One of the major issues both candidate for the seat are wanting to address is ambulance response times in the rural part of the county. This issue has been brought up by Riley City council members and northern county residents.
After running unopposed in the Democratic primary for the District 2 seat of the Riley County commission, Fanny Fang is ready for November.
Fang says she was motivated to run after Commissioner Marvin Rodriguez’s controversial comments on the coronavirus and Chinese people back in March. As a Chinese American herself, Fang says not only were these comments hurtful, but opened her eyes.
“This showed me that there is an elected official who is not really there to represent all of his people,” says Fang. “There’s also seems to be this lack of care and compassion for people from the commission.”
Come closer to the filing deadline, Fang felt she had enough support to run for office. She says she wants to exercise her privileges and experiences to support those who supported her. Compassion and transparency are the main messages Fang wants to project to the community.
“I am someone who is incredibly open. I will be honest and transparent with you, and always have an open door to you,” says Fang.
Fang says she wants to have conversations with the community. However, she does recognize that people have their boundaries, and doesn’t want to push too much. She wants to build a better Riley County for all, including those who don’t always agree with her.
District 2 of Riley County includes parts of Manhattan, but a majority focuses on the rural northern areas. Fang says she understands there is a perception of her being a city girl running for a rural area, but her family’s background in agriculture helps her understand its importance. Of the citizens she’s met with so far, Fang says she has resonated with the people in the northern part of the county.
“A lot of it comes from the lessons I’ve learned of work hard and support your community,” says Fang.
Fang says she has already spoken with senior level employees within the EMS. They have told her they are committed to having a fifth ambulance dedicated to the northern part of the county. Fang feels good that members of the EMS department are acknowledging the need.
“The issue is the county commission has never executed on that. I know that there are commissioners that say we only get X amount of calls, how can we justify the costs?” says Fang.
The employee who spoke with Fang told her the purpose of the EMS is not to make money and should actually be a revenue losing service. She agrees saying that if they could break even on the service, then that is all that matters.
“The funds are clearly dwindling, but I think this is also about re-prioritizing how we use this budget. Do they need that much now and could use those funds for something else that is literally life or death?” says Fang
Fang is running against Candidate Greg McKinley, who won the Republican primary back in August.
You can hear the entire interview with Fang from In Focus here.