Blue Ribbon Commission In Dodge City

KSCB News - May 17, 2011 3:22 pm

A three-member panel of the Blue Ribbon Commission that has been appointed to review all facets of the Kansas judiciary will conduct two public meetings in Dodge City May 24th to hear local concerns and suggestions to improve access and efficiency in the state’s court system, it was announced today.

The 25-member Commission was appointed by the state Supreme Court from across the state to undertake a complete review of the court system, the first such since the 1970s, when the Kansas courts were unified.

“The commission will consider such issues as the number of court locations needed to provide access to justice, the services to be provided in each court location, hours of operation, appropriate use of technology, cost containment or reductions, and flexibility in the use of human resources,” according to Court of Appeals Judge Patrick McAnany, Commission chairman. “However, the Commission is not limited to those subjects and has the authority to review other operational efficiencies associated with the court system.”

Conducting the public meetings in Dodge City will be Commission members Linda Parks, a Wichita attorney in private practice; Sam Williams, a Wichita advertising executive; and Richard Boeckman, Barton County administrator. The meetings will be in the Fine Arts Building at the Dodge City Community College. The first of the two meetings will begin at 3 p.m. to accommodate local officials who wish to attend and make their comments. A second meeting to hear comments and suggestions from the general public will begin at 7 p.m.

Judge McAnany said some of the issues Commission members are especially interested in hearing about at the meeting include:

· What should be done to give the courts flexibility to adjust manpower or court facilities as workloads or funding for the courts change?

· Are there court services that could be better provided regionally, electronically, or at one central statewide location?

· How could we use technology to improve the court system?

· Are there certain court services that must be kept at the county level?

· What other concerns or issues do you want the Commission to consider?

Judge McAnany said the Blue Ribbon Commission has not arrived at any recommendations to make to the Supreme Court, but is meeting at 18 locations throughout the state in April and May as a fact-finding mission. Once the meetings are concluded, the Commission will meet and consider all suggestions and concerns expressed during them.


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