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Schremmer takes commission gavel
County Commission reorganizes Monday morning
schremmer takes gavel pic
Kenny Schremmer, right, was elected as chairman of the Barton County Commission Monday morning as the commission reorganized. Former Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz, left, was elected chairman pro tem. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

The Barton County Commission elected Kenny Schremmer as the commission chairman and Jennifer Schartz as chairman pro tem as it tackled a number of reorganizatioal housekeeping matters Monday morning.

According to state law, commissions must meet on the second Monday in January of each year, or within 30 days thereafter, and organize by electing one of their number chairman for a term of one to preside  over meetings. The chariman pro tem fills in should the chairman be absent.

It was Commissioner Homer Kruckenberg who brought up Schremmer for the post. “I nominate an old timer whose been here as long as I have,” said Kruckenberg who noted he would not seek reelection.

“I want to say this is a nice group of people,” Schremmer said in accepting the gavel. “Everybody wants to work together.”

Moving forward, “I hope to make this a good year for everybody,” he said. “I am honored.”

Schremmer previously served as chairman from 2014 through 2016, with Schartz in the pro tem seat. Schartz took the gavel in January 2017, with Schremmer as pro tem.

• Next, commissioners adopted resolutions exempting the county from the generally accepted accounting principals (GAAP) for 2020. 

The waiver is for the reporting of the county’s financial statements and reports, and to allows the county to use the regulatory basis of accounting under the Kansas Municipal Audit and Accounting Guide. This is done annually, Finance Officer Matt Patzner said.

In short, GAAP requires reporting cash and non-cash assets, and liabilities.

However, when it comes to what the state wants in its budget documents, this won’t work. So, many municipalities waive GAAP annually and operate on a regulatory basis (modified cash basis), tracking cash, certain accounts payable and encumbrances only, to make reporting easier.

Auditors must note this in their reports, but there is no averse impact for it.

“The basis is that statements prepared in conformity with this statute are of no significant value to Barton County nor to the general public,” Patzner said. This is s a standard practice for municipal governments.   

• After that, they designated official depositories for county funds. These included American State Bank, Bank of the West, Community Bank of the Midwest, Farmers Bank and Trust, First Kansas Bank, Landmark National Bank, Sunflower Bank, and Wilson State Bank, all in Barton County, and the Kansas Municipal Investment Pool. 

To be considered, institutions must meet the 100% pledged securities requirement for all county funds, County Treasurer Jim Jordan said.  

• Then the commission designated the Great Bend Tribune as the official county newspaper.

The newspaper selected must meet the qualifications as prescribed by state law to publish such items as tax and budget notices, County Administrator Phil Hathcock said.

These requirements include: That the paper be published at least weekly 50 times a year and has been so published for at least one year; is entered at the post office as periodical class mail matter; has general paid circulation on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis in the county in which the city is located and is not a trade, religious or fraternal publication; and is published in the county in which the city publishing the official publication is located.

To accommodate the Tribune’s new three-day publishing schedule, the county will more closely time publication of public notices, Hathcock said. 

Barton County Commission meeting at a glance

Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Monday morning:

• Elected Kenny Schremmer as the commission chairman and Jennifer Schartz as chairman pro tem.

• Approved a cereal malt beverage license for the Rack Billiard Cafe.

According to state statutes, no retailer shall sell any cereal malt beverage without having secured a license for that business. When a business is located in the unincorporated portion of the county, that application shall be made to the Board of County Commissioners, County Clerk Donna Zimmerman said.

• Designated the Great Bend Tribune as the official county newspaper.

• Designated official depositories for county funds. 

• Adopted resolutions exempting the county from the generally accepted accounting principals (GAAP) for 2020.