Less than 48 hours after Riley County Commissioner Dave Lewis found out he lost his Republican primary bid to 21-year-old K-State student Ben Wilson on Tuesday, Lewis found support in the commission chambers Thursday morning.
During the public comment segment of the commission meeting, a resident urged him to run as a write-in candidate for November’s general election.
Lewis represents District 1 in Riley County.
“I urge Dave Lewis to run a write-in campaign for the general election,” said Ed Krieger, who actually resides in District 3. “I’m not in the 1st District, but I am interested in county government. After all, you all assess my property and collect my taxes.
“Dave’s supporters thought he was a shoo-in, and only 16 percent turned out to vote. The voters in the general election need to know the difference between a business man and a 21-year-old senior college student for the management demands of the commissioner position.
“I appreciate the vigor and resilience of youth, but the voters need to know the difference between (the two) and the records of Dave and Ben. For these reasons I urge Commissioner Lewis to run a write-in campaign for county commissioner in the general election.”
While Lewis thanked Krieger for his comments, he didn’t say if it was an option he was considering.
Commissioner Ron Wells agreed with Lewis’ earlier comments concerning voter apathy.
“Too much apathy,” Wells said.
Lewis said high taxes was a phrase he heard often.
“Regardless of what the voter turn-out was, there’s a loud voice out there,” he said. “That’s just something to keep in mind.
“Apathy runs on so many different levels. Apathy is people that don’t care, but apathy can also include people who have no clue. Every vote counts. We say it a lot. But it does.”
In other items, the commission approved Assistant County Engineer Gary Rosewicz’s request to seek a replacement for an aging loader at the county transfer station.
The current loader has accumulated over 11,500 hours, which Rosewicz said is well past the 10,000-hour use for most equipment, and continuing to maintain and repair it would cost the county more in the long run.
At the moment, the loader is due for new tires and bucket repairs, which Rosewicz said would cost $38,000. New tires, Rosewicz said, run nearly $2,000 each.
Rosewicz said a new loader would cost approximately $160,000.
Commissioners also approved Noxious Weed Director Dennis Peterson’s request to seek a bid for a new spray truck, budgeted for $70,000.