November 2021 Leavenworth County Newsletter

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Board of County Commissioners

The Board of County Commissioners serves as the Chief Legislative and Executive Branch of the County Government. Composed of five members, the Board is elected to staggered four year terms. Each Commissioner represents a district of the County.

The duties of the Board of County Commissioners include:

  • Approving the County budget and expenditures
  • Appointing the various department heads of the County
  • Exercising powers of local legislation

Capture

At the Wednesday, November 10th Board of County Commissioners meeting the Commissioners issued a Veteran's Day Proclamation.
Veterans Day Proclamation

Sheriff's Office
A few message from the Sheriff's Office:

As always, please use safe travel practices for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  Buckle up, drive safe, plan for inclement weather as you travel. 

As we move into the Christmas online shopping season, we would like to remind folks as they try to get a jump on Black Friday Deals to make arrangements to get packages picked up and secured as each year we see some thefts of packages from porches. 

Cold weather is coming if you intend to warm up your car in the morning, please assure the doors are secure if it is unattended. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see some vehicle thefts at this time of year.

We wish you a safe an happy holiday season!

Job Openings

Join Our Team
Are you looking for a new career?  Leavenworth County is a great place to work.  You can find all of our current job openings on our job opening section of our website

November's Employee Spotlights

Dalani Blacketer, Office Manager/Executive Administrative Assistant, Public WorksDalani

Having worked for the Leavenworth County Public Works Department for the past 24 years, Dalani Blacketer has the knowledge and history of Leavenworth County that is invaluable.

Let's get to know a little more about one of Leavenworth County's most valuable gems, Dalani Blacketer.

Dalani, tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Stuttgart, Germany, and grew up in Mainz, Germany, until moving to the U.S. in 1994 after my father retired from the Army. The majority of my family still lives in Germany. I started part-time with Public Works Department as a senior in high school in 1996 through a job marketing class. So I'd attend school for half of the day, and the other half would be at the job. After graduating from Leavenworth High School in 1997, I was asked to come on full time by a wonderful woman named Janette Higgins, starting out as a Clerk Typist II to now the Office Manager/Executive Administrative Assistant for the department, and have been with the same department for 24 years!


Public Works is a vital department to Leavenworth County. What is something you would like the public to understand about your department?

We provide services to the County's residents accurately, timely, in a professional manner, compliant with Federal, State, and County regulations, and in a responsive manner that leads to citizen satisfaction. The vision of the Public Works Department is to see that its efforts result in improved public streets, roads, bridges, rights of way, and traffic safety; providing convenience, safety, and comfort to the users of public infrastructure. We maintain approximately 736 miles of roads. The County is always hard at work, maintaining roadways in their current conditions and planning for improvements for the future.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I've been asked this question a lot throughout my years here. But I have to say my favorite part is that I have been so incredibly lucky to work with people, past and present, that have made me feel like a vital asset to the department and always a "part of the team." Teamwork gets things done, and working towards a shared goal is part of what gets tasks, projects, etc., accomplished and what this department strives for. I have worked with so many wonderful people over the years, and they are not only my coworkers but also lifelong friends.

Share your favorite thing about living in Leavenworth County?
My favorite part about living here is we are right in the middle of everything, and watching the area's growth over the years has been incredible. We are just a hop, skip and jump away from the city life, or we can just go right down the road, and we are in beautiful rural County for peace, quiet, and serenity.

How do you like to spend your free time?
In my free time, I enjoy reading, photography, and watching my husband cook. Ha Ha. He has always been the cook of our family. We also enjoy spending time with our two daughters, Haylee and Cyierra, and our two grandchildren, Carter and Carly. My future "free time" will consist of more and longer periods of traveling.



TomTom Gast, RMA Appraiser County Appraiser's Office

Having worked for Leavenworth County for the past 32 years, Tom Gast with the Appraiser's Office has the knowledge and history of Leavenworth County that is invaluable in his position as a Real Property Appraiser. Tom is a dedicated employee. His strong work ethic, along with his vast knowledge of the history, people, and places of Leavenworth County, makes Tom an ideal employee. He can be counted on to assist others when needed, and it is obvious that he genuinely loves living and working here in Leavenworth County.


Tom, tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in Leavenworth County. My wife Betsy and I live in Lansing. I have lived elsewhere, but Leavenworth County is my home!

The County Appraiser is responsible for discovering, listing, and valuing all taxable property within the County. What is something you would like the public to understand about the Appraiser's Office?
Our office is here to help the public understand the process of taxation. Please feel free to visit us or call us with questions.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I love working with the public and answering their questions.

