Boards & Committees

Volunteer for a Committee

Listing of Boards & Committees
  • Joint Planning Commission 
    The Joint Planning Commission of Ellis County shall consist of six at-large members and one member representing the City of Schoenchen as required by County Commission Resolution No. 2005-15, Resolution No. 2010-23 and Resolution 2015-18.  The Joint Planning Commission of Ellis County has the statutory authority to hear and determine appeals, exceptions, and variances of these zoning regulations.


  • Ellis County Council on Aging
    The Ellis County Council on Aging is responsible for reviewing grant requests from the Senior Centers in Hays, Victoria, and Ellis; the Senior Companion Program; the Foster Grandparent Program; and the Northwest Kansas Area on Aging. The Council consists of six members who meet once a year in May or June to review the requests, make recommendations for each program, and present the requests to the Ellis County Commissioners.
  • CARE Council 

    The CARE Council is responsible for reviewing any agency requesting monies from the City's Local Agency Funding budget, the Social Services budget, and the City and County's Alcohol Tax budget. The CARE Council is also responsible for distribution of United Way funding. The council will develop recommendations for funding of agencies, which will be presented to the United Way Board of Directors, the City Commissioners, and the County Commissioners in May of each year. It is each entity's responsibility to take action upon the recommendations submitted to it by the CARE Council. 

    The CARE Council, a partnership between the City of Hays, Ellis County and the United Way of Ellis County is comprised of twelve voting members. Appointments are made by the United Way Board of Directors, the City Commissioners, and the County Commissioners.

    Interested individuals must be able to volunteer approximately 20 total hours during April and May and attend meetings in late afternoon. Volunteers should be familiar with the Ellis County community, be able to read financial statements, and have a desire to enhance the community by effective use of donated and tax funds.

  • Local Emergency Planning Committee 

    The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) works to understand the hazards in the community, develops emergency plans in case of an accidental release or natural disaster, and looks for ways to prevent accidents. The role of the LEPC is to form a partnership between local governments and industries to enhance all-hazards preparedness.

  • High Plains Mental Health Board

    High Plains was created in 1964, through action taken by the joint efforts of the County Commissions in Ellis, Rooks, Phillips and Norton counties. Kansas law gave local government the authority to create single or multiple county mental health centers. Spearheading the push was a citizen's task force that researched and advocated the need for local mental health services.

    High Plains was developed as a "Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center" and became eligible for federal funding under the Community Mental Health Center Act of 1963. The geographical area boundary lines were drawn in compliance with federal requirements of a minimum population density equaling 150,000 people. Therefore, the initial plan was to serve the 18 counties of northwest Kansas. Over the next few years, a total of 20 counties joined the effort. Rush and Ness Counties preferred to be included in the Northwest Kansas plan and chose to join.

    The 20 counties now comprising the regional service area are Cheyenne, Decatur, Ellis, Gove, Graham, Logan, Ness, Norton, Osborne, Phillips, Rawlins, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Thomas, Trego and Wallace. Governance authority over the operations of High Plains is vested in citizens appointed by their respective County Commissions to serve on a Governing Board.

    In addition to the home-base services in Hays, there are five full-time Branch Offices located in Colby, Goodland, Norton, Osborne and Phillipsburg. There are six weekly office sites located in Atwood, Hoxie, Oberlin, Quinter, Russell and Smith Center.

    High Plains is now one of 28 community mental health centers licensed through the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. It is the largest rural center in the state.

    Over the years, High Plains and its service programs have received numerous state and national awards of distinction for excellence.

    The Ellis County Commission appoints up to three positions on the High Plains Mental Health Board.

  • Ellis County Historical Society
    The Ellis County Historical Society is the policy setting body for the Historical Society. Members are elected by the citizens of Ellis County and consist of four officers and ten trustees, one of which is appointed by the Ellis County Commissioners.