Former Manhattan city commissioner to run for county seat


A former Manhattan City commissioner and Mayor has filed to be a candidate for the Riley County commission 2020 election.

John Matta filed for the District 3 seat, currently held by incumbent Commissioner Ron Wells, on Tuesday. He says since he has recently retired, he wants to get back into public service.

Some of the things Matta wants to focus on include getting the county more involved with development efforts specifically rural areas, and the declining enrollment at Kansas State University.

“Right now we’re hitting some bumps in the road with the enrollment dropping consistently since 2014,” says Matta, “The demographics don’t look like they will get any better.  I was speaking with the college about stemming the tide of enrollment.”

Matta says he has experience trying to bring in more people from his time working for Foot Locker as the Vice President of Logistics.

The other item he wishes to focus on is improving county operations.

“I really want to look at it strategically, what do we need from a facilities standpoint, personnel standpoint, and an organizational standpoint 10 to 15 years out,” says Matta.

Matta served on the Manhattan City commission from 2011 to 2015. In his time there, the economic sales tax was renewed, the airport remodel done, and saw the completion of the Flint Hills Discovery Center.


About Author

Sam Hennigh

County government and school board reporter. 2016 Kansas State University graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications. Kansas born and raised.

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