There were some changes to the Great Bend City Council following the April 2 general election. Those changes were noted as the governing body reorganized during its meeting Monday night at City Hall.
City Administrator/Acting City Clerk Howard Partington administered the oath of office to: Mayor Mike Allison, who has served as mayor for 12 years; Edwin Roberts, starting his first term in Ward 1 after narrowly unseating incumbent Mitch Haney; retired City Clerk Wayne Henneke, starting his first term in Ward 2 after running unopposed for the seat vacated by Dale Westhoff; and Allene Owen, starting her seventh term in Ward 3 after staving off a challenge from Thomas Boor. Dana Dawson, who ran unopposed for his fourth term in Ward 4, was absent and, thus, not present for the swearing-in ceremony.
After being seated, the new council elected Ward 2 Council Member Joel Jackson as its president.
The council then honored Westhoff, who decided not to seek a third term, for his service. “We very much appreciate what you did for the city,” Mayor Mike Allison said.
Haney was to be recognized as well, but he was not present.
In other reorganizational business, the council named the official depositories for city funds.
Also Monday night, the council:
• Approved property abatements at 1412 11th St., owned by Ronald Zecha, for accumulation of refuse, 1416 11th St., owned by Hammond Investments LLC, for accumulation of refuse and motor vehicle nuisance, and 1007 10th St., owned by Marlyn Maresch, for motor vehicle nuisance.
• Approved supporting the 2013 Job Fest by contributing $1,000 to a partner. The seventh-annual event is set for 4-7 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at the Best Western courtyard, 2920 10th. According to Rachel Mawhirter from the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce, the fest focuses on companies located in and around Barton, Russell, Pawnee, Stafford, Rice, Rush and Ellsworth counties. Businesses stand to chat with the 200-300 jobseekers that attend, she said.
As of Monday night, she said they only had three openings for employers and she anticipates this to be the largest Job Fest yet in what has become a job seekers market.
• Approved a request to close Lakin Avenue from Kansas Avenue to Main Street from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, for Kansas Speedweek Cruise Night. The cars will parade around town and park along Lakin for viewing.
• Announced the vacancies on the city’s various boards and commissions that will be available as of May 1. There are few actual openings since most of those now serving remain eligible to serve another term, Allison said. The announcement is made to allow those interested to apply.
• Council members Nels Lindberg and Ken Roberts had requested the council consider violations of the ethics policy in regards to the actions of Council Member Randy Myers. However, Lindberg was absent and there were two new council members attending their first meeting. So, at the suggestion of Allison, the council voted to table the matter until a later date.
• Heard a report from Partington on the activities of city departments.