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June 23, 2016
Harvey County IndependentJune 23, 2016 Harvey County Independent

Bentley Fire Department: The Next Step

Posted 6/23/2016

By Pilar Martin

BENTLEY – Bentley Mayor Rex Satterhwaite said he was not completely surprised when all 18 members of the Bentley Fire Department resigned.

“I knew eventually it would happen when we started cutting the budget. We told everyone back in January that every department would be scrutinized, that there would be cuts here and there. The result was it didn’t fit into what someone had planned, a department on its own without county involvement,” Satterthwaite said.

The original fire department budget for 2016 was set at $34,500. As of April 14, the fire department had expenditures of $13,733.73. City Council advised the fire department of a cut to its funding at the April 14 meeting. Council member Monique James advised that the fire department would only receive $14,000 for the remainder of the year.

Satterthwaite and the city council are trying to reduce expenses city-wide.  City finances took a hit when a developer pulled out of Castle Estates, leaving the city to foot a $1,705,000 bond that has to be paid

A clerical position at the city offices and a public works employee were let go to reduce expenses. City Clerk Lisa Wright now uses flex time when she has to cover meetings after hours.

“If I have a meeting, I come in later in the day, or use trade time, but no overtime,” Wright said.

Bentley already pays Sedgwick County $36,000 a year for fire protection. Satterthwaite tried to put this in perspective, dividing that $36.000 among the 528 residents.

“That amounts to $70 per year for each citizen; that’s pretty high to begin with,” Satterthwaite said.

Add the Bentley Fire Department budget of $34,500.00 to the Sedgwick County tab of $36,000 the total is $70,500 residents have been paying for fire protection.

Satterthwaite and the council want to shift more responsibility to Sedgwick County. Sedgwick County already houses two fire vehicles in Bentley.


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Haydock Retires From KASSP Executive Director After 33 Years

Posted 6/23/2016

By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—Gene Haydock’s influence on secondary education in Kansas runs both deep and broad. After serving 33 years as executive director of the Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals (KASSP), Haydock retired at the end of this school year, leaving behind him a legacy that touched hundreds of principals over the years.Gene Haydock smiles with the cake made for him in celebration of 33 years of service with KASSP.Gene Haydock smiles with the cake made for him in celebration of 33 years of service with KASSP.

“Gene has touched the majority of principals who have worked in Kansas in the past 33 years,” USD 440 Superintendent Tom Alstrom said.

Haydock was honored for his tenure as executive director June 9 during the annual conference of the United School Administrators of Kansas in Wichita. Colleagues shared stories of their memories with Haydock and he was given a plaque in appreciation for his many years of service to KASSP.

KASSP is a peer support network for principals of middle schools and high schools across the state. It has about 500 members, although membership is not mandatory.

“It’s mainly peer support, principals supporting principals and the older supporting the younger,” Haydock said about the purpose of the association.

Haydock has built up an impressive resume working in higher education, everything from teacher to administrator to coach.

His leadership in KASSP began in 1983 when he was elected as secretary/treasurer, but this position was changed a few years later to executive director. During this time, he was also the principal of Fredonia High School, a role he held for 21 years.

Haydock led a number of changes within the KASSP during his many years of service. One of the biggest of these was instituting workshops and mentoring programs for new principals. Other changes include a training workshop for secretaries, the creation of a newsletter and starting a fall conference.

To read more, please see this week's print edition.

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Sedgwick Library Can Be Salvaged

Posted 6/23/2016

By Pilar Martin

SEDGWICK – The Sedgwick City Council received some good news at Monday night’s meeting when Russ Redford of MKEC Engineering services said, “501 Commercial was in excellent shape.”

This is the location of the Sedgwick Library, which was vacated earlier this year when it appeared it had structural damage.

Redford added that the foundation was sound.  “All the damage is from water getting in the building from above,” Redford said.

Redford was in Sedgwick last week, looking over the building again to provide some concrete information to the Council. City Administrator Jaci Reimer has been trying to hire a contractor to cover the hole on the north wall but has not been successful. Reimer said, “No one wants to do it. They are afraid the walls will come down.”

Reimer asked Redford to come back and evaluate the structural integrity of the building. Redford provided a three-page document that he said had a little more guidance for Council members. “The document contains a little more guidance, my evaluation, some options and weaknesses. The building is structurally sound and in excellent shape, except for about 42 feet of the north wall,” Redford said. Redford said he had worked on a similar building in Kingman and they were able to save it.

To read more, please see this week's print edition.

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