In what might have been the ultimate agreement to disagree, Sedgwick County commissioners appointed two new members from their board to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
But the appointment of commissioners Karl Peterjohn and Gwen Welshimer came after some disagreement about whether board members should serve on the council at the pleasure of the commission chairman.
Chairman Kelly Parks last week said he was using his authority as chairman to remove himself and Dave Unruh from the council, which is looking into ways to ease overcrowding at the jail. Unruh has served on the council since it was formed in 2004.
But it turned out Parks did not have the unilateral authority to remove himself and Unruh because of a resolution he and other commissioners signed last year that says commissioners on the council shall serve as long as they remain in office.
After the resolution he signed was brought to Parks’ attention by The Eagle, Parks then said he would have the resolution rewritten so that commission representatives to the council would serve at the chairman’s pleasure.
Today the new resolution passed with Unruh and commissioner Tim Norton voting against it. However, Unruh and Norton subsequently supported the appointments of Peterjohn and Welshimer.
Unruh said he was against any commissioner serving on any board at the pleasure of the chairman because that can “politicize” the process.
Read more about the appointments in Thursday’s Eagle.