Public comments are welcomed during every Riley County Commission meeting directly following the pledge of allegiance. Many times, members of the public do not wish to speak, but there are some occasions when local individuals wish to address the commission with concerns or compliments.
During Thursday’s commission meeting, Kent Stewart addressed the board about the public building commission (PBC) topic. Stewart mentioned he has attended several previous PBC informational meetings around the county, but he feels the public is not well educated about the topic-which leads some people to having a pessimistic view on the idea.
Stewart presented a five step program to the commission, which he created, and believes could assist in helping the commission to develop a better plan.
The letter Stewart handed to commissioners included steps, such as justifying the needs of the county and looking at how much money the buildings they need will cost.
The commission thanked Stewart for his efforts. They also commented they believe they are already working towards some of the things Stewart mentioned, and said there are some people in the county who may never completely agree with the PBC no matter how educated they are about the topic.
Commission comments directly follow public comments, and the commission chose to converse briefly about the recent Manhattan City Commission meeting.
As KMAN previously reported, comments were made during the city commission meeting, by Commissioners, Karen McCulloh and Usha Reddi, as well as Mayor, Wynn Butler. McCulloh stated she felt she was being treated as a “third-rate citizen” and commented on “six old white men”.
County Commissioner, Dave Lewis has previously served on the county commission with McCulloh. He said she is very fiscally responsible and didn’t agree with some of the comments made regarding that aspect of McCulloh. Lewis added, he believes the issue was not so much a gender matter, as it was a political perspective matter.
County Commission Chair, Robert Boyd described the city meeting as “very interesting and very lively”.
2014 budget amendments were discussed later in the meeting. Budget and Finance Officer, Johnette Shepek shared details about the nine funds needing amendments.
County Clerk, Rich Vargo said four of the amended funds are not even required to be budgeted, the county just goes above and beyond the state requirements to ensure the public can view those funds.
“You won’t find a county in Kansas more open with their financial records than Riley County”, Vargo said.