Daily Archives: Jan. 12, 2011

Wichitan Dave Dennis wins contentious vote to become state school board chairman

Dave Dennis

After six deadlocked votes, five by paper ballot, the state Board of Education has selected Wichita member Dave Dennis as chairman.

On its seventh try, the board voted 6-4 to hand the gavel to Dennis, who replaces Janet Waugh of Kansas City, Kan., as chairperson.

Dennis was the only candidate for the job nominated on the final ballot.

The board had deadlocked 5-5 on a series of votes between Dennis and board member Sally Cauble of Liberal. Three deadlocked votes were held Tuesday and the item had been deferred until this morning.

On the sixth paper ballot, board member Carolyn Wims-Campbell changed her vote to favor Dennis’ selection.

Dennis voted for himself, along with fellow Wichita member Walt Chappell, John Bacon of Olathe, Kathy Martin of Clay Center, and Kenneth Willard of Hutchinson.

Voting against Dennis were Cauble, Janet Waugh of Kansas City, Kan., Jana Shaver of Independence and Sue Storm of Overland Park.

The board also deadlocked twice on the selection of its vice chairperson before electing Wims-Campbell on a 6-4 vote. The members’ individual votes, on paper ballots, were not immediately disclosed.

The board had earlier tied 5-5 deciding between board members Shaver and Willard.

A vote matching Willard and Cauble also deadlocked 5-5.

Sedgwick County honors Patriot Guard

The Patriot Guard was awarded the Sedgwick County commission’s chairman’s award this morning for its work honoring fallen military members and law enforcement officers.

New commissioner Richard Ranzau said the Patriot Guard does good work to correct a wrong, alluding to military funeral protests by members of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka.

New commissioner Jim Skelton called the protests by the Fred Phelps family “disgusting.”

Chairman Karl Peterjohn gave the group a plaque recognizing its service.

Members of the Patriot Guard escort fallen military and law enforcement at funerals and form a barrier between protesters and loves ones’ families.

The group plans to attend the funeral of Army Sgt. Eric Nettleton, 26, a Wichita native who died last week in Afghanistan.

Dave Unruh to lead Sedgwick County commission

Sedgwick County commissioners elected Dave Unruh, who is in his third term on the board, as chairman of the commission for the next year.

Commissioner Tim Norton moved to make Unruh the chairman. The board unanimously agreed.

For the vice chair, or chair pro tem, new commissioner Richard Ranzau suggested outgoing chairman Karl Peterjohn. Unruh suggested Norton.

The board voted individually for pro-tem, explaining why they supported that person, and Norton will be pro-tem.