By JESSICA CRAWFORD • Daily Leader
“I do solemnly swear I will support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Kansas and the laws of the City of Liberal and faithfully discharge the duties of city commissioner of the City of Liberal so help me God,” Bob Carlile, Joe Denoyer and Tim Long said as they were sworn onto the city commission in its Tuesday evening meeting.
With reorganization taking place during the meeting, Joe Denoyer was once again elected mayor by his fellow commissioners, except with the opposition of commissioner Carlile. New commissioner Long was voted vice mayor.
Prior to reorganization, however, recognition was given to two commissioners ending their terms Tuesday evening, Doug LaFreniere and Don Rash.
LaFreniere accepted his plaque from Denoyer on behalf of the City of Liberal.
“Myself, along with the entire city commission and city staff, we appreciate your service to the city. In words that you have probably used before, ‘It’s been a hoot,’” Denoyer said. “Thank you for all your help. I was green going into this. I have learned a lot from you, and I know the city is a better place for your years of service.”
LaFreniere accepted the plaque as he thanked his wife and the city for their continuous support throughout his eight years of service.
“I would like to thank my wife. She has been supportive all this time,” he said. “I would like to thank the City of Liberal for the privilege to serve you, it really has been quite an adventure.”
Rash left the meeting prior to the presentation of awards. Denoyer stated to the commission and the audience what an honor it has been for him to work along side Rash.
“It was an honor and a pleasure to serve with Don,” he said. “He always had the best interest of the City of Liberal in his heart, and it sounds like he is going to continue to do that – and I will bet you have not seen the last of Don Rash.”
The commission adopted Charter Ordinance No. 34 repealing Charter Ordinance No. 32, which will lift the 4/10 sales tax, which was approved on Feb. 7, 2006.
City Manager Mark Hall explained the Trailmobile expenses will be paid off June 1 of this year, and the tax will no longer be collected on July 1, due to state statute.
“There are two times in the year that you can pay on these bonds that are callable – that is June 1st and December 1st,” he said. “With the funds available and the projected (funds) that are coming in, it is time to pay off Trailmobile.
“We do have to notify the state and give them 90 days notice to remove the four tenths and they will only allow us to do that on a quarter,” he continued. “That is why we have the date of July 1 that the four tenths will cease. That way we are in state compliance.”
Former commissioner and attorney John T. Smith urged the commission to look further into paying off the debt – ensuring it is paid in full.