© 2021 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Government

New Leadership Elected For Sedgwick County Commission

2017_sedgwick_county_commission.jpeg
Deborah Shaar
/
KMUW
The Board of Sedgwick County Commission holds their meeting Wednesday. From left, Michael O’Donnell, David Dennis, Jim Howell, Richard Ranzau and Dave Unruh.";

Sedgwick County commissioners elected their 2017 leaders at a meeting Wednesday morning.

Dave Unruh, who represents the 1st District, will serve as commission chairman; this will be his fifth time in the position.

unruh_ranzau.jpg
Credit Deborah Shaar / KMUW
Dave Unruh, 1st District representative, is elected Sedgwick County Commission Chairman for 2017.

New commissioner Michael O’Donnell, the 2nd District representative, is chair pro-tem. Both were elected by a unanimous vote.

Unruh is already looking into revisiting some partnerships that the county dropped in recent years. He said his initial priorities will be strengthening relationships and partnerships with the City of Wichita and other community agencies.

He is working to get Sedgwick County to renew its membership in the Regional Area Economic Partnership (REAP), the economic development group that serves south-central Kansas.

"I’ve asked the executive director to come make a presentation so that everyone understands what REAP is about, and how beneficial it is, and how it’s respected in our whole region," Unruh said.

REAP is a voluntary coalition of more than two dozen cities and counties that work together to strengthen the region’s economy. The county withdrew from the coalition in 2015, about the same time it ended its membership in the National Association of Counties.

howell_young.jpg
Credit Deborah Shaar / KMUW
Outgoing Commission Chairman Jim Howell presents the 2016 Chairman Award to Earnest Alexander, president of Youth Horizons.

Unruh said county commissioners decided earlier this week to rejoin that national organization. He said the National Association of Counties is a professional organization that will be beneficial to Sedgwick County and its staff.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, outgoing Commission Chairman Jim Howell presented the 2016 Chairman Award to Youth Horizons president Earnest Alexander. The organization provides mentoring and residential programs for at-risk children.

--

Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

 
To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.