Part of your job is going on-site to value property. What would you like the public to know if they see you or a colleague in their driveway?
Please come talk to us. We will explain who we are and why we are visiting the property. We will always be in a marked Leavenworth County vehicle.

Share your favorite thing about living in Leavenworth County?
I love being close to family.

How do you like to spend your free time?
I enjoy metal detecting and fishing.


RhondaRhonda Berry, Business Manager, Community Corrections

Rhonda has worked for Leavenworth County for 15 years, with her longest tenure in the Community Corrections office. Rhonda Berry is the business manager for Community Corrections, but according to her Director, her role could be better defined as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and right hand. Rhonda is the department's secret weapon with her vast wealth of institutional knowledge and her personal network in the community.

Let's get to know a little more about Rhonda and her department!

Rhonda, tell us a little about yourself?
I am a lifelong resident of Leavenworth County, married for 35 years, and have two grown daughters. I am very involved with the community by volunteering with the 4-H program, assisting at the county fair, and serving on the 4-H Foundation Board. I grew up with a strong farm/ranching background and love the rural life. I am an animal lover of many species, something my husband learned to accept quickly! I love helping those youth who are involved in the 4-H program, as I believe when a child cares for an animal, they learn compassion, responsibility, and respect. In addition, my husband and I are members of the Leavenworth Cruisers car club and currently serve as officers. I have been with the county for 15 years, starting in the Planning and Zoning office as a Secretary. I then moved over to Community Corrections as the Business Manager. I am responsible for all financial and management of the office needs.

Community Corrections is probably an office most of the public isn't aware of. What is something you would like everyone to know?
Community Corrections is a state and local partnership which promotes public safety by providing highly structured community supervision to felony offenders, holding offenders accountable to their victims and the community, and improving offenders' ability to live productively and lawfully. It is the mission of Leavenworth County Community Corrections agency to provide evidence-based supervision which promotes public safety, accountability, long-term behavior changes and improves the offender's ability to live productively and lawfully in our community.

I would agree with the statement that most of the public does not know about our office or think that we are some type of prison. In fact, when I applied for the job I wasn't quite sure what the office was myself! Basically, what I tell people who ask where I work is that we are a felony probation office that offenders are sentenced to instead of going to prison for their offense. Now that does not mean that they may fail at probation, and in the end, the judge may revoke their probation and send them to jail.

What aspect of your job do you enjoy doing the most?
I love talking to people in general and have made many friends over the years with other county employees. With our clients in the office, it is always a great feeling when they share their successes, and you feel that maybe you had a little to do with encouraging them to make better decisions about their lives. It is a great day when a person who has completed probation comes in the office years later and thanks us for helping them turn their life around and the pride you see in their face.

What is one of your favorite memories at Leavenworth County?
I remember the year the county celebrated the renovation of the Courthouse with an open house, and some of the staff dressed up as historical people and presented to the public as they were those people in that historical time. That was also when the beautiful painting that now sits behind the County Commissioners' meeting room was revealed, in addition to the one on the staircase and the black and white photos on the walls. It was nice to see the public enjoying the Courthouse in a fun way and not just a place they come to pay their taxes or get permits.

What do you enjoy doing doing on your time off?
I love spending time with friends and family, whether it be at a livestock show, thrift store shopping, or antique hunting. In the summer months, you may find me at a farm or estate sale because I love finding things I collect, such as quilts and stoneware crocks. On cold weather days, I will most likely be hanging with my dogs and reading or watching the Hallmark channel because who doesn't like a happy ending?


Teresa WilsonGood Morning, Leavenworth County! It is Tuesday, which means one of our favorite times of the week...Employee Spotlight Time!

Meet Teresa Wilson, our Administrative Assistant of Buildings and Grounds. Our Building and Grounds Department is responsible for the maintenance of 11 County buildings and 15 properties. Teresa plays a vital role in ensuring everything is continuously operating correctly and safely in our facilities. In addition, she is always ready to spring into action to handle any surprise issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Let's take a few moments to get to know a little more about Teresa!  Teresa, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I love to laugh. Face it, life is too short. I have two sons. Vicente just left for USMC Boot Camp while Carlos is a high school freshman. They have opposite traits and keep life interesting. I adore them both. Travis is the apple of my eye, and I have a bonus daughter, Samantha. She's a Jr at South Dakota State University with a goal of becoming a Physician's Assistant. Life keeps us busy, but we wouldn't have it any other way!

