Mitchell County Commissioners Settle Tie And Appoint Assistant EMS Director


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The Mitchell County Commissioners met on Monday morning. The first order of business was to conduct a coin toss to determine the election for mayor in the City of Simpson. There was a tie between Bill Bergman and Tim Bell with two votes each. Bergman won the toss and the office.

County Clerk Chris Treaster said it is unclear whether Mr. Bergman wants the position after receiving write-in votes. Treaster said, to the best of her knowledge, that he would be sworn in and could then resign if he does not want to serve as mayor. The Simpson City Council would then appoint a mayor.

Newly appointed EMS Director Eric Hamel later appeared at the meeting and requested an executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. Coming out of the closed session, Hamel announced that current Paramedic Missy McGinnis will serve as Assistant Director.

Hamel will assume the director’s position later this month in lieu of the resignation of Kelly Hawk who will take on a reduced role with the EMS as a part-time paramedic.
Stuart Porter, of Schwab-Eaton, requested a project form to be completed for work to be done a bridge north of Glen Elder just east of the Delmar Shoemaker residence near the county line. He also had an agreement for Schwab-Eaton to perform the design work for the project.

Porter said KDOT has made a request for projects on high-risk rural roads. These can include signage and other improvements. Porter asked if there were any projects that came to mind that he could recommend to the state to pursue funding for. There is also federal money in this program. Porter said many of the signage projects are eligible for 100 percent funding through the program, but no worse than a 90/10 split. Commissioner Tom Claussen asked if signage funds could be used to identify bicycle paths to assist with current efforts and plans to create more of these in the county. Porter was unsure, but agreed to look into the possibility.

Director of Public Works Dale Housh presented quotes for a new mower from Carrico Implement to replace a ten-year old model currently being used by the county. Two quotes were presented. One was for a Rhino with a 15-foot deck with a price tag of $32,111 with a $19,586 trade-in allowance for a net cost of $12,525. A John Deer model was also quoted with a 14.5-foot deck at $26,221 with a trade-in of $14,981 for a net expense of $11,240. Housh said he preferred the Rhino due to its overall quality and a gear box warranty. The commissioners approved the purchase of the Rhino model.

County Health Nurse Courtney Murrow discussed replacing their department vehicles. She said she has money available in her budget and wants to begin looking at options. One of the current vehicles has transmission issues that should be a warranty or recall matter with Ford Motor Company. It was also announced that Murrow is currently serving as an advisor to Jewell County Health Department as they are currently without a county health nurse.

The commissioners then adjourned the official meeting and entered a work session to review tax statements. They will reconvene on Monday, November 27 at 8:30 a.m. at the Mitchell County Courthouse.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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