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Council to address vacant seat
Mayoral committee to make recommendation Monday night
city HR report

On the Great Bend City Council agenda for its Monday night regular meeting is filling the vacant Fourth Ward council seat.

At the Jan. 8 meeting, Mayor Cody Schmidt announced applications for the post would be accepted through Jan. 17. He named a mayoral select council committee consisting of council members Brock McPherson, Jolene Biggs, Jessica Milsap and Cory Urban, along with himself to review these applications and make a recommendation to the full council. 

They will do this Monday, and according to the agenda, they will put forth Junior Welsch to take the post. His term would end January 2022 and he would join fellow Ward 4 councilman McPherson. 

If Welsch is approved, City Clerk Shawna Schafer will administer the oath of office.


In addition to waging an unsuccessful bid for mayor last November, McPherson was the top of four candidates garnering write-in votes for the second Ward 4 seat, an opening for which no one had filed. 

The council consists of eight members, with two representing each of the four wards and each serving two-year terms. Every year, one seat in each ward is up for election.

But, McPherson opted to keep his current position and not accept the new one. If he had wanted to switch, he would have resigned his current seat and been sworn into the new position he was elected via the write-in vote since a member cannot concurrently hold two seats, city officials said. 

He was elected to his present seat in November 2018, meaning he is up for reelection this year. But, the other second Ward 4 position would be up for reelection 2021.

As a result of McPherson’s decision, the council was tasked with filling the vacant Ward 4 position. 

Write-in candidates

In last November’s General Election, there was an open Ward 4 seat since Andrew Erb did not seek another term. No one filed, so it came down to a write-in race.

In that race, McPherson received five votes; Randy Myers, who fell short in his bid for mayor, four; Jared Chansler, four; and Angela Delgado-Sycz, three. There were a total of 49 votes cast.

There has been some confusion about how this process works, Barton County election officials said. There is a misconception that in the event the top vote getter declines the seat, it automatically goes to the person with the second-highest number of ballots.

That is not the case, she said. 

For Great Bend, as mentioned above, the job of filling a vacancy comes down to an application process.