Teresa, describe a typical day for you at Leavenworth County.
Coffee is a must! My brain just doesn't turn on without it! I squirrel constantly to keep up with the office and our daily tasks. From answering phones and answering emails, I strive to make sure everything is handled in a timely manner. There are always bills to pay, reports to update, and repairs to make. Our team consists of five janitorial staff, four maintenance techs, myself, and our fearless leader, Aaron. We're constantly on the go, as there's always something that needs addressing. Chillers and boilers break down, doors and motors stop functioning. I can be in the middle of paying an invoice while chatting with a Vendor, then receive a text with a photo of a motor I'll need to locate so our guys can make a necessary repair at one of our facilities. We strive to be great stewards of taxpayer funds and are always looking for cost-effective parts and supplies. I also assist our Public Works department with calls or when visitors pop in the office. Variety IS the spice of life! 

Building and Grounds is kind of a "behind the scenes" department. What is one of your department's projects that you would like to tell the public about?
We touch every single department in the county. We're the first to be called when items need hauled to the Transfer Station when there are building leaks and basement floods, as well as keeping the grounds at all of our facilities looking top-notch! 

What is your favorite part about your job? 
It's definitely the variety of each day. No two are alike! It keeps this job from being mundane, and my team is awesome to work with! 

Do you have a hidden talent?
I enjoy playing the tenor saxophone in the Bonner Springs City Band over the summer. Now that my sons are older, I can get back to doing things that I personally enjoy. 

What do you like to do on your day off?
When I'm not in the office, I'm usually working somewhere else! I am an Independent Beauty Consultant for Mary Kay and also drive for Door Dash. We are always working around the house, too! 21 chickens, 3 dogs, and 2 cats, plus a barn cat, keeps us pretty busy. I try not to let grass grow under my feet. Life is too short!



MikeMike Goetz, Waste Water Supervisor, Buildings and Grounds Department

Earlier this year Mike Goetz retired from Leavenworth County, and earlier this month County employees gathered to celebrate his retirement and wish him well. Mike retired at 36 years, 5 months, 5 days of service to Leavenworth County!! Everyone who knows Mike understands what a valuable asset he has been - from his positive, professional attitude to his constant care for Leavenworth County infrastructure. Thank you for your service! We wish you all the best in your retirement!


JamieJamie Miller, Director of Emergency Medical Services/Health Department

To round out our November Employee Spotlights, we are excited to feature our Director of Emergency Medical Services/Health Department. Mr. Miller has worked for Leavenworth County for 25 years. Jamie's vast knowledge of public health work, including his experience managing past public health emergencies like H1N1, perfectly aligned him with leading his team of medical professionals in Leavenworth County's COVID-19 response. Jamie and his team have worked tirelessly and endlessly in the last year, prioritizing their work and the community's health above almost all else.

Jamie started his EMS career in 1996 with Leavenworth County EMS after an Honorable Discharge from the United States Army. Throughout his tenure, Director Miller has held most positions within the organization. He received his Paramedic training through Kansas City Kansas Community College Paramedic Program in 2000.

Director Miller also serves as the Administrative Director for the Leavenworth County Health Department, for which he is the County's Health Officer.




Community Corrections

Community Corrections
The Department of Community Corrections is responsible for the intervention, supervision and monitoring of adult and youth offenders on probation in Leavenworth County. The department is currently composed of two divisions: Adult Services and Juvenile Services. Working in partnerships with local treatment counselors, service providers, community based resources, the Courts, Law Enforcement, and the Kansas Department of Corrections, we provide a viable and cost-effective alternative to incarceration for offenders in our community.

Mission Statement
To provide evidence-based supervision which promotes public safety, offender accountability, and improves their ability to live productively and lawfully in our community.


Contact Us
PHONE: 913.684.0775 

Health Department and Emergency Medical Services

Flu Shot Clinic

Flu Shot Clinic
The Health Department has flu shots available. Flu shots are offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 8 AM - 4 PM. No appointment is necessary. It is on a walk-in basis. There is a mask requirement to enter the Health Department, as it is a medical facility. Most insurances are accepted. Contact the Health Department for more information at 913-250-2000.


COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Information

The Health Department offers a weekly Adult Vaccination Clinic (12 years and older) and a weekly Children Vaccination Clinic (Ages 5 - 11)  Please check this link for the next available clinic date.

Location: Leavenworth County Health Department, 500 Eisenhower, Leavenworth, KS⁠

  • These are walk-in clinics. No appointments are necessary. No residency requirement.


