After his win in the Republican Primary for the Riley County commission District 2 seat, Riley City Council Member Greg McKinley is getting ready for November.
McKinley won his nomination from Incumbent Candidate Marvin Rodriguez and Phil Mattox. When asked about his win, McKinley says he is happy and believes he is the best choice.
“It was a close race and the other guys have been very supportive even though we had different opinions on things. All the people who have been behind me are obviously pleased and ready to work for the general election,” says McKinley.
Both Rodriguez and Mattox have reached out to McKinley and offered their services if he needs them. Between now and the general election, he plans on getting out and meeting more people. However, with the current pandemic, this will be harder to do. McKinley hopes to be able to go door to door and speak with residents of the district. But larger gatherings and town hall meetings will be harder to do. McKinley says he is still working on ways to be able to talk with groups of people, but doesn’t have anything planned yet.
The major issue McKinley wants to focus on is the ambulance response times in the northern part of the county. Back in 2018, McKinley and Riley City Mayor Tim Sharp criticized the commission saying they were focused too much on the monetary aspect of the ambulance, and not on the human side.
To address this need, McKinley wants to put an ambulance in Leonardville. He and Sharp had offered the Riley City Hall to house the ambulance in that initial meeting with the commission. However, he has since changed the location to Leonardville as it is a more centralized location for the northern part of the county. There is about a 20 minute response time to the most northern point of the county from Leonardville.
While McKinley realizes it will cost a lot of money for a new station, he recommends they use EMTs as a first step. This setup would use an SUV instead of a full ambulance. These EMTs would operate more as first responders until an ambulance can arrive.
Another issue McKinley would like to address is transparency between the commission and the public. The commission has been criticized multiple times by the public and the Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice (MAPJ) this year. McKinley likes that the commission now has streamed meetings, but isn’t too keen on the meeting times. He says since they are in the morning, it’s harder for people to attend.
To address this, McKinley wants to set up a once a month or once every other month work session meeting in the evening on big issues. This will allow more opportunities for more members of the community to show up, give their comments, or speak with the commission. He would also like to set up office hours for the commission each week for people to come and see them in person.
McKinley’s opponent for the seat is Democratic Candidate Fanny Fang. However, McKinley says doesn’t see this as a race against an opponent, but rather as running for the position.