OSWEGO — Terry Weidert is officially a Labette County commissioner.
Weidert, who will serve the county’s 2nd District, was sworn in by County Clerk Gena Landis on Friday morning.
Commissioner Lonie Addis called a special meeting Friday morning for the swearing-in of Weidert prior to the start of the meeting. At 9 a.m., Addis turned it over to Landis to complete the swearing-in process for Weidert. Addis and Commissioner Cole Proehl shook hands with Weidert afterward. Addis welcomed Weidert to the board and asked him to lead the prayer for the meeting.
In December, Weidert, of rural Parsons, was nominated by acclamation by the Republican precinct committeemen and women to fill the 2nd District seat. Weidert replaced Brian Kinzie, who was recalled in a special election Dec. 7. Weidert was the only person nominated for Kinzie’s seat.
Kinzie’s term ends in January 2025. At the minimum, Weidert, a Labette County High School and Labette Community College alumnus, will serve a year as a commissioner; however, he must decide if he wants to complete the term by June. If so, he will stand for election in November. He previously indicated he intends to complete the term.
After Weidert was sworn in, commissioners went over some housekeeping and paperwork. They also prepared for Monday’s meeting; Addis said the first thing the commission will do Monday is elect a chairman and a vice chairman.
On Friday, they looked at the upcoming 2022 calendar with holidays for county employees but did not take any formal action or vote on any of the holidays. They went through the entire 2022 calendar and looked at both state and federal holidays.
“We need to consider which ones,” Addis said.
Addis said the county granted 10 holidays in 2021.
Addis said some other entities give employees their birthday off or use a “discretionary day” they want to take off within reason.
They first talked about giving employees Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, off as a holiday for the new year. The commission agreed on that date.
In 2022, the commission will give a holiday on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 17.
“We’ll give that,” Addis said.
Memorial Day, which is on Monday, May 30, will also be a holiday.
Proehl asked about Presidents Day, which is Monday, Feb. 21. Addis said the state doesn’t give Presidents Day as a holiday, but Proehl said the federal government recognizes it as a holiday.
“We can put it in the maybe pile,” Proehl said.
“I’m not in favor of it,” Addis responded.
Weidert said he wasn’t likely in favor of giving it as a holiday, but he said to put it in the maybe pile.
“So I got it down in the maybe pile,” Addis said. Addis said the commission will have to discuss that more.
Addis then moved onto Independence Day, Monday, July 4, but Proehl first brought up Juneteenth, which is Sunday, June 19.
“And I’m not going to be in favor of it, but the thing I like about the floating holiday we can have is that people want to take off that day, they can do that because they can use the floating holidays,” Addis said.
Juneteenth is a federal holiday that recognizes the ending of slavery, Proehl explained to the commission.
“But you know, that’s why I was so much in favor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day,” Addis said. “We didn’t use to give it, but we started doing it, oh probably about 15, 20 years ago. And to me that feels like it encompasses a lot of things.”
“I really like Martin Luther King Jr. Day because I think we owe it. We owe it to a sect of our population and there’s no better day than to honor the man who did so much through peaceful means,” Addis added. “To me, that’s much more important than Juneteenth.”
“Talking about the end of slavery, and there was a lot of people … from Kansas that fought for that. I have no problem with it,” Proehl said about giving Juneteenth as a holiday.
“I’m not for that one right now,” Weidert said in response to the comments from Addis and Proehl.
Independence Day, Monday, July 4, and Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5, will be holidays for the county, the commission agreed.
Addis then moved to Veterans Day, but Proehl brought up Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which is Monday, Oct. 10.
Addis said he liked it when the county closed down the offices to the public and hosted a health fair on that day.
The commission agreed to give Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, as a holiday.
Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 24, and the day following it, Friday, Nov. 25, was the holiday discussed next. They agreed to uphold those days as a holiday.
With Christmas Eve and Christmas falling on a Saturday and Sunday this year, the commission decided to give Friday, Dec. 23, and Monday, Dec. 26, as holidays for employees.
In the end, the commission decided to put Presidents Day in the maybe pile.