Adult Vaccination Clinic Information (12 years and older):
 
  • We offer the Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer vaccines.
  • The Pfizer Vaccine is available for 12-years and older. Parents or legal guardians will need to sign for minors receiving the vaccine.

Wonder if you are eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot?

Who?
If you received a Pfizer or Moderna series:

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
  • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
  • Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk setting

If you received a J & J vaccine:

  • Age 18+

When?

  • Pfizer or Moderna – at least 6 months after 2nd vaccine
  • J & J – at least 2 months after 1st vaccine

Which booster shot do I get?

  • Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose.  Some people may prefer the vaccine type they originally received while others may prefer to get a different booster.  CDC’s recommendation now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

Children Vaccination Clinic Information (Ages 5-11):

  • The Pfizer (Pediatric Dose) Vaccine will only be administered at this clinic. 
  • Parents or legal guardians will need to sign and be present for minors receiving the vaccine.

Please note, this clinic is for ages 5-11. Individuals are encouraged to seek out other vaccine providers such as pharmacies and physicians for additional days and hours to receive the vaccine.

Council on Aging

 COA 1


COA 2 


County Treasurer's Office

Registration renewal for customers whose last name start with T,V, & W are due by November 30th.
November Renewal


  1. Taxpayers may renew up to 60 days in advance of their renewals deadline.
  2. Real Estate & Personal Property Tax statements will be mailed out November 10th, this will be the only statement mailed. The first half of taxes will be due on December 20th. More information can be found on our Taxes page of our website.
  3. Drivers License renewals are open at the Annex by appointment only, Tuesday through Friday. Please call the Annex at 913-364-5730 to set up an appointment.

For more information about renewing your vehicle, visit this section of our website: Renewing Your License Plate

Thanksgiving
On behalf of the entire Treasurer's Office, Happy Thanksgiving!

Planning and Zoning
A building permit is required of all persons desiring to build any structure - residential, accessory or commercial, within the unincorporated areas of Leavenworth County. Structures smaller than 100 square feet are not regulated. The structure built must be the type for which the permit was purchased and used in the manner attended at the time the permit was issued. A building permit is valid for one year from the date of issuance.

 Requires a Building Permit:  Does Not Require a Building Permit:
  • Homes
  • Accessory Structures (pole barns, outbuildings, etc.)
  • Building Additions
  • Pools & Ponds
  • Commercial
  • Car Ports 
  • Ground-mounted Solar Panels
  • New Decks
  • Structures under 100 sq. ft.
  • Roofing
  • Roof-mounted Solar Panels
  • Deck Replacements (same footprint)
  • Unenclosed Carports
  • Interior Modifications

Traditional building permit applications can be found in the document center or can obtained in-person from our office. Completed application packets can be submitted in-person, emailed to us at PZ@LeavenworthCounty.gov, or submitted through our new Building Permit Online Application.

After receiving a building permit packet, we will confirm that the application is complete. Please then allow for 5-10 business days for the application to be processed. Once the permit is complete our office will be in contact with the applicant to arrange payment which can be done by check, in cash, or over the phone via credit/debit card. PLEASE NOTE: there is a fee associated with processing credit/debit cards charged by the service provider that is a percentage of the overall cost.

For more information regarding associated fees, please refer to our Schedule of Fees.


Additional Information:

  • Before beginning construction, please contact Kansas811 to determine where underground utilities are located on your property.
  • When a parcel requires an entrance and is not being obtained at the same time as a Single Family Residence, an Entrance Permit Application will need to be submitted. More information about entrance permits can be found here.
  • In order to submit a building permit packet, the applicant will need to be on the deed of the property. If someone other than the owner of the property is submitting a building permit packet, an Owner Authorization form will need to be submitted with the packet. Owner Authorization forms can be found in the Document Center.

Register of Deeds

NEWS AND UPDATES FROM THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OFFICE

Leavenworth County Cemetaries  
Trivia Question:  Where is the Cemetery of the Good Thief?
The Register of Deeds webpage has had two enhancements recently.

Now patrons with questions on Leavenworth County cemeteries have easy access on our County page at the GIS Cemetery Database link..


We've also added a survey page as we strive to offer the very best service to the public. Let us hear your thoughts!

Website


Trivia Answer:  The Cemetery of the Good Thief is another name for Lansing Correctional Facility Cemetery!


ROD Continuing Education - Lots of Classes!

