By a vote of 395 to 144, Great Bend City Council Ward 2 Councilman Wayne Henneke held on to his seat, defeating political newcomer Matt Aycock in the county-wide general election Tuesday.
The results posted Tuesday night are unofficial. They will become official once canvassed by the Barton County Commission Monday morning.
“I am very happy to have the opportunity to represent the second ward again,” Henneke said. He was first elected in April 2013.
His work experience in city government stretches from 1974 through 2012. He retired in December 2012 after working as city clerk/finance director for Great Bend.
That’s when he decided to run. “I couldn’t quite quit cold turkey,” he said.
“I don’t know anything else but the city,” Henneke said. “All my experience has helped me. I feel I’ve seen just about everything once.”
He is looking forward to seeing improvements at Brit Spaugh Park and the Great Bend Zoo, as well as new housing projects coming to fruition.
The crack down on crime and drug use are also positive steps, he said. The recent warrant sweep showcased that effort.
Recalling his experience, he said is aware things will evolve. “Everything changes, but if its good for the city, change is good.”
For Aycock, this was his first foray into government.
“I found myself getting more and more concerned with city politics,” he said. So, instead of just complaining, he thought he’d throw his hat into the ring.
Aycock serves has lived in Great Bend for three years and has serves as the minister of congregational care and growth at First United Methodist Church in Great Bend for going on two years.
He also serves on the board of the Central Kansas Dream Center. He is also an Ambassador with the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce.
There is too much apathy towards local, he said, noting that no one had filed for the Ward 1 council opening. “That’s a shame in my eyes.”
He plans to run again in the future. But, for now, “congratulations to Wayne. I will voice concerns about the city council through him for the next two years.”