County divvies up board posts

By Maura Wery

Assignment to various boards was at the top of new commissioners Ron Wells and Bob Boyd’s agenda Thursday. Along with returning commissioner Dave Lewis, the newcomers went through which would be assigned to the 18 boards usually containing a commission member, among them the Riley County Law Board, the Regional Planning Organization board, the Metropol;itan Planning Association Board and the Wildcat Creek advisory board.

At least one commissioner is assigned to each of the boards as part of their commission duties. Riley County clerk Rich Vargo told the commission that the boards are usually divided equally but could be divided in other ways, such as by each individual commissioner’s interest. He said it would be up to the three to divide them.

It was decided that all the commissioners would be members of the National Association of County Officers, Kansas Association of Counties and the Riley County Law Board. Commissioners also decided that Wells would have five additional boards that he would attend, and Boyd and Lewis would attend six others. Wells asked to be assigned to less time constraining boards because he had less time to attend the meetings than the other two commissioners.  Among the boards Wells was assigned to was the Wildcat Creek board. Boyd’s assignments included the Local Emergency Planning Board, while Lewis was assigned to the Chamber of Commerce Board, among others.

Dress code

For some Riley County employees, today could have marked the day that they could wear jeans to work every day of the week instead of just Friday. It won’t however, because commissioners rejected a proposal to ease the dress code, opting to keep the current code

Wells brought the dress code into question when he took office last week. He said that because he comes from “a rural part of the county,” he was afraid his “overdressing,” in a business suit would shock his constituents. Wells expressed his desire to wear nicer pairs of jeans to commission meetings instead, but Riley County Clerk Rich Vargo cautioned against the change in policy due to other employees in the county.

“If you wear jeans, the rest will follow,” Vargo said.

All three commissioners agreed that – although Wells would be more comfortable both personally and toward his constituents in jeans – it would be best to keep the policy the same, at least, for the moment.

The commissioners did give some hope for some more dressed-down days. Boyd supported the idea of employees being able to dress in jeans during training days rather than their regular business attire. But overall, the concern is representing the county in a professional manner.

“We need to be cognitive of when we represent Riley County in the public,” Lewis said. “It’s up to the individual department heads to set the standard.”

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