Saying he had the authority as chairman of the Sedgwick County commission to do so, Kelly Parks this morning took himself and Dave Unruh off the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and appointed commissioners Karl Peterjohn and Gwen Welshimer.
The board’s next meeting will be Oct. 22.
Unruh, who has served on the council since its formation, tried to fight for his position but ultimately couldn’t persuade Parks to change his mind.
Welshimer said new thinking is critical to reducing the jail’s population, a key goal for the county.
“We can’t continue doing everything the same way,” Welshimer said.
Unruh was clearly disappointed by Parks’ decision and asked if he could at least stay on the board through the end of the year. Parks’ term as chairman will end then, and Unruh said he would like to serve at least through the end of the year and then let a new chairman decide who would serve on the CJCC next year.
Parks stood his ground and didn’t budge from his decision.