Commissioner Dee McKee defended her expense budget after a Sunday article in The Mercury reported her reimbursement for travel amounted to $6,809 from 2018 through this fall.

In Pottawatomie and Riley counties, only one county commissioner — Riley County’s Marvin Rodriguez — had higher travel expenses with a total of $7,573 through the same period, according to The Mercury.

Steve Minton mentioned the story Monday during the public comments portion of the Pottawatomie County Commission meeting. Citing The Mercury’s story, Minton questioned McKee’s reimbursement for traveling to Topeka twice in one day.

“I do not think one can be a good county commissioner without interfacing with those in other agencies,” McKee said. “I will continue to do that as long as I’m elected because that’s important to our county.

“If you’re not at the table, you’re on the table and they’ll eat you alive. No apologies,” McKee said.

“What Dee spends, I save,” Commissioner Pat Weixelman said, noting that he has not made a single charge on the county credit card he was issued when he was first elected to the commission 11 years ago.

Weixelman said he plans to scrutinize county expense records more thoroughly beginning in 2020.

“I hope I get a little bit of help from the departments on this because I think it’s getting a little bit out of hand,” he said.

Administrator Chad Kinsley said all expense receipts submitted by employees are reviewed by the administration for adherence to county policy.