County Commissioner, Entire Election Staff Resign

County Commissioner Bruce Harris, who was scheduled to leave office next month after being defeated by Ed Myers in the August Republican primary election, has resigned effective Dec. 18, according to this story in The El Dorado Times.┬áCommissioners also learned at Tuesday’s meeting that three employees had resigned from the County Clerk’s and Election Offices leaving no election staff remaining. Don Engels defeated incumbent County Clerk Ron Roberts in the August GOP primary.

Harris is apparently planning to leave Butler County before his term ends, but those non-elected employees who resigned from the clerk’s office might have had a better shot at collecting unemployment benefits had they hung around long enough to see whether Engels was going to keep them on. Click here for the Kansas statute regarding unemployment benefit eligibility. Elected county officials such as the clerk and sheriff generally have the power to hire and fire their employees at will without input from the county commission or administrator. Things that make you go hmm, as the song goes.

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7 Responses to County Commissioner, Entire Election Staff Resign

  1. Mike says:

    It seems odd that they all quit I just don’t know the motivation.

  2. Lee White says:

    Yeah, it seems weird. If the new county clerk was going to bring on his own staff, it would have seemed wise to hang on as long as possible then file for unemployment. These folks are entering a tough job market either way.

  3. Concerned Citizen says:

    The Employees left because Engels is an IDIOT

  4. Lee White says:

    I must admit, the outcome of the clerk’s race is the strangest one I’ve seen in 30 years of observing Butler County politics. Just from driving around the county in July, I thought Roberts had it in the bag. Everywhere there was a Herzet for Sheriff sign, there was a Roberts for Clerk sign. The only sign I saw for Engels was one that was barely noticeable from Highway 254. I’m as shocked as anyone that Engels won. I don’t know him. He may be an idiot. He somehow managed to win against an incredibly powerful and well-financed political machine, though.

  5. Concerned Citizen says:

    I’m not sure I’d call Roberts efforts a “powerful and well-financed political machine”, Engels spent more money I think, plus spread rumors about Roberts leaving office after a year or two if he had won.
    The reason the election employees left was simple- they had NO desire to work for a man who had already been fired from the County for any number of reasons and simply treats people with contempt and distain…
    I have a horrible feeling that the next four years under this “man” are going to be sad indeed!

  6. Concerned Citizen says:

    I hope you all read the El Dorado Times Thursday Edition to get a glimpse into Mr. Engles mind. On his FIRST day he strolls into the County Commisioners meeting and TELLS THEM how it’s going to BE!!! It’s almost laughable if it wasn’t so disturbing…
    I hope I’m wrong but I can’t help but feel that this “Reign of Error” that is beginning under Don A “Dick” Engles is going it end up being the worst four years that this County has EVER EXPERIENCED. Please join me in prayer…

  7. Lee White says:

    Click here for the story from the Times. I really don’t know Mr. Engels. I probably wouldn’t have gotten into a pissing match with the county commission on my first day. Although Mr. Engels has the right under state law to run his office the way he sees fit, he needs to understand that the county commission holds the purse strings and also has excellent legal counsel. The commissioners can make his life a living hell if they so choose. I have seen this happen to others before. I think it’s fine if he wants to attend and document commission meetings. Going to the Senior Centers might even be a smart idea for him politically because old folks vote. That’s why the commissioners go there — to schmooze. As far as the budget director whose salary is partially drawn from the clerk’s budget, the solution is simple: Move that portion of the man’s salary from the clerk’s budget to the administrator’s budget. That way, there should be no question as to whom the budget director’s supervisor should be.

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