In an update delivered to Franklin County commissioners on Wednesday morning, Sheriff Jeff Richards reported his department has formed a Sheriff’s Community Advisory Board, slated to meet for the first time Wednesday evening.

The initiative is related to his department’s five-year comprehensive strategic plan, Richards said.

“Their purpose is to help guide us and make sure that we are providing the service the community wants, as well as serving as an accountability group to make sure we are staying on track,” Richards said. "Together we’ll look at the places we exceeded and the places we fell short.”

The group is intended to represent a diverse cross-section of professionals from the community.

“We have members associated with economic development, education, medical and mental health, the farm bureau — we have a wide variety. My staff is excited about it. It will be great to have everyone who has previously been involved in conversations surrounding this to be in the same room at the same time.”



The 2020 Franklin County Board of County Commissioners reorganization meeting, hosted Monday, ended with minimal changes.

Colton Waymire, of the 1st District, is the new chairman of the board, while Ianne Dickinson of the 4th District will remain vice-chairman. County commission meetings will continue to be hosted at 8:30 a.m. Wednesdays in the Franklin County Commission Chambers, located in the Franklin County Annex Building at 1428 S. Main St., Ottawa. Regularly scheduled study sessions will resume every other Monday, beginning 8:30 a.m. Feb. 10, also in the commission chambers.

In other news, the county:

• Voted to a enter into indemnification agreement with Croucher Abstract regarding property located at 412 S. Cherry St., Ottawa. The move will allow Croucher to continue processing the property after it was sold in a recent tax sale. Commissioner Colton Waymire abstained from voting and discussion. “We are unaware of there being any heirs (to the land) whatsoever,” said Derek Brown, county administrator. “It’s sat there without any attention or taxes being paid for four years. The purpose of actions like this is to get these parcels in the hands of people who want to develop them and improve the community. ”

• Voted to hold a public holding a public hearing Jan. 29 to consider vacating the minimum maintenance Stafford Terrace from the east right-of-way of Eisenhower Road to the west right-of-way of Old US-59.