The Brown County Commission held further discussions Monday morning about the need for a security guard at the main entrance.
These discussions came after county resident Brian Hoskins spoke to the commission about his concerns on having a security guard in place. He felt that by having a security guard that prevented people from carrying arms inside of the courthouse violated his 2nd Amendment rights. He said he isn’t a violent person, but does carry several pocket knives and felt the government is continuing to overstep by implementing these securities.
Hoskins also said that the Brown County Courthouse was the only one in this region with restrictions. He also noted he didn’t feel the temperature check was necessary and he thanked Commissioner William Pollock for upholding the Constitution.
Commissioner Pollock had spoken at recent meetings and again Monday against having a security guard at the front door - also expressing his feelings this violated a person’s Constitutional rights.
Commissioner Richard Lehmkuhl said he didn’t agree with anyone and everyone coming through the doors of the courthouse able to carry arms.
Brown County Attorney Kevin Hill reminded that the Brown County Commission voted to implement the security in 2018 after the Kansas Legislature passed KSA 75-7c20 allowing for the prohibition of firearms in a courthouse if the courthouse as “adequate security” in the form of metal detectors and a security guard to help ensure that firearms are not brought into the courthouse. The commission voted to so partly due to the presence of a District Court on the third floor.
“What we have now is in compliance with the law,” Hill said, pointing out that if the security guard was removed from the main entrance then it would need to be implemented on the third floor for court security and the county would still be responsible for the cost since State law makes the Sheriff responsible for courtroom security.
“From a Constitution standpoint, you are not in violation since reasonable security measures have been upheld by the courts - it’s more of a policy issue,” Hill said.
Hill referenced an incident in Georgia that was brought to the commissioners’ attention by area judges where someone brought a gun in and shot and killed a judge and that particular county ended up paying several million dollars since the county was responsible for the security of court and was found negligent in providing adequate security.
“If your security is considered adequate, then the county would not be liable,” Hill said.
Commissioner Lamar Shoemaker said he felt that by removing courthouse security then some people who were unable to defend themselves would be exposed.
No action was taken at this week’s meeting about the topic of courthouse security.
In other business:
- The October 6, 2021 payroll was approved as follows: General 85,837.91; Road & Bridge 16,454.75; Election 1,400.00; Technology 255.75; Appraiser 6,959.01; Noxious Weed 2,366.46; ACC 6,098.60; JJA Core 10,010.42; Reinvestment Grant 750.26; Services for Elderly 2,982.00; Solid Waste 6,279.47; Special MVT 2,031.70; Employee Ben FICA 8,902.23; Employee Ben KPERS 10,487.23; State Unemploy/Work Comp -150.43; Insurance -3,504.26; TOTAL 157,161.10.
- Brown County IT Director, requested the commission’s approval on the mandatory security training for county employees. The commission voted to approve.
- Brown County IT Director, Sandy Carter, and Road and Bridge Secretary, Tami Lehmkuhl, discussed an upgrade to the current Fuel Cloud system. Carter stated the county would need an electrician on site the day of installation if the commission decides to move forward with the upgrade. The commision voted to approve the purchase of the upgrade with Seneca Company for $10,443.65.
- Brown County Attorney, Kevin Hill requested a 15 minute executive session. Motion by Lamar Shoemaker for a 15 minute Executive Session on attorney client privilege with the three commissioners, Solid Waste Director, George Bruning, and County Attorney, Kevin Hill present to discuss legal matters with legal counsel, to protect the Boards privilege and communication with an attorney. Seconded by William Pollock. Closed 8:44 a.m. Opened 8:59 a.m. No binding action was taken.
- Rhonda Fernandez, Professional Insurance Consultants CEO, discussed the services her company has to offer the county.
- The commission discussed the procedure to be placed on the agenda. The current procedure is to request to be placed on the agenda by 9:00 a.m. the Friday prior to the meeting. The current procedure will stay in place.
- Tax Change Orders 2020-106 and 2020-107 were approved and signed.
- Brown County Clerk, Dawn Boyles, presented the Extension Budget documents for the commission’s signatures.
- Brown County Clerk, Dawn Boyles, presented the 2021 audit engagement letter from Gordon CPA for the commission to approve. The commissioners voted to sign.
- Brown County Clerk, Dawn Boyles, presented the third quarter tonnage report for the commission’s approval, which they approved.
- Brown County Clerk, Dawn Boyles, presented the initial retainer for the administration of the ARPA funds for $9,288 to Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk and Loyd for the commission’s approval. The commission voted to approve this retainer.