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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Volunteer boards give another perspective to city operations

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  • Who makes decisions for the City of Pratt? If the answer is the city manager, finance director, department heads and commissioners, it’s only partially correct.
    There are also a number of appointed boards, whose members serve without pay, to advise and direct various city operations.
    On Feb. 17, Kevin Evans, owner of Rolla Rena, and Becky Eastes from Club D’Est and the Uptown Cafe, were reappointed to three-year terms on the Convention and Tourism Committee, and Shelley Shaw, manager of Comfort Suites, was a new appointee.
    The money for the committee is generated by the transient guest tax, so the desire is always to have someone representing the hotel industry on board, as well as others directly involved or who benefit from tourism, City Manager Dave Howard said.
    On Jan. 20, commissioners approved the reappointment of Denis Rasmussen, owner of Ayres-Calbeck Mortuary, to the Greenlawn Cemetery Board. Lori Jones, owner of a local monument company, is also on the board, along with three other members
    In December Kenton Ladenburger was reappointed to the economic development board.
    There is also a planning and zoning board, made up of local business people who are interested in development.
    The Parks and Recreation Department has its own Recreation Commission.
    The Pratt Public Library, supported by both the city and the county, has a board of directors.
    There’s a Building Board, made up of local building trades contractors, who advise City Inspector Brad Blankenship.
    The Pratt Regional Airport, owned by the City of Pratt, is managed by an Airport Authority.
    There is a Tree Board, which is combined with the Recreation Board. It is a requirement for the city to be designated as a Tree City USA.
    The various boards, each with its own function, allows Pratt residents to become involved in the workings of the city in their area of expertise and interest, Howard said.
    City staff members participate in most board meetings to present issues and opinions, based on facts, he said. The volunteer board members offer a different perspective and provide staff members with a feeling from the general population.
    The boards offer recommendations to the City Commission, and Howard estimated that recommendations are accepted about 90 percent of the time.
    Anyone can serve — just ask to have your name put on a list for the next vacancy. Commissioners make the appointments from the best candidates.
    Appointments are generally for three years. Terms are staggered so there are always experienced members on the board. Each has its own meeting schedule.
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