STATEMENT OF POSITION ON COUNTY GOVERNMENT (updated in 2003, Printed in Oct. 1995 Voter)
The Riley County Commission should:
1. Appoint a county administrator.
In recent years Riley County government has become a big business, requiring the staff, expertise, technology, and attention of a big business. The three Riley County Commissioners, part-time elected officials, are responsible for policy-making, administration, and the management of all county property. This includes overseeing eight departments, coordination with three regional governmental units and 14 townships, working with 10 appointed county committees, oversight of the health department, and handling an annual budget of more than $30 million.
Increasingly, Kansas counties have appointed a county administrator as their size and scope of operation have grown -- for a total of 23 since 1974. Experience in these counties has demonstrated the value of a county administrator whose authority and credentials provide assistance with budget preparation and other responsibilities, thereby allowing commissioners to give their attention to policy making. The counties' satisfaction attests to the success of adding such a position to their county government.
2. Make every effort to schedule policy discussion and decision-making meetings at times convenient to most citizens.
The public has found it difficult to keep abreast of the discussions and actions of the County Commission. Publication of agendas in the media prior to meetings is essential for public participation. Briefer and more efficient sessions would be of great benefit to the public and would make for a more efficient commission. Changing the time of commission meetings to late in the day is important to the working people who are unable to be present at meetings held early in the day. Meetings held and televised in the evening would increase public interest and participation.
3. Give timely and wide publicity on vacancies in County advisory boards in order to secure broad representation in these bodies.
The Riley County Commission makes appointments to 20 advisory boards. Vacancies should be widely publicized, with adequate time allowed for applicants to be considered. The Commission's appointments should be broadly representative of the County's citizens.