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Boaldin Steps Down After 28 Years As Morton County Commissioner

KSCB News - October 2, 2014 8:47 pm

From the federal forestry service to family, a vast variety of Morton County residents and area residents including county commissioners lined up to say thanks and offer praise to Bob Boaldin of Elkhart following his resignation as Morton County Commissioner for District 2 after serving for 28 years.

At the reception all had special words for the man who helped shape the community in southwest Kansas and beyond.

“You’ve done a lot of things for this community and I am proud to call you a friend,” said lifelong friend Kenny Mitchell of Mitchell Farms. Mitchell noted that the Morton County Civic Center, where the reception was held, was there because of Boaldin’s support.

Many commented on the personal sacrifice required in public service and one said, “The many hours, no one knows how much he has put in.”

About his resignation Boaldin said that meeting the needs of the citizens and maintaining the infrastructure are sources of pride for him and is always quick to share the credit of the accomplishments with others in the community. Recognizing the joint effort and the large group of county employees and current and former county commissioners in attendance, he said, “We have teamwork here.”

Among those team members was Lance Brown, district ranger of the Cimarron National Grassland. Representing the U.S. Department of Agriculture Brown recognized Boaldin’s years of service and appreciation for “successful partnership with the Cimarron National Grassland.”

Others spoke about the headway Boaldin made with officials in Topeka and Washington, D.C. About the issues and challenges in rural southwest Kansas. Boaldin offered solutions and many were adopted among which were saving the short line railroad and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Field Office in Elkhart.

In a heartfelt tribute, Jennifer Sensley, the county executive director for the local Farm Service Agency (FSA), said, “Bob fought for our jobs.” She talked about Boaldin’s leading the drive keep the Elkhart office open when the Kansas FSA targeted it for closure in 2007.

Just two years later Boaldin was instrumental in keeping the short line, the Cimarron Valley Railroad (CVR), 254 miles of track serving Southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma Panhandle and Eastern Colorado.

For the past 10 years Boaldin has worked on the board of directors of the Kansas Emergency Medical Services Board, a non-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of EMS in Kansas. About emergency medical services, Boaldin recalled that he was in the first class of EMTs in Elkhart and has continued to keep his certification current.

Morton County’s road department employees presented Boaldin with their Sunshine Award “for caring commitment to Morton County.” Boaldin believes that Morton County’s roads and bridges are among the best in the region, he said.

Many voiced appreciation for the communications and cable television provided by Epic Touch Co., the 58-year old company owned by Boaldin and his wife, Dian.

With his retirement Boaldin will spend more time with “Dian, my wife, best friend and partner of 56 years, and our family.” And Boaldin offered thanks for the opportunity to represent the community with the “best people on earth.”


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