Riley County Commissioners Ron Wells, left, Robert Boyd and Ben Wilson.
Riley County Commissioners Ron Wells, left, Robert Boyd and Ben Wilson.

Riley County commissioners agreed to renew its contract with a Topeka lobbying firm Monday.

Commissioners agreed 3-0 to again use the services of The Carter Group, Inc. The agreement will run through Dec. 31 of next year and will cost the county $2,000 per month.

County Counselor Clancy Holeman told the commission the firm gives the county an advantage in maintaining key relationships in the state legislature.

“The only really good way to develop that is on site, in my opinion,” Holeman said.

Tom Bruno, who has been one of the commission’s lobbyist the past two sessions, told the board the partnership has been beneficial for Riley County.

“There were several proposals that came out of this commission,” he said. “One in particular we were successful in moving forward was increasing the fees and penalties on those delinquent property taxes.”

Bruno also lauded efforts to minimize the impact of the state’s tax lid restrictions on local government.

“For example, judgments, legal actions and settlements — which is a big one because you don’t have any control over that,” he said. “Any mandated expenditures you’re required to make. When the feds say do this, you have to do it.”

Wilson lowers own pay

Commission chairman Ben Wilson took a self-imposed pay cut.

Wilson moved to lower his pay to that of incoming District 2 commissioner Marvin Rodriquez and the vote passed 3-0. On Nov. 21, commissioners approved a starting salary for Rodriquez at $39,643.78.

In July, commissioners voted to freeze their salaries for the 2017 budget at $43,403.62.

Commissioner Ron Wells told Wilson he was not required to take his full salary if he felt he was overpaid.

Rodriquez will take office in January. Rodriquez defeated sitting commissioner Robert Boyd in the Republican primary.


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