Commission members kick off new terms

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Jason E. Silvers/Tribune photo City Clerk Diane Clay, left, swears in city commissioners, from left, Jim Adams, Cindy Bartelsmeyer and Sam Mason during Tuesday's meeting of the Fort Scott City Commission. Bartelsmeyer and Mason won four-year terms on the commission while Adams received a two-year term following the April 7 election.

A former commissioner was welcomed back and a current commissioner was chosen once again to serve as mayor during Tuesday's meeting of the Fort Scott City Commission.

The commission conducted its annual reorganization, which included election of mayor, commission president, representative for the Bourbon County Economic Development Council, and delegate for the Fort Scott Housing Authority.

Incumbents Cindy Bartelsmeyer, the city's current mayor, and Sam Mason, as well as Jim Adams, a former commissioner and mayor were sworn in by City Clerk Diane Clay during the meeting. Mason has served on the commission for six years. Bartelsmeyer has served on the commission for four years, two of those as mayor.

Adams, whose previous city government experience includes four years as commissioner and two years as mayor, chose in his first move back on the commission to motion to select Bartelsmeyer to once again serve as mayor.

Adams said he had been out of town for a couple of years and had not been up-to-date on city happenings but has recently been following city government more closely.

"I've been paying close attention the last couple of months," he said. "The city has done a great job. Cindy has done a great job as a leader, representing the city, so I would nominate her to be mayor again."

Commissioners voted unanimously to re-appoint Bartelsmeyer as mayor.

Bartelsmeyer said she was "thankful to be mayor again."

Commissioners also unanimously approved nominations of JoLynne Stainbrook as commission president, Lucas Cosens as representative of the Bourbon County Economic Development Council and Adams as delegate for the Fort Scott Housing Authority.

Bartelsmeyer was the top vote-getter in the April 7 election, garnering 774 votes, while Mason earned 660 votes and Adams brought in 573 votes. Bartelsmeyer and Mason won four-year terms while Adams received a two-year term.

Commissioners also recognized outgoing commissioner Jeanie Parker, who had been filling the unexpired term of the late Gary Bukowski. Commissioners commented and thanked her for her service. Adams took Parker's seat during the meeting.

"I appreciated the opportunity to serve," Parker said. "It's not a person by themselves doing it, it's a commission."

In his comments, City Manager Dave Martin also thanked Parker and welcomed back Adams, and addressed commissioners with his thoughts on city officials working together to serve the public.

"As city staff, we're working hard on being transparent," he said. "We're working with everyone the same. We don't have any problem with commissioners talking to employees or citizens. I really believe we work to serve the public. My door is always open to any staff member or citizen. We're an open government and I want that to continue. We have an excellent staff."

Citizen comments

Ralph Carlson, with the Fort Scott Kiwanis Club, appeared before commissioners to discuss bringing back a program to plant trees throughout the city.

Carlson said the beautification project stopped about eight to 10 years ago but he would like to see it brought back on a twice-a-year basis, in the spring and fall each year. He said several trees in the city have been damaged by hailstorms in recent years.

"We need to stay on top of trees," he said.

Carlson said he would like to see the city and Kiwanis Club partner again in the project, which would provide six to eight teams of volunteers planting trees at different locations. The cost of the project would be about $2,000 per year.

"A small investment would be a large payoff," he said.

Martin said city officials would take a look at the project.

Other business

* Commissioners approved a bid of $7,996 from Karleskint Electric Company of Fort Scott for an emergency standby generator for the Fort Scott Fire Department Station No. 1. The generator will be installed on the northwest side of the building where an existing generator is currently located. The Karleskint bid was the only bid the city received. Deputy Fire Chief Dave Bruner said a "more reliable generator for dispatch" is needed. Director of Finance Jon Garrison said there is money in the city's budget for the purchase.

* Commissioners approved the $21,000 purchase of a vehicle from state surplus in Topeka for the Fort Scott Fire Department. Bruner said he will use the vehicle, a 2010 Chevy Tahoe with a little more than 71,000 miles. Bruner said his previous vehicle had "continuous mechanical issues" and a "more dependable" vehicle is needed for emergency responses. He said he contacted local companies to get price ranges on the vehicle but discovered a similar vehicle couldn't be found locally "at that price."

Martin said the cost is in the city's budget and the vehicle fits the department's needs.

"The fire marshal and chief have to be at all scenes," Martin said.

* Commissioners approved the low bid of $22,341.95 from Skillman Construction LLC of New Strawn for a project to replace wind cones at the Fort Scott Municipal Airport. Other bids received included a $22,443 bid from Strukel Electric, Inc., of Girard, a $46,400 bid from Wise Electric Company of Owasso, Okla., and a $48,800 bid from Atlas Electric LLC of Wichita.

Airport Manager Kenny Howard said the project is being funded by a 90-10 FAA grant. According to city documents, the engineer's estimate for the project is $35,357.

* The consent agenda, including appropriation ordinances totaling $451,018, and a resolution and deed concerning a plot of land at Lake Fort Scott, was approved.

A story on other commission business will appear in Friday's edition of the Tribune.