The desire to serve the community is still strong for incumbent Charles Rinke as he wraps up a fifth campaign for Pratt County Commission.

The desire to serve the community is still strong for incumbent Charles Rinke as he wraps up a fifth campaign for Pratt County Commission.

Rinke is proud of the accomplishments he and the other commissioners have accomplished during his tenure. During his 16 years in office he has been a part of the efforts to upgrade the Pratt County Veterans Memorial Lake. When he came on board the lake wasn’t even a good place to fish and had no place to camp, Rinke said.

During his tenure, the county commissioners have been a part of renovating the dam, getting 20 camping hookups with electricity and water, flushable toilets and a walking path.

He helped acquire a new building for South Central Community Corrections and he was instrumental in helping start the Juvenile Justice Authority. He and the commissioners worked to get the ethanol plant and cotton gin in Pratt County.

They continue to work on funding for Pratt Area Humane Society operations. Rinke is quick to point out that it has been a joint commission effort on all these projects.

“We’ve (commissioners) have done a lot,” Rinke said. “But it wasn’t all me, it was the three of us.”

The future challenges for the commissioners include developing a plan for the Pratt Regional Medical Center facility and then working on funding the plan.

“We agree that something has to be done,” Rinke said.

The commissioners have worked with Kansas Department of Transportation on the U.S. 54 improvements and have more decisions to make on future upgrades.

“We have worked a lot with KDOT,” Rinke said.

After 16 years as a county commissioner Rinke is running for a fifth term because he likes what he does and supporters encouraged him to run again. Since he is retired, he has ample time to dedicate to commission meetings and working on county issues.

The thee current commissioners, Rinke, Joe Reynolds and Dwight Adams, work well together and get things accomplished and Rinke wants to keep that work group together.

During the next term he wants to see more improvements at the lake, improvements at the hospital and keep county taxes as low as possible and still be able to provide services.

With problems at the state budget level, more and more responsibilities are falling on the counties and keeping taxes low is a difficult task. 

Rinke has been married to JoAnn for 57 years and they have four grown children; Teri, Greg, Linda and Ann. They have eight grand children and three great grandchildren.

Rinke was born and raised in Barber County before moving to Pratt in 1963. He was an electronic field engineer fro the Burroughs Corporation for 18 years. In 1974 he bought out Keith Eppler of Keith’s Typewriter Repair and ran Rinke Office Products for about 18 years.

He was on the Pratt Planning Commission for 14 years before becoming a county commissioner.