Archive for Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Former county counselor-at-large argues for job’s reinstatement

October 22, 2008

Former Leavenworth County Counselor-at-Large Keyta Kelly argued Thursday that no one else can do her job like she can. That was the message to county commissioners in appealing the commission’s August decision to dissolve the county’s Legal Department, which included Kelly’s position as well as that of the legal secretary.

The commission took no action on the issue Thursday, but commissioners got an earful from Kelly and her supporters.

The county counselor and other departments now handle the work formerly assigned to the Legal Department.

Kelly said would show the commissioners that keeping her position would actually save the county money in the end. She said during the past six years her department had brought in more than $2 million in tax revenue.

In addition to the legal duties that she described as “measurable dollars,” Kelly said she’s taken on several other tasks that provide the county with “immeasurable items,” and several tasks that don’t necessarily fall under the Legal Department’s duties.

She also cited her efforts on the steering committee that worked to bring the Kansas Sampler Festival to Leavenworth County in 2010 and 2011.

“It’s very likely that we will have more than 20,000 people over that two-day weekend from outside Leavenworth County,” she said. “That’s money that this department is bringing to the county.”

Following Kelly’s comments, several people in the audience argued for Kelly’s reinstatement.

“I’ve never seen a more dedicated person,” said Linda Scheer, Leavenworth County clerk.

With accomplishments such as writing grants for tax credits, gathering photos of Leavenworth County to display in the courthouse and disposing of the county’s surplus property, Scheer said, Kelly does a great deal for the county and won’t be easily replaced.

Janice Young, Leavenworth County treasurer, also spoke to commissioners on Kelly’s behalf.

Young said Kelly’s expertise regarding legal issues surrounding delinquent taxes has been an asset to the Treasurer’s Office.

“Due to the complexity of tax laws and statues … the county must follow, we feel that we need legal guidance,” Young wrote in a letter that was sent to commissioners. “Keyta has devoted her time to stay on all these laws and statues and has represented the county in more ways than one. Please reconsider your decision from taking such a valuable employee/department from the county.”

To read about the rest of the meeting visit the Sentinel’s Web site at basehorinfo.com.

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