LARNED — Larned Mayor Robert Pivonka retained his seat Tuesday after a challenge from Lee Hockett. Pivonka received 361 votes and Hockett had 214 votes.
“That makes me feel good that people still believe in what we’re doing as a city,” Pivonka said. “It’s nice to keep some stability. The people of Larned understand that if you want city services, you have to pay for them.”
Pivonka said the council’s biggest challenge will be finding a replacement for Larned city manager Don Gaeddert, who is leaving after 18 years.
“Don has done a tremendous job for 18 years and he will be missed in a lot of areas,” he said. “But I am confident we’ll get a good man. We’ll get good results. We need someone who has a understanding of the issues facing cities.”
The city has also endorsed the transition for Pawnee Valley Community Hospital, which is the intitial stages of building an $18 million facility to replace the aging building.
“Having our own local hospital with local control is one of the greatest things in years in Larned,” he said. “It took a lot of work by a lot of people, but is molding our community in a positive way. We are all pulling together”
Incumbent Larned councilman Charles H. Spina beat challenger Terry Harris in Ward One 79-56.
For Larned USD 495, Marcia Giessel won Position 7, an at-large spot with 288 votes. Runner-up Stephen Schartz had 276 votes.