Mike Rhodes

Mike Rhodes of Junction City has filed as a Republican for an unexpired term on the Geary County Commission in District 1.

Rhodes is a longtime community member who has served on government boards in the past.

He said he served on the city commission years ago and had considered running for this seat on the county commission in the past.

Rhodes said he looked into it two years ago when then-Commissioner Ben Bennett occupied the seat and was debating himself if he ought to run for another term.

“Then Ben decided to go ahead and run and I felt that Ben was doing a very good job at the time, and so I did not run at the time,” Rhodes said. “Since it was up this time, I wanted to make sure the people had enough choices out there.”

Rhodes feels his experience — 14 years as part of the city government and Mayor four times — sets him apart from other candidates.

“I worked on 14 different budgets,” he said. “I’ve worked with the state legislators, the national leaders in D.C. I’ve worked with the military leaders, both local and in D.C. I’ve represented out community and I’d give presentations to congressional staffers in D.C.”

If elected, Rhodes plans to treat it as a full-time job, he said.

“I’m looking at it from that standpoint that if it’s a full-time job, I’d be willing to put in full-time to it,” he said.

Rhodes said, if elected, he hoped there would be more transparency on the commission. He would like to see the commission start broadcasting their all-day Monday meetings online to make them more accessible to the general public.

“I think it’s getting easier and easier every day,” he said of broadcasting meetings online.

Rhodes anticipates the challenges of balancing the county’s budget and of supporting Geary Community Hospital.

“I think we need to do just about whatever we need to do to keep the hospital, because it’s a very valuable asset to our community, not only bringing people in to the community from outside for new jobs, but also keeping the people that we have here and the resources that we have here … I think there’s been some problems in the past with the hospital the way funding has been handled,” he said. “I’m not privy to that, but I think there’s a new staff on board, there’s a new board of trustees that’s taking a new direction and I think we need to quit looking at the past and blaming things on the past and look at the future to see what we need to do to get it going again.”

The seat he’s running for is currently occupied by Commissioner Brad Scholz.

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