Love of the county bolstered by conversations and research led Amy Soyez, 37, Marion, to run for commission to be a “voice for the people, advocating for their concerns, ideas, and solutions.
“There are changes that can be made and growth opportunities to better the county,” she said. “I have had many conversations with neighboring counties and there are things they are doing to be successful that we can do in Marion County.”
Soyez has a degree in integrated communications and business marketing from Wichita State. She and her husband, Jeff, have cattle, horses, and working dogs, and she also works for a pharmaceutical company selling products for companion animals.
While Soyez doesn’t have government experience, she said that “some of the current commissioners have been in those positions for a long time and we need a change.”
Soyez said budget and inventory practices would be priorities. A businesslike approach could mean selling vehicles that aren’t being utilized, and she would ask constituents for their suggestions.
If commissioners decided to hire a county administrator, Soyez said she would agree to it if they had at least a one-year contract and had “experience in writing grants and finding appropriate grants for every aspect of our county.”
Employee pay raises should be linked to evaluations in a pay-for-performance system that encourages retention for growth, Soyez said.
“Your evaluation is a reflection on your bonus and merit increase,” she said.
County support is essential to attract new businesses. “We need to ask people for ideas and support those ideas,” Soyez said.
Soyez advocates cross-training emergency personnel as a possible solution for volunteer shortages, as would consider raising on-call pay for EMTs.
“Think of the county in quadrants; have every EMT cross-trained in fire as well,” she said.
Soyez would prioritize highly traveled gravel roads for repairs first, then work down.
“Fix them instead of rocking over pot holes,” she said. “We know that based on the last four years of repairing the roads the ‘Band-Aid’ effect isn’t working.”
Soyez suggested providing training in “best practices” to ensure road and bridge personnel have knowledge and skills to improve roads.
Increased jail staffing and filling the jail with out-of-county inmates to produce revenue would be items Soyez would consider putting to voters .
Soyez said she has time, not to just fulfill the job requirements, but to do more.
“I also would like to start incorporating the county townships to get more involved, we could have meetings and have suggestion boxes set up for people to write in concerns and help me come up with great solutions,” she said.