Last Monday marked the first Riley County Commission meeting with new commissioners, Robert Boyd and Ron Wells. As the commission has had numerous commitments, including meetings and the leader’s retreat in Overland Park, as well as observance of the holiday on Monday, Thursday marked their second commission meeting during their term.
One item was carried over from the previous meeting due to limited time. This item involved dividing up the board assignments and responsibilities between the three of them. Commission Chair, Dave Lewis requested that he keep his current seat on the MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) as well as his position on the Juvenile Detention Facility Board. Some of the other committees and boards were assigned as follows:
- Fire Board-Robert Boyd
- Law Board-All (with Boyd and Lewis on permanent positions, and Wells with temporary)
- AUSA-Robert Boyd
- Wildcat Creek-Ron Wells
- Solid Waste Management-Ron Wells
- Heartland Works-Robert Boyd
- MATC Advisory-Ron Wells
- Manhattan Community Foundation-Robert Boyd
- Veteran’s Day Parade-Robert Boyd
- Mental Health Task Force-Robert Boyd
There is no current licensed nurse that can handle sexual assault examinations, in Riley County. This position was vacated in previous years and has not yet been filled at Mercy Regional Health. For this reason, sexual assault victims must choose a place to go to be examined, and the county then, in turn, pays for it. County Attorney, Barry Wilkerson said the victims often go to places such as Topeka or Kansas City for examination.
Other numerous costs are associated with this process, including sending an officer with the victim and bringing the nurse who examined the victim, back to Manhattan for the court case.
The commission suggested looking into how neighboring counties, such as Geary and Pottawatomie, handle this issue. If possible, the commission is interested in partnering with those counties by sending a nurse to the necessary training. This would secure a sexual assault examination nurse here in Riley County and would also cut down the costs currently being spent on transportation.
The commission had previously recommended that department heads come in to meetings to give updates and overviews on their departments, so the new commission could be better educated on what they do.
Information Technology/GIS Director-Robert Nall, County Historical Museum Director-Cheryl Collins, County Health Department Director-Susie Kufahl, Manhattan City Manager-Ron Fehr, Register 0f Deeds-Debbie Regester, and Budget and Finance Officer-Johnette Shepek were some of the department heads who gave their overviews during Thursday’s meeting.