Great Bend City Council member Chad Somers resigned his Second Ward seat on May 30 and the council approved the resignation when it met Monday night.
Now, the process begins to fill the vacancy, City Attorney Bob Suelter said. Somers’ term is up November 2020, so the city’s governing body will select a replacement to finish out the unexpired term.
Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. June 13. After that, a council committee will be formed to interview applicants and make a recommendation to the entire governing body, Suelter said, adding some interest in the opening has already been expressed.
Applications are available at City Hall, 1209 Williams St., or online at greatbendks.net. Applications hand-delivered or mailed to City Hall or applications sent digitally will all be accepted. Digital apps can be scanned and emailed to City Clerk Shawna Schafer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The other Second Ward council position is held by Jolene Biggs. She is up for reelection this November and, as of the Monday filing deadline, was the only candidate.
Generally speaking, Ward Two encompasses the northwest corner of Great Bend, from Washington Street west and Broadway Avenue north.
It was City Administrator Kendal Francis who announced that Somers had submitted a resignation letter. In that letter, Somers said he has accepted a position as the chief operations officer position with Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball Chtd., an accounting firm with a local office that handles the city’s annual audit.
Corporate standards, he said, require he resign due to a potentially perceived conflict of interest.
He quoted ABBB’s guidelines: “Independence standards require audit firms to be independent both in fact (that is, of mind) and appearance. While Chad’s position at ABBB would not, in fact, impair ABBB’s independence on the City of Great Bend audit as Chad would have no part or influence over the actual audit work, the fact that Chad is a Council Member could cause an impairment of independence by appearance. To ensure that the audit process remains objective, immediate resignation from the Council is required.”
A veteran Great Bend businessman, Somers claimed the City Council Second Ward seat after he defeated fellow Republican James Breitenbach last November.
A 13-year resident of Great Bend, Somers and his wife Shannon have three children, Ellyson, Ethan and Eli. He is a graduate of Kansas State University and co-owner of Golden Belt Cinema 6.
He is also the former co-owner of Benefit Management Inc., and has been active investing in local businesses, real estate, agriculture and oil production ventures.
“It has been an honor to work alongside fellow council members for the Great Bend community,” Somers wrote in the letter. “I am proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to the continued success of the governing body.”