A former U.S. Army general and defense contractor is hoping to use a platform on the Riley County Commission to bring medical-services accessibility, government transparency and economic sustainability to the county.
Phil Mattox, a military veteran of over 30 years who is running against District-2 incumbent Marvin Rodriguez and Riley City Council Member Greg McKinley in this year’s Republican primary, says if elected, he will attempt to bring an ambulance station to Leonardville to support residents in northern Riley County.
“Depending on where you start, it can take as much as 40 minutes to get to the northern part of the county,” Mattox said. “I just think if we put it in Leonardville, it’s about centralized between the three cities that we have up in the northern part of the county.”
Mattox says that he will also look to improve government transparency if he is elected.
In particular, he would like to prevent the commission from voting on items that are not on the agenda and allow community members to make public comments at commission meetings without having to be there in person.
“There’s no way to write in to it,” Mattox said. “You physically have to be there. I think they (the county commission) need to fix that and can fix it. I just don’t see it as a big issue.”
Although Mattox did praise the commissioners for adding a live-video feed to the list of ways people can view meetings, he does not think they would have done so without external pressure.
On economic sustainability, Mattox says that while the county has done well getting through the COVID-19 pandemic, he would like to see more of a plan for the future.
“The big question for me is, ‘where’s the sustainability plan?’ Mattox said. “I don’t see a sustainability plan for the next two to five years and that’s what we need in this county to get it going from the perspective of the economic side of the house. We have got to get a plan.”
As far as the county’s mask policy goes, Mattox believes in an ordinance that strongly recommends the use of face masks and that there should not necessarily be the same policy applied to all areas.
Mattox spent about 31 years in the military, 10 years as a defense contractor and has been a resident of Riley County for about seven years.
The 2020 Riley County primary begins on Aug. 4 and the general election will take place on Nov. 3.
Phil Mattox’s full interview can be heard below.