News Columns & Blogs

County vote marks change

Who knew seats on the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council were so coveted? In the end, Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Kelly Parks prevailed Wednesday in his wish to appoint Commissioners Karl Peterjohn and Gwen Welshimer to the council, replacing Commissioner Dave Unruh and Parks himself. But in opposing the passage of a resolution giving Parks the authority to do so with the commission's consent, Unruh made a worthy point about how the change "politicizes the chair position more than we have ever experienced." He noted how the county government had always treated the chairman as first among equal members of the commission, and he said that giving the chairman special powers to do things according to his pleasure "establishes the wrong policy."