Special to The Gardner News
After 34 years of service to the city of Edgerton, including 25 years as city maintenance Superintendent, Glyn Powers is stepping down from his position as Edgerton City Councilman.
Powers, 65, worked 28 years in the Edgerton Public Works Department, from 1977-2005. He replaced Aaron Strickling as Edgerton City Superintendent in 1980, a position he held until his retirement from the department in 2005.
Powers spent the next two years as an inspector for Ponzer-Youngquist Consulting Engineers & Land Surveyors.
In 2005, he was appointed to the Edgerton City Council to finish out a term vacated by another council member. In 2007, he was elected by the public to a four-year term, which ends April 25, 2013. He decided not to run for re-election this spring.
“I just felt like now is the time to step down and give someone else an opportunity,” Powers said.
Powers and his wife, Janice, have six children between them, 21 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. He says he is looking forward to spending more time with his family and being able to attend family events that he has had to miss in the past.
Glyn has many memories of his years of service to Edgerton. He remembers the day he was hired on December 30, 1977. Then City Clerk Rita Moore, told him that if he started that day that he would be paid for the New Years Day holiday, just two days later. And that was the beginning of his long tenure with the city.
At the time of his hiring, Edgerton was a community of just over 500 residents. Edgerton now has approximately 1,700 residents. During that time, Powers has seen many changes take place, both in the maintenance department and in the city itself.
Powers said he learned on the job after his hiring. At that time, the city only had one full-time employee in the maintenance department. The city had just the bare essentials in the way of equipment. He said that he hit it off, right off the bat with Moore, and Assistant City Clerk, LaVersa Larrick.
Another vivid memory Powers has is from the early 1980s, when he was plowing city streets in a road grader during a big snowstorm on New Year’s Eve. People came out of their houses celebrating the New Year. That is how he knew the New Year had arrived.
Also, back then, as city superintendent, he was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for even the smallest of problems. City council members and the mayor would also be regularly involved in street maintenance or water main breaks, and other issues.
He remembers one time he was working to repair a water line leak and a resident, not officially affiliated with the city, was handing him tools as he worked.
Powers also remembers the time that a maintenance employee got three different pieces of equipment stuck in the lagoon area of the sewer plant.
Another duty Powers had at one time was to regularly inspect the city’s water tower and sometime make repairs. He would have to climb to the top of the tower, despite not being overly thrilled with climbing that high.
Through the course of his years as city superintendent, Powers met many people with whom he developed a strong friendship. One such person was Michael (Mike) Schmidt. Schmidt, who passed away in December 2011, served as councilman and mayor during Powers’ tenure, and they later worked together in private life.
“Mike Schmidt was like a big brother to me”, Powers said.
He added that he often thinks of his two dear friends, Schmidt and Moore, who passed away in December, 2010.
One very fond memory Powers has of Edgerton’s growth and progression is the establishment and building of the “Edgerton Bank of Knowledge,” the local library, which is now a branch of the Johnson County Library system.
The library opened in July of 2000. The project was done by citizens and city staff members who all helped with the remodeling and renovation of the existing library building in the late 1990s. But Powers said the one person most responsible for Edgerton having a library today is Moore.
“Without Rita Moore’s vision and dedication, the library would never have happened,” he said.
One major accomplishment during Powers’ term as city councilman that he is very pleased and proud about is Edgerton acquiring the BNSF Intermodal Project, slated to open in the fall of 2013.
“The intermodal project is the best thing to happen to Edgerton,” Powers said. “The intermodal will bring in much needed tax revenue and provide hundreds of jobs.”
One thing Powers would like to see happen in Edgerton’s future is the revitalization of its’ historic downtown district, and he hopes that in time, it will once again be an active and thriving business district.
Powers’ last city council meeting, before his term ends will be Thursday, April 25. There will be a reception open to the public immediately following that evening’s city council meeting. The reception will not only honor Powers and his service to the community, but it will also serve as a welcome for newly elected council member, Cindy Crooks.
Powers will still be active in the community as he is president of the Edgerton Frontier Days Association. Frontier Days is the city’s annual festival and celebration. The 41st annual event will be held this year, June 13-16. Powers also serves on the board of the Edgerton-McCamish Cemetery District.
Powers has been a loyal and dedicated employee and city council member for over 30 years, according to Janeice Rawles, current City Clerk.
“Glyn has been a great asset to the city of Edgerton in all capacities, and we will really miss his expertise,” Rawles said.
Mayor Donald Roberts said people like Powers deserve recognition.
“Glyn is a true community leader and his dedication to this city is outstanding,” Roberts said. “He has served well for many years because of his love for Edgerton.”