Lake residents present complaints

The Marion County Com­mission listened to an unhappy group of county lake residents at its Monday meeting.

About 20 Marion County Park and Lake residents wanted the commissioners to consider a more proactive approach and changes in policy.

One concern was in allowing residents to mow at the lake to include the slab, said Commissioner Dianne Novak.

Commission Chair Randy Dallke asked about Garry Dunnegan and concerns about how he continues mow­ing county property.

In the area he is mowing, Hudson said the tall grasses need to grow.

“Are we going to allow some grass to be mowed (on the slab),” Novak said.

“No one is taking into consideration the aesthetics at the lake.”

Commissioner Kent Becker said: “I think some of the native grass was used to filter, and fescue grass won’t filter anything.”

Novak said the Kansas State report noted a list of grass varieties that could be used.

“I think the intent of the commission is not to plant anything that could be invasive,” Becker said. “If it is, then we don’t want it.”

County Counselor Susan Robson said if residents are going to mow, they need to accept responsibility of doing it.

Many residents directed their disappointment at Steve Hudson, lake superintendent.

One resident said the only time he is friendly is if someone is buying bait.

Dallke said he couldn’t understand why all the problems, when for the last 10 years there hasn’t been any major situations.

“I don’t see why you don’t see why,” Novak said. “It’s as plain as the nose on your face.”

A tree is in front of their house with limbs nearly falling off of it, another resident said.

“I tried to talk to him about it, but people can’t talk to Steve, period,” the resident said.

Pendergraf added that half the time Hudson isn’t in the office, but in his house.

“You are hiring his assistant to run his store on county money,” he said. “He is the manager.”

Hudson, who arrived about 35 minutes after the meeting started, stood near the back of the room listening to what was said about him.

“OK, I am going to step into the middle of all this and let everyone know I am here,” Hudson said.

“I don’t want to be rude because you guys think I am rude. There are a lot of things you come to me and ask me about doing things on county property.”

Sometimes there have had problems, and they have been taken care of, Hudson added.

Addressing Pendergraf, Hudson defended being in his house, using a case in point.

“Did you realize that I got in on Saturday, and I worked from 7 a.m. to midnight?” he said.

Pendergraf said: “That is being on duty, that is not working. You have days off, and, yes, you have to be there, but you’re not working.”

Dallke said Pendergraf needed to voice those concerns to the commission.

“We control what Steve does,” he said.

Pendergraf said, “OK, but you’re not. We are all on duty 24 hours a day to take of everything we are involved in (at the lake). It doesn’t mean we are working.”

Hudson said he was chasing off kids at 11 p.m. and he believes that it’s work and not just being on duty.

He said he handled the mandatory boat and date checked in.

“And if we didn’t have that, we would need to shut the doors and let people do what they want,” he said. “Also, so far we have zero mussels.”

Pendergraf said that he did appreciate that.

Hudson said he does the best job he can and puts in a lot of hours and all he gets is criticism.

“It’s just not fair,” he said.

Another resident brought up the issue of tree debris. Hudson agreed that trees are a big issue.

The resident said that Dallke was close-minded for thinking trees weren’t a big issues.

“Maybe there needs to be a policy put together by a group of you folks that outlines what you want to do,” Becker said.

“If it’s to trim a little tree or little bush or cut 10 feet of grass, you come up with a policy that we can adopt and so it can just happen.”