There are now four new faces on the Riley County Law Board.

The board met Tuesday for their regularly scheduled meeting. Before stepping down from her position, Former Board Chair Linda Morse acknowledged those joining the board and thanked those she had worked with.


Morse, along with Robert Ward, Kathryn Focke, and BeEtta Stoney (who was not present at Tuesday’s meeting), are the four members who stepped down this year.

During their meeting, the new and existing board members elected the board’s new officers as well.

Board Member John Ford was previously the only nomination for board chair, but he was ultimately not unopposed thanks to a nomination from Board Member Wynn Butler.

      Wilkerson & Butler

John Matta won with a four to three vote; Pat Hudgins, Barry Wilkerson and Ford opposed.

While he was not elected chair, Ford received a nomination from Matta to become the board’s vice chair. He beat Hudgins for the position in a five to two vote with Wilkerson and Hudgins dissenting.

Following the elections, Morse had a few words of advice for the new board members.


Wilkerson was reelected to board secretary, and Board Member Kaleb James became the board’s hearing officer after a six to one vote.

Other items of note from Tuesday’s meeting include the presentation of Riley County Police Department Director Brian Peete’s 2024 Budget Preparation Timeline.

The timeline indicates that preliminary budget discussions will begin in March with a budget draft being presented at the board’s April 17th meeting. Additionally, the proposed budget will be made public no later than June 10th.