Corbin H. Crable
The Gardner City Council at its regular meeting Monday night unanimously approved Mayor Dave Drovetta’s appointment of resident Eric Schultz to the city’s Electric Utility Board.
Schultz will serve the remainder of Brian Broxterman’s term, which expires in February 2011. Broxterman was appointed to the council to serve the remainder of former city council member Dan Thompson’s term, which expires in 2013. Thompson resigned in March.
Schultz has been a presence in City Hall before. Then-Mayor Carol Lehman appointed him to the city council in January 2008, and he served in that capacity until April 2009, when he was voted out of office.
His name emerged again as a possible appointee to serve the remainder of Thompson’s term this past April. Schultz vied for the position with seven other candidates but withdrew his name from consideration in early April, citing time commitments from a new job.
After hearing brief introductory comments from Schultz, council member Kristy Harrison, at Monday night’s meeting, questioned him on his availability to attend board meetings and whether his schedule was now more manageable.
“I have confidence that I have better control of my schedule,” Schultz responded.
Schultz, in his April letter to Drovetta, also cited a belief that his previous time on the Gardner City Council would put him at a disadvantage and that it could be viewed as a “strike against and not for me.” He had advocated a need for new leadership to seek the open position.
“I do know what has transpired in the city in the past two to three years, and there’s a real need right now to try and establish a level of independence from previous leadership groups,” Schultz wrote in his letter to Drovetta. “The fact that I was on the council before … may not work to my advantage. It may be to everyone’s advantage to bring in a fresh, new face.”
No one at Monday’s meeting asked Schultz about his previous statements regarding the issue.
He said, however, that the Electric Utility Board position is one “near and dear to my heart,” as Schultz has worked for more than 17 years in the electric utility industry. In addition, Schultz has served on the city’s Planning Commission, Intermodal Review Committee and has been a volunteer for the city’s annual Festival on the Trails event.
The Electric Utility Board meets for its regular meetings at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month at City Hall, 120 E. Main St.; the board also meets for work sessions at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month at the same location.
In other business, the council:
• adopted a resolution authorizing the execution of an amendment to a loan agreement between Gardner and the state of Kansas
• heard a presentation from Rep. Mike Kiegerl (R-Olathe) on the end of the legislative session.
• approved the reappointments of Kipp Willnauer and Mike Hutton to the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals, with terms to expire in May 2013.
• approved the reappointments of Andrew Copeland, Jason Burnett and Dan Popp to the Planning Commission, with terms to expire in May 2013.
• heard a presentation from Assistant City Administrator and Community Development Director Melissa Mundt titled “Working Together – A Guide for Elected and Appointed Officials.”
• joined the mayor in recognizing City Clerk Teresa Anderson for her service to the city of Gardner. Anderson will leave the city this week to begin working for Johnson County in a similar capacity; city staff will assume her duties until a replacement is hired. “We will miss the great work you’ve done as our first standalone city clerk,” Drovetta told Anderson on Monday evening.
• joined the mayor in presenting to Mundt and the city the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its 2010 budget. The award, offered by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada, recognizes cities that effectively submit a policy document, financial plan, operations guide and communication device for their annual budget.
• joined the mayor in proclaiming June 2010 as Kansas Business Appreciation Month in the city of Gardner and recognizing Cosentino’s Price Chopper as the Business of the Year Award winner. The award is presented annually to a local business by the Gardner Area Chamber of Commerce and the Southwest Johnson County Economic Development Corp.
Visit The Gardner News’ Web site at www.gardnernews.com for more information on these budget items.
The council will next meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 14 for a work session at City Hall.