County Manager William Buchanan to join KPERS study panel

Sedgwick County Manager William Buchanan will serve on a commission formed to strengthen the state's retirement system.

Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, on Tuesday appointed Buchanan to the group, charged with examining the Kansas Public Employees Retirement (KPERS) system and making recommendations to the Legislature to improve the plan's long-term financial strength, a news release said.

KPERS projects a $7.7 billion shortfall between revenue and benefits promised to teachers and government workers through 2033.

Morris also appointed Sen. Jeff King, R-Independence.

Buchanan, county manager since 1991, has more than 16 years of experience with public retirement plans in Kansas and in other states, the news release said. He has served on the board and as chairman of a defined contribution system, taken part in two different deferred-compensation plans, and has hands-on experience with both the participant and administrator aspects of public retirement plans.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to work with other Kansans to find a solution that is fiscally responsible for our state and respectful to the many retired men and women who have paid into KPERS over the years," Buchanan said in the news release.

Buchanan came to Wichita after spending five years as city manager of Jackson, Mich., which had 40,000 residents at the time.

He also has served as city manager in Liberty, N.Y., and Franklin, Pa.

The study commission will have 13 voting members.

Gov. Sam Brownback announced his five appointments last week. Three are in the financial services industry: Richard Stumpf, Wichita; Edward Condon, Leawood; and Christopher Long, Mission Hills. Lawyer Paul Seyferth, Fairview; and agribusinessman Brian Winter, Dodge City, round out his appointments.

House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, appointed Reps. Mitch Holmes, R-St. John, and Steven Johnson, R-Assaria.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, appointed state Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, and Rebecca Proctor, a Shawnee attorney who represents unions.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, has yet to make his two appointments.