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Gary Burke chosen as next BCC Trustee
new slt trustee Gary Burke
Gary Burke

Gary Burke of Great Bend was chosen Tuesday to fill a vacancy on the Barton Community College Board of Trustees.

Burke noted he has years of involvement with the college. He is a past president of the Cougar Booster Club and a former member of the Barton Community College Foundation Board.
The board of trustees received seven applications to fill the position that would have been held by Bob Mead, who was elected in April but died a short time later.
The other applicants were Mary Ann Boyle, Robert Dunovan, Jeffery Johnson, Brock McPherson, Tricia Reiser and Dwight Young. All seven introduced themselves at a special board of trustees meeting called for the purpose of filling the vacancy.
Board Chairman Mike Johnson reminded the audience that the board was in “uncharted waters” after the demise of Mead. The board turned to the Kansas Secretary of State’s Elections Office for guidance. Although Mead died on May 4, the board position did not become vacant until the new terms of office began in July. At that time the board announced it would accept applications and would make the appointment.
McPherson, a Great Bend attorney, reminded board members that he also ran in the election, and although he received fewer votes than Mead, there were 1,143 voters who cast ballots with his name on them.
Johnson commended all of the candidates.
“It’s been very heartening to see the quality of candidates,” he said, adding each of the seven has talents and “any would serve the board very well.”
Each trustee wrote his “top three” names of a piece of paper, and then all of their choices were read by the board clerk. A motion was then made and seconded to appoint Burke, the only person whose name had appeared on all five of the trustees’ lists. The board then voted unanimously to appoint him.
“I don’t envy the decision these guys had to make,” Burke said. “It would have been a great honor to have any of you on this board.”