Rich Jankovich

City Commissioner

As a City Commission Candidate, I pledge to represent the entire citizenry of Manhattan. I take this responsibility and trust given by the people of Manhattan very seriously and will continue to do so after I am elected. I will take each issue as it comes and judge it on its own merit, evaluate the impact on budget and the community-at-large. My goal is to make the best possible decision for Manhattan.

As a candidate, I am deeply concerned about our recovery from the COVID pandemic, the potential impact of threats to our city's revenue streams, the recent stagnation of our economic growth and our loss of positive momentum felt throughout the city. On the positive side, our air service recovery is strong and is still the standard American/American Eagle uses to measure other communities. Our terminal and upgraded parking are an incredible asset for stimulating growth. NBAF is close to being fully operational and has quietly brought on several employees, offering veterans and their spouses the opportunity to remain in our region.

Manhattan's real estate development has slowed with our decrease in population growth. Business development has lost momentum as well. We need to work together to bring new business opportunities to our city that will offer great career opportunities and reignite the effort to encourage our graduates and retiring/transitioning soldiers and their families to join our community.

The passage of the new City Wide Sales Tax is a positive for city revenues that should take some of the burden from property owners, but we have the looming threat of the "Dark Store" movement by large retailers, which has already hit Riley County, that will significantly change the revenue landscape for every local taxing authority. This puts a larger burden on other sources of revenue and creates the need to expand our tax base with new commercial development. Some of the funds received by the city for COVID relief/recovery, while significant, as of this writing, come with guidance that may limit their use and application. It is critical to find sustainable revenues that are fair and equitable for all. Solid fiscal management should always be the focus.

The social consciousness of our community has been tested over the past few years, opening some eyes, broadening some and narrowing other viewpoints. However, it has brought to light some weaknesses that have been long overlooked or ignored. We are fortunate to be a community that has conversations and discusses ideas. The recent Juneteenth Celebration is a great example of what positive leadership can do for our community, not just in celebration, but to look to the future and find the compromises that will unite us as a whole.

I have proudly served the community in various positions: City Commissioner (two terms), Manhattan Housing Authority, RCPD Law Board, Manhattan City Audit Committee, Manhattan Regional Airport Advisory Board (Chair), Wildcat Creek Working Group (Co-Chair) ,Flint Hills Regional Council, KSU College of Arts and Science Alumni Council (Chair), Chamber Military Relations Committee (Chair) and the AUSA Board. I believe I have, and will continue to bring, change and tranparency, a sound fiscal policy and, most importantly, a Positive Voice and Responsible Vision to Manhattan.