The Riley County Commission agreed Thursday to reconsider its earlier decision to eliminate a citizens advisory panel from the structure of the proposed Public Building Commission.
But that decision does not necessarily mean that the citizens panel eventually will be part of the language.
Commissioners agreed to review the question after commissioner Bob Boyd reiterated his belief that the building commission would need an advisory council whose purpose would be to “engage the public.”
They asked county counselor Clancy Holeman to provide additional options for revising the proposed commission’s bylaws.
Although agreeing to revisit the issue, commissioners Dave Lewis and Ron Wells held to their previous positions that having an advisory council would slow down the process of getting buildings created, and also wouldn’t be the best way to get the public engaged.
Lewis suggested having “two to three public forums,” that would bring in more poeple than just using an advisory council.
Wells also wondered who would sit on the advisory council and whether such a council would remain engaged if there are long periods of time between projects.
Commissioners decided not to fund an additional court bailiff to supervise jury and jury selection for the Riley County Courthouse.
Because of budget cuts, the state pulled funding for the jury bailiff position. Judge Meryl Wilson asked the county to fund the position, describing it as significant for the comfort and flow of the courtroom. Wilson said that the bailiff keeps witnesses from talking with jurors and also gives questions from the jury to the judge to answer. They also get water and answer questions from jurors.
Wilson said if the position wasn’t filled, those tasks would have to be covered by the court reporter, a circumstance Wilson said “wasn’t fair” because those reporters have so much to do already.
Commissioners agreed that they weren’t comfortable taking on funding for the position based on the “principle” of assuming unfunded state mandates.
Commissioners decided to increase driver’s license fees from $2 to $4.
County Treasurer Eileen King asked for the increase, citing a 50 percent increase in driver’s license requests in the past year.
“I never thought about changing it until last November,” King said. “We’ve noticed a big increase.”
All three commissioners agreed on the increase, which will go into effect following the signing of a formal resolution at their meeting next Monday.