Shawnee County terminates two jobs, defers action on contractor’s request seeking additional pay

Shawnee County commissioners heard a presentation Thursday from Tom Vlach, director of the county’s public works and solid waste departments, regarding accomplishments made as a result of the countywide, half-cent sales tax that was in effect from Jan. 1, 2005, to Dec. 31, 2016. (Tim Hrenchir/The Capital-Journal)

The Shawnee County Commission terminated two health department jobs Thursday and postponed action on a contractor’s request that the county pay an additional $61,794 for work in the area of its courthouse, 200 S.E. 7th.

 

Commissioners Bob Archer, Kevin Cook and Shelly Buhler voted 3-0 to eliminate two positions in the health department’s Maternal and Child Health program due to funding cuts involving grants from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Linda Ochs, the health department’s interim director, told commissioners she thought the jobs could be eliminated without decreasing services to the community.

The positions are an MCH Spanish Interpreter’s job held by Jennifer Mejas-Martinez and a Healthy Start Home Visitor’s position held by Alexandria Vega, according to information the county provided Thursday in response to an open records request from The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Ochs told commissioners in a July 31 memorandum that the employees involved may have “bumping rights or restorations,” which would enable them to remain employed by the county in other capacities.

Commissioners also voted 3-0 to defer action until their Aug. 17 meeting on Mohan Construction’s request for a change order to its contract with the county for a project it’s carrying out to do work that includes rebuilding the parking lot northwest of the courthouse.

The vote came after Cook suggested the request was unreasonable.

Buhler said the postponement would give the county and the contractors more time for discussion and negotiation.

Commissioners voted 3-0 on Feb. 23 to enter into a contract to pay $438,000 for the work. County facilities maintenance director Bill Kroll told commissioners in a memorandum dated July 25 that Mohan was seeking their approval of a proposed change order increasing that total to $499,794.

In other business, commissioners on Thursday:

— Voted 3-0 to place streetlights at the intersection of S.W. Huntoon and Urish Road.

— Heard a presentation from Tom Vlach, director of the county’s public works and solid waste departments, regarding accomplishments made as a result of the countywide, half-cent sales tax that was in effect from Jan. 1, 2005, to Dec. 31, 2016.

— Learned that 85 neighborhoods are scheduled to take part in Saturday’s “National Night Out” events in Shawnee County.

— Heard Buhler say she looked forward to The Capital-Journal’s publication this coming weekend of a special section titled “Momentum 2022,” adding that she appreciated the newspaper’s taking the time to put the project together.

Contact reporter Tim Hrenchir at (785) 295-1184 or @timhrenchir on Twitter.

PowerPlayer
 

More

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 19:26

Topeka births — update for Nov. 20, 2017

St. Francis

Read more
Mon, 11/20/2017 - 19:21

New York Times reporter suspended in harassment probe

NEW YORK — The New York Times says it has suspended White House reporter Glenn Thrush while it investigates charges that he... Read more

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 18:23

Diaper drive to be held Dec. 2 at Martina McBride concert at K-State

Fans of country music singer Martina McBride can help Kansas families by dropping off diapers at her concert on Saturday, Dec. 2... Read more