Commissioners Discuss County Employee Pot Use Legalities

Undersheriff Trowbridge Explains Monthly Report to Holly Students

Undersheriff Trowbridge Explains Monthly Report to Holly Students

Several dozen Holly High School students got to watch local government in action this past Tuesday, May 13, as the Prowers County Commissioners held their regular meeting on the road, at the Holly Senior Citizen’s Center.  Each of the scheduled guests took the time to present an overview of how their department works, as well as conduct their regular business of the day with the commissioners.

The county employee handbook may get an overhaul, especially since Amendment 64 passed, allowing recreational sales and use of marijuana throughout the state.  Other than certified medical usage, marijuana cannot be sold or grown in Prowers County, but employees, on their own time, like any other state resident of legal age, can consume it.  The county has no current ruling on employee handbooks about random drug or alcohol testing.  Mark Dorenkamp, director of the County Road and Bridge Department, said his employees, because of the state CDL, must have a drug test to receive the license, but not so for other employees.  Attorney Lefferdink told the commissioners it would be hard to enforce, as it does violate personal liberties on how an employee conducts their private lives when not at work.  There is thought to changing that and discussion on Tuesday centered on safety issues, versus personal liberties.  Marijuana remains in a person’s system far beyond alcohol consumption and an employe who consumed marijuana Friday evening, may test positive weeks later in a random test, even though they have no problem meeting the demands of their job.  The commissioners felt that requesting a drug test when there’s reasonable suspicion of drug use for an employee could be used to compel a test.  The other side of the coin asked what kind of safety issues would be involved for a person who works in a clerical department.  The matter will be studied and no immediate action is expected at this point.

Lanie Meyers-Mireles, Director of the Department of Human Services, had her request for TANF transfers from Baca and Montezuma Counties to her department.  As was explained to the students, this was an opportunity for Prowers County to purchase federal funding at $0.14 on the dollar, as neither of the two counties would be able to use their funding.  The Colorado Works transfer allowed the transfer of $40,000 from Baca County for a cost of $5,912 and $50,000 from Montezuma County at a cost of $7,390.

The agreement between the Kansas Department of Transportation regarding shared user radio services and programming with Prowers County was tabled as contractual points need to be ironed out.   At particular issue is a liability clause calling for indemnification of responsibilities should an equipment failure lead to potential lawsuits with regard to life and property protections.  There was also doubt if the contract could be signed between a state and a non-state entity, such as the county.  Attorney John Lefferdink said he would contact the attorney general’s office for guidelines.  Essentially, both emergency service departments in each of the two states would allow their two way radio systems to be programmed to allow response teams to literally get on the same line to coordinate their efforts.

In other action, Connie Cook was approved to serve on the Bristol-Granada Cemetery District.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessCommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyEmploymentFeaturedGranadaHealthHollyHot TopicsLamarLaw EnforcementPoliticsProwers CountyTransportationWiley


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