Monday, September 24, 2012

Riley County Commission September 24, 2012

Riley County Commission September 24, 2012
Joan Strickler, observer

Commissioners Lewis and McCulloh present, Lewis presiding.

The Commission is in the process of meeting with Manhattan Public Library personnel about moving the County Law Library into the public library.

Plans tentatively were made to hold a ceremony to celebrate the naming of the Law Enforcement Center in honor of Alvan Johnson sometime during the first week of December.

A motion to pay for acquisition of property in Fairmont Park out of CIP funds was approved.

Commissioner McCulloh expressed concerns about potential cuts in funding for community corrections programs. She said without community corrections alternatives more people are likely to be  incarcerated and kept so for longer periods.  She asked that the issue be placed on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting.

County Counselor Clancy Holeman announced an agreement has been reached with the Indigent Defense Panel to accept a cola increase in compensation this coming year.  A conference will be held with local legislators on December 6, at noon, in the Commission chambers.  Of major concern is last year’s passage of legislation allowing individuals to restrict access to their personal information in public records.   

Tim Hegarty, with the Riley County Police Department, said the Department’s twitter account has more than 2000 followers.  This is a higher percentage than that of law enforcement offices  in Wichita and Kansas City.  He says, through twitter, the RCPD is able to reach out to a population it needs to have positive relations with.  Crimes have been solved through twitter contacts.  Crime Stoppers also has been effective.  Through it persons may report crime information by phoning, sending emails or texting.  When appropriate, police have been closing off Moro for about one half hour around 1:00 a.m. The action is taken to avoid accidents after people have been drinking heavily.

Apparently the ballot for this November’s general election will include a Constitutional amendment question involving the taxation of watercraft in Kansas.  Currently watercraft are valued and taxed as personal property.  The ballot question asks voters to choose whether or not to allow the Kansas Legislature the option of changing this.  The ballot question does not prescribe any particular or specific changes to the current ad valorem method of property taxes for watercraft.  Any potential changes would have to be enacted by the Legislature if the constitutional measure passes.  A similar ballot question failed narrowly in the 2000 general election.  The wording of the question will be lengthy and is expected to be very confusing to voters.

Jerry Haug, with the Kansas Department of Transportation, said there will be lots of changes in traffic on Highway 18 over the next several months.  Airport access will be worked on.  He warns drivers to be very careful and watch the signs.  The estimated completion date for the entire project is fall of 2013.

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