Gov. Kelly makes appointments to administration

(KS Governor's Office)
Published: Jan. 16, 2021 at 2:21 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly has made new appointments to her administration.

Governor Laura Kelly says she has made appointments to Kansas state boards and commissions. She said her appointments are as follows:

Kansas-Oklahoma Arkansas River Commission

Gov. Kelly said this commission communicates with appropriate state agencies in Kansas and Oklahoma regarding the waters of the Arkansas river basin and promotes development, provides an agency for administering the water apportionment, encourages the maintenance of an active pollution-abatement program in each state and looks to further reduce both natural and man-made pollution in the waters of the Arkansas river basin.

  • Rep. Ponka-We Victors, Wichita
  • Lisa French, Partridge

Kansas-Nebraska Big Blue River Compact Administration

Gov. Kelly said the Administration promotes interstate comity between Nebraska and Kansas, achieves an equitable apportionment of the waters of the Big Blue river basin and promotes orderly development and encourages the continuation of the active pollution-abatement programs in each state, looks to further reduce both natural and man-made pollution of the waters of the Big Blue river basin.

According to Gov. Kelly, the Administration was created to administer the compact and its terms. She said it has the power to adopt rules and regulations consistent with provisions of the compact, to enforce these rules and regulations and to otherwise carry out its responsibilities. She said it can institute an action in its own name in courts of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with the provisions of the compact and with the rules and regulations it adopts.

  • Dr. Hannah Birgé, Manhattan

Kansas Human Rights Commission

Gov. Kelly said the Commission prevents and eliminates discrimination assures equal opportunities in employment relations, eliminates and prevents discrimination, segregation or separation and assures equal opportunities in all places of public accommodations and in housing. She said its philosophy is to act in accordance with the highest standards of professional conduct, ethics, efficiency and accountability. She said that realizing the principles of equality and the protection of basic human rights are noble human efforts and the commission dedicates its activities to that purpose, believing that vigilance is the price of freedom. She said this appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

  • Mike Kane, Kansas City – Labor representative (reappointment)*

University of Kansas Hospital Authority Board of Directors

Gov. Kelly said the Authority is the public oversight body governing the operations of the hospital at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She said these appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.

  • David Dillon, Mission Hills (reappointment)*
  • Kevin Lockett, Leawood*

Kansas Long Term Care Ombudsman Program

Gov. Kelly said the principal purpose of the Program is to investigate and resolve complaints made by residents or on behalf of residents in long-term care facilities. She said certified staff and volunteers investigate and work to resolve complaints while also focusing on resolutions on the resident’s wishes. She said Ombudsmen regularly visit long-term care facilities to be accessible to residents and monitor conditions. She said this appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

  • Camille Russell, Chanute*

Kansas National Guard

Gov. Kelly said the Kansas National Guard is made up of the Kansas Army National Guard and the Kansas Air National Guard. She said the National Guard has been involved in national conflicts since Kansas’ inception as a territory. She said this appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

  • Col. Michael Venerdi, Bel Aire – Rank promotion to General and Director of Joint Staff*

Kansas Commission on Police Officer’s Standards and Training (CPOST)

Gov. Kelly said the Commission can suspend, revoke or deny certification of a police or law enforcement officer that fails to meet the requirements of the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Act or has met such requirements by falsifying documents are not disclosing information required for certification. She said it also provides accredited instruction that is required for permanent appointment and full-time police and law officers.

  • Sheriff Roger Soldan, Salina

Quality Care Improvement Panel

Gov. Kelly said this Panel administers and chooses the reimbursements of funds in the quality care assessment fund.

  • Sarah Fertig, Lawrence

Kansas State Board of Tax Appeals

Gov. Kelly said the BOTA is the paramount tax tribunal and the court of record for all Kansas state and local tax cases. She said its mission is to resolve disputes between taxpayers and taxing authorities quickly and impartially and to help maintain public confidence in the system. She said in service to its mission, it provides an independent venue for all residents to contest the validity of assessments levied by state and local taxing authorities.

According to Gov. Kelly, BOTA also ensures that all property in the state is assessed for tax purposes in an equal and uniform way in accordance with the Kansas Constitution and state statutes. She said it also reviews tax exemption decisions made by local governments, grievances resulting from technical errors and corrects tax inequities. She said these appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.

  • Tom Browne, Topeka – Chief Hearings Officer (reappointment)*
  • Virginia Powell, Topeka – CPA*

Kansas Water Authority

Gov. Kelly said the Authority advises her, the Legislature and the director of the Kansas Water Office on water policy issues, including the approval of the Kansas Water Plan and revisions, federal contracts, administration regulations and legislation proposed by the KWO. She said this appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

  • Dawn Buehler, Eudora – Chair*

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