By Ada Linenbroker, Chair of Seward County Commission
After our county commissioners met on Monday night, I regretted not speaking up for the Cimarron Basin Community Corrections.
First, I don’t think people understand that this (CBCC) board is made up of volunteers who represent Seward, Haskell, Gray, Clark, Grant and Stevens counties. These people get together to work on problems and issues from six counties, not just Seward.
This board of people didn’t just get together and quickly make a decision on a vehicle. They looked at the wear and tear on their vehicles, amount of miles and distance that their employees traveled and the number of passengers who travel together.
Last year, at the end of the year, they purchased an Impala from a local dealer, which we approved. The board and the employees have been impressed with this vehicle and that is one of the reasons the Impala was chosen for this purchase.
One of my other problems with the board’s decision was that they were comparing apples to oranges. The Impalas were new 2014 vehicles with 6-cylinder engines and warranty for $17,827.
The Dodge Avengers were 2013 used vehicles with between 20,000 to 25,000 miles and a 4-cylinder engines for $15,0400, leaving a difference of $2,426.50 per vehicle.
I feel the (CBCC) board was wanting a larger engine to make this vehicle hold up better during wear and tear during travel and – being new – would have a better warranty.
I do agree we need to support local business and that we should also try to save money, whether it is county money or state money. But I also think we should respect the people on our different boards to understand what will work for them.
I was also under the understanding that Cimarron Basin comes to the county commission as a courtesy to inform of us their purchases, as that money is deposited into a county account and then paid out for purchases so as to track the department’s purchases.
I know since I have been elected, I have always tried to support our board volunteers and county employees who spend more time and have a better understanding of what’s going on.
I know sometimes we have to change things for the better, but when I voted no, I felt this board had taken the time to make a good decision for their department, and I wanted to support their choice.