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  • Last modified 11 days ago (Dec. 6, 2017)

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Attorney general’s office looking into complaint

Staff writer

Two county commissioners who took a trip to McPherson together may have violated open meeting law Oct. 10, according to a complaint being investigated by the state attorney general’s office.

The subject of the Kansas open meetings act complaint is a trip commissioners Randy Dallke and Kent Becker took to view a transfer station at McPherson, public information officer Jennifer Montgomery said in a Friday email.

The complaint began as an Oct. 23 letter sent by county clerk Tina Spencer. In the letter, Spencer wrote that Dallke and Becker went to McPherson County to walk through their transfer station.

“The purpose of touring the facility was to see how a neighboring county is handling solid waste disposal and to gain knowledge and perspective for a future work session in Marion County,” Spencer wrote. “In retrospect perhaps this should have been considered a special meeting. Because the Marion County transfer station has been discussed a lot recently, some might perceive the tour itself county business. At the time, I was not thinking about it in that way. I was simply considering it to be a tour, similar to other tours the board members may take.”

Spencer continued that commissioners sometimes travel together “to social functions or tours such as this.”

“It is my understanding that as long as they are not discussing county business they are allowed to do so,” Spencer wrote.

Spencer said she failed to prepare and distribute a notice of a special meeting before Dallke and Becker’s trip, and that she will plan to always prepare a notice regardless of the nature of the event.

Montgomery did not indicate when she expected the attorney general to issue a ruling.

Last modified Dec. 6, 2017

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