administrator Richard Boeckman and County Clerk Donna Zimmerman.
He also shook hands with his successor Don Davis. He said he regretted not being able to be at the meeting next week as Davis is sworn in as the next commissioner.
As Davis takes his oath in Great Bend, Edmonds will be sworn in for his new job in Topeka.
In November, Edmonds won the legislative post representing Barton County, defeating Democratic challenger Steve Muehleisen and write-in Republican Frank McKinney. This marks his second stint in the Legislature. Edmonds served as representative for 12 years and then “retired” in 2007 so he could battle cancer. He is now cancer free.
In the House, Edmonds is taking the seat held by Bill Wolf, R-Great Bend, who retired after serving since 2008.
Edmonds, a Certified Public Accountant, maintains an accounting practice in Great Bend. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Kansas State University as well as a master’s degree in Accounting from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
He is married to Dr. Marta Edmonds who owns and operates the Great Bend Children’s Clinic, and they live in rural Great Bend Township and are members of First Christian Church. They have one adult daughter and two granddaughters.