County Commissioners assume office
A changing of the guard took place Monday, Jan. 10, as two Leavenworth County Commission members said goodbye to fellow county employees, thanked constituents and welcomed their replacements during a swearing-in ceremony at the Justice Center.
Neither Bob Adams, Second District representative, nor Joe Daniels, Third District representative, ran for re-election in 2004. Clyde Graeber and Dean Oroke will succeed the outgoing commissioners, respectively. Adams and Daniels took time to say a few parting words Monday before the new commissioners recited their oaths of office.
"Sorry I'm kind of breaking up a little bit . . . but thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything," an emotional Adams said.
"It's been a great ride. I've really enjoyed it."
While more composed, Daniels offered similar thanks to voters and colleagues. He also said Oroke and Graeber are worthy replacements to represent residents in the Second District, encompassing Lansing, Linwood and parts of Leavenworth, and the Third District, which includes Basehor, Tonganoxie and areas in southern Leavenworth County.
"I know the electorate was very smart in (choosing) these individuals," Daniels said.
Both Graeber and Oroke offer years of public service experience and while campaigning in 2004 used those backgrounds to persuade voters to nod their way during the November general election.
Graeber, R-Lansing, is a former Leavenworth mayor and spent 12 years representing the 41st district in the Kansas House of Representatives.
Oroke, R-Tonganoxie, served as Third District county commission representative from 1985 to 1989.
Graeber said he has "big shoes to fill" replacing Adams. There will be times, Graeber said, that "he will look to Bob for advice and counsel" regarding his new position.
Oroke praised Daniels for his service. While he hates to see good public servants such as Adams and Daniels go, Oroke said he looked forward to serving voters with "which we will interface with so much."
During the new county commission's first meeting Monday afternoon, the commission elected Graeber to serve as chairman. The position will be rotated among Oroke and Don Navinsky, First District representative and lone county commission holdover, following Graeber's tenure.
The commission also voted to maintain its current schedule of meeting each Monday and Thursday. The commission reserved the Thursday meeting dates for issues and presentations concerning non-county employees, officials said.
The new board was also slated to vote Monday on salaries for themselves and non-elected personnel.
Commission members delayed the decision until Friday so they could receive additional information from the county's human resources director.