TerriLois Mashburn, Register of Deeds, attended the Kansas Association of Counties conference in October to learn more about upcoming changes to the Kansas Statutes becoming effective January 1st, 2022, presented by the KS Secretary of State’s office. There was lively discussion among all of the KS county’s Register of Deeds represented.

On October 18-22, the Fidlar College of Recording Arts held education classes on several aspects of recording issues.  A Cybersecurity Simulation training was conducted by the National Association of Counties Professional Development Academy. Fidlar Technologies held training at the Legends for all the KS Register of Deeds using their recording software and shared may exciting updates to enhance productivity and accuracy. 


Public Education and Subscription Opportunity for PFA

Public EducationTerriLois Mashburn, Register of Deeds, hosted an information table at the last Farmer’s Market of the season held at Haymarket Square on October 30, 2021.  Several shoppers took advantage of the opportunity to subscribe to the free notification service, Property Fraud Alert (PFA).  Lots of kids in costume received candy as a reward for their patience while Mom or Dad enrolled.  My thanks to Austin Reynolds for providing booth space to share with the public such a valuable community service.

ROD staff has fielded some interesting calls from PFA subscribers.  One distraught gentleman was pleasantly surprised to learn that his alert was notifying him he would be the recipient of his mother’s home when she filed a Transfer on Death Deed without informing him of her intentions.  Another customer was delighted to learn of a release filed ending a lien against her property she did not know existed! 

If you would like more information on Property Fraud Alert, please call our office at 913.684.0424 to sign up or have your questions answered.


Meet our Intern - Basehor Linwood High School Student

 InternBree Morey is the newest member to our team.  The Basehor Linwood High School Junior comes to us with a very high recommendation by her teacher. Jayme Breault, School Counselor and Advisor to Bree said, “She is a rock star! Since sixth grade she has always said she wants to be an Engineer.”  Her active participation in STEM activities, supervising a team for Battle Bot, making Nationals twice in Technology Student Association competitions, and making state in Science Olympiad show Bree is staying true to her dream.

She not only assists in day to day activities of the operations in the Register of Deeds office, but TerriLois Mashburn, ROD, is introducing Bree to all Courthouse Department Heads, giving her a broader understanding of how each integrate with the ROD office, and how as an Engineer she would interact with Public Works, GIS, the County Clerk, and the Board of County Commissioners.  She is not only learning ‘real world’ job skills and receiving coaching on best practices, but contributing greatly to the department goal of having all online records back indexed.

The new semester will open up more opportunities for another outstanding student to gain experience as an Intern.  If you know of a possible high school candidate that excels in school and extracurricular activities, contact TerriLois Mashburn at 913.684.0424 for internship information, or email your request for an application at TMashburn@LeavenworthCounty.gov. Flexible hours are available to students.


Transfer Station

National Recycle Day
 
The Leavenworth County Transfer Station has a recycling center for County Residents.  You can bring your paper, soft plastics, cardboard, clear glass of all colors, aluminum cans, tin cans and metal items here, during our open hours. 

National Recycling Day, Monday, November 15, 2021

According to the EPA, nearly 70% of the waste in America is recyclable.

5 Cool Facts About Recycling

1.  The U.S. recycles 65% of its aluminum - 105,800 aluminum cans are recycled in the country every minute.

2.  Recycling is profitable - Every 10,000 tons of materials recycled produces $760,000 in wages for people across the country.

3.  A lot of waste can be recycled - In 2018, Keep America Beautiful volunteers collected 1,250,000 pounds of recyclable materials.

4.  There’s a lot of work in recycling - Over 681,000 jobs in America are related to recycling.

5.  America Recycles Day is now very popular - More than 15 million people participate in America Recycles Day events every year.

 

Public Works
Leavenworth County has approximately 320 miles of hard-paved roadways, a number that increases every year. The Department of Public Works expects each hard-paved road to require chip & seal maintenance every 3-5 years, although some roadways may require faster maintenance than others due to traffic volumes and the types of vehicles using the roadway. All 300+ miles of hard surface are scheduled for maintenance on a 3-year cycle, with the assumption that some roadways may be moved up in the cycle, while others will be delayed. For those roadways that do end up delayed, it is anticipated that they will receive maintenance the following year, if it is needed. This year, crews set out to achieve a projected 96.7 miles of chip & seal maintenance and ended up completing over 103 miles of maintenance.
2021 Chip and Seal


Leavenworth County would like to communicate with as many residents as possible. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends and neighbors. Click here to subscribe. Leavenworth County is also on Facebook, so residents can follow their local government and stay informed about the latest news and events.