Robson said, upon hearing Rangel’s report Monday morning, she immediately sent a message to the SFMO asking for a dismissal of the inspection findings. She asked when she would hear back.
By the noon hour, Robson said she had a reply back from an administrator at SFMO that if Rangel would confirm his calculations, the case would be reviewed.
In a related development, David Arterberry, the county’s bond consultant with George K. Baum & Co. in Kansas City, called to say he had learned of the Kansas Attorney General’s Office opinion on financing a new jail with a $10 a month assessment per taxing unit in Marion County.
Arterberry said he understood from Jonathan Small, bond attorney in Topeka, that the KAGO opinion was that there is no statute addressing whether the assessment is legal or illegal.
However, he said he and Small agreed the opinion recognizes there will likely be a lawsuit against the assessment if it is implemented.
With no county statutory authority to charge such a public fee to finance bonds, Arterberry said bond customers would be unlikely to buy them because of the likelihood of a lawsuit.
Questioned by Commissioner Dan Holub about ways to use the assessment but still have bonds, Arterberry said the county could issue general-obligation bonds, and still try to use the assessment to pay them—but be obligated to switch to a property tax or sales tax for payment if use of the assessment was nullified in court.
He said the county may want discuss the matter on two separate issues: one as to whether to have a bond issue, and the other as to whether to have an assessment.
Commissioners Randy Dallke and Bob Hein said they thought Arterberry and Small were correct, that someone likely would file a lawsuit against the assessment.
Tony Epp, a Goessel resident attending the meeting, told the commissioners he thought a decision by the people by election ballot should take precedent over anything else in deciding what to do about an assessment or a bond.
Epp suggested the commissioners try to make any bond issuance offered locally first to have the county’s money and payments stay as much as possible in the local economy.