El Dorado Election Deadline

The filing deadline for this year’s City of El Dorado elections is on Tuesday, June 1st at 12 p.m.  Elections are held every two (2) years and alternate the positions being selected.  The terms for City Commissioner are four (4) years while the Mayoral position is marked by two (2) year terms.  

The very first election held in the city of Eldorado was on September 12, 1871, for the positions of Mayor, Police Judge and five (5) Councilmen.  103 votes were polled.  

Proprietor of the Eldorado House, Henry Falls was elected Mayor.  Attorney William Pitt (W.P.) Campbell was elected Police Judge.  Those elected as Councilmen were feed store and stable owner T.L. Calloway; furniture store owner William (Wm) Meyer; farmer and real estate developer T.G. Boswell; furniture store owner A. Mussleman; and John W. Gilmor who was a dry goods store co-owner. 

El Dorado continued under this form of city government until it became the first city in Kansas to adopt the Commission-Manager form of government in 1917 and welcomed their first City Manager, Bert C. Wells on July 1, 1917.

The seats up for election/re-election during this historic 150th year are for City Commission Seat #1, City Commission Seat #3 and Mayor.  

Seat #1 is currently held by incumbent Commissioner Matthew Gutherie.  He has filed for the same position.  Guthrie was elected in 2017, and began his first term in January of 2018.  Also filing for this seat is former City Manager Herb Llewellen.  

Seat #3 is currently held by Nick Badwey.  He has held this position for 3 terms for a total of 12 consecutive years, having been first elected in April 2009.  Badwey has publicly stated that he wishes more citizens would take an active role in government.  He has not currently filed to run for office in this election.  Leon Leachman and Syndee Scribner have filed for this seat. 

The Mayor’s seat is currently held by Mayor Bill Young and he is currently running unopposed.  He was first elected in 2019. 

Filing for office is a painless process and citizens are encouraged to do so.  

“Come in, fill out the paperwork and pay the $20 filing fee and you’re done,” said Butler County Clerk Tatum Stafford.

The Butler County Clerk’s office is located in the historic courthouse and the hours are Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

“We are open until 5 p.m. but we ask those wishing to have paperwork processed to do so by 4:30 p.m.” said Stafford. 

Questions can be directed to the Butler County Clerk’s office at  (316) 322-4239. 

Board of Butler County Commission

Keith Lawing, President and CEO of  Workforce Alliance, appeared before the Board of Butler County Commissioners to present a request to approve agreement between Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas, Inc. and the Chief Elected Officials Board for the Kansas Local Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Area IV. He also asked for the Board to designate a County representative to the Chief Elected Officials Board (CEOB). The goal is to have the CEOB empaneled by mid-July. The request was approved.

Community Development Director, David Alfaro, presented a request for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP), submitted by Jeff Coulson for a vehicle impound yard at 520 S. Pleasantview Dr. Andover, Kansas. Mr. Coulson, represented by Jeremy McDonald, is seeking the ability to create an impound yard on the site located approximately 1 mile east of Andover city limits. The vehicles will be stored on site and rotated out as the owners claim them after being impounded.  The yard will be enclosed with a 6′ Privacy fence, have asphalt millings laid down to provide a hard surface to park the cars and will be locked at all times when owner is not present.

“Neighbors expressed concerns about additional traffic, potential increase in criminal activity and the leaking of fluids into the ground causing potential contamination to the Water Wells in the area,” stated Mr. Alfaro.  After hearing comments from Mr. McDonald and neighbors present, the Board affirmed the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Committee with a vote of 3-1-1; Commissioner Myers opposed and Commissioner Wheeler abstaining.

Mr. Alfaro also presented a request for a mortgage lot split for Anthony and Angel Clark at 2339 SW 80th St. Augusta, Kansas. The request was approved.

Finally, Mr. Alfaro presented a request for a change in zoning, submitted by Brian, Denise & Michael Vogt from AG-40 to Residential Estates on their property located at the NW corner of SE Sunflower and SE 20th St. El Dorado, Kansas. The Board approved the request.

Chris Davis, Director of Emergency Communications (E911) presented a request to the Board for payment of the Annual Motorola System Upgrade Agreement.   In order to manage the statewide radio system KDOT must maintain current software versions. Butler County executed a new 6 year contract with Motorola in 2017 to provide matching upgrades.  The partnership with KDOT on the radio system has proven to be very beneficial to Butler County, operationally. The request was approved 4-1, Commissioner Woydziak opposed.

County Clerk, Tatum Stafford, appeared before the Board to recommend the purchase of election equipment from Election Systems and Software, LLC (ES&S) in the amount not to exceed $603,635.  ES&S has been providing election, hardware, software support and services across the state of KS since 1983. The close proximity of their location in Omaha, Nebraska, is as important factor.  ES&S currently serves 83 counties in Kansas.

According to Stafford, ES&S manufactures their own equipment, provides support and the machines are high quality.  They provide the easiest voting and tabulation system for poll workers and election staff to manage.  Butler County currently has ES&S equipment and has established a great working relationship with them.

Purchasing this equipment will put Butler County in line to comply with K.S.A. 25-3009 Post Election Audit Requirements that took effect January 1, 2019.  K.S.A. 25-3009 defines the new audit standards in Kansas, which now requires auditing of all elections manually by comparing paper ballot results against electronically counted races.  Due to this new provision, the current voting machines in Butler County have been rendered obsolete in Kansas.  The recommendation was approved.

The Commissioners held a work session to receive information on the proposed work by the Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) to raise several overpasses through Butler County.  The KTA has projects planned to raise the height of many of its overpasses. Several of the overpasses planned for 2019 and 2020 are located in Butler County. Most of the work planned involves Township roads going over the turnpike. Two of the locations, however, involve the Santa Fe Lake Rd overpass and the Ohio Street Rd overpass.  No action was taken.

Vouchers, Adds & Abates were approved.

Other items included County Administrator, Will Johnson, sharing, “Public works and safety crews are getting a work out after all the rain and flooding here in Butler County.  They are working long hours with lots of overtime.  He asks patrons of county roads show patience with the county crews and townships.  With the announcement that President Trump approved Governor Kelly’s request for a disaster declaration, it will take time to get everything in place for FEMA funds to come in.  He asks those using county roads to drive slow, limiting their speed to 20mph in some areas.




Promoting Confidence in Voting

On National Voters Registration Day, the Board of Butler County Commissioners heard from Angie Frison of Election Systems & Software during a work session.

Commission and Angie.JPG

The commissioners are considering the purchase of new voting and tabulating machines.

Angie showing machine.JPG

According to Ms. Frison, the demand for paper ballots has increased in the wake of the probe into Russian meddling of 2016 election.

vote and tabulate
Angie Frison of ES&S discussing the voting and tabulation machines.

Voting will be a two-step process in the future with the tabulator(left) counting the ballots created by the and ballot machine (right).

sorting vote machine.JPG

As she demonstrated the machines, she explained their functions.  The DS450 would aide in sorting ballots including mail-in ballots.

Further work sessions will be held to identify potential sources of funding.