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MEET THE KIOWA COUNTY GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP–The newly elected Kiowa County government officials were sworn into office on January 10, 2023 by the honorable county judge Gary Davis. Pictured from left to right: County Judge Gary W. Davis, Jimmy Brown (Coroner), Delisa Weeks (Clerk & Recorder), Marci Miller (Assessor), Diana Pearcey (Treasurer), Mike Lening (Commissioner District 1), Howard Robertson (Commissioner District 2), Bryan Williams (Sheriff).

Kiowa County Reorganizes for 2023 Business: Big Opportunities Ahead

By Betsy Barnett

January 19, 2023

At their annual reorganization meeting on Tuesday, January 10th the Kiowa County Board of County Commissioners went through the requirements in order to reorganize the County for 2023 in order to conduct business.

The first order of business was to attend the swearing in ceremony for the newly elected government officials. They included Commissioner Robertson in District #2 for a four-year term; Commissioner Lening in District #1 for a four-year term; Sheriff Bryan Williams for a four-year term; County Clerk & Recorder Delisa Weeks for a four-year term; Assessor Marci Miller for a four-year term; Treasurer Diana Flory for a four-year term; and Coroner Jimmy Brown for a four-year term. All of the new officials are Republicans.

Once Sheriff Williams was sworn in as Kiowa County Sheriff, he then deputized his staff including Undersheriff Jacob Marlow, K-9 Officer and Deputy Avery Snover, Deputy Jo Liebl, and courthouse security deputy Darrell Hollis.

Commissioners Howard Robertson (District #2), Mike Lening (District #1), and Donald Oswald (District #3) went through many assignments required to successfully run the county. First, and foremost, the County finances are projected to eventually benefit greatly from the expected renewal energy boom, but those projects are still nearly a year out from beginning. Therefore, the BOCC was very conservative with their planning and budgeting for 2023.

That means finding ways to save money as the budget is tight with the main decision being to maintain the four-day work week that was installed into the county’s procedures in 2022. That means that the county offices will be closed on Fridays again this year. However, administrator Tina Adamson’s office, the Veteran’s Administration offices under director Janelle Crow, the landfill, and the county library will all be open on Fridays.

The first main item of reorganization is to name the official newspaper of publication. The Commissioners voted unanimously to appoint the Kiowa County Independent as the county’s paper of legal publications. All required notices and documents will be published in the Legals section of the Independent through 2023. The Independent has a large circulation in the county and surrounding counties and also supplies information to a majority number of absentee landowners through their print and digital services.

The Commissioners then named the official meeting notice site which will be on the front door of the Kiowa County Courthouse located at 1305 N. Goff Street in Eads, Colorado. The special meeting and regular meeting information notices will be posted on the front door on Goff Street and the door on 13th Street.

In 2022 the county had a very difficult time hiring and maintaining Road & Bridge employees as the job description is very specific. There will be an 8% increase across the board in the Road & Bridge department including the rates the department charges for gravel, cattle guard, etc. The county remains short-handed in this department and will continue in their attempts to hire the needed personnel to keep the department running efficiently and effectively.

The BOCC also passed a Resolution for the licensing of the county’s ambulance service for 2023. The contract was moved from the county back to the Kiowa County Hospital District last year in 2022. The Resolution names the KCHD as providing the ambulance service in the county. As it has been in the past, the BOCC agreed to pass the $118,770, 3 mils, tax money received annually to the KCHD in order to assist in operation costs of the ambulance service.

The following positions and volunteers were approved within the county’s operational structure. Citizens are urged to refer to this list when they need to access information. This list will be found on the county’s website at: Citizens are also urged to examine this list and where there are VACANCIES consider volunteering for the position by emailing County Administrator Tina Adamson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Surveyor – No one appointed – this used to be an elected position but has not been utilized in many years.
  • Veteran’s Liason – Janelle Crow
  • Emergency Management Coordinator – Shelley Englehardt
  • County Attorney – Steerman Law Offices in Lamar with an increase in the fee schedule at $145 per hour
  • County Arbitrators – VACANCY
  • Public Library – Brenda Stoker, Barbara McCoin, Kelly Courkamp, Audrey Johnson, VACANY
  • Planning & Zoning Commission – Pam Cole (D2), Greg Miller (D3), Garold Deines (D1), Jimmy Brown (D2), Randy Carney (D1), Kent Johnston (D3), Roger Saffer (At-large)
  • West Kiowa County Recreation Board – Carole Spady, Polly Gyurman, Nancy Miller, Kim Briggs, Audrey Johnson
  • Central Kiowa County Recreation Board – Monica Uhland, Bill Koehler, Kyle Barnett, Dawna Weirich, Holly Mitchek
  • Sheridan Lake/Brandon Recreation Board – Tia McVickers, Wes Arns, Zelpha Deines, Craig Williams, Marvin Koeller
  • Towner Recreation Board – Susan Greenfield, Sharon Scott, Larry Tuttle, VACANCY, VACANCY
  • West Kiowa County Cemetery Board – Carole Spady, Diana Davis, Kent Johnston
  • Pioneer Cemetery Board – Jimmy Brown, Kim Richards, Marci Miller
  • Sheridan Lake/Brandon Cemetery Board – Zelpha Deines, C.H. Williams, Merle Shalberg
  • Towner Cemetery Board – Dorcas Berggren, Cheri Hopkins, Sharon Scott
  • Kiowa County Historic Preservation Commission – Dan Richards, Zelpha Deines, Janet Frederick, Kelly Courkamp, Jeff Campbell, Carole Spady, Betsy Barnett
  • Nursing Service Medical Advisor – Eads Medical Clinic
  • Arkansas Valley Basin Roundtable Member – Dan Richards
  • Kiowa County Weed Board – Rick Spady, Jeff Uhland, County Extension Agent (Tearle Lessenden)
  • CSBG TRIPARTITE Transit Board – Sharon Scott, Donald Oswald, Wanda Lessenden, Lola Igou, Terri Salisbury, Veterans Liaison (Janelle Crow)
  • Kiowa County Fair Board – Areta Laird, Tabatha Ferris, Cody Fox, VACANCY, VACANCY, VACANCY, VACANCY, VACANCY, VACANCY
  • Lower Ark Valley Area Aging Board – Barbara Wilson, Joyce Berry, Gail Voss, 2 VACANCYS for Alternates
  • Kiowa County Board of Health – Mike Lening, Donald Oswald, Howard Robertson, Planning & Zoning Chair (Jimmy Brown), Emergency Management Coordinator (Shelley Engelhardt)
  • Enterprise Zone Committee – Mike Lening, Howard Robertson, Donald Oswald, Michelle Nelson
  • SCEDD Board – Donald Oswald, Howard Robertson
  • Kiowa County Economic Development Board – Donald Oswald, Howard Robertson (alternate)
  • SE Region Workforce Board – VACANCY (an Employer or Manager)
  • SECRETAC BOARD – Ambulance Director (Russ Watson), Hospital Representative (Rachel Bletzacker), Emergency Management (Shelley Engelhardt), Donald Oswald
  • RESADA – Dennis Pearson, Donald Oswald
  • Ports-to-Plains – Howard Robertson

Citizens should understand that without these volunteers who are willing to sit on the vital commissions and boards, the local county could not operate effectively.

One huge area of concern for all of us is the glaring fact that there are currently 6 vacancies on the Fair Board. The commissioners discussed this situation saying they have been advertising for Fair Board Members for some time, but as of yet have no takers. If there remains no one coming forward it looks as if the Kiowa County Fair may not happen this year. That would be a shame if the long-standing tradition of over 100 years of the Kiowa County Fair & Rodeo, the biggest event in the county each year, would suddenly come to an end due to lack of interest from the citizens of Kiowa County.

It’s time to step up Kiowa County and get involved in your government and the boards that move the prosperity and way of life in Kiowa County ever forward. The Independent will stay on top of the Fair Board situation as we move into 2023.

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