The Seward County Board of Commissioners approved a temporary task force consultant/trainer position at its Jan. 8 meeting. Commissioners Bob Vrbka and Mike Mundhenke were absent. 

The position, which is full-time and would last up to six months, would be under the Seward County Sheriff’s Department. No law enforcement credentials are required. 

Such a person would be responsible for consulting with follow-up investigations of narcotic/seizure cases, preparing task force members for both state and federal court cases and instructing in-service training if necessary. 

Request for approval was brought forward by Seward County Sheriff Mike Vance and human resources director Brea Ehmen. 

Vance said if this position is filled, the sheriff’s department would no longer be hiring for a captain position. 

“We’ve moved on this quicker than we normally would on this position,” commissioner Ken Schmieding said. “I am still not in favor.” 

Schmieding was concerned the task force position was a waste of taxpayers’ money, but Vance said that is not the case. 

“This is not an expense to the taxpayer. It is far less than what we are paying already,” Vance said. 

During the citizens’ forum, member of the public Darrell Zabrocki spoke about his concern of the sheriff’s department being overloaded with positions and no need for another. 

“The workings of the task force have nothing to do with the workings of the sheriff’s office,” Vance said. 

The job description was approved 3-0. A pay grade of grade 14 and step 6 was also approved by the board.

Also during the meeting, the board received annual updates from county officials and their respective offices, those being Jonathan Jank, Gary Petersen, Barb Liska, Jeff Baker, Terry Wicht, Marilyn Hladky, Mike Janssen, Ann Dobesh, Sherry Schweitzer and Ehmen. 

The board discussed putting a county surveyor as an elected official question on the next general election ballot, as a state law states counties under 150,000 population do not have to do so. A public hearing for this will be held at the board’s Jan. 21 meeting. 

Commissioners heard from Terry Wicht, highway superintendent, who provided information on wage options for an assistant highway superintendent. A pay grade of Grade 15, step one was recommended to the board. The job position was approved by the board three weeks ago.

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