Commission fills planning vacancy
Douglas County commissioners Wednesday approved the appointment of Tom Jennings to fill a vacancy on the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission.
Jennings, president of Bud Jennings Carpet One, replaces planning commissioner Jere McElhaney who resigned in June because he is seeking public office. McElhaney is the Republican candidate for the county commission's 3rd District.
Commissioner Charles Jones said he thought Jennings was a good candidate but was concerned there's not equal representation on the planning commission. He pointed out several commissioners are Chamber of Commerce members or have direct ties to the developing or housing businesses.
"It looks like it's stacked too high toward development interests," he said.
Also, Jones said seven commissioners are registered as Republicans, two have undeclared party affiliations and one is unknown.
Commissioner Dean Nieder said he wasn't aware of the unbalance but agreed they could look at Jones' concern with the county's next appointment.
Jennings will serve the remainder of a three-year term until 2002.
Countywide burn ban extended to September
Because of continued hot and dry weather conditions, Douglas County commissioners extended the burn ban for another week.
The ban now will run through Sept. 8. At that time, commissioners will decide whether to continue the ban.
At least 26 other counties have issued burn bans, said Paula Phillips, director of Douglas County Emergency Management. The bans are mainly in the northwest, central and northeast counties. Also, she said the state's burn ban information has been passed on to Gov. Bill Graves, who could issue a statewide burn ban.
The ban prohibits burning fields, trash or debris, or building a fire except in an approved container. Burning for crop survival to plant for a second crop is permitted when approved in writing by Douglas County Sheriff and, except in Marion Township, the township fire chief where the burn is